Haiti: An open letter to the Executive, Legislative, Judiciary and Police Authorities in Haiti
6/7/19 - The following is an open letter from the Episcopal National Commission on Justice and Peace and the Commission of the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince to the Executive, Legislative, Judiciary and Police Authorities in Haiti.
The Episcopal National Commission on Justice and Peace in collaboration with the Commission of the Archidocese of Port-au-Prince greets you respectfully.
With this first report of 2019, JILAP (the Commission) ends its 70th report on violence in the metropolitan area. From 2002 to 2019, the Commission issued 70 reports; that means the result of 210 months of monitoring of violence in a space of 17 and a half years. For more than 17 years now the Commission has drawn the attention of the State Authorities to the reality of violence in society and made recommendations, without considering their affiliation or political trend, to ask them to act on this serious problem which disrupts the country.
In this new report, the Commission apparently registered fewer cases of victims of the armed violence in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, compared to the previous reports. And yet, the Commission does not believe that the climate of insecurity has declined. Considering the intensity of the violence other factors have to be considered. The intensity of the vioilence indeed makes it more difficult to gather information; then, witnesses let us know that the bandits have developed their own way to do away with the bodies of the victims. We remind
what is happening in the areas of Croix de Bossales, Tokyo, Savanne Pistach, Canaan, and Cité Soleil.
The Commission on Justice and Peace strongly condemns all acts of violence throughout the capital of Port auPrince and in the country, no matter its authors or its objectives, because the struggle for Life is contrary to the violence. Violence and Life are incompatible like milk and lemon.
In the recommendations of this report, the Commission is asking the Police to bring to an end the investigations that were opened. Whether the victim is a police officer or an ordinary citizen, investigations have to be made fully. The Commission asks the media, such as radio stations, to be more prudent when giving the floor to bandits who sow mourning in the population. This practice can traumatize the population and block its cooperation to uproot this evil. In fact there are serious ethical questions that arise when criminals can publicly talk about their crimes. Justice must also be done. It is unacceptable that the Commissioner of the Government (called the protector of society) does not open investigations to examine complaints made by the public clamor, as the law requires. In this report, the Commission reports on events that happened between the 7th and 18th of February 2019, where the police intervened with major brutally during a manifestation with the death of 20 people as a result; thirty other people were injured.
The Justice and Peace Commission believes that nothing can replace Life. Too much blood flows in the popular neighborhoods. Why do the State Authorities not develop a real security plan for these neighborhoods? Why are the armed gangs so powerful in these areas? What is the role of the CSPN (Superior Council of the National Police) in these situations? Why this silence of the State Authorities in front of what is happening in areas as La Saline and Cité Soleil? The Government in place must send other signals to the population that allow to perceive a sign of
change and a real determination of the Authorities to act against violence in society.
The Secretariat of the Committee thanks the State Services that allowed it to verify certain informations or data, such as the National Police (PNH) or the services of the General Hospital (HUEH). The Commission thanks the Authorities for the attention that they will give to this 70th report.