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#1840: Re: #1829: Sunday Observer article on Haiti : A reply to Durran

From: chris-shelane <chris-shelane_at_a01-000-000@gs-server.globelsud.net>

Dear Mary,
I agree with many of the points you raise in your mail, where you defend your 
position on the Observer article. The point about Cite Soleil kids dressed up to
the nines for school, church etc is an excellent one. I'm a journalist myself 
and I know about the constraints of the profession - you have to write what 
sells - but that's a great image for an article, pride and dignity in the face 
of adversity.

However there is one point I have to disagree with you on - 'popular justice' 
has  EVERYTHING to do with the functioning or non-functioning of the justice 
system. Ask people in inner city areas in Haiti suffering from high crime rates,
what they think of the justice system, and they'll say their sick to death of 
seeing criminals arrested, often after being caught red-handed, and then seeing 
those same criminals walking around with a care-free expression a few days 
later. They know they're not out on bail. It may be the police or it may be a 
judge who lets them go free - evidence shows  it's often the judiciary who are 
responsible, not surprising considering the criminally poor budget they have. So
there are reasons for Haitians to decide that it makes more sense to take 
matters into their own hands - this starts with brigades de vigilance and goes 
as far as justice killings.

Chris Chapman