$88.00 donated in past month
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Haiti | International
Reuters on Haiti
Reuters ignores experiences of those harmed by MINUSTAH and Haitian National Police.
Arbitrary and Capricious rules of "justice" and unfair, defamatory and simplistic mainstream media reporting apply to the poor in Site Soley, Haiti. not to the untouchables living behind lead gates, tropical flowers and UN/US guns, April 19, 2007, Haitian Perspectives
The UN sponsored a mass attack, starting on Dec. 22, 2006 and throughout the first three months of 2007, " to root out gangs" in Site Soley. The initial reasons given by the UN for the attacks was to apprehend kidnappers. More than 400 arrests are claimed to have been made. The number of civilians caught and killed in the crossfires are not reported by the UN. But, the morgue is overflowing with unclaimed corpses that families can't afford to bury. (Haiti's children die in UN crossfire by Sandra Jordan, The Observer) Eventually, Ti Blan and Evens, alleged "gangster" were reported arrested and the international press reported that Site Soley residents are "enjoying more undisturbed nights since U.N. peacekeepers cleared out armed gangs." (Haiti slum residents enjoy new peace, want more by Joseph Guyler Delva, April 18, 2007, Reuters).
Is Marie Daniel Remy, the mother of two little girls slain by UN gunfire as they slept in their beds, 7-year old Stephanie Lubin and 4-year old Alexandra Lubin, enjoying "more undisturbed nights" and "the new peace" since more than 400 UN troops attacked the populous district of Site Soley on December 22, 2006? Everyone in Marie Daniel Remy's house were wounded by gunfire that night, including her husband Mercius Lubin. A pregnant Marie Daniel herself was shot and lost her baby in addition to her two little girls. Marie Daniel's knee was shattered by a powerful UN bullet shot from one of the four UN armoured personnel carriers -APC tanks - shooting into the heavily populated residential area outside her house. She is now partially paralyzed. Her husband, Mercius Lubin, still suffers from his bullet wounds. It took a campaign effort from concerned members in the New York Haitian community to gather funds so this family could at least be able to afford funerals and claim their two little girls from the morgue. Has the UN bothered to notice Marie Daniel Remy and Mercius Lubin's sleepless nights? Site Soley is bulging with stories like that of this pregnant mother who lost all her children, her house, her health, her belongings, everything, to UN gunfire. Are the countless Site Soley inhabitants whose homes were bulldozed and destroyed by UN tanks, enjoying "more undisturbed nights" and a "new peace?" Are the owners of the small vendor businesses and schools destroyed by the UN attacks in Site Soley "enjoying more undisturbed nights" and a "new peace?" (See Photo of Alexandra and Stephanie Lubin at Haitiaction.net and Lakounewyork.com for "Konbit pou lantèman Stephanie ak Alexandra Lubin epi Soutyen pou fanmi Lubin an.")
Many of those over-400 arrested say they are not members of "a gang," or, part of any kidnapping rings. That their only crime is poverty and living in Site Soley. Their parents and neighbors back those claims.
Evens claims he was tortured by police. Ti Blan still maintains he's an activist, not a kidnapper or "gang leader." His pleas, as well as that of over 3,000 political prisoners currently being held indefinitely for years since the bicentennial coup d'etat, are in vain.
In Haiti, there are the untouchables, that is - folks aligned with the 2004 coup-d'etat, and then there's the rest of Haiti.
In a May 18, 2007 article titled "Haiti slum residents enjoy new peace, want more"on Site Soley, Reuters' reporter, Joseph Guyler Delva, writes:
"Residents of Haiti's largest slums are enjoying more undisturbed nights since U.N. peacekeepers cleared out armed gangs, but they still want to see food, jobs and other hoped-for benefits of the new peace.
U.N. troops have dismantled a number of street gangs in the capital's sprawling slums since the beginning of the year and forced dozens of feared gang leaders to flee.
But residents say a dearth of social and economic programs may yet hamper efforts to achieve durable stability in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas." (Haiti slum residents enjoy new peace, want more by Joseph Guyler Delva, April 18, 2007, Reuters)
Although Haitian activists have, for years, consistently denounced mainstream reporters' use of the term "slum dwellers," or "slum residents," or "chimeres" to describe the up to 450,000 sentient beings - mothers, fathers, boys, girls, babies, students, grandparents, friends, neighbors and workers, et al - who make up the community of Site Soley and other such poor and populist districts of Haiti, Reuters reporter, Guyler Delva and his editors at Reuters, still cannot find a less derogatory manner to describe the sentient, living, breathing human beings of Site Soley, Haiti.
"Slum residents" are not "human" are they? Can be no more than criminals, bottom-feeders, animals, fair game, right? Thus, one need not read the article itself to already get the not-so-subtle Reuters message from the title of the article itself "Haiti slum residents enjoy new peace, want more"!
It seems that the more than 3,000 indefinitely-incarcerated-without-charges-or-a-hearing-prisoners-in-Haiti, who are mostly and primarily from Site Soley, Bel Air, Site De Dieu, Fort National, La Saline, Martissant and other poor neighborhoods, or, who represent the poor politically from the Lavalas party, are all lumped into the same "cell" - not seen as viable human beings, endowed with human and legal rights or even entitled to be treated with simple dignity and respect, by the authorities reporting about them, arresting them, terrorizing them and warehousing them.
The Reuters article, like much of the other mainstream articles on Haiti and Site Soley feed and add to, the one-side, racist, mainstream line that's currently selling Internationally about Haiti and its peoples. (Go to: The Western vs. the Real Narrative on Haiti and Haitian Nights, Again). It tells of "gangs" and "bandits" having been apprehended, but not that many accused of being "gangsters" are just ordinary Haitian civilians, and Haitians civilians living in Site Soley and other poor neighborhoods, who mostly resist or sympathize with those who resist the UN occupation of Haiti, the dictatorship of the foreign-supported economic elite and the remobilizing of the old Haitian military under the new mask of "police." It doesn't emphasize that most of the organized resistance to Bush regime change and occupation, since February 29, 2004, is through non-violent demonstrations by unarmed protestors. That many who have taken up arms or joined those who have arms have done so in pure self-defense because they were getting slaughtered by the coup d'etat police, paramilitaries shooting them behind powerful UN firepower cover. It doesn't emphasize that a great number of those arrested and indefinitely incarcerated have no connection with gang activities and where just arrested for being Black, poor, Haitian, male and living in Site Soley. It does not report on the political prisoners in Haiti. It does not report the misery, corruption, terror and chaos the UN and US and internationally-trained "new" Haitian police have brought to a certain segment in Haitian society - the majority poor, non-Eurocentric, Haitians of Haiti.
Generally, the coup d'etat mercenaries, assailants and death squads are granted freedom, no jail time and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) benefits by the ruling UN military proxies implementing Bush regime change in Haiti. (Two Faced in Haiti by Justin Podur and from the Ezili Danto Witness Project: Site Soley united, wants peace. Why is UN attacking Site Soley, not equally applying DDR?)
The unequal application of the law, and underreporting of it, is nowhere as vivid as when alleged poor "gangsters" get arrested, tortured and thrown in indefinite detention for years without trial. While pro-coup-d'etat folks accused of the same things - kidnapping, terrorizing the population, murder and other wrongdoings - either are summarily released from prison (like Stanley Handal, Jerry Narcius and the Gran Ravine police officers) in the rare case that they are even arrested or, simply have to resign from their post and never be punished, as is the case with Stanley Handal, Jerry Narcius and with Michael Lucius - Top Haitian police officer indicted for kidnapping.
The incontrovertible and cumulative evidence indicates, in current occupied Haiti, it is a Haitian person's collaboration with the UN occupiers and Haitian elites which determines guilt, innocence, punishment, the ability to make a livelihood and keep safe. To wit, Jodel Chamblain, the FRAPH death squad former second-in-command, was summarily released from prison, acquitted of charges for Site Soley burnings and massacres of Site Soley civilians in the first coup d'etat (1991-1994) and for Antoine Izmery's murder, in a sham overnight trial during the time of Minister Gousse under the imposed Bush Boca Raton Regime in 2004. The pro-coup d'etat death squads of Guy Philippe, Louis Jodel Chamblain, Ti Wil and Lame Timanchet still run free, unimpeded by the UN occupying forces and collaborating bloody Haitian police, to slaughter and intimidate the economic elites' opponents - that is, the majority poor in Haiti. Still, mainstream papers like Reuters see Site Soley residents and belittle their plight, belittle and dismiss their right to life, dignity, equal rights, to equal application of DDR and other programs offered to UN syncopants, write of them as "slum residents."
That pretty much says it all about why Reuters won't emphasize in the subject article that kidnappers, as well as their victims, come from all stratas of Haitian society, and are especially known to be organized by the police and the rich-foreign-supported-Haitian-merchants, or, write more about the UN and bloody Haitian police slaughters of Haitian civilians in Site Soley for political and economic purposes of the 2004 coup d'etat still being maintained under Preval's mask of legitimacy. Reuters continues to portray Haiti's insecurity problems as ONLY a problem of street crimes in the poor neighborhoods, or the problem of "those young black males in Site Soley" and hardly ever a word about the root of discontent that triggered the resistance in Site Soley and elsewhere in Haiti.
There's no or very little consistent reporting on the root cause of Haiti's insecurity issues. Why? Because "the 2004 coup d'etat in Haiti was preceded by a media coup d'etat which portrayed the foreign-supported, McCain/IRI-created-Haitian-opposition, as a legitimate and broad-based "civil society" and not just the same-old-same authotarian Duvalierist/macoute/bourgeois despotic forces (acting as agent for the neocolonialists) that the Haitian majority have been struggling to overcome since 1806." (Haitian Nights, Again). Back then Reuters wasn't writing, as its reporter states in the subject article, that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide "was pushed from power by an armed rebellion in 2004." Back then this Reuters, AP and other mainstream reporters were emboldening the coup d'etat and its supporters by falsely reporting, ad nauseam, that President Aristide was pushed from power by a "popular uprising."
This same Reuters reporter currently writing about Site Soley's "undisturbed nights" and "new peace," also once reported this about the December 22 UN Christmas massacre in Site Soley: "They came here to terrorize the population," said Rose Martel, a slum dweller, referring to the police and UN troops. "I don't think they really killed the bandits, unless they consider all of us as bandits." (regarding UN assault on Dec. 22, 2006 on Site Soley residents)- Reuters.
But Haiti reporting by these folks is far from consistent, unless it's to degrade, dehumanize and criminalize the poor for being poor.
Mainstream reporters won't unequivocally write, what most Haitians are experiencing, saying and feeling, - that is - the real objective of the UN incursion into Site Soley is not to catch kidnappers but rather to annihilate a certain category of individuals, having nothing to do with street crimes, for very concrete political reasons. There are no follow up reports on the killing of Haitian civilians, or investigative reports on the culpability of the UN, the Haitian elites and their foreign backers, although practically every mainstream article manages to directly and indirectly imply that black-on-black crime and political fratricide is Haiti's main issue; and always manages to refer to Haiti's failures, instability and the "armed rebellion" that ousted President Aristide. Of course, for almost three years these same journalist were telling one and all it was a "popular uprising" that ousted President Aristide.
One day soon, perhaps these journalist will reach the full truth and also write, in every article, that Haiti's democratically elected government was ousted by US-backed "contra-like"-and-financed-forces, not "freedom fighters." One day, when it no longer can be used to save innocent Haitian lives, perhaps mainstream press reporters, like Reuters' Guy Delva, will write something newsworthy that doesn't just mimic the official State Department/UN line and views of the morally repugnant Haitian elites. Write something beyond insisting that it's black-on-black Haitian street crime that's keeping 9,000 UN soldiers in Haiti!!!
One day, maybe Reuters will actually do some reporting and inform the public about how Bush's regime changed failed Haitians and upheld the interests of the rich and the big corporations in Haiti.
One day, maybe Reuters will explain to its readers how every time there's a foreign-sponsored coup d'etat, Haitianist advancements are destroyed and Haiti is purposely pushed back economically to ground zero, again and again. That the receipts from Haiti ports, national industries and what little taxes that used to be collected to run the nation become nil. That during this current bicentennial coup d'etat, the rich gave themselves three years tax break and cut the minimum wage in half, and over 7,000 municipal employers of the State were FIRED and replaced by Bush folks -"Haitian technocrats." That this massive disruption of the State, led to massive resistance and massive oppression by the US/UN guns. That the election of Rene Preval has changed nothing for the majority in Haiti. That the GNBist/group 184/Gerard Latortue-folks were given visas, jobs, granted commercial contracts, appointments and almost $1billion dollars ($965million) by the Internationals as a reward (foreign aid) for selling-out Haiti and members of the old Haitian army were reintegrated into the Haitian police force and given ten years back pay! Yet no one knows how this $965million foreign aid monies was spent or squandered. Supposedly Preval ordered an audit, but its yet to be made public and probably never will, because the untouchables would be implicated.
These are the root causes of Haiti's insecurity issues, not street crime in Site Soley!!!!!
But Reuters won't tell you this. Reuters will report, totally outside this context that ""Residents...still want to see food, jobs and other hoped-for benefits of the new peace....residents say a dearth of social and economic programs may yet hamper efforts to achieve durable stability in Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas." As if they've forgotten the effects of Bush's regime change in Haiti and the fact that previous such US neoliberal "policies" had destroyed Haiti's rice and agricultural industries, destroyed the peasants' black pigs and therefore Haitian self-sufficiency. Of course these "globalization" policies imposed on Haiti have little to do with the lack of food, jobs and peace in Haiti.
Still, Reuters and AP won't likely forget to put "the poorest country in the Americas" in practically EVERY article on Haiti, right? As if someone, somewhere on the planet might just have missed it the last million times it's been "reported" and repeated and repeated to emphasize and program, one and all, on what a horrible, horrid place Haiti is!!! Haitian historians will tell you that these sorts of repetitions of negative information about Haiti, goes back to the independence debt Haitians are made to pay for, over and over again. Haiti must constantly be destroyed, made an example of, so that white privilege and the capitalistic exploitation it justifies and animates, will dominate and always have hegemony over the black and brown colonized peoples on this planet.
One day maybe Reuters will actually report something new. Write about the natural gas that normally covers oil deposits that has been discovered in Haiti. Write about the gold, copper and mining companies using UN soldiers and other such "private security forces" to protect their interests and how the UN ain't going nowhere because Officialdom has dispatched them to Haiti, not to clear Haiti of social crimes, street crimes and bandits but to protect Western corporate interests, pirate and plunder Haiti's resources.
One day maybe Reuters will actually investigate those "roads" and "infrastructure" (water and electricity lines) being built up in the thickets at and near Mole St. Nicholas (and in other strategic areas) in Haiti, and let us all know how the US's so-called "road construction," in isolated places, unused by the population, are no less than US "Lily Pads" for military landings and securing of US oil and mineral interests in Haiti.
Maybe, one day Reuters and AP reporters will tell the public how water is being distributed throughout Haiti that some say has fertility drugs in them to cause infertility. Or, report something about the chemical and toxic pacification of Haiti; how some are reporting having adverse effects from the foreign-imported toxic, foods, meats and water being imported to Haiti, especially the nutrient-free, bleached rice. Maybe the mainstream press will actually one day, go beyond reporting about the "gangs" arrested and report on the sudden mental disturbances, mysterious illnesses, tumors and growths, found amongst the people warehoused in Haiti's prisons. Report on how, if this foreign occupation becomes more lodged into the fabric of Haiti's skin, if the industrial prison complex turns Haiti more and more into a penal colony, Haiti's misery will deepen as its people may be obliged towards lesser and lesser self-sufficiency and more pathology. The majority poor may, like Africa's poor, be forced to consume, more and more of the US-estrogen laden and unhealthy, hormone-packed imported foods; forced to witness, as the Black community in the US have observed in the US, the feminizing of the mostly young black men prisoners warehoused in the prisons, as was the case with the Haitian refugees interned at Guantanamo Bay in the early 1990s, many of whom reported even growing breasts.
Perhaps Reuters will someday even report on how the mining, oil and gold extracting companies have their black overseers in office, even under Preval, to protect their interests at the expense of the Haitian environment and lives. (Expose the lies).
Maybe one day, Reuters and AP will report how, because of the 2004 bicentennial coup d'etat, corruption and the blatant fleecing of State assets by the Bush's neocons in Haiti, from 2004 to late 2006, President Preval, the legitimately elected Haitian president, is merely a puppet. Why? Because most of the de factos from the imposed regime, are still in office under Preval. Many of Preval's supporters have explained that President Preval fears firing them, (folks like the Raymond Joseph, Mario Andresol, and all the Latortue foreign ministry personnel, et al..) and hiring his own chosen staff and representatives because the Neocolonists have indicated they will withdraw their International foreign "aid" monies, bank credits and stop subsidizing the Haitian government budget, if Preval replaces the Latortue/Boca Raton appointments with his own appointments. Preval, they say, simply does not have the funds to hire his own people and run the government after the massive ravages of the!
Bush regime change people. And, with 9,000 US/UN guns there in Haiti to make sure President Preval doesn't reverse the neoliberal "gains" of the bicentennial coup d'etat, Haiti has lost its sovereignty.
Will a mainstream article ever ask the questions running through the head of the majority in Haiti and in the Haitian Diaspora, that is:
Questions: If President Preval fires all the de factos, puts the minimum wage back to where it was before the 2004 Bush regime change, release all the political prisoners, denounce the exclusion of the masses from the political and economic life of Haiti, rehires some of the fired municipal employees, and insists on justice for the victims of the UN and Bush regime change? - how extensive will the fury of Empire be? And, can Haitians and Haiti, who has no powerful military or political ally anywhere on this earth to leverage as a political buffer against the rage and wrath of the Western superpowers, absorb the slaughter and imperial backlash; even up to another bloody coup detat???
Questions: If President Preval continues to use the de factos, continues to accept and use the Neocolonists' monies, - 'aid" - to pay his de facto staff, in the hope of somehow buying more time until world opinion and trajectory changes - perhaps when a Democrat wins the next US presidential elections? Is that realistic? Or, is this plain cowardice and the piling on of more indignities? Is this dissembling just starving off the current reality and getting these morally repugnant sell-out opportunists a greater foothold that gets harder and harder each day to dislodge?
There's no chance of the mainstream media shall ever report the perspective of the Haitian masses, except perhaps in ten years from now, when it no longer matters.
For, mainstream press like Reuters, whose corporate interests are tied to Officialdom's successes in re-occupying Haiti, have no interests in analysis; in actually reporting or giving equal time in their papers to the legitimate, common-man's-self-defense-resistance to the UN soldiers killing civilians and raping Haitian women and girls, and Haitian mass resistance to those rich, Eurocentric, fat cats wearing three piece suites in Petionville, Kenscoff and Laboule, named Handal, Narcius, Boulos, Baker and Apaid, supported by foreign embassies and companies, who are arming death squads, importing contraband and arms and the well-connected sons of the wealthy MREs* and "educated" lots, along with the rogue police, and many of Latortue's remaining defacto appointments and cohorts ("the untouchables"), who run the more lethal kidnapping, arms, contraband, human trafficking and drug rings in Haiti.
The vast majority of people in Site Soley are complaining about being shot, raped, arbitrarily arrested or slaughtered by UN and police forces. These Haitians are not enjoying "undisturbed nights" and "peace." Their elected president has been rendered meaningless and fearful of even identifying with the masses that elected him. Haiti is still ruled by the de factos brought in by the Bush regime change in Haiti.
Haitians are under occupation and, as herein detailed, referenced and also illustrated by other referenced links attached to this essay and all made a part thereof, only arbitrary and capricious rules of "justice" and unfair, defamatory and simplistic mainstream media reporting apply to the poor in Site Soley, Haiti. (Note the referenced links below for the other side to mainstream reporting.)