An Open Letter to People of Conscience: Stop the Massacres in Haiti

An Open Letter to People of Conscience: Stop the Massacres in Haiti

Dear comrades and friends, 

Last July, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the Haiti Action Committee (HAC) published the report titled The Lasalin Massacre and the Human Rights Crisis in Haiti. Based upon a first-hand investigation by NLG and HAC members, along with journalist Margaret Prescod and her assistant, the report detailed the massacre perpetrated by the US-backed regime of Jovenel Moise against the people of the impoverished community of Lasalin in Port-au-Prince. The Lasalin massacre is widely regarded inside of Haiti as the worst massacre since the 1980s under the regime of “Baby Doc” Duvalier. The Lasalin massacre reflected the pattern of targeting, torturing, and mutilating people in impoverished communities that are bases of popular opposition to the Moise regime. 

The remains of a pregnant woman killed in the Lasalin massacre, according to residents. Photograph taken by the HAC/ NLG delegation on April 1st, 2019.
The remains of a pregnant woman killed in the Lasalin massacre, according to residents. Photograph taken by the HAC/ NLG delegation on April 1st, 2019.

Since the Lasalin massacre, the killings have continued and the regime has become even more emboldened, given the steadfast support it receives from the US government. Just in this last week alone, eye witness reports from Haiti, including video footage, document gruesome killings in the impoverished, Port-au-Prince neighborhoods of Tokyo, Pont-Rouge, and Cite Soleil. Progressive media inside of Haiti is reporting on this pattern of extrajudicial killings, but the US media is largely silent. Please see the recent messages from Pierre Labossiere below for more info on the recent atrocities. 

I ask you to contact both your representative in the House and your 2 Senators and demand that they take the following 2 steps: 

  1. Get Congress to pass a resolution condemning the Trump Administration’s support for the Moise regime given its extensive, proven track record of rank corruption, gross human rights violations, and massacres such as the Lasalin massacre; 
  2. Get Congress to cut off US funding for the Haitian police– an institution widely implicated in the extrajudicial killings and massacres in Haiti. 

Last spring, Los Altos High School students and teachers met in person with our Representative in the House Anna G. Eshoo and also with high-level staff in the offices of Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Diane Feinstein. We made sure that they all received a copy of the report on the Lasalin massacre and further communicated with their offices this past fall. We also organized a protest against the massacres in front of the San Jose Federal building this past October. To date, these elected officials have not taken action and the massacres continue. We need your help!!! Please write or call your elected officials and demand action ASAP. 

TAKE ACTION TODAY: 

Contact your own Representative in the House. Here’s information for folks in the Bay Area:

  • Call the SF Office of Senator Kamala Harris ph: 415-981-9369. Ask to speak with staffer Adam Mehis. 
  • Call the SF Office of Senator Feinstein ph: 415-393-0707. Ask to speak with staffer Jim Lazarus. 

Solidarite pou Lavi! 

Seth 

Message #1 from Pierre on Monday, May 24th:

According to a number of reports [from Haiti], the “gangs” death squads headed by Jimmy Cherizier “Barbecue” [former police officer who works with the Moise regime] and the others who participated in the Lasalin massacre in November 2018 are again on day-2 of a bloody rampage aimed at terrorizing the population. The video is pretty gruesome. The police allied with Barbecue has stood by while all of this is going… 

Yesterday Sunday May 24, 2020, government-affiliated “gangs”/death squads conducted mass killings and burned down a number of homes in the impoverished Tokyo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. This neighborhood was attacked last April 2019 during our visit. The number of dead is undetermined at this time as the killers have taken many of the dead with them. I was able to count 6 bodies in one of the videos circulating on social media. Reports make mention of a number of wounded including the photo of a little girl. 

Today again more reports of attacks, mass killings and home burnings by Barbecue and his death squads particularly in the Delmas 2 area of Port-au-Prince. Amid the burned shelters is the encampment of disabled individuals, mostly deaf-mute. 

Please think of anyone that you can alert regarding these unfolding developments, 

Thank you, 

Pierre 

Message #2 from Pierre on Tuesday, May 26th:

Hi everyone, 

Below is a message in Kreyol posted on “Whatsapp” from Haiti at 12:26 p.m. (Pacific Time). The source is a well-known host of a popular Radio Timoun program in Port-au-Prince. 

Pierre 

Translated message: 

SOS SOS SOS, May 26, 2020 

“For Site Soley” 

Tuesday May 26, PHTK gangs led by Barbecue, Iska, Ti Junior with 3 PNH (Haitian National Police) armored personnel carriers invaded Site Soley at this very moment. They have set fire in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, many houses burned, many people already dead. Things are grim in the Site.