Haitian National Police murder an unarmed, peaceful participant in a Haitian protest demanding the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Last night, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Karl Penhaul told of an incident they came upon earlier in the day which involved the shooting of two teenagers by the Haitian National Police (HNP). It seems the kids ran into the street to retrieve a few bags of rice that had fallen off a truck. As they struggled with the heavy bags in the middle of traffic, the police arrived. Not long after the two young men were detained, they were shot in the back by the police at the scene. CNN got there in time to see one of the teenagers convulse until his death. The other teenager had been shot in the buttocks.
Karl Penhaul tracked down the HNP officer in charge to ask if this is what happens to people in Haiti. The officer responded by saying, “Listen, this should not happen anywhere in the world! I’m going to investigate this thoroughly.” He then promised to call an ambulance for the wounded teenager which never came. Finally a UN “peacekeeper” vehicle showed up and transported the boy for treatment.
Hearing the HNP officer in charge expressing outrage at the shooting is the irony of all ironies. The HNP, since Aristide’s departure, is the primary tool of state repression in Haiti and its specialty is summary executions — exactly what they did to the two boys yesterday.
Here’s a quick 411 on the HNP with more info to be provided later:
-In 1994, when President Aristide returned to Haiti after the first coup, he disbanded the Haitian army and created a civilian police force. Aristide disbanded the army because of its traditional role as the primary tool of the state’s terror network in which Haitians were killed, maimed, raped, disappeared, and illegally arrested. Aristide’s decision to disband the army was his most popular decision and he was applauded for it by the overwhelming majority of Haitians. Unfortunately, this left a large number of seething former military soldiers, bitter and hungry for revenge.
-Before the coup, in an effort to destabilize Haiti and run Aristide out of the country, 200 former army soliders, including death squad leaders, made cross-border raids into Haiti from a military camp in the Dominican Republic. The soldiers, who called themselves “rebels,” were housed, clothed and armed by the US. In spite of a ban on arms sales to Haiti applied as a sanction against Aristide’s government, the US sent thousands of M-16s to the Dominican government as a way to get around the embargo but still equip the former soldiers. The cross-border raids were especially violent and targeted supporters of Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party. Many, in towns all along the DR border, were gunned down in their homes. Others were stuffed into oil drums and left in the hot Haitian sun to boil to death. And, others were tied to concrete blocks and thrown in the ocean.
-The population was outraged over the coup and demonstrations, consisting of tens of thousands of people ,were launched to protest Haiti’s occupation by a multi-national interim force that had boots on the ground even before Aristide was taken out of the country. This force fully collaborated with the Haitian Nationl Police in killing many Haitians. Three months afte the coup, the UN “peacekeepers,” MINUSTAH arrived. Immediately, MINUSTAH “peacekeepers began serving as “lookouts” for the HNP as it committed summary executions and assassinations of Aristide supporters as they marched peacefully in protests.
-Haitians appealed to MINUSTAH for protection from the HNP, but to no avail because MINUSTAH’s close collaboration with the HNP. The more Haitians resisted to the UN occupation, the more violent the HNP and MINUSTAH became: summary executions, handing people over to the death squads, and mass, illegal arrests (some of the detainees were as young as 10 years old).
-Down the road, the US-appointed Prime Minister, Gerard Latortue, the Defense Minister Herard Abraham (a CIA/DIA asset) and the US-France-Canada cabal that collaborated in the coup developed a plan to “integrate” the former soldiers into the Haitian National Police. Canada, as part of its MINUSTAH duties, was given the job of “training” the soldier-killers. The soldiers, considered to be dangerous as part of the Haitian army, would now become members of Haiti’s police force.
-And the point of all of the above is that Haiti is a “numbers” game for the imperialists. They conducted a coup in a country where there was NO popular support for it and the population refuses to cease calling for Aristide’s return. Over the years, MINUSTAH turned many poor neighborhoods into walled camps with checkpoints at all entrances. Yet, the HNP and MINUSTAH were still not able to “contain” the support for Aristide and the rejection of the occupation, so they went to plan B – a mission of “elimination.” It is simply a population reduction campaign now and MINUSTAH and the HNP spare neither violence nor barbarity to implement it: 300-400 soldier massacres in densely populated neighborhoods killing Haitians as they sleep in their beds. The methods used by the US in Haiti after the earthquake make this “elimination” plan even more plausible.
-I’m fairly certain that the cops who killed the one teenager and wounded the other yesterday did not view these kids as retrieving desperately needed food after nine days of eating little or nothing. No, those cops saw young Aristide supporters, “bandits,” who needed to be eliminated. Everything in Haiti is political.