[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

#2362: Life is cheap in Haiti when you are a thief : Villain recalls

From: Marc Villain <MVillain@mail.mia.bellsouth.net>

Dick, it may have been true that, generally speaking, "your safety was
bought at the repression of the populace", but I think that the dead
body of the young Haitian on the sidewalk of the Hotel Splendide may be
just the indication of how cheap the life of a "thief" (not the ones
from the Government but the kind that really need to steel a TV in order
to sell it and feed his family) is in Haiti. This part of your annecdote
about your visit in Haiti reminded of an incident that I witnessed
during my formative years in Haiti. 

If I recalled correctly, it was around the summer of 1980, when my
family was awakened by a loud noise coming from the neighbor's yard.
When we all went out on the wall separating our house from our
neighbor's, we could clearly see his "gerant" (permanent watchman) with
a smoking rifle standing over the greased up and naked body of a man
that he identified as a thief (I later learned that greasing up one's
body  and not wearing any clothes allows a thief to quickly escape in
the event he is caught in a bear hug). We stayed up waiting for the
"morgue" workers to come take the body away. 

Finally, two hours later, a station wagon pulled into our neighbor's
driveway to pick up the body, when the unthinkable happened. After
examining the body, the driver of the car realized that the man was
still alive. He became livid and very upset that they called him instead
of the hospital. After arguing with our neighbor, the driver pulled out
his gun and declared that "m'pa pwale avel vivan non" (I am not going
with him alive)and shot the man twice in the head.....

He then took a stretcher out of the car and with the help of the other
occupant of the vehicle carried the now "really dead" body and threw it
in the back of the station wagon and drove away.

We never went back to sleep that night.......


> The situation was more adventurous than frightening but the reality behind
> it become more vivid when one morning we saw the dead body of young Haitian
> man lying on the sidewalk near the Splendide. We were told that he was shot
> because he was a thief. The incident underlined for us what we already knew
> intellectually - that our safety was bought at the repression of the
> populace. Tyranny suppresses choices; in a freer society some of those
> suppressed choices can be dangerous. It is part of the cost of a free
> society.