Originally: Haitian human rights organizations reject allegations of political violence

A number of human rights organizations in Haiti have reacted to the accusations of political violence that US Democratic Representative Maxine Waters brought against the interim government of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue. The National Coalition for Haitian Rights and the Committee of Lawyers for the Respect of Individual Freedoms (CARLI) say that they do not understand the attitude of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who always turned a blind eye to the violent repression exerted under the Lavalas regime.

The human rights organizations reacted to the statement made by Congresswoman Waters of California, who said that about a thousand people have been killed since the departure of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. She also said that most of them were supporters of the Lavalas regime. However, according to CARLI, human rights activists have not recorded any cases of persecution or political violence. CARLI leader Renan Hedouville clarified the situation for the congresswoman.

“If it is in the context of what I would call legal proceedings which are carried out in accordance with national and international norms, then she cannot compare that to political persecution. So, we remain confident that although people are talking about reconciliation and transition, this transition should stand on justice. By this I mean a fight against impunity in all its forms.”

The NCHR considers dishonest the approach of the California representative, a fervent defender of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The NCHR maintains that what she said is in fact the arguments of supporters of the criminal Lavalas regime. Pierre Esperance says that the murder cases which Maxine Waters points to are merely inventions:

“We just do not have this information. If there are murder cases then the victims have families who could report the cases. Instead we believe that it is people who have big interests, financial interests which they are defending, who are trying to create confusion by claiming that people have been murdered.”

Haitian human rights organizations want Congresswoman Waters to bring proof of what she said. We should remember that on Wednesday, May 5, Representative Waters released a note denouncing the visit of Prime Minister Latortue to Washington. In this same text, the Black Caucus member accused the Haitian provisional government of violating human rights and of being responsible for the death of a thousand people.