[News] Haiti - Stop the attacks against the Lavelas Movement

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 29 13:47:29 EST 2014




On Friday, January 17, it was reported by news agencies that a Haitian 
judge investigating the assassination of Jean Dominique, a crusading 
Haitian journalist who was killed in 2000, recommended the indictment of 
former Senator Myrlande Liberis-Pavert, a founder and former director of 
the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, along with eight others.

No legal documents to sustain these charges have been made public. From 
press accounts it appears that the only "evidence" in the case is the 
testimony of a single informant, a former member of Haiti's security 
forces who was convicted on drug trafficking charges in the United 
States in 2005.

By contrast, Myrlande Liberis-Pavert, who maintains her innocence, is 
one of the most beloved leaders of the Lavalas movement, someone who has 
fought for a democratic Haiti, and for the rights of Haitian women and 
children, since she was a teenager. We believe the attempt to link her 
in any way with the murder of Jean Domenique, a pro-democracy journalist 
who was a vocal critic of both the Haitian elite and the U.S. role in 
Haiti, is defamation, pure and simple. The attack on her is an attack on 
the grassroots movement in Haiti. We denounce it in the strongest 
possible terms.

Ms. Liberis-Pavert has dedicated her life to the poor of Haiti. Her 
father was murdered by the Tonton Macoutes, the dreaded paramilitary 
death squads of the dictator, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. As a 
teenager, she was an active member of the congregation at St. Jean 
Bosco, a center of Haiti's struggle to end decades of rule by the 
Duvaliers and the Haitian military. She was a founding member of SAJ 
(Solidarite an jen) the youth movement that helped lead the national 
student strike which finally overthrew Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier 
in 1987.

Myrlande worked closely with President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from 
1994-2004 at the palace, and then as the administrator of the Aristide 
Foundation for Democracy. An educator throughout her entire adult life, 
she founded dozens of schools, administered several literacy campaigns, 
and helped open community stores that benefited hundreds of thousands of 
people throughout Haiti. She has been a leading advocate for the rights 
of women and for women's education and economic empowerment. Ms. 
Liberis-Pavert was elected to the Senate in 2000, representing 
Port-au-Prince on the Fanmi Lavalas ticket. The target of numerous death 
threats, she was forced into exile during the violent 2004 coup that 
overthrew the democratically elected Aristide government.

The public defamation of Ms. Liberis-Pavert continues a pattern of 
slander and attack aimed at those associated with Fanmi Lavalas. The 
goal is to undermine Fanmi Lavalas, the most popular political party in 
Haiti, as the country approaches new legislative elections and to 
continue to tarnish the image of President Aristide himself.

Since Aristide's return, he has led the reopening of the University of 
the Aristide Foundation (UNIFA). On September 26, 2011 the Medical 
School once again opened its doors -- this time to a new class of 126 
future Haitian doctors. Today, there are over 600 medical students, more 
than 200 nursing students and a new group of law students. And this is 
just the beginning of a determined initiative to improve health care for 
all Haitians, which has become even more urgent now with a cholera 
epidemic still sweeping the country.

The Haitian government of Michel Martelly came to power after a staged 
"election" in which Fanmi Lavalas was banned from participation. 
Martelly has embraced Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, the brutal former 
dictator, who lives freely in Haiti and recently occupied a place of 
honor at the January 1st 2014 Haitian Independence Day celebrations. 
Human rights organizations estimate that the Duvaliers -- "Papa Doc" and 
"Baby Doc" -- ordered the deaths of 20,000 to 30,000 Haitian citizens 
during their 29-year rule. While grassroots leaders and activists are 
targeted, "Baby Doc" is allowed free rein in the country he terrorized 
for so many years.

Myrlande Liberis-Pavert is our sister. We call on the Haitian government 
to end this inquisition against her and the Lavalas movement.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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