Originally: Violence in Haiti

Press Statement

Richard Boucher, Spokesman

Washington, DC

October 12, 2004

 Violence in Haiti

 The United States condemns the violence in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that began on

September 30. Armed gangs and groups who support former President Jean-Bertrand

Aristide have launched a systematic campaign to destabilize the interim

government and disrupt the efforts of the international community to assist the

Haitian people. Over the past two weeks, pro-Aristide thugs have murdered

policemen, looted businesses and public installations, and terrorized

civilians. On October 11, pro-Aristide gunman killed three people in random

attacks; there are reports that one parent was killed while walking his child

to school. These attacks recall the worst days of Mr. Aristide’s rule, which

was characterized by the criminal use of street gangs to spread violence and

political repression.

It is all the more reprehensible that the pro-Aristide forces have launched

their campaign of violence at a moment when the people of Haiti are still

suffering from the catastrophic flooding in Gonaives, which claimed over 2,000

lives. We call upon leaders of Fanmi Lavalas to break with the party’s legacy

of violence and criminality that tarnished its image during the rule of Mr.

Aristide, and to participate peacefully in the electoral process.

The Interim Government of Haiti led by President Alexandre and Prime Minister

Latortue represents the best hope for progress in Haiti. The United States

Government will continue to assist the rebuilding and reform of the Haitian

National Police. We have confidence that the United Nations Stabilization

Force’s, MINUSTAH, capacity to protect the Haitian people will continue to

increase in the days and weeks to come.



Released on October 12, 2004