DECLARATION OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR
NO TO THE INTOLERABLE!
The private sector, speaking with one voice, is expressing its outrage today by saying to the Lavalas regime that the country cannot and will no longer tolerate the intolerable and unacceptable.
The private sector cannot and will not accept any more that groups of individuals claiming to be affiliates of the Lavalas party, and acting under the protection of high officials and the police, take upon themselves to bring the country and its national life to a halt by establishing a climate of terror, as was the case on November 22, 2002. Using armed violence, as witnessed by the press and all those who observed them during the execution of their criminal acts, the bandits, who enjoy the public support of government officials, seem to believe that they can insult everyone?s intelligence by presenting their orchestrated criminal acts, planned and executed with taxpayers? money and government?s equipment, as a ?peaceful and spontaneous? action by the population.
Therefore, after another day of violence on November 22, 2002, and considering the sometimes passive and sometimes active complicity of the National Police;
following the recent abuses perpetrated by members of popular organizations against ordinary government employees, members of the press, the media, and the business sector in Cap-Haitien because of their recent participation, on November 17, in a peaceful march organized by the Citizens? Initiative;
following the brutal acts of the Police, who shot at high school students during a peaceful demonstration in Petit-Goave;
following the absolute violations of government ethics and justice still taking place in our country, particularly perpetrated by ?l?Armée cannibale? (the Cannibal Army) in Gonaives, the group ?Domi nan bwa? (Sleep in the Woods) in Petit-Goave, and ?Bale wouze? (Sweep It All Out) in Saint-Marc;
following the spectacular and scandalous execution of a wounded person in the emergency room at the hospital of the State University of Haiti;
following the acts of persecution and the ongoing arbitrary detention of citizens;
following the intimidation of journalists and members of the media, particularly in Cap-Haitien and Gonaives;
following the political harassment, under the pretense of fiscal measures used by the DGI, Customs, and Conatel against businesses and citizens exercising their basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution;
following the massive fraud, tolerated and left unchecked, in the financial cooperatives;
following the excessive spending of public funds by the government, resulting in a budget deficit with a negative impact on the foreign exchange rate, the cost of living, and the national economy.
The private sector as a whole, facing those insults and abuses, says NO, and a thousand times NO, to this situation, which cannot and must not continue.
Referring to OAS resolutions 806 and 822 and the situations which prompted them, the private sector associations consider November 22, 2002, as a return to the mentality that caused the terrible events of December 17, 2002. Any repetition of such acts will permanently jeopardize the future of the nation.
Therefore, the private sector decides to intensify its discussions immediately with organized sectors in the country, in order to take the necessary steps.
In the meantime, the employers? associations demand that the executive branch of government arrest Amyot Metayer and the other escapees of August 2, 2002, who are in permanent contempt of justice; also must be arrested, Paul Raymond and Rene Civil who, in addition to serious violations, have publicly claimed responsibility for the recent acts of violence that paralyzed the capital, on November 22nd.
Moreover, the employers? associations demand the immediate dismissal of those government employees who called attention to themselves by their abusive acts, and failed to fulfill their duty.
The government?s attitude will determine the decisions of other partners engaged in the process started by Resolution 822 of the Organization of American States (OAS).
The private sector organizations are carefully monitoring the development of the situation in the country, and this will be the decisive factor in future positions taken by those organizations.
The private sector calls on all the other sectors to obey the law while exercising their constitutional rights, without provocation or excesses.
Finally, the employers? associations remind the National Police of its duty to remain impartial in carrying out its constitutional mission to ?protect and serve? the citizens.
Port-au-Prince, November 23, 2002
Association des Industries d?Haiti – ADIH (Association of Haitian Industries)
Chambre de Commerce et d?Industrie d?Haiti ? CCIH (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Haiti)