Saturday, September 02, 2006

Haiti after the coup - Canadian backed coup has led to thousands of murders and rapes

The British Medical Journal, “The Lancet” just published a study documenting the large number of murders (>4000); and rapes (>35000) that have been committed in Haiti since the Canadian/U.S./French Coup two and a half years ago. While many killings and rapes have been non-political actions by common criminals, the study confirms that many of the killings have been carried out by the re-constituted (and Canadian trained) Haitian police force; by the United Nations Peacekeepers; and by anti-Lavalas gangs.

There is an interview of the paper’s authors on the August 31 Democracy Now Broadcast

Below is the press release from Haiti Action Montreal.


Lancet study finds nearly 4,000 killed in political violence in Haiti
Haiti Action MONTREAL denounces "Canadian complicity" in killings

MONTREAL, August 31, 2006 - A study published in the British medical journal The Lancet today revealed a pattern of widespread human rights abuses by political actors since the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004. Haiti Action Montreal denounced the Canadian government's complicity in the political bloodshed and called for a reorientation of Canada's foreign policy towards Haiti.

"Canada's intervention did not protect anyone in Haiti except the brutal, unelected government of Gerard Latortue," said Nikolas Barry-Shaw of Haiti Action Montreal.

Of the estimated 8,000 people murdered in the greater Port-au-Prince area, nearly half (47.7%) were killed by governmental or anti-Lavalas forces. 21.7% of the killings were attributed to members of the Haitian National Police (HNP), 13.0% to the demobilized army and 13.0% to anti-Lavalas gangs such as Lame Timachet. The study also found a "shocking" level of sexual violence committed since the coup, with much of it committed by anti-Lavalas political actors. The study, conducted over a period of 22-months, noted that "systematic human rights abuses are occurring."

"This study confirms what Canadian politicians such as Denis Coderre, Paul Martin and Peter Mackay have persistently denied: The interim government and their paramilitary allies waged a massive campaign of repression against Haiti's poor," said Bianca Mugyenyi of Haiti Action Montreal.

"Canada helped overthrow the elected government, provided significant aid to the installed regime and lead the UN police contingent," noted Nikolas Barry-Shaw of the Haiti Action Montreal, "yet refuses to take any responsibility for the vast human rights abuses in Haiti over the past two years."

"This study is yet another nail in the coffin of the 'responsibility to protect' doctrine," said Bianca Mugyenyi of Haiti Action Montreal, "and exposes the utter hypocrisy of its proponents."

In January 2003, the Canadian government organized the "Ottawa Initiative", where U.S., Canadian and French government officials decided that President Aristide should be removed and a Kosovo-style trusteeship of the country established.

"The first priority for the Conservative government should be compensating the victims of the disastrous Canadian policy pursued in Haiti over the last two years," said Bianca Mugyenyi of Haiti Action Montreal.

For further information or to get in touch with the authors of the study, please contact:

Yves Engler
Haiti Action Montreal
(514) 618-2253

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