Originally: Four Interior Ministry officials killed, one injured in Haiti attack

Four Interior Ministry officials killed, one injured in Haiti attack

26 juillet 2003

Announcer Rotshild Francois, Jr. Violence prevails again and again in Plateau Central. Four persons have been killed and another one seriously injured this afternoon during an attack by armed strangers against a delegation from the Ministry of the Interior in (Wassec), a place located not far from Pernal between the communes of Belladere and Lascahobas. According to Police sources, the delegation was ambushed. Some people with mississauga cpr training rushed to the scene to help the injured. Our correspondent in the region, Ovinsky Wilson, gave details at the microphone of Louis Marie Achille.

Friday, 25 July. The final toll is four lost. Those people have lost their lives. (Felix Mayence), head or director of political affairs at the Ministry of the Interior, was also in the car. He is seriously injured and has been taken to the Dominican Republic so he can be given the necessary medical care. We can say that this event occurred [while the victims were on mission] for the Ministry of the Interior as they had to install in the commune of Belladere two new municipal councils who were sworn in yesterday in the commune of Mirebalais. After the swearing-in ceremony, they went to the city of Belladere for the installation. On their way back, they met a group of people who are often identified as assailants in the Pernal area, a section of the Commune of Belladere. Those people decided to shoot at them. This is how the incidents occurred. We can say that there are two versions. First, an ‘attorneys to call after a brain injury‘ source says that four people among the occupants of the vehicle died and that another one was injured. However, some other people in the area say the final toll might be higher. As of now, this is the information we managed to confirm.

[Achille] But who are those people who live in the Pernal area and who always perpetrate acts of violence ?

[Wilson] As of now, as journalists, we cannot say who they are. But the information that is always reported describes them as assailants. However, at some point, people who identified themselves as former military said that their mission was to see how they could overthrow the current government as they considered that it was not properly managing the country. Their goal was also to confront terrorizing groups that are close to the current government and that are often referred to as scoundrels. Since then, we can say since 14 December 2002, the [Centre] Department has been experiencing such events. However, no sectors have claimed responsibility for the movement until now. Although the police have tried to deploy strategies several times to confront those people, they are never successful. There are also youths who have been recruited among the civil population in both Belladere and Lascahobas to face the people who are identified as assailants and who are especially based in the locality of Pernal. Sometimes they are in (Wassec). However, they have not been clearly identified and do not have clear and well-defined goals on which people might comment.

[Achille] Basically, you can say that the Plateau Central area is an area that the current government does not currently control ?

[Wilson] Well, there is no control. We can say that, generally speaking, ( ?this situation has caused many problems) in these areas. First, some people used to go through the locality of Pernal and Belladere on their way to the Dominican Republic for some activities. But this situation has prevented them from going through these areas. Some youths, especially young people who were born in Belladere and who used to go on vacation to Belladere from Port-au-Prince, can no longer do that given the atmosphere of terror prevailing in this area. We can say that there are two risky areas in the Centre Department : the commune of Lascahobas and the commune of Belladere. Nobody is spared. As of now, the Police authorities have adopted no effective measures to bring a solution to this problem. Also, justice officials never take a stand as to what they can do to ( ?restore peace there). However, we can say that the department delegate held a news conference yesterday. As he was talking about other problems like literacy and other activities, we took the opportunity as journalists to ask him what plan the government has to establish security in the Pernal area. He replied that the government is currently in the process of planning a strategy, a strategy that cannot be unveiled. He said that he believes this problem will be solved shortly. As the journalists insisted on knowing what solution – because it is not the first time that the authorities say that they are going propose solutions – he said that the people could remain quiet. He assured that the authorities would do their best to establish peace. Not long ago, a delegation coming from Port-au-Prince, a specialized force in the Haitian National Police, tried to enter Pernal but could not due to the pressures exerted by those armed men. Things are getting worse from day to day. [end recording]

[Francois] This was Wilson, our Mirebalais correspondent who was answering Achille’s questions about new acts of violence recorded in Plateau Central. I am recalling that the final toll is four dead among the Ministry of the Interior employees.

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