A woman heads home from the market along Delmas 32 route. Photo credit. Garry Pierre-Pierre

By Luckner Bayas

Dear Ms Lalime,

We took note of your condemnation of violence in the latest events in Haiti and would like to make the following comments : 

Coming of major protests against the government just a few months ago, the Haitian people did not want those carnivals. They are still  mourning the death of 20 children in an orphanage two weeks ago. They are forced into home confinement due to the macabre scenes of the insecurity in the streets (gangs, kidnappings, etc. They are upset that the irresponsible government has allocated millions of dollars for a carnival at a time when the economy has crumbled and the misery index is at an all time high in the country. They are aware that their country, while under UN watch, has skewed dangerously toward the path of dictatorship. They are aware that those carnivals are tactics of diversion concocted by the enemies of the Nation to distract them from claiming their fundamental rights to the primary needs of life (food, shelters, health, education, etc.). 

We notice some sadness in your note about the cancellation of those carnivals. We think rather that a note of support from your office to the Haitian Nation about the 20 little angels who disappeared in that excruciating fire would have been a more appropriate occasion to express sympathy. Ditto a note of support from your office to the women in uniform (often victims of sexual abuse in the force) and to their suffering brothers who had the courage to take their plights into the street (protests). The violence committed against them has always gone unnoticed; their complaints always fall onto deaf ears. 

With respect to the reference about the “security of the population” in your note, we would like to point out that its the high command of the government and not the lower rank of force (nor the people in the streets) that is responsible to set the tone for non-violence. Just last year, that dreadful command brought in seven (7) foreign mercenaries, heavily armed with assault weapons, to terrorize the Hatian population during the street protests; a grave act of treason; an insult to the Nation; a flagrant violation of the Hattian Constitution and of the provisions of the UN mandate in Haiti: No one said anything back then. Not a single word from MINUJUSTH (now BINUH)!

We strongly decry this double standard and are monitoring the situation very closely.

Luckner Bayas is an activist in the NYC area and wrote this letter in concert with other Haitian leaders.

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