but, .....I repeat myself.
|Suppose you were a heartless bastard, and suppose you were a Republican, but, .....I repeat myself. Mark Twain||
Saturday, March 27, 2004
San Diego Union Tribune -Dead appear and disappear mysteriously in Haiti
No one knows how many people have been killed or where they might be buried since a revolt that helped oust President Jean-Bertrand Aristide two weeks ago plunged the impoverished Caribbean nation into violence.
Statistics of people killed since bloodshed began on Feb. 5 have fallen victim to chaos. Estimates by rights groups range from 200 to several hundred. Many killings occurred in the provinces, where relatives are afraid of taking their dead to hospitals for fear of persecution and bury them in secret.
"It is impossible to come up with a credible number. There is no legal identification and the service has collapsed. There are no judges, no police, nobody to do the job," said Simon Pluess of the International Committee for the Red Cross in Haiti.
In the capital Port-au-Prince, anonymous bodies appear in the streets almost every dawn. They sometimes lie untouched for days, the traffic flowing slowly by them but not stopping.
Merite Merilien, head of the cramped morgue in Port-au-Prince, said he has lost count of how many bodies have been brought in over the last month. He said that at the peak of the violence, the number of bodies reached 40 a day.
New Jersey Star Ledger - Looters teach Haiti a harsh lesson
As life slowly returns to what passes for normal in strife-torn Haiti, the daily routine for many students remains in tatters. More than half the country's schools were closed after the uprising that left more than 300 dead and forced Aristide into exile.
Yesterday, uniformed boys with rucksacks and girls wearing pink and red hair ribbons filled the streets as most schools reopened for the first time since the crisis started brewing in December.
The disruption crippled an already moribund education system in a country where more than half the 8 million people are illiterate and only 60 percent have access to schools.
All told, at least 50 schools throughout Haiti were destroyed by pro-Aristide gangs, according to the U.N. Children's Fund. An unknown number of others were gutted by looters who took everything not nailed down -- textbooks, wall maps, desks, even blackboards.
Charlotte Observer - Political rapes of '90s not forgotten in Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - When the men stopped beating her, the night was silent. For an instant, Immacula Deluce said, she wondered whether she was dead. Then she was overwhelmed by the pain and the shame of having been raped by three men, their faces covered by black hoods.
For six months after her ordeal in 1991, she said, she roamed the streets, blinded from the beating. "When they found me in the street, I was crazy. They took me to the country and did leaf medicine for me and treated me," said Deluce, 38, a proud woman who leads a support group for Haitian women who have been raped.
Deluce and her group said the rapes were politically motivated following a 1991 military coup, the first time that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced into exile. He was ousted again last month.
In the three years until the United States restored Aristide to office in 1994, survivors' groups and human rights activists said, thousands of women were raped as military and paramilitary groups terrorized people they considered Aristide supporters.
The women's group, representing some of those who say they were raped, now wants the attackers prosecuted. But because many women cannot identify their rapists because of the hoods, the group has opted to go after the leaders of the military who they contend encouraged the rapes. Aristide disbanded the military when he returned to Haiti in 1994.
Jamaica Observer - Latortue praises gang leaders, gunmen
GONAIVES, Haiti (AP) - Sharing a platform with rebel leaders, Haiti's interim leader yesterday praised the gunmen who began the uprising that chased Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power and even paid tribute to an assassinated gangster.
About 3,000 people cheered and clapped for Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, who held his first rally in his hometown of Gonaives, where Haiti's independence was declared 200 years ago and starting point for its recent rebellion.
I have been trying to figure out what is going on in Haiti, but I must say that it's practically impossible to get enough information to form an accurate picture. Now I understand that Haiti is a back water, but it would be nice if the Press would send a few reporter there to keep us appraised of the events, particularly when one takes into account that the new regime is very similar to the one that overthrew Aristide in the early 90's. I strongly suspect that when, in a few years from now, the full story of the coup and it's aftermath come out, people will be appalled by the level of violence & bloodletting.
To paraphrase some French writer ,whose name I can't remember who said upon seeing the massacres that ended the 1870 Paris commune, This blood bath will buy us twenty years of social peace.
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