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#4228: This Week in Haiti 18:13 6/14/00 (fwd)
"This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI PROGRES
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"Le journal qui offre une alternative"
* THIS WEEK IN HAITI *
June 14 - 21, 2000
Vol. 18, No. 13
DORISMONDS DEMAND INDICTMENT OF COP WHO KILLED THEIR SON
Last week, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tried to arrange
a private meeting with the parents of Patrick Dorismond, the
young Haitian-American gunned down by New York City undercover
policeman Anthony Vasquez on Mar. 17. But the Dorismonds refuse
to meet privately with the mayor, saying that they must be
accompanied by their lawyer, Johnny Cochran, as well as the Rev.
Al Sharpton and Haitian community leaders.
"Giuliani wants to do something secret, without any media
coverage," Marie Dorismond, the victim's mother, told Haïti
Progrès. "He wants it to be just him, me, my husband, and a
priest. Myself I don't want anything secret with that guy because
when he maligned my son he did it at noon on the television and
the whole world was watching. Now, if he has something to say to
us, we want our lawyer, Sharpton, and our Haitian community
leaders there. We won't go without those people."
Now the Dorismonds have added an even more important condition:
they want the officer who shot their son to death to be indicted.
"Already my daughter, Marie Andre, has said publicly to Giuliani:
before you go asking anybody anything, you know what you have to
do," Mme. Dorismond said. "You have to fire your policeman and
convict him! You have to indict him. If you can't do that, you
can't come to people carrying all your sins."
Up until now, Officer Vasquez has only been placed on desk duty
and has not been disciplined or charged with any crime.
Meanwhile the Haitian Coalition for Justice and other groups have
called a protest rally in front of the offices of Robert
Morgenthau, the Manhattan District Attorney, at 100 Centre Street
in Manhattan on Monday, June 26, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to
demand that Vasquez and the two other cops involved in
Dorismond's shooting be indicted.
"Giuliani is trying to soften his image in the hopes that our
demands will just fade away," said Ray Laforest, a leader in the
HCJ. "Well they won't. We still want justice and we still want
him to resign."
These demands were prominent in two massive Haitian community
marches on Mar. 25, during the victim's funeral, and on Apr. 20,
the tenth anniversary of the historic march against the Food and
Drug Administration's policy of designating Haitians as AIDS
carriers. Giuliani's popularity hit all-time lows, with over two-
thirds of New Yorkers disapproving of his handling of the
Then, Giuliani deflated. He announced on Apr. 27 that he had
early signs of prostate cancer. The following week, his history
of marital infidelity was headline news. Then he dropped out as
Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York. He held a
televised "town meeting" where he spoke of reconciliation and
used the word "love" over 13 times, remarkable from his lips. The
mainstream press began to praise the mayor's "courage" and
applauded his new "compassionate" style.
But the Haitian community leaders grouped in the HCJ remain
unimpressed. "There's some change of rhetoric, but no change of
substance," Laforest observed. "He deserves no sympathy when so
many have been tortured and killed by the police on his watch.
And he continues to prosecute those protesting his policies." The
June 26 demonstration will also demand that the Brooklyn DA,
Charles Hynes, drop misdemeanor and felony charges against some
two dozen protestors arrested at the Mar. 25 funeral and that the
Bronx DA, Robert Johnson, drop charges against protestors
arrested while protesting the acquittal of the four policemen who
shot African immigrant Amadou Diallo in Feb. 1999.
Diallo's mother has reportedly expressed willingness to sit down
with Giuliani. But the Dorismonds, backed by an angry and
militant community, are not likely to be seduced by the mayor's
public relations stunts. Instead, Marie Dorismond calls on the
community to turn out en masse to the Jun. 26 rally in front of
the Manhattan DA. "That demonstration is a great necessity," she
said. "In fact, we need several of them."
Mme. Dorismond also doubts that she and her husband André will
ever sit down with the mayor. "You know the Haitian proverb which
sums up the situation," she concluded. "Chat konnen, rat konnen,
barik mayi a reste la." The cat knows, the rat knows, and the
barrel of corn just sits there.
THREE ARRESTED, TWO DEAD AFTER DRUG DROP GONE BAD
In the early morning hours of Friday June 9, two yachts from
Colombia attempted to drop an estimated four to five thousand
kilos of cocaine at a private beach called "Sensation" in the Ti
Paradi section of the southern town of Grand Goâve. A flatbed
truck with 200 cement sacks, in which to hide the cocaine, was
waiting at the rendezvous point.
Unfortunately for the traffickers, the local population somehow
got wind of the operation and chaotically boarded the two
vessels, making off with most of the precious powder. Local
police observed the melee but were unable to intervene until
reinforcements from the the Office to Fight Against Drug
Trafficking (BLTS) and a SWAT team arrived on the scene. The
agents seized a mere six sacks of drugs containing 147 kilos of
cocaine, the rest spirited off by the local marauders.
Three men were arrested: the beach owner and two others caught
in the act of grabbing up drugs. In addition to the yachts and
the truck, the police also seized a jet-ski, a shotgun, an
automatic rifle, and two handguns.
In the scramble to gather up the packages of cocaine, one man,
Tataille Louis Jean, was shot in the head and killed. Victorious
Lavalas Family mayoral candidate Jocelyn Wilhomme was also killed
that day by his own security guard, Leslie Timo. Radio Haiti
reported that, according to an unnamed source, Wilhomme had lent
his gun to Timo to rob eight kilos of cocaine from a third man.
When Wilhomme went to recuperate the gun and drugs, Timo shot him
in the stomach.
Lavalas Family spokesman Jean Renel Julien vigorously denied this
version of events, saying that Wilhomme had gone to Timo's home
on the evening of Jun. 9 when the guard had failed to show up for
work. "The mayor was not involved in drugs," Julien said. "All
during the day he had been at home dealing with his business. The
security guard normally came at around 6 p.m.. Around 7 p.m.
[Wilhomme] saw the guy hadn't come, so he decided to go to
[Timo's] house to find out what was up. As he entered [Timo's]
house, the guard shot him... The security guard betrayed him."
Authorities are still trying to find out how much cocaine is
still in Grand Goâve. "We don't really know the total amount of
cocaine which came in aboard those yachts which the police
seized," said police spokesman Jean Dady Siméon. "But everybody
in town says that everybody else came into possession of some of
the cocaine, and so the police will continue to investigate in
the area so as to recover those drugs."
ALLEGED THIEF STONED TO DEATH
On the night of Sunday June 4, Emmanuel Saintil was stoned to
death by two guardians (jeran) of the Felix Box School on Rue 17
in Cap Haïtien. According to Willy Duchesne, one of the
guardians, Saintil was trying to steal from food stored for
students. Duchesne, whom Saintil struck several times with a
hammer, admits that he and the other guardian killed Saintil with
rocks during an extended fight.
Judge Emmanuel Dorcé, who inspected the crime scene, found
several pieces of evidence indicating that Saintil had indeed
been committing theft. Nonetheless, he declared that the two
guardians would be put on trial for the killing.
The school remained closed all day on Monday, June 5 since the
police had not yet removed Saintil's body.
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