September 30, 1991 – September 30, 2002: The Violence Continues
In commemoration of the eleventh anniversary of the bloody coup d’etat of
September 30, 1991, the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) reflects on the
negative impact of this date on the struggle for change and the
establishment of democracy in Haiti.
On September 30, 1991, forces hostile towards the winds of change,
overthrew and sent into exile then-president Jean Bertrand Aristide, and
proceeded to establish a reign of terror across Haiti that lasted for three
years. The statistics of those years are overwhelming: death,
disappearances, torture, rape, theft, pillaging, and destruction by fire
characterize these coup years.
Eleven years later, despite the return to power of the former priest
of Saint Jean Bosco, the demands for justice of the Haitian people remain
ignored. Until today, with the exception of the trial at Raboteau, the
people of Haiti have not enjoyed the right to any form of due process. The
criminals of the coup continue to roam the streets.
Furthermore, NCHR is indignant at the reality that yesterday’s
victims have become today’s perpetrators. If FRAPH has officially been
dissolved, now armed gangs increasing in number benefit from the complicity
of the ruling power, terrorizing the country with absolute impunity, just
as the members of FRAPH did. Threats, political persecution, illegal arrests,
arbitrary detentions, summary executions, and disappearances are common
practices today, just as they were that long night of the coup. The recent disappearance of Félix BIEN AIMÉ and his two friends, as well as the suspicious and illegal arrest of Rosemond JEAN, leader of an association for cooperative victims, are clear testimonies to this reality.
NCHR strongly disapproves of these new attempts on the part of the
government to destabilize and silence the cooperative-victims movement, as
witnessed in the arbitrary arrest of the spokesman of the Coordination
National des Sociétaires Victimes (CONASOVIC), Mr. Rosemond JEAN.
NCHR is extremely concerned by the climate of violence and intolerance that
prevails in the country. It is disturbed by the arrogance of armed gangs, the scant
concern for justice and the fight against impunity shown by political leaders, and the lack of a concerted effort on the part of coup survivors to establish the rule of law in Haiti. Was the resistance to the coup
d’etat in vain?
Additionally, the sacrifices of the Haitian people and international community to reestablish constitutional order have not created the stable and secure environment that
was hoped for — an environment that is a necessary condition for the
socio-economic development of the country.
NCHR vehemently condemns the new wave of threats against the
independent press, namely those directed against Radio Kiskeya, Radio Ibo,
and Radio Caraïbes FM.
These new threats against the independent press are coming from the head of
state, following a partisan meeting at the former ranch of dictator
Jean-Claude DUVALIER. During this meeting, members of the independent
press were labeled enemies to be defeated, enemies comparable to those who
orchestrated the military coup of 1991. Such threats are unacceptable and
they are a clear call to violence. Furthermore, NCHR has not forgotten that
the repulsive murders of Jean L. DOMINIQUE and Brignol LINDOR were preceded
by such threats.
It is equally scandalous to insinuate that all journalists who refuse to
carry out government propaganda are from the same cast as those who
orchestrated the horrific coup d’etat of 1991.
It is NCHR’s sincere hope that it is not a methodical, mechanical and
subversive force that is driving these repeated attacks against the press
and civil society groups.
In conclusion, NCHR invites the ruling power to acknowledge the degree of
deception against the majority of the Haitian people, and to heed their desperate and just demands for justice, freedom, security and democracy.