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#1979: Re: #1968: Re:#1949: Laleau comments


Dear Bruce,

I was not referring to attacks on foreigners or relatively well-off Haitians, 
but rather to Haitian peasants, for example, in areas inaccessible by car, 
some of them miles from St. Michel de l'Attalaye, or other areas in a large 
perimeter from Gonaives.  For example, several miles from Marchand 
Dessalines, way off any road, one man (possibly suffering from bipolar 
disorder or some other neurological illness) walked miles from his village in 
a sort of "fit" that came over him every year or so, into an area where 
people were unfamiliar with his illness... he was chopped to death by 
machetes, disemboweled,  and thrown into the river after he stole a dozen 
colas in somebody's cooler.  Nothing was ever done about it.  Numerous people 
report zenglendo attacks when they were on public transportation at night.  
The ones I knew about personally occurred in 1995-96, but more recent ones 
occasionally surface on the List.  I heard very little of this kind of story 
in the Les Cayes area, which by and large was relatively more prosperous and 
also more tranquil while I was there than the area north, west, and south of 
Gonaives, which was very turbulent, with many reported killings.  The UN 
police could give you incident after incident.  My involvement as a MICIVIH 
staffer was only to investigate to the point that we could determine if the 
incident had a human rights component to it or not.  The actual criminal 
investigations were carried out by the CIVPOL (UN police).  Many incidents 
occurred that did not reach the foreign press, but were discussed in our 

I interviewed numerous people who had had family members killed in front of 
them during the Cedras period.  Some of them were still trembling from 
post-traumatic stress disorder as they described the incidents.  One young 
woman about 17 years old had ceased to grow from the day she witnessed such a 
murder -- she has the body of a 10-11-year-old girl.  Some of this may be due 
to anemia or other causes, but arrested development is also a known 
consequence of some types of shock.

I did not mean to imply, in my posting, that what I had personal knowledge of 
was happening to foreigners, etc., which it was not, but especially given the 
withdrawal of the better-equipped foreign peacekeeping forces, and given the 
inability of the Haitian police to reach those areas quickly or communicate 
by radio or telephone, I have no reason to think these incidents have 
lessened.  Maybe I am wrong. 

Nancy Laleau