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a137: PAPDA and women's orgs. denounce post-coup attempt violence (fwd)
The PAPDA and three Haitian women's organisations have denounced the violence that followed the attempted coup on 17 December.
by Charles Arthur, for the Haiti Support Group.
The Platform to Advocate for Alternative Development (PAPDA) has expressed its indignation in response to the serious incidents connected to the failed coup d'état against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Monday 17 December.
In a note protesting against the incidents, the PAPDA condemns what it calls "bands of fascists" which broke into, looted and set fire to the cultural centre, the Centre de Recherche d'Études Sociales et de Formation Économique pour le Développement (CRESFED), headed by Gérard Pierre-Charles, who is also the coordinator of the Organisation du Peuple en Lutte (OPL). CRESFED is a member of the Platform of Haitian human rights organisations.
The PAPDA is also appalled that the offices of political parties were set on fire, and that certain journalists received death threats. It also condemns the destruction of the private houses belonging to political leaders such as Gérard Pierre-Charles and Victor Benoît.
The PAPDA, which also denounces the attack against the local offices of Institut Français d'Haïti, issued a warning cry against what it called the country’s slide towards a state of ungovernable chaos. (source AHP, 24 December, translated from French)
Representatives of three Haitian women’s organisations have issued a press release to denounce those who they say are trying to destroy the dream of democracy. The 19 December press release, issued by Myriam Merlet of Enfofanm, Yolette Jeanty of Kay Fanm, and Eveline Larrieux of Sofa, lists the violent attacks on opposition parties’ offices and the threats against journalists following the attack on the Presidential Palace early on 17 December.
The press release continued, “The Lavalas Government has declared that there was an attempted coup d'état on the night of 16/17 December and that in order to protect the government “the population” reacted. Which population? Since when has the Haitian population been armed? How many members of the population are able to drive around in cars and trucks at the very moment of this insecurity?”
“When the population makes demands, civil society organisations are with them. We, the members of the women’s organisations that have signed below, cannot explain the pillage and destruction of premises belonging to the opposition, of individual residences, of a social research centre, or the threats against the press, culminating in some stations ceasing their news broadcasts.”
”The Haitian people must not forget the way that Duvalier established his dictatorship. Let’s not forget the events of 1958, Duvalier appointing himself President for life in 1961, the massacre in Jeremie in 1964, the actions against the Caillard family in 1970, the notorious campaign against the independent press in 1980. People of Haiti, remember, a people without memory is a people without history.”
“What happened on Monday 17 December and the days that followed throughout the country is a move against all forms of opposition to the Lavalas government.“
“We members of women’s organisations, say No, No, No. This coup mustn’t happen! This plot to destroy the democratic aspirations of the people mustn’t happen! Those who authorised these acts must get the punishment they deserve.”
“The model of society to which Lavalas aspires goes against what the Haitian people have always called for. We cannot let them destroy the very institutions involved in the dissemination of knowledge. The Haitian people want to build. Never again can we have the politics of 'koupe tèt, boule kay' (literally 'cut off their heads and burn their houses').”
“It is important, indeed essential that all citizens, both men and women, conscious that Haiti can no longer suffer under the yoke of a dictatorial regime, rise up with a resounding No!"
"CITIZENS, LET’S FACE UP TO OUR RESPONSIBILITIES!"
Myriam Merlet, ENFOFANM
Yolette Jeanty, Kay Fanm
Eveline Larrieux, SOFA
(Source: ENFOFANM/Kay Fanm/SOFA press release, 19 December, translated from Creole.)
The Haiti Support Group - solidarity with the Haitian people's struggle for human rights, equitable development and participatory democracy - since 1992