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a154: Fw: PAPDA and women's orgs. denounce violence (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>

The PAPDA and three Haitian women's organisations have denounced the
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
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
violent attacks on opposition parties' offices and the threats against
journalists following the attack on the Presidential Palace early on 17

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
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

"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

"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
happen! Those who authorised these acts must get the punishment they

"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
(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!"


Myriam Merlet, ENFOFANM
Yolette Jeanty, Kay Fanm
Eveline Larrieux, SOFA

(Source: ENFOFANM/Kay Fanm/SOFA press release, 19 December, translated by
Anne McConnell and Charles Arthur from French and Creole.)


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justice, participatory democracy and equitable development, since 1992.