Port-au-Prince, 13 January 2004,

                                                                              OPEN LETTER                               

 Mr Riquet Brutus

State Prosecutor

Of the First Instance Court of Port-au-Prince

State Prosecutor’s Office, Port-au-Prince


Your Honor,



The National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR), represented by its Director, Mr Pierre Espérance, property owner and official resident of Port-au-Prince, identified by number 003-460-361-7 for tax liability for the fiscal year 2003-2004, with Mr Samuel Madistin as appointed Lawyer of the Bar of Gonaïves, duly identified, licensed and taxed for the current fiscal year, and with the chosen domicile of 9, Rue Rivière, Port-au-Prince;


has the honor of explaining you the following :


During an anti-governmental demonstration organised by the university students and the Front Démocratique (composed of the principal political opposition parties and a coalition of civil society organisations), on 7 January 2004 on Avenue John Brown, a protestor was savagely beaten and thrown into the ravine. Télévision Nationale d’Haïti  (TNH) presented the young man as a Lavalas supporter and affirmed that he died later on. During a program entitled « les Grands Débats » on Sunday 11 January 2004,  the station presented a man who claimed to be the father of Louvois Petit, the young man mistreated by demonstrators, and claimed that his son’s body had been found at the morgue of the Haitian State University Hospital. 


On the other hand, Mr. Jean Véniel Jean Baptiste affirms that it is he who was beaten by protestors at the instigation of OP Lavalas who had allegedly infiltrated the demonstration;  he also affirmed that he is still very much alive.  An NCHR delegation met with Mr. JEAN BAPTISTE at the hospital where he has been hospitalized since the day of the incident.  Since then he has made several very detailed declarations to the press and he has declared to be willing to cooperate with any investigatory initiative that could shed some light on this matter.


Still others maintain that the body of Louvois Petit, of which TNH spoke, was actually the individual killed during an exchange of fire with the Police on Delmas on the morning of 7 January.


Yet another version of the story claims that the said individual died from machete wounds inflicted during a different set of circumstances. Thus a significant confusion surrounds this case.  In order to provide better insight in this matter, we decided to start our own investigation of this case. A team from NCHR was dispatched to the morgue of the Haitian State University Hospital on Monday 12 January for the purposes of physically verifying the state of the body of Louvois Petit.  However, the team got greatly surprised there by the following declaration: « at least five (5) unidentified bodies entered the morgue on 7 January 2004, but during the night of Sunday 11 January 2004, the Police arrived at the morgue and had the body of PETIT placed aside, leaving instructions that the body was not to be shown to anyone, including the parents. »


This explains our request, Your Honor, to authorize those responsible at the Haitian State University Hospital morgue, to allow us to see the body of Louvois PETIT and satisfy the needs of our investigation.


Thank you for your time and consideration in this very important matter.





Pierre Espérance                                                                              Samuel Madistin

Director                                                                                               Attorney