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#4925: Batay Ouvriye and FL repression #2 (fwd)
From: Charles Arthur <email@example.com>
At the beginning of August, the Haiti Support Group received an email press
release from Batay Ovuriye - the Haitian workers' organisation. Apologies
for the delay - there follows a summary of this release. Those who would
like the full press release in Creole only, please email us:
for the Haiti Support Group
BILTEN POU LAPRES No. 2 from Batay Ouvriye
For some time there has been a wave of repression and terror
developing in Haiti...The Lavalas regime has decided to come down hard on
Batay Ouvriye...We must announce that Lavalas is using the same tactics that
the Macoutes used, and in various zones they use the same agents, in
particular, zenglendoes and former members of FRAPH.
During the month of June, Batay Ouvriye sent out a note about this issue. It
covered a variety of repressive practices in the Central Plateau, in the
Artibonite and in the North-West. But we (now) want to draw everyone's
attention to the fact that these were not isolated incidents. Not only are
they taking place in numerous different places, but they continued through
the month of July. In July, we can say that the situation worsened
particularly in these same areas.
In the Plato Santral : The Lavalas offensive continued. Thursday, 6th July,
in the morning, a commando composed of the Police commissar of Beladere,
Pierre Tony Jacques, together with two other policemen, plus four other
people from the Fanmi Lavalas Party - Israel Jean, second representative of
the Kazčk of the Riyarib section (Beladere) together with Manč Eustache,
Jean Robert Monbaya, and Sončl arrived at the house of Wilner Fondechčne, a
representative of Batay Ouvriye. They didn't find him, so they turned the
place upside-down. When they finished planting leaflets that no one had ever
seen in the house, they said they had found them there. After this, they
took four of Wilner's photos so that they could search for him everywhere in
the commune...They put great pressure on his wife. They pistol-whipped
Gousmann Pierre who was in the house. Everything happend without a warrant
and without the presence of a Justice of the peace.
The same day, at eight-thirty in the evening, they returned.
There was the police commissar, and other policemen as well as people who
work for the CNE, a state organisation building roads in the region. All of
them carried heavy weapons. Four members of the Family Lavalas Party were
there...with them was the 'elected' Deputy, Levy Joseph. The latter, with a
megaphone, asked them to terrorise the people, to beat them so that they
would shout "Aristide for 50 years". They beat and pistol-whipped four
people in the house...three of
them were members of Batay Ouvriye. While they were doing all this, they
spoke about how Batay Ouvriye had no right to make literacy
classes, that there is only one government...that repression would increase.
When local people started to react, they went away. They used a vehicle from
the Nativity Hospital in Beladere. After these incidents, death threats
increased and more arms were distributed..... Tension increased in the area.
In St Michel de L'Attalaye: The case of the assassination of Wilnor Bonplan
still preoccupies our members. We can't forget how Dilouis
Damas, Fanmi Lavalas party member, member of the Azek of the communla
section of L'Attalaye killed Wilnor. Despite the start of a case at the
court....impunity continues....the cartel which Damas heads
manouevres to block the work of justice. The elected Family Lavalas people
are making death threats against two members of Batay Ouvriye,
Urbain Garcon and Pepe.
In the Anse Rouge area: People who call themselves leaders of Fanmi Lavalas
in the area are carrying our repression and making death threats to stop
Batay Ouvriye meetings...
In the area of Mole Saint Nicholas and Bombardopolis: We find the same
situation. There are death threats against members of Batay Ouvriye. They
have already burnt a house in order to stop meetings.
In Archaiye: People linked with Fanmi Lavalas have intensified their
characterisation of Batay Ouvriye as an organisation that causes problems in
These are aspects of a developing situation. After our first press release,
people asked us if the acts of repression were carried out by Fanmi Lavalas
members. We told them that we have their names and that we gave them to
State officials - but they are also part of Fanmi Lavalas. The situation
remains very fraught. Tension is high. Batay Ouvriye wants to make it clear
that it will remain firm and not change its orientation....Everybody must be
clear, it is a reactionary, anti-popular project that is developing, and is
being lead by Fanmi Lavalas. We denounce it, and are continuing to alert
national and international opinion...
29 July 2000
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