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6729: Slavin Responds to Archim on 091193 (fwd)
Sadly, I was there for part of the service at Sacre Coeur on Sept 11 93, and
its aftermath. I had interviewed Antoine Izmery before the service and some of
the Holy Ghost and Skurt(sp) Fathers who lead the Mass; and my notes had it
that the service was to honor the anniversary of the St. Jean Bosco massacre
and to demonstrate the country's obvious lack of political freedom (made even
clearer to the world by the assassination of Antoine). I did not know that
after threats by attachés that the Mass honored Georges Izmery -- that
information is an important detail (especially as this crime had many, many
witnesses, all the details that can go on the record...should). I know others
on the list were there that day -- can they confirm? I don't need confirmation
about the threats, I heard them.
Just a personal comment on Georges. I learned of his murder when I was coming
back on a fishing boat from Grande Cayemite Island (to do a story on hundreds
of Haitians who had gathered there to buy seats on refugee boats). I remember
finally being able to tune into the PauP radio stations, as we passed Leogane.
And the news came about Georges -- I had been in the country for about two
years and he was the first person I knew well who died in act of political
violence. I'm sure that many foreigners on the list understand this tragic rite
of passage -- when the political violence goes from something you learn about,
even hear and see –– to touching your heart. You know that your connection to
Haiti undergoes a transformation -- from one of great interest in the country
to Haiti becoming deeply personal. Georges was a gentle, caring, good humored
human being. He deserved a long life.
If anyone wants to know the identity of the priest that gave last rights to
Antoine (in that incredibly poignant picture that Archim writes of), pls write
to me off list.