Once again, the nefarious pro-Aristide forces are conspiring to misinform the public about the macabre role Reverend Jean-Juste and his kidnapping squads have played in these past few weeks’ horrible events, including the assassination of journalist Jacques Roche. It is particularly telling that the pro-Aristide camp, caught in its plot to have Jacques Roche killed simply for having been associated to the “Groupe des 184”, would then unleash a public relations campaign for the purpose of whitewashing their authorship, moral if not physical, of the Jacques Roche murder and then bizarrely associating themselves with Jacques Roche once they realized the magnitude of the gaffe their goons had committed. 

In this respect, the total incompetence of the current provisional authorities explains why there has been no attempt to discredit this malicious campaign and why Rev. Jean-Juste is now able to portray himself as a victim once again for having committed the “crime” of attending his “cousin” Jacques Roche’s funeral. Let us now examine the sequence of events that have led to the arrest of Jean-Juste and to the flurry of emails from Aristide apologists trying to deflect the attention away from their involvement in Jacques Roche’s murder:

 July 14, 2005

The body of journalist Jacques Roche, who had been kidnapped on July 10 is found in Delmas 4. Jacques Roche had been tortured before being executed: his arms were broken, his tongue had been ripped out, and his body bore marks of extreme corporal punishment. He was killed by several gun shots in the mouth. [1] [2] Jacques Roche was not simply a dedicated journalist; he was also a talented poet and a passionate lover of Haiti. He believed in social justice and had militated for many changes, including the unconditional cancellation of Haiti’s foreign debt and the fight against the free zone established unilaterally by Aristide in Maribahoux (North East.) According to press reports, his kidnappers took issue with his role to host a radio show about civil society, sponsored by the “Groupe des 184.” This led to their decision to assassinate him despite his family having made a partial payment of $10,000 on the ransom they had requested. [3] He had become, in the eyes of his kidnappers, an enemy of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and of Lavalas and therefore had to be eliminated.

In one of her signature diatribes, lawyer Marguerite Laurent, a pro-Aristide apologist and his chief defender in the United States, puts in context the death of Jacques Roche and explains why it was understandable; she says in essence that the current wave of kidnappings are in retribution for the kidnapping of “democracy” when Jean-Bertrand Aristide left power. She writes:

The kidnappings in Haiti for political and economic purposes began with the

kidnapping of Democracy by the powerful Coup D?etat nations of the US,

Canada and France, intent on imposing privatization, neoliberalism in Haiti,

no matter the will of the people, the nation nor its duly elected



Last Thursday, July 14, 2005, Jacques Roche, a well-known cultural and sport

news reporter for Le Matin, and television host of a show on “civil society”

issues for Group of 184, who had been kidnapped on July 10, 2005, was found

dead. His tortured and bullet ridden body was found still handcuffed,

 Let’s begin by questioning WHY Jacques Roche was killed? In sum, Roche’s

death is the fruit of a poison tree that must first be uprooted before

justice can ring in Haiti. It’s the fruit of an ongoing international crime

of kidnapping democracy begun with the kidnapping of President Aristide from



As a friend wrote to me today, “The handcuffs (left on Roches body) already

told us WHO did it. I can’t imagine slum dwellers possessing handcuffs, and

if they did, having enough to leave them on a dead body. We are dealing with

really evil people.” Moreover, according to an AHP news report “People close

to the cultural journalist condemned his execution and declared that if they

had received support from some sectors they didn?t name, to complete the

ransom, the victim?s life would have probably been saved….One of his

collaborators, Roudy Sanon, who was involved in the negotiations with the

kidnappers, declared that it was his work colleagues who helped to get the

10.000 dollars given to the kidnappers. He also deplored that the Police

General Direction did not help to get Jacques Roche?s release, despite the

fact that it had enough clues to help, he said. “This authority of the

police is therefore responsible on this level of his death, Roudy Sanon said

on a private radio station of the capital.” [4]

In a few paragraphs, Marguerite Laurent manages to mangle the truth, turn the events of Jacques Roche’s death on their head, and turn his employers into the ones responsible for his death all in one fell swoop:

Lie #1: Slum dwellers do not possess handcuffs.

Marguerite Laurent chooses to ignore that a large number of Cite Soley criminals were enlisted in the last two Haitian National Police classes under Aristide (at his request) and were let go after his departure because of their shameful criminal records. In addition, a number of policemen linked to Lavalas have been arrested recently for their involvement in kidnappings and murders. It is not that difficult to figure where the handcuffs might have come from. And it is possible to buy handcuffs in Haiti today from private shops. Dany Toussaint, another murderer linked to Lavalas until he split with Aristide, sold such goodies at his store recently.


Lie #2: Jacques Roche did not receive support from some sectors that might have saved him.

Jacques Roche’s kidnapping was not about ransom. The kidnappers went though the masquerade to make it appear as such. His political death had been pre-ordained, and no amount of money would have saved him from his certain execution. Let’s remember one clear point: Jacques Roche was assassinated for having collaborated with “Groupe des 184”, not because his family could not come up with the ransom. The vast majority of kidnappings in Haiti have been settled for much less than $10,000. So to pretend that his employers could have saved him simply by contributing money is a lie.


Lie #3 – The Haitian Police is responsible for his death.

Roudy Sanon, AHP and Marguerite Laurent should hang their heads in shame for propagating such a lie. The police explained very clearly that they had leads, but not enough information to quickly react to the murder. [5] This was confirmed when they arrested Roger Etienne, one of Jacques Roche’s murderers, who explained that he was constantly being moved.


Beyond the obvious lies, Marguerite Laurent’s obvious message, though the words of a “friend”, is that only the “murderous” regime of Latortue could have killed Jacques Roche, but certainly not the “peaceful” gangs that are terrorizing the slum dwellers she was talking about. Even more ominous is the message, subsequently picked up by Gerard Jean-Juste, that the “kidnapping” of Aristide on February 29, 2004, justifies the wave of such crimes in Haiti today and that only his return will end the wave. If that is the case, then isn’t it a clear acknowledgement of WHO is responsible for the kidnappings? After all, it is such a poisonous tree … but who planted it in the first place?

 In an interview on Radio Kiskeya, Rev. Jean-Juste picks up on the theme of Aristide’s kidnapping as being the first instance of this crime. His message: since our leader was the victim of a kidnapping, we Lavalas certainly cannot be responsible for this type of crime. But he went on to state that the end of the violence from below depends on the end of the violence from above. [6]

 What is then the violence from below that he is referring to? Isn’t it the kidnappings, murders and rapes that the pro-Lavalas gangs have been perpetrating, not only on Haitian society as a whole but especially on the residents of the slums in which they have taken residence? We should be under no illusion that, despite the class warfare message that is being spread by Marguerite Laurent and Gerard Jean-Juste, the majority of the victims of violence of any sort in Haiti today are poor. And contrary to what they would have us believe, the perpetrators for the most part are the pro-Lavalas gangs that were armed and trained by Aristide and his henchmen, like Paul Raymond, René Civil, Hermione Leonard, et al from 2001 until his departure.

 As a side note, what is most disingenuous from Marguerite Laurent is her systematic silence on one of the worst crimes perpetrated by gangs like that of the late Dred Wilme’s: rape. The principal victims of crimes in Site Soley, Solino, Bel Air, Delmas 2, Grande Ravine, etc. are women (primarily young) and even in some cases pre-pubescent girls who are preyed upon by depraved gang members who have turned to a new form of bodily mutilation to inflict further pain on their rape victims: the incrustation of parts of plastic or metal in their penises. [7] This was the case, for example, of Dred Wilme’s lieutenant Emmanuel Coriolan (aka “Dom Laj”) who underwent “surgery” while in jail to have his penis augmented with bits of plastic and metal. He had it done to better torture any female kidnapping victim that his gang would seize.

Jacques Roche’s funeral

Jacques Roche’s funeral is marked by moving tributes from speakers from all walks of life. But it will also be remembered for Rev. Jean-Juste’s audacious attempt to officiate at the ceremony – when he can be considered as a moral author of Roche’s murder – and the subsequent false statements which have revealed his talent as a pathological liar and the unethical lapses of a certain William Quigley, attorney-at-law.

 Before the funeral, Jean-Juste had an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! where he stated:

So right now, today I?m on my way to attend the funeral of Jacques Roche, a prominent journalist who had been kidnapped and killed. And I’m going to show myself because his parents are from my town, and at a certain time, one of his relatives saved my life. I was being attacked by a mob, and then Mrs. Roche came out, saw me, and get me off the gangs and sheltered me at her house. So this is why I feel that I should be there regardless that they keep accusing Lavalas people of participating in the killings. [8]

What happened at the funeral? Rev. Jean-Juste and his attorney William Quigley, decided to participate at the ceremony. Notwithstanding the gall of Jean-Juste, the fact that he came dressed in full priest garb and had every intention of officiating at the ceremony can only be interpreted as an act of provocation or sheer folly or both. Soon after his arrival, Jean-Juste is set upon by a group of incenses students (not 184 people as falsely reported by Bill Quigley [9]) After a few minutes of mayhem, Jean-Juste and Quigley are led away by a group of CIVPOL officers and are then picked up by the Haitian police that take them to the Petionville precinct. Jean-Juste will later be arrested, but not Quigley.

An article written by Bill Quigley and entitled “Haitian Priest Assaulted by Mob at Funeral and Arrested for Murder ” [10] is posted on www.commondreams.org. Never mind the fact that Bill Quigley is not a journalist. Never mind the fact that Bill Quigley is Jean-Juste’s attorney. Why this “op-ed” piece, at best, is posted as a news article is beyond me. However, what is most striking is the number of lies and innuendos that Bill Quigley manages to inject in such a short article:

 1. Jean-Juste was beaten by 184 supporters.

2. Roche deserved to die because he worked with “the people calling themselves the group of 184, who overthrew by force the democratically elected government of President Aristide, the leader of the Lavalas party, in February 2004.” [11]

3. Jean-Juste is a cousin of Jacques Roche. In Quigley’s words:

On Thursday July 21, 2005, Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste went to St. Pierre’s Catholic Church to be one of the priests participating in the funeral of Haitian journalist Jacques Roche. Fr. Jean-Juste is a cousin of the Roche family and members of the Roche family protected him from a mob earlier in his life. He went to express spiritual comfort and reconciliation to the family. [12]

Already, there is an obvious discrepancy between Jean-Juste and his attorney on the exact relationship of Jean-Juste to Jacques Roche:

a) Jean-Juste: Roche’s parents are from my town (Cavaillon)

b) Quigley: Jean-Juste is a cousin of Roche.

Jacques Roche’s mother grieving

 On Saturday, July 23, Jacques Roche’s mother breaks her silence on Radio Kiskeya to comment specifically on her so-called “relationship” to Rev. Jean-Juste [13]. She refutes any kinship to the Reverend, thereby proving that all of the comments made by Jean-Juste and Quigley were fabrications. She specifically states that:

 1. She has no relationship to Rev. Jean-Juste

2. She has never met Jean-Juste, neither now nor when he was a child.

2. While her husband was from Cavaillon, she is from Cap-haitien and has never set foot in Cavaillon.

4. Therefore, she could not possibly have saved Jean-Juste from a mob that attacked him and then sheltered him at her house when he was a child, since she never lived in Cavaillon.

In his “Common Sense”column entitled “Extremism in defence of freedom …” [14] , Jamaican journalist John Maxwell, an unabashed Aristide apologist, writes the following:

[Gerard Jean-Juste] was then arrested, charged with something that happened in Haiti while he was in Miami, released, then beaten up when he attended a funeral, re-arrested and thrown into prison, this time, allegedly, for the murder of the journalist whose funeral he was attending.

In one cute sentence, John Maxwell has managed to take out of context the meaning and importance of Jean-Juste’s presence at the funeral of Jacques Roche. More importantly, he has now conveyed to his unsuspecting readers the incredible “injustice” meted out to the good Reverend. John Maxwell, no lawyer he, conveniently forgets to explain to his readers that there is such a thing in Haitian law as “accusation par la clameur publique” [15] and that there are antecedents, given Jean-Juste’s involvement with the pro-Lavalas gangs that have been organizing these deadly kidnappings. At least, Maxwell had the decency not to write about Jean-Juste’s “close family relationship” to Jacques Roche. And I am sure that his skilled command of the English language (unlike mine) will carry in any discussion about what he really meant. And I am doubly sure that the coterie of Aristide friends that have formed the Dessalines-Boukman Society in Jamaica will no doubt approve of Maxwell’s journalistic (mis)carriage of justice.

 One of the problems with all anglophone journalists, and with Marguerite Laurent despite her Haitian ancestry and her work in Haiti, is that they still do not have a good understanding (if at all) of the differences between common law and Haitian law. It is high time they started learning something positive to better defend their heroes.

 Also, contrary to Maxwell’s claim, Bill Quigley was not arrested. We must wonder what Maxwell’s sources are and whether he has a reliable network of informants or whether he has decided to lower his journalistic standards when it comes to news out of Haiti. If Maxwell did verify independently the news that he received, he would not have included in his column what is obviously false information, But then again, the end justifies the means …

In conclusion, the habitual liars and apologists have once again unmasked themselves in protecting an individual who had no reason to attend the funeral, nor any decency to stay away from the family of the man to whose death he contributed, directly or indirectly. It is such a shame that the Lavalas movement, which stood for justice and transparency, has been overtaken by overzealous extremist who care not a wit about the Haitian people. But who can blame them? Il faut bien défendre ses patates …

 Jean-Claude Jasmin


July 24, 2005





[1] http://www.alterpresse.org/article.php3?id_article=2829

[2] http://www.metropolehaiti.com/metropole/archive.phtml?action=full&keyword=jacques+roche&sid=0&critere=0&id=10315&p=3

[3] http://www.radiokiskeya.com/article.php3?id_article=985

[4] Marguerite Laurent email dated July 17, 2005 entitled “[ezilidanto] Jacque Roche’s death used by “Council of the Wise” to criminalize & bar Lavalas from elections, Jean-Juste persecution increases, UN Massacre continues, et al…..”

[5] http://www.radiokiskeya.com/article.php3?id_article=992

[6] http://www.radiokiskeya.com/article.php3?id_article=1009

[7] http://www.metropolehaiti.com/metropole/full_une_fr.phtml?id=10363

[8] http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/21/1332235&mode=thread&tid=25

[9] http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0722-08.htm

[10] http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0722-08.htm

[11] http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0722-08.htm

[12] http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0722-08.htm

[13] http://www.radiokiskeya.com/article.php3?id_article=1024

[14] http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/html/20050723T190000-0500_84721_OBS__EXTREMISM_IN_DEFENCE_OF_FREEDOM____.asp

[15]  http://ledroitcriminel.free.fr/dictionnaire/lettre_c/lettre_c_ci.htm

– Droit positif. La clameur publique, faisant immédiatement suite à un crime ou à un délit, fait naître une situation d?urgence qui justifie l?ouverture d?une Enquête de flagrance* et autorise l?Arrestation* de la personne poursuivie (art. 53 C.pr.pén.).

 Garraud (Traité de l?instruction judiciaire) : La clameur publique, c?est l?accusation jetée au public, l?appel qui lui est fait, n?y eût-il que le blessé ou le premier témoin survenu qui poussât le cri.

 Decocq Montreuil et Buisson (Le droit de la police) : La clameur publique est constituée d?un cri (Au voleur, p.ex.), non pas d?une rumeur, mais il n?est pas indispensable qu?elle contienne une accusation précise (le cri : Arrêtez-le suffit). Le législateur voir en elle un indice suffisant d?une présomption d?imputabilité d?une infraction flagrante.