Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Charges in Dominique Case are meant to Draw Attention Away from Martelly's Narco Controversy

By: Jeb Sprague - HaitiAnalysis

 Like other cases of political violence in Haiti, it is vital that the killers of Haitian journalist Jean Dominique (murdered in 2000) be brought to justice. Over the years though it is clear that the case has been politicized and exploited for political gain on different occasions. From what I have gathered the new charges related to the Jean Dominique case became known in December and do not implicate Aristide. The charges also appear to rely solely upon one account from a former security official who was implicated in drug trafficking and previously cut deals with the U.S. justice department to shorten his time in U.S. federal prison.

The story and the inaccurate way in which it has been covered has been pushed by Martelly's press agent Guy Delva. Guy Delva formerly worked for Reuters, but currently is a press agent for the Martelly regime. 

The timing of the court charges and the inaccurate way in which Delva has explained the court charges (picked up by Reuters and repeated uncritically and ad nauseum by groups like reporters sans frontiers and rightwing commentators) are meant to draw attention away from the growing crisis over the Martelly government's connections with the narco trade.  By this, I refer to the arrest in late 2013 of Martelly's close friend Daniel Evinks with two dozen kilos of marijuana. Since then Evinks has gone missing. The Martelly government does not want coverage of the missing narco trafficker/Martelly associate Daniel Evenks (sometimes spelled “Evinx”).

Other than a piece in the Sentinel, the Evinks story has not been getting coverage in the international media and the English speaking press, even though it is a big story in Haiti. 

Evinks supposedly threatened to talk if he was arrested and it has been reported that he met with the DEA in late December and disappeared in early January.

The Martelly government does not want this story coming out in the international press, especially in the lead up to elections. They are rushing now to collect voter ID numbers and telephone numbers as the "international community" is pushing for them to finally think about an election. According to a well placed source, Martelly's people by gathering voter IDs  are then able to use these to buy food kits (for distribution) from aid agencies and then resell them to the Haitian government at double or triple the cost. This is one way in which Martelly regime officials have been funneling money to themselves.

For more background on the Dominique case see my 2007 interview with IJDH attorney Brian Concannon and BAI attorney Mario Joseph on the Jean Dominique murder investigation. Also listen to these recent talks on Flaspoints radio for other perspectives. The flash points interviews are especially important because they look critically at the source of the recent allegations made against Myrlande Liberis-Pavert, Aristide, and others. They also provide more historical context.

Since 2004 Haiti's sovereignty has been undermined. The post-coup regime and its allies ransacked Aristide's house. For years they've had the best possible opportunity, and ample incentive, to find any credible evidence against Aristide and not just for Jean Dominique's murder but for countless other allegations that were made. They've found nothing. They now resort to the same tactics of insinuation that helped set up the 2004 coup that made Haiti safe for Jean Claude Duvalier's return.

Monday, January 13, 2014

In Memory of those Who Died in Jan 12 Haiti’s Earthquake: A New Direction for a Better Haiti

by Wadner Pierre
Yesterday, in Haiti and around the world, people remembered the tragic images of dead bodies on the streets of, Haiti’s Capital, Port-Au-Prince and those who were fortunate enough to survive this natural tragedy.

On the 4th anniversary of this tragedy, Pope Francis gave Haiti its first cardinal, Monsignor Chibly Langlois, the bishop of Southern Haiti, to lead a church that intensely needed new leadership and new blood.

Yet, let us reflect--four years after this tragedy, what have we done to change the living conditions of the people who are still living under makeshifts tents? What we have done to effectively rebuild a better country? Four years later, what and/or how have we learned to do a better job and to bring social change that is needed in this country? The latter is a lot to ask, but it is the right question to pose?

 Haiti’s political establishment needs to come together to present to Haitian people a social project that will fit all classes—poor, rich, and middle class (if there is one). A social project that will include better school for all children, hospitals, universities and better pay for wage-workers.

It is obvious that the country is tired of “Aba,” “fok li ale,” and “rache manyok.” We need a new political approach that is based on the democratic process, which is: “One person, One vote.” Everybody should be in—included.

Our judicial system needs to be challenged to work efficiently and functionally, so those who committed atrocities against the Haitian people can be tried for their wrongdoings, whatever the political group they belong to.

Haiti will rise when all Haitians can have access to their basics needs. We all have to agree that the social inequality that plagues this country is too wide. Something needs to be changed to move this country forward. We have to be more open for dialogue than fighting each other because we do not share each other’s political belief.

It is undoubtedly crucial that Haitians from all walks of life have to stand and say, “We need a new Haiti. And it is possible to have this new Haiti.” We should not look back to only praise those who died in gifting us this nation, but also to build on what they earned to make this country a better place for its people.

May we learn from this Earthquake to come together when our national interest is at stake, and knowing that the wellbeing of each Haitian is the wellbeing of all Haitians. May God bless Haiti, and may He bless Haitian people and the country’s leadership.