Sunday, 20 January 2013

Paramilitarism in Haiti: A Photo Montage

     Below are photos to accompany my book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti (Monthly Review Press, 2012). These photos were either: (a) provided to me with permission to use by the photographer, (b) photos that I took, or (c) they have been posted through Creative Commons (CC) which was especially necessary with the older historical periods covered.
     These images focus our attention on paramilitary organizations and their facilitators: various state, military, and intelligence apparatuses, officials, and elite networks. As paramilitary groups and their backers have gained impunity time and again, it is necessary to document all of this for the historical record, which I have tried to do in my recently published book. Through these photos, we are forced to recognize that the victims of paramilitary violence in Haiti are overwhelmingly from the country's lower-income communities and grassroots pro-democracy movement.
     In addition to these photographs, I suggest looking over the many excellent documentaries, books, and other sources that provide a compelling record of contemporary paramilitary violence in Haiti and the region. 

     I have put this photo montage together from a powerpoint that I used a few months back during various presentations I gave on the book. I hope readers of the book will find this useful, as well as the university classes that I know have been assigned to read it. This photo montage is a work in progress. 


CHAPTER ONE: A HISTORY OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST THE POOR

U.S. military trainer with Haitian soldiers during the U.S. occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934. Haitian soldiers escorting Haitian anti-occupation rebels into prison. The Dominican Republic was occupied by the U.S. at around the same time, between 1916 and 1924. The formation of the contemporary Haitian and Dominican armies under U.S. tutelage bequeathed to these nations a "poison gift" through which the interests of dominant groups and U.S. corporations would be violently upheld. In both countries, the new armed forces worked alongside brutal militia forces (in Haiti these were called the 'section chiefs'). All of this is discussed in more detail in the book. (Photos: CC)

President for Life François Duvalier "Papa Doc" (right) holding bilateral talks with Dominican Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo (left) at the Dominican-Haitian boarder in December of 1958. (Photos: CC)

A contingent of U.S. Marines under Lt Col. Robert Debs Heinl, Jr. (co-author of the book Written in Blood), trained the Tonton Macoute paramilitaries (officially known as the the Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale or VSN) alongside units of Haiti's army during 1961 and 1962. This is discussed more in my book. Also see journalist Leslie Cockburn's interview with industrialist Butch Ashton on how this occurred. (Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Naval Institute)

Tonton Macoute paramilitaries, known formally as the Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (VSN), parade with rifles and swords on July, 29 1984. This was the twenty fifth anniversary of their founding. A symbiotic relationship had occurred for decades, where many macoutes served in both the VSN and the Haitian army (the FAd'H). They were originally founded in 1959-1960 during the start of Francois Duvalier's regime. In the book I describe this as the 'first wave' of paramilitarism in contemporary Haiti, a force that was used to violently silence leftist, pro-democracy activists, labor organizers, and critical voices in general. (Video Stills: CC)

U.S. industrialist (and emissary of U.S. President Nixon) Nelson Rockefeller meeting with Duvalier, to sign various deals between the two countries. (Photo: CC)

Haiti's Leopards Corps in camouflage uniforms, founded in 1971 as a "counter-insurgency" force upon the inauguration of Jean-Claude Duvalier (also known as "Baby Doc"). The Leopards were described by human rights investigators as "particularly brutal in dealing with civilians." Some of Haiti's future paramilitary leaders got their start in this outfit. (Photo: Courtesy of United States Department of Defense)

James Byers was CEO of the Miami based company Aerotrade, which trained and outfitted Jean-Claude Duvalier’s "counterinsurgency force", the Leopards, during 1971 and 1972. On camera in the mid-1980’s he acknowledged that Aerotrade did this under CIA contract, U.S. Department of State approval, and close supervision from US officials. See here. (Video Still: CC)

















Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier with U.S. military officer in early 1970s.


Jean-Claude Duvalier in Leopard uniform with regime entourage. (Photo: CC)

Jean-Claude Duvalier alongside family as well as VSN and FAd'H high command overseeing a parade on the 26th anniversary of the Tonton Macoutes (VSN). To Jean-Claude Duvalier's left is Roger Lafontant, dreaded leader of the VSN. (Video Still: CC)

Huge protests in Haiti occurred against the Tonton Macoutes and the regime, leading eventually to Jean Claude's fleeing the country. The photo (to the right) is of a young man holding up a dog in a macoute uniform. (Video Stills: Courtesy of Crowing Rooster)

With Jean Claude in exile, the country's military attempted to hold power. Unelected President Henri Namphy led an "interim ruling body", the National Council of Government, between February 1986 and February 1988 and then again from June 1988 until September 1988. With a massive social movement organizing across the country, he was forced to accept the voting in of a new constitution. Even still, paramilitary violence continued as the macoutes removed their uniforms and operated as 'attaches' working increasingly close with the FAd'H. (Photo: CC)

Victims of a massacre conducted by attache paramilitaries working with police and military forces in 1987. Following the fall of Jean-Claude, the Tonton macoutes had removed their blue uniforms and increasingly worked in civilian garb and worked as attachments alongside the military, as the common people increasingly fought back. I describe these 'attaches' as the 'second wave' of paramilitarism in contemporary Haiti. (Photos: Courtesy of photographer Tony Savino)

The St. Jean Bosco massacre , September 11, 1988. (Photo: Courtesy of Crowing Rooster)

The St. Jean Bosco massacre , September 11, 1988 (Video Still: Courtesy of Crowing Rooster)

Leslie Manigat, 
briefly headed a Duvalierist student group before becoming disillusioned and moving to the elite opposition. He nonetheless shared many Duvalierist tenets. He briefly held the presidency after a military held and widely denounced "election" in which few participated. (Photo: CC)

Prosper Avril, an advisor and trusted member of Jean-Claude Duvalier's presidential guard. After ousting Namphy, he ruled from September 1988 to March of 1990. His military regime, like his predecessors, was heavily sponsored by the United States government.  (Photo: CC)

Across the border from Haiti, in the Dominican Republic, rightwing forces (also with the support of the U.S.) controlled the state apparatus. Joaquin Balaguer (above), after serving as vice president under Dominican fascist dictator Rafael Trujillo, served as president of the Dominican Republic between the years 1960-1962, 1966-1978, and 1986-1996. Balaguer promoted a viscious xenophobia toward Haitians, useful in upholding the country's extremely unequal social system as well as to justify his inflated military budget. His government was considered a major U.S. ally in the region. (Photo: CC)
In the wake of Avril's exit from power, a body known as the Council of State—made up of a number of representatives of the democratic forces and 
members of the anti-dictatorship movement's social democratic sector.—held a power-sharing deal with interim President Ertha Pascal-Trouillot (pictured above) in order to move forward to free and fair elections. The Council of State became very critical of Pascal-Trouillot and broke with her over what they perceived as her enabling of the army and the Duvalierists. In early 1990 paramilitaries went so far as to storm a hotel where the Council of State was meeting, killing one trade unionist organizer and wounding two others. (Photo: CC)

Roger Lafontant, head of the Tonton Macoute attaches, was by far the most feared man in the country, and attempted a coup against Pascal-Trouillot's government in January of 1991 in order to stop the inauguration of Haiti's first elected president that coming February. (Photo: CC)


CHAPTER TWO: POPULAR DEMOCRACY AND ATTEMPTS TO TURN IT BACK, 1990-2000

Pro-democracy/Anti-Duvalierist Liberation theologian Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected in Haiti's first widely hailed fair and free election, and with a large turnout. (Photo: CC)

Following the military coup that ousted Haiti's first democratically elected government on September 29, 1991, Joseph Nérette (left) on October 8, 1991 was installed as president of a “provisional government”, although real authority continued to be held by a military junta headed by General Raoul Cedras (right). (Photo: Courtesy of photographer Tony Savino)

Frank Romain held numerous positions over his career from mayor of Port-au-Prince, to Chief of the National Police under Duvalier, and also served as a one-time FAd'H colonel and Tonton Macoute who had received training at the U.S. School of the Americas. (Video Still: Courtesy of Crowing Rooster)

Members of the FAd’H High Command (Courtesy of photographer Tony Savino)








Human rights organizers found that the military and paramilitary forces were dumping bodies of those they had executed in the old body dumping location of the Duvalier regime. The photos above also show various regime officials that brutalized Haiti's poor and pro-democracy movement.  See more photos here and here. (Video Stills and Photographs: Courtesy of Crowing Rooster, documentarian Kevin Pina, and photographer Tony Savino)
U.S. journalists and filmmakers documented how during the early 1990s the CIA's station chief and senior operations office in Port-au-Prince, John Kambourian (above), was providing direct cash payments to the FRAPH deathsquad leadership and working as an interlocuteur between the local bourgeoisie, the FRAPH, and the U.S. embassy (Video Still (left): From the documentary Rezistans, courtesy of Crowing Rooster Arts. Photo (right): CC)

Members of a FRAPH paramilitary force based out of Port-au-Prince in 1993. The 'third wave' of contemporary paramilitaries in the country, used to violently target Haiti's pro-democracy movement. (Photo: Courtesy of photographer Tony Savino)

Journalists and human rights investigators documented how the defacto regime imprisoned large numbers of youth and pro-democracy activists that had demonstrated against the 1991 coup. (Video Still: Courtesy of Crowing Rooster Arts)

Antoine Izméry (above), passionate pro-democracy and anti-coup business leader assassinated by paramilitaries in 1994. (Video Stills: from the documentary Rezistans, courtesy of Crowing Rooster Arts)

The assassination of the Justice Minister of Haiti Guy Malary and his bodyguards (a video still from the documentary Rezistans, courtesy of Crowing Rooster Arts)

Haiti's poor majority and diaspora community turned out in massive demonstrations against the violent rule of the de facto regime and the ouster of the country's first democratically elected government. (Video Stills: Courtesy of Crowing Rooster Arts)

Dany Toussaint, a one time CIA asset and FAd’H veteran, that opposed the 1991 coup, he was put in charge of an interim public security force with the return of Haiti’s elected government in 1994. Powerful, charismatic, and intelligent, he held significant influence within the new police force that was formed, and exploited his ties with the country’s popular movement and elected government, while maintaining links with elites and the U.S. He and other corrupt ex-FAd'H formed a narco trafficking cartel. This cartel as well as two other locally based cartels competed to fill the place of the disbanded army, whose leadership had controlled (and profited) off the narco trade going through the country for decades. (Photo: CC)

The Raboteau trial: The most significant and first attempt to hold paramilitaries and army men in Haiti accountable for violence before a court of law. A number of other trials and investigations were held into elite and paramilitary violence against the poor, a history (widely ignored) that I document in the book. (Photo: CC)

Bob Manuel, close with the U.S. embassy, served as security chief to Haiti's second democratically elected president Rene Préval. Manuel carried out a heightened insertion of ex-FAd'H into the new police force (and importantly the FAdH he sought to insert into the new police force were from the pool considered closest with the U.S. and from bourgeoisie connected backgrounds), placing them into top positions. I document this in detail in the book. Importantly during the late 1990s, Manuel oversaw the integration of this group of young well-connected former FAd’H trainees into important positions within Haiti’s new police force (this group known as the "Ecuadorians", or "Bob Manuel’s Jewels", were younger cadets that had been trained with U.S. support in Ecuador, and as youths some had attended the school of Haiti's bourgeoisie in Port-au-Prince, Saint-Louis de Gonzague. Most were involved in the narco trade as well.) (Photo: CC)


CHAPTER THREE: THE RETURN OF PARAMILITARISM, 2000-2001

Guy Philippe, one of the "Ecuadorians" to be integrated into Haiti's police under Bob Manuel, would eventually help lead a new paramilitary force (the FLRN) against Haiti's elected government in the early 2000s. Haitian and U.S. officials have accused him of involvement in narco-trafficking, and I discuss this further in the book. While Philippe has been a relatively loose cannon in speaking with the media, he has continued to remain an important figure for the ex-FAd'H strata in the country. (Photo: Courtesy of Isabel Macdonald)


Former police chiefs Godwork Noel (left) and Jacky Nau (right) worked alongside Philippe to mount a paramilitary campaign against Haiti's democracy. Both had been trained as part of Haiti's military with U.S. support in Ecuador prior to being brought into Haiti's police. Nau attended (along with Philippe) the prestigious Port-au-Prince school Saint-Louis de Gonzague. Today, both serve in important security positions within the rightwing Martelly government. (Photos: Courtesy of 

Haïti Liberté Newspaper)

An upscale neighborhood in Santo Domingo where Dominican officials told the author that Guy Philippe lived throughout parts of 2001, 2002, and 2003. (Photo by the author)

Career bureaucrats at the Dominican Ministry of Foreign Relations in Santo Domingo acknowledged providing close support to Guy Philippe and his paramilitary force. From left to right is Dr. Luis Ventura Sanchez, Haitian ex-pat Jean Bertin, and William Paez Piantini. This is discussed in more depth in the book. (Photo by the author)
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  This ministry as well as sectors within the Dominican army were important backers of the FLRN paramilitaries.  It should be noted that a group of officials within the Dominican ministry of foreign relations went against the advice of then Dominican Ambassador to Haiti, Chico Despradel, who opposed his government's policy of facilitating Haiti's rightwing paramilitary forces and their cross-border attacks between 2001 and 2003.  (Photo by the author)

Former Dominican President Hipólito Mejía (left) being interviewed by the author (middle) in August of 2007. The interview was conducted at one of Mejía's mansions, a 45 minute drive outside of Santo Domingo. (Photo taken by one of Mejía's servants with the author's camera)

President Mejía on his mansion's veranda. (Photo by the author)

CHAPTER FOUR: THE INITIAL ATTACKS, 2001

Near the national palace on the morning after the December 17, 2001 assault, police and others gathered around one of the trucks (with mounted M-50) that had been utilized and abandoned by FLRN paramilitaries during their attempted palace takeover the previous night. (Photo: Courtesy of Haiti Progres)

A photo of a meeting in late 2001 in Santiago, Dominican Republic, of Dominican President Hipolito Mejía with other Dominican government officials and rightwing hardliners of Haiti’s business elite. Pictured from left to right is Ben Bigio (said to be Haiti’s wealthiest industrialist at the time), Harry Joseph, Dominican President Mejía, Georges Saati, Ramon Albuquerque (president of the Dominican Senate), and two other Dominican officials. This meet is said to have included discussion on facilitating paramilitary attacks against the Aristide government. 
(Photo courtesy of Delis Herasme)
Judie C Roy. One of a group of wealthy elites in Port-au-Prince that backed the FLRN paramilitaries. This photo is from an interview in which she acknowledged to the author that she was an early financier of the FLRN paramilitaries. Her role and the role of other local elites is documented in detail in the book. (Photo by the author)


Joseph Baguidy, Jr., a behind-the-scenes leader of the FLRN/ex-FAdH paramilitary insurgency.  A hardcore duvalierist and former FAdH colonel and  commander of Haiti’s Recherches Criminelles, Baguidy Jr was a prime suspect in the 1987 murder of the widely admired presidential candidate and anti-Duvalierist activist Yves Volel. In 1991, under Aristide’s first administration, a summons had been issued for Baguidy for his role in the murder. But Baguidy, who by 1991 was serving as military attaché at the Haitian embassy in the Dominican Republic, refused to return. During the early 2000's he helped to coordinate the paramilitary terror from exile in the Dominican Republic. He currently lives in Haiti. 

(Photo by Haiti Observer)

Georges Saati. One of a group of wealthy diaspora business leaders that is believed to have sponsored the FLRN paramilitaries and came under investigation by the government of Haiti. Haitian government investigators charged that they had discovered both his role and the role of his brother in backing the FLRN paramilitaries. (Photo by the author)

My book documents the role of Lt. General Soto Jiménez of the Dominican military in supporting the FLRN paramilitaries. (Photo: Courtesy of Diario Libre)

General Manuel Dominican Major Polanco Salvador, close with Dominican President Mejía, also played a role, as discussed in my book. (Photo: Courtesy of Diario Libre)

Delis Herasme , a controversial "journalist" in the Dominican Republic and "childhood friend" of President Mejía. He claimed to have held parties at his home in Santo Domingo for the paramilitaries and their elite and government backers in the Dominican Republic during the early 2000's. He elaborated upon these in an interview with the author and explained how the paramilitaries had backers from within both of the major Dominican establishment political parties (the PLD and the PRD). (Photo: Courtesy of GuasabaraEditor)
 

Industrialist's Charles Henry Baker (left) and André “Andy” Apaid, Jr. (Right) and some others from the transnationally oriented business sector in Haiti are believed to have at different times backed paramilitary forces in the country. (Photo: Provided to the author in 2007 by the late photojournalist Jean Ristil Jean-Baptiste)

CHAPTER FIVE: WAR OF ATTRITION, 2002-2003


Speaking with the press in Santo Domingo in 2003: Paul Arcelin, representative of the Convergence Democratic in the Dominican Republic and political strategist for the FLRN (left), Guy Philippe (middle), and another paramilitary boss Jean-Baptiste “Tyson” Clotaire (right). (Photo: CC)

The late Remissainthe Ravix, one of the most brutal and feared leaders of the FLRN paramilitaries, he was said to be the operational commander in US embassy cables. For photographic evidence of one massacre he carried out see here. (First Photo: Courtesy of Tom Griffin, Second Photo: CC)

A gathering of victims and family members of victims of paramilitary violence in the central plateau. These people and others founded the Mouvement Pour Le Développement du Plateau Central (MODEPC) and continue to work with Haitian human rights lawyers to seek justice. These victims of rightist paramilitary violence have received virtually no coverage in the Haitian or International media.[1] For more see here, here, here and in French here. (Photo: Courtesy of photographer Wadner Pierre)

The International Republican Institute (IRI) hosts a meeting of Haitian opposition activists in 2003 at the luxurious Hotel Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Throughout 2003 and into early 2004 the USAID and NED funded IRI hosted meetings at the luxurious Montana hotel in Santo Domingo. As a yearlong New York Times investigation revealed, it was at these meetings that more officials from Haiti's political and civil society opposition rubbed elbows with the leadership of the FLRN paramilitaries. Above photos include then IRI officials Georges Fauriol (who now works at the Washington DC think tank CSIS and at the U.S. government financed NED) and Haitian right winger Stanley Lucas who currently works for the Martelly government. (Photo: CC)

At the time of 2004 coup France's Foreign Minister was Dominique de Villepin (above). He played an instrumental role in overthrowing Haiti's elected government and U.S. embassy officials at the time communicated with the State Department that they believed France was providing financial support to the FLRN paramilitaries (as mentioned in my book). (Photo: CC)


CHAPTER SIX: THE "UPRISING" OF JANUARY AND FEBRUARY, 2004

Above: FLRN paramilitaries occupying Cap Haitien in 2004, what I describe in the book as the 'fourth wave' of paramilitarism in contemporary Haiti. (Photo: Courtesy of photographer Alan Pogue)

Passport photo and business card of Louis-Jodel Chamblain (co-founder of FRAPH and a leader of the FLRN and later the FRN "political party"). He was the mastermind of numerous assassinations of pro-democracy activists and leaders. In 2010, he headed up security for former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier following his secret entry into the country. This photo and business card were provided by Chamblain to the author during an interview in 2007 at the Hotel Ibo Lele where he lived in luxury in the Pétionville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. (Provided to the author by Louis-Jodel Chamblain)













Above: Chamblain along with other FLRN criminal paramilitaries holding "court" in one of their "liberated" towns, judging youth suspected of supporting Haiti's pro-democracy movement. (Photo: CC)


Above: Hugues Paris, “a commercial advisor to Raoul Cedras”, according to the late Haitian pro-democracy activist Antoine Izmery.[1] Paris moved to Santo Domingo after the fall of the Cedras regime in 1994. According to Dominican government documents, as of 2008, Hugues Paris owned a company named Captain Pat that specializes in investment sales, income management, and the operation of tourist enterprises by air, sea or land.[2] He is also believed to at one time have owned a car dealership in Haiti.
      Individuals from Haiti's bourgeousie interviewed by the author alleged that he had a 'behind the scenes' role in the Gonaives jailbreak on August 4, 2002 in which 150 prisoners escaped. The 2002 jailbreak in Gonavies was carried out by armed individuals who used a bulldozer to knock down a wall of the jail.
      Those who escaped included leaders of armed groups in the city (such as Jean Tatoune and Amiot "Cubain" Metayer) and a number of ex-military who had been convicted for their role in 'Raboteau massacre' (a slum in Gonaives where the FAd'H violently targeted anti-coup/pro-democracy community members in April of 1994). The arrest and imprisonment of these individuals had taken a good deal of resources by the government, so the jailbreak was a significant set back.
       The jailbreak intensified a heated struggle in Gonaives, in which local police were hard pressed and eventually were unable to contain. According to a formerly top secret US Embassy cable released to the author through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, US agent Janice Elmore (see below) met in Gonaives with Hugues Paris in the days leading up to the jailbreak.[3]
       Also, according to the same U.S. embassy cable the then Dominican ambassador to Haiti, Alberto Despradel, claimed that Hugues Paris had ties to the coup plotters. Individuals from Haiti's bourgoueisie interviewed by the author alleged that Hugues Paris works with a loose network of wealthy Duvalierists and ultra-right wingers in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Haiti's diaspora abroad. (This photo was provided by a source that requested anonymity)
[1] See discussion by Izmery in the film Rezistans (1997).
[2] ONAPI (Oficina Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial) 8/172 (April 2008), available at http://onapi.gob.do/download.cfm?downloadfile=A0AFE2B7-3FF3-3729-C8F6E6C81693A550.
[3] Jack L. Barnhart, Regional Security Officer, U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Cable E9279E, September 18, 2002. (Photo: Provided to the author by an anonymous source)

According to a cable sent from the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., US official Janice Elmore (above) met secretly in the port city of Gonaïves with anti-government plotter Hugues Paris as well as with shadey police officers during the days prior to the August 4, 2002 jailbreak in that city.[1] 

      According to an anonymous U.S. government source interviewed by the author, Elmore, an alcoholic and ex-wife of a former U.S. delta force commando, operated from within the U.S. embassy (during the time period of the second Aristide administration), knew Dany Toussaint well, and was close with members of Haiti's SWAT team whom she attempted to cultivate for a transition toward a post-Aristide period.   She is also described as having a "cold war mindset" and being stridently Anti-Lavalas.
      U.S. congressional testimony suggests that Elmore worked for U.S. intelligence and had served as a US State Department Political Military Advisor in Sarajevo, held positions at the US embassy in Kartoum, served as a narcotics coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in EL Salvador (1986-1990), and then went to work in Haiti, and very likely worked for the CIA. Elmore also testified at 'CIA-Contra Crack Cocaine Controversy' hearings held by the U.S. department of justice.[2] According to FOIA cables obtained by the author, other U.S. officials in addition to Elmore had contact with neo-Duvalierist plotters and opportunist sectors within Haiti's police.
[1] Jack L. Barnhart, Regional Security Officer, U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Cable E9279E, September 18, 2002.
[2] U.S. Department of Justice "CIA-Contra Crack Cocaine Controversy", available online at: http://www.justice.gov/oig/special/9712/ch10p3.htm
(Photo: CC)


U.S. Ambassador James Foley oversaw the 2004 coup d'etat and the proceeding integration of 400 ex-army paramilitary criminals into Haiti's police force. He wrote to the State Department that: “It is equally plausible that Aristide succeeded in permanently raising the political and social consciousness (not to mention the expectations) of Haiti’s disadvantaged masses, and thus created a force which the next generation of political leaders will either have to placate or manipulate.” Ambassador James Foley, U.S. embassy, Port-au-Prince, Cable 3E08FF, July 12, 2004. (Photo: Courtesy of the United States Department of State)



Caleb McCarry was a staff director of the subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the U.S. House of Representatives between 1997 and 2005 and would later be appointment to the "cuba transition team" under the Bush administration.  According to U.S. officials interviewed by the author, he played a leading role in pushing for the ouster of Haiti's constitutional government.


CHAPTER SEVEN: THE POST-COUP PERIOD, 2004-2005, AND BEYOND

Paramiitary commander Remissainthe Ravix with paramilitaries under his command at their base in the Pétionville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince in November of 2004. In addition to the hundreds of paramilitaries utilized in Port-au-Prince following the coup, hundreds more were mobilized across the country with bases in 
Ouanaminthe, Cap Haïtien, Fort Liberté, Jérémie, Petit Goâve, Jacmel, as well as in some smaller towns. (Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Griffin)

"New army" paramilitaries in late 2004 being dispatched to the Bel Air neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Griffin)

A Haitian women that died from gunfire after paramilitaries opened fire on an anti-coup demonstration in Cite Soleil. (Photo: Courtesy of the late Jean Ristil Jean-Baptiste)


Human Rights investigators discovered that nearly 10 months after the 2004 coup, the main morgue of Port-au-Prince was well beyond capacity and breaking down. (Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Griffin)

A Miami University Human Rights Study described the photo above as the “The Carrefour Pean massacre”. They reported that, “The gaping hole in the head of the boy at the far right... suggests the use of a large-caliber gun, at very close range.” Human rights investigators gathered a good deal of other disturbing photographic evidence, documenting extrajudicial executions and widespread politically motivated attacks by paramilitary-police forces. (Photo: Courtesy of journalist Reed Lindsay)

Haitian police engaging gunmen in Port-au-Prince in 2005. A "slum uprising" occurred in September of 2004 following months of killings of peaceful anti-coup demonstrators by para-police forces. A number of anti-coup militants took up arms against the post-coup police force, their paramilitary allies, and UN troops stationed in the capital. During 2004 and 2005, under UN, OAS, and US supervision, 400 ex-FAd'H paramilitaries were integrated into Haiti's National Police. (Photo: Courtesy of photographer Joanna Gleason)

A Haitian National Police "Wanted Poster" in November of 2004. All of these wanted were Lavalas street leaders (described by some as gang leaders and by others as anti-coup militants). The leaders of armed groups in low income neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince that were anti-Lavalas, such as Thomas “Labanye” Robinson, were of course not included on the poster. (Photo: Courtesy of Attorney Thomas Griffin)

Human right investigators in 2005 from AUMOHD and HURAH investigate homes in the Gran Ravine neighborhood of Port-au-Prince that were burned, with some of the inhabitants murdered by the anti-Lavalas paramilitary organization Lame Ti Manchet. (Photo: Courtesy of 
HURAH/AUMOHD)

12 year old boy murdered by Lame ti Manchet paramilitaries on July 7, 2006 in Gran Ravine, Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Courtesy of 
HURAH/AUMOHD)

Esterne Bruner, a grassroots human rights organizer of AUMOHD and a resident of Gran Ravine, murdered by Lame ti Manchet paramilitaries. (Photo: Courtesy of HURAH/AUMOHD)


Victims of Lame ti Manchet paramilitary violence in Gran Ravine, testify to human rights investigators. (Photo: Courtesy of 
HURAH/AUMOHD)

MINUSTAH on midday "peace" operation in November of 2004 alongside Haitian National Police in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Bel Air. (Photo: Courtesy of attorney Thomas Griffin)

Haitian National Police officers meeting with UN advisors and foreign technocrat observers. (Photo: Courtesy of United Nations website)

Pierre-Antoine Lovinsky, one of the most well known pro-democracy and human rights activists opposed to the ex-FAd'H and paramilitaries. He was a founder and leader of the Fondasyon 30 Septamn, an organization made up of victims from the September 1991 coup. An vocal opponent of the second coup in February of 2004 he mysteriously disappeared in August of 2007. In this photo he was leading a sit in at Haiti's Ministry of Justice on October 26, 2006. (Photo: Courtesy of photographer Wadner Pierre)
Haiti under occupation. Troops from the Brazilian contingent of MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti). The author was harassed by these soldiers on August 18, 2007 when taking photos of them standing guard in front of the national palace as members of the Fondasyon 30 Septamn protested the disapearance of grassroots human rights leader Pierre Antoine Lovinsky, one of the most vocal and longtime opponents of paramilitary terror in Haiti. (Photo by the author)


Jean-Claude Duvalier (center), with his chief of security Louis-Jodel Chamblain (to his right) in the days following his return in January of 2011. (Video-still: Courtesy of Democracy Now! Pacifica Radio)

Important backers of the 2004 coup and the return of Haiti's brutal military, Senator Youri Latortue (left) with President Michel Martelly (right) in 2011. One U.S. embassy cable released through WikiLeaks states that: “Senator Youri Latortue may well be the most brazenly corrupt of leading Haitian politicians”. (Photo: Courtesy of Haïti Liberté Newspaper)

“New army” recruits being trained by ex-FAd’H drill commanders in March of 2011. (Photo: Courtesy of Isabeau Doucet)

Ex-FAd'H LT Jeune Aduen Moniteur stands in front of a Duvalierist flag at a “new army” camp that is thirty to forty minutes from the center of Port-au-Prince, past Carrefour, between the towns of Mariane and Gressier. It has been dubbed ‘Lambi 12 Grande Saline’. With hundreds of new recruits active in the area, the ex-FAd’H say that half a dozen other such camps are active across the country. (Photo by the author)

Ex-FAd’H and new recruits meet to train, advocate for the return of the Duvalierist military, and network to find jobs in local security firms. (Photo by the author)

A young recruit of the "new army" in mid-2011, too young to remember the Duvalierist regime, poses proudly in front of a red and black Duvalierist flag. (Photo: Courtesy of Isabeau Doucet)












First group of new army cadets in mid-2013 under the Martelly government, trained and sponsored with support from the governments of Ecuador, Brazil, and France. (Photo: Courtesy of Government of Haiti) Meanwhile, in November of 2013 the government of Uruguay declared that it would soon be withdrawing its forces from the UN occupation of Haiti. This comes as Uruguay's president has criticized the Martelly government for not holding elections. Martelly's government came to power with an extremely small turnout at the elections in March of 2011 and after the OAS intervened to illegally alter the earlier run-off elections. See the CEPR report on the OAS political intervention.


"The past is never dead. It's not even past."
-William Faulkner

9 comments:

  1. Excellent Jeb!

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  2. Wi segnè! Ayisyen kapab papa!

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  3. Jeb, you did a good job. However, you are missing many more pictures which should have revealed the other side of the coin. Aristide had his own paramilitary death squad too called the "Chimere".

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  4. Thank you for your comments. Plenty has been publicized on the so called "Chimere", much of it outright propaganda like the 'Ghosts of Cité Soleil', which overlooks the disorganized and desperate nature of the response by some pro-gov groups from lower income communities that took up arms to halt the paramilitary advance into their communities (the same neighborhoods that had been targeted by similar paramilitary campaigns for generations). This really gained momentum in the closing weeks of Feb 2004 when the country was under a ramped up paramilitary attack and the police could no longer protect the country from the paramilitaries and their wealthy backers.
    Yet, there are no reasonable grounds for concluding, despite the actions of a small number of Aristide’s supporters and police, that the policy of his government was to silence dissent through violence. Thanks to the machinations of his foreign and domestic enemies, Aristide, upon his 2001 inauguration, was already saddled with a police force he would struggle to control. Though individuals from both sides of the conflict are guilty of violent acts, it is important to understand that the preponderance of these acts (and often, the initiating acts) originated from illegal armed organizations (working
    in league with dominant groups) that opposed Haiti’s elected populist-left government. My book argues that it was the popular classes—and those organizing in their interests—who have been and continue to be the primary targets of
    political violence.

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  5. I have never seen a credible research/inquiry documenting the existence and acts of the "chimeres", only rumors and unsubstantiated accounts. Will a serious investigation on that subject ever come out into light ?

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  6. Well, plenty of critical (as well as highly dishonest) material has been published on these armed groups. For some of hte better reporting see the pieces by current Telesur reporter Reed Lindsay. He found for example high popularity for Aristide/Lavalas in the lower-income neighborhoods but also growing anger toward ALL the armed actors, because of the violent gun battles they were engaging in, criminality, violence against women, tit for tat attacks, kidnappings, etc. Plenty of attempts at negotiating peace were also made.

    The armed groups from the lower-income neighborhoods also were quite varied, some more political and others more criminal. However, it is important to look at how the ramped up fighting in August of 2004 occurred after months of para-police (often with UN escorts) went on murdering sprees, killing many unarmed anti-coup demonstrators and illegally jailing hundreds more. See the photos and videos evidence published by Griffin, Pina, and others. Some from the rightwing have demonized the Lavalas movement as orchestrating the "gang warfare", but these claims have never been backed up with any evidence. According to the FL organizers I met at the time, they were promoting peaceful protest in what was a very chaotic time.

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  7. Pretty good historical political overview of Haiti but it's time for the "Here and Now". Expose Martelly for the drug addicted puppet he is and show who is pulling his strings. It seems corruption is the name of the game in Haiti and forever will be. It is always a political war going on to see who can be Mr. Big and suck the country dry. Wow! That Haitian mentality never ceases. Here in the United States the same mentality exists and never ceases but it's in a much more discreet non-violent fashion. Instead of killing and massacring people they just pull the wool over your eyes and suck the country dry.

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  8. Emmanuel Alcius30 July 2014 17:25

    I appreciated this excellent report, but I am very sad to see how my brothers killed his brothers. We want peace in the country too much blood, stop violence!!!

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