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8129: The Gun-Giver (fwd)
>From Amnesty International's Report on Haiti for 2001
"Emergence of illegal security forces
Some of the local and regional officials elected in May and subsequent
run-off elections established illegal security forces, which were responsible
for a significant number of human rights violations. There is no legal basis
or mechanism of control for these forces, and their members are generally
supporters of the FL party to which most elected officials belong. In some
instances officials claimed they were creating the forces to combat crime and
bolster the Haitian National Police, which they accused of being ineffective;
in others, their motivation was overtly political."
I have a young hounsi bossale, a 22 year old man who is preparing to initiate
in the Roots Without End Society. One day in April of this year he didn't
show up in the peristyle, which was unusual, since he was there faithfully
every day to help me and since I gave him a cash stipend. They next day he
reappeared, and fearful that perhaps he or a family member had been sick, I
asked him what had happened.
He explained to me that he had been invited to a meeting, at which a man
"from Port-au-Prince" had promised him and other young men in the district
that he would distribute guns to them, and money.
"WHAT!", I said, 'Don't you dare get mixed up in that stuff, the next thing
you know I will be down at the police station or the hospital bailing you out
or fixing you up. WHY did this person say he was going to give you guns?"
"He said," replied my candidate, "that the Lavalas guys in Port-au-Prince
have guns, and so we should have them too."
He went on to identify this gun-giver as "Lavalas", then as "Hubert de
Ronceray's person", then as someone he didn't know and whose party
affiliation he didn't know, but "he's not a thief, no".
The attraction of this sort of thing for young unemployed men who have been
conditioned to view the sort of power that comes from the barrel of a gun and
the role of "chef" as highly desirable, very masculine, and profitable is
undeniable. My hounsi bossale was all excited, he thought this was an
absolutely wonderful opportunity, and I don't doubt that he would have done
all sorts of dreadful things if he were given the gun, the money, and the
This man is not a "bad person" either, he is not unusually aggressive or
criminalistic, he is just an average "malhereux". And if I can't offer him a
more attractive and more lucrative alternative, I'm not going to be able to
Peace and love,
Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen
"Se bon ki ra" - Good is rare
The VODOU Page - http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html