[News] Stop the Massacres in Haiti! End U.S. and UN Support for the Criminal Regime of Jovenel Moise

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Wed Oct 28 09:57:42 EDT 2020


https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/10/28/stop-the-massacres-in-haiti-end-u-s-and-un-support-for-the-criminal-regime-of-jovenel-moise/
Stop
the Massacres in Haiti! End U.S. and UN Support for the Criminal Regime of
Jovenel Moise by Haiti Action Committee - October 28, 2020
<https://www.counterpunch.org/author/htctn3912ee/>
------------------------------

The human rights crisis under the US-backed dictatorship of Jovenel Moise
has continued to widen and deepen with the proliferation of “Tonton
Macoutes” style death squad repression across the country.

On October 2nd, 2020, university student leader, law student, and
teacher-in-training Gregory Saint-Hilaire  was shot in the back inside of
the university by Jovenel Moise’s special security unit within the Haitian
police that had illegally invaded the campus. Saint-Hilaire was
an outspoken pro-democracy  activist who had been calling upon students and
faculty to denounce government corruption, massacres, and Haiti’s rapid
descent into dictatorship. After being shot Saint-Hilaire was prevented
from receiving medical care for 4 hours or more and died. The next day,
university students accused the Haitian police of involvement in setting
the school library on fire.

Gregory Saint-Hilaire holding a protest sign that reads “Down with Weapons!
Long Live Education!” “Weapons” refers to the weaponization of the
police and paramilitary groups  like G-9.

Gregory Saint-Hilaire’s murder came on the heels of the assassination of
Monferrier Dorval,  a well-respected Haitian lawyer, constitutional
scholar, and head of the Port-au-Prince bar association, who was killed on
August 28th, 2020, literally within hours of speaking out against the
regime in a radio broadcast.

As noted by US Representative Maxine Waters in a powerful letter of
protest directed to US Ambassador Michele Sison on October 5th,
2020,  “Dorval had previously signed a statement denouncing more than
two dozen presidential decrees signed by Moïse and calling for them to be
recalled. Dorval’s murder followed the murder of at least two other
prominent Haitians, Radio Caraibes host Frantz Adrien Bony and
Haitian businessman Michel Saieh; all three were killed over a
two-day period.”

Gregory Saint-Hilaire  and Monferrier Dorval, assassinated by the regime
for their outspoken activism.

Merijouna Fleurimont, killed by the G-9 death squad.

Meanwhile, massacres, extrajudicial killings, and the burning of houses by
the regime’s surrogate “G-9” death squad in popular, impoverished
Port-au-Prince neighborhoods such as Sity Soleil, Lasalin, Tokyo, and Bel
Air have become regular occurrences.  G-9 refers to a highly armed network
of paramilitary affiliates of the regime (labeled “gangs” in the media) led
by former police officer Jimmy Cherizier, aka “Barbecue”. Even children
and pregnant women have not been spared by the G-9 during these massacres.
In Cite Soleil, on July 12th, 2020, Merijouna Fleurimont, an 8-month old
baby, was shot in the head and killed by the G-9 death squad in the course
of its assault on the community.

Two weeks later, also in Cite Soleil, 27-year old Gyrlande Polis, 8
months pregnant, was shot and killed by the G-9 death squad.  Due to the
lack of healthcare, her unborn baby also died. As with the notorious
Lasalin massacre on November 13th, 2018–  perpetrated by G-9 leader
Cherizier along with paramilitary affiliates and police officers of the
regime– these more recent massacres are targeting unarmed civilians in
popular neighborhoods that are bases of Lavalas opposition to the
regime.[1] Lavalas is the mass movement for democracy and human rights in
Haiti led by the poor majority.

Working-class women in popular neighborhoods are subjected to rape by
regime forces as part of their war on the Haitian poor. One example among
countless such crimes was the murder of Christella [last name witheld due
to security concerns] on August 24th, 2020 in Lasalin. She resisted rape by
a G9 death squad member and he shot her in the head in front of her child.
This provoked outrage in the Haitian popular movement and social media, but
received no coverage whatsoever here in the US media.

Christella, killed by a G-9 death squad member after she resisted being
raped.

A video titled “Victims of the Regime of Jovenel Moise (2017 to present)”
represents a “Say Their Names” musical tribute with the refrain “Na sonje
(let’s remember).” It provides a partial list of the many killed by
Jovenel Moise’s security forces. The video includes part of an interview
with Gregory Saint-Hilaire.

While the regime has escalated its repression and killings, the US
government has increased its level of funding for and provision of weapons
to the regime’s US-trained police. As reported on August 31st, 2020 by the
Center for Economic and Policy Research: “Earlier this month [August], the
State Department notified Congress that it was reallocating $8 million from
last year’s budget to support the HNP [Haitian National Police]. Since
Trump took office, the US has nearly quadrupled its support to Haiti’s —
from $2.8 million in 2016 to more than $12.4 million last year. With the
recent reallocation, the figure this year will likely be even higher. US
funding for the Haitian police constitutes more than 10 percent of
the institution’s overall budget.”[2]

The US government continues to provide key support for the regime, propping
up its power despite massive, unyielding protests by the Haitian people.
The US government continues to support the regime’s plan to
hold illegitimate elections and maintain its death grip despite the fact
that truly fair and free elections are impossible under such a regime.

Likewise, the UN continues to provide critical international support for
the regime that is a malignant outgrowth of the US/ UN occupation of Haiti
following the US-backed coup d’etat against President Aristide on February
29th, 2004. In an appalling statement, the UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres credited “the strengthening of G9 control in parts of the
[Port-au-Prince] metropolitan area”with an alleged reduction in intentional
homicides of 12% between June 1 and August 31. Undoubtedly, the alleged
reduction in “intentional homicides” does not include the victims of G-9
massacres like Gyrlande Polis. In contrast to the UN Secretary General’s
whitewashing of the violence in Haiti, even The Washington Post noted on
August 14th, 2020, that:

“But for his long-suffering countrymen, Cherizier’s G9 is evoking the
horrors of the Tontons Macoutes, the government-backed paramilitaries that
terrorized Haiti for decades under dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier
and his son, Jean-Claude.”[3]

The Haitian people are engaged in a life-and-death struggle for genuine
human rights and national liberation. Now, more than ever, our solidarity
is needed.

*Contact:*

+ Michele Sison, US Ambassador to Haiti – phone: 011-509-2229-8000; email:
sisonmj at state.gov;

+ Michael Kozak, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemispheric
Affairs, US State Dept – phone: 202-647-6575; email: kozakmg at state.gov;
tweet: @WHAAsstSecty

Demand that the UN Stop Supporting the G-9 Death Squad and the Dictatorship
of Jovenel Moise!

*Contact:*

+  UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres – phone: 212-963-1234; tweet:
@antonioguterres

For more info, go to www.haitisolidarity.net
<http://www.www.haitisolidarity.net/>

*Notes.*

[1]Report: The Lasalin Massacre and the Human Rights Crisis in Haiti
<https://www.nlg.org/report-the-lasalin-massacre-and-the-human-rights-crisis-in-haiti/>.
(2019, July 16);  “Special Report: Massacres in Haiti
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6kQH-_IrAg&ab_channel=TheRealNewsNetwork>”
(April 14th, 2019) by Margaret Prescod.

[2] “State Department Awarded Contract to Politically Connected Security
Firm
<https://cepr.net/state-department-awarded-contract-to-politically-connected-security-firm/>”
(2020, September 23).

[3] Ingrid Arnesen, A. (2020, August 18). “In Haiti, Coronavirus and a Man
Named Barbecue Test the Rule of Law
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/haiti-moise-coronavirus-barbecue/2020/08/14/2554fce4-cf4d-11ea-8c55-61e7fa5e82ab_story.html>
”
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