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#1768: SWAF JUSTIS and FON DWA MOUN & SA's TRC--reply to Guy and Paula from Ulysse

From: Gina Ulysse <gulysse@abacus.bates.edu>

May I suggest that one of the ideas that we reflect on is the concept of
"swaf justis" in relation to violent responses such as dechoukaj. Indeed,
to what extent are these more recent popular responses reflective of the
enviroment and its climate. Since I would imagine that most of us would
agree that no one is born a beast, what is this penchant for violence an
indication of? What begets such desperate behavior? And these days, can we
speak of violence in Haiti without stressing both the distinctions and
contradictions that exist among its multiple forms, that is social,
political and economic etc. 

What about The Fon Dwa Moun and its programs as an attempt to seek social
justice ? May be someone else on the list knows a lot more and can speak
about this office. My understanding is that it provided a lot of support
and help to numerous victims of the 91 coup. Lately it has been acting as
a mediator between popular organizations, government offices and even
international agencies.  The fact that it could not quench the thirst for
a certain kind of justice has more to do with the "carnivalesque" that is
the Haitian legal system than it has to do with the Fon Dwa Moun itself. 
Also what about CHRESOF (Centre Hatien d'Hebergement & de Reintegration
Sociale des Femmes en Difficulte Matrimoniale). Can anyone add anything
about that organization which seeks to empower women who continue to be
everyday victims of gendered and classed violence. Many of these women had
been systematically oppressed on the basis of their biology for political
reasons in the coup and post coup period. There are some attempts that are
being made in Haiti to deal with different types of violence that is
incubated there. Why do we know so little about them? Why arent they news? 

Finally....I am very weary about the idea of adapting any model to Haiti
particularly one that was so problematic? The results of my interviews
with South Africans (certain Members of Parliament and students and prof
in the western cape area) only revealed GROSS disatisfaction with the TRC.
One of the primary reasons was the fact that racist crimes committed to
maintain apartheid were being judged as equivalent to crimes committed
against it. Furthermore, the fact that there was no real justice served
(since the most powerful claimed they didn't know) made the TRC nothing
more than a spectacle that was meant to appease and indulge white guilt. 
As an interviewee told me "the TRC was mostlty for whites how could you
stand in front of strangers and cameras to discuss things that were done
to you that were so shameful you would not even tell your mother."

^^^^**^^^^**^^^^**^^^^**^^^^**^^^^^~Gina Ulysse, Ph.D.			
Assistant Professor African-American Studies Bates College 
Lewiston, Maine 04240  (207) 786-6436 gulysse@abacus.bates.edu 
			"C'est le temps que tu as perdu ta rose
			 qui fait ta rose si importante."
                                              -The Little Prince