English | Italian

"Back to Dark Days in Haiti? |..." (Theme) The lastest total: 100+. you can read with page flip.

close
show list
related videos
helicóptero do exercito brasileiro.avi
(3) Mars in March
El Palacio del Gobierno.MOV
Programa Revista - Despedida do Batalhão de Força e Paz
SOC 101 Conclusion
Queima de fogos - Independência EUA - parte 2/3
Continue »
Pop theme

Syria airstrikes,White House intruder,Asian Games,MAVEN spacecraft,LABOUR CONFERENCE,Gordon Brown,John Key,Taliban,Ahmadzai,Larry Ellison

Related theme

haiti women

Back to Dark Days in Haiti? | The Nation


haiti military em

2014-03-12 18:06:23

Members of Haiti's new national military force (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

This article is a joint publication of TheNation.com and Foreign Policy In Focus.

On October 16, 1993, Alerte Belance was abducted from her home and taken to Titanyen, a small seaside village used by Haiti’s rulers as a mass grave for political opponents. There she received machete chops to her face, neck and extremities. Despite her grave injuries, Belance was able to save herself by dragging her mutilated body onto the street and asking for help.

Belance’s survival was extraordinary, but not all were so lucky.

On January 18, 1994, Wilner Elie, a member of the Papaye Peasant Movement, was knifed to death by a group of masked men in his own home. His twelve children

were handcuffed by the assailants and forced to watch helplessly as their father was brutally murdered.

Elie and Belance’s tragic stories were not anomalies. Not long ago in Port-au-Prince, decapitated bodies littered the streets, warnings to would-be dissidents. Violent men sexually abused young women seemingly for sport. People were ambushed in their homes and shot to death for attempting to escape. Thousands of Haitians fled in shoddy boats through treacherous waters to the United States, only to be sent back despite outcries from human rights groups.

Though it reads like a horror script or dystopian novel, this is not fiction. This was reality for millions of Haitians living under military rule. And now, as the Haitian government moves to rebuild its once-banished army, some Haitians are wondering whether a sequel is in the works.

A Dark Legacy

Haiti has a lengthy history of military and state-sanctioned violence. Shortly after coming to power in 1957, the infamous dictator Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, feeling threatened by the regular armed forces, created a paramilitary force to protect himself. Nicknamed the Tonton Macoutes(Uncle Gunnysacks) after an old tale about a bogeyman who abducted unruly children and placed them in gunnysacks to be eaten at breakfast, these men carried out unimaginable murders and sent tremors of fear throughout the nation. Accountable to virtually no one, they continued their reign of terror after Papa Doc’s death and through the rule of his successor and son, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. After Baby Doc was forced to flee in 1986, theTonton Macouteswere officially disbanded, but other paramilitaries continued in their footsteps.

Meanwhile, the military itself continued to interfere in Haiti’s politics. On September 29, 1991, Jean-Betrand Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president, was ousted by a military coup just eight months into his presidency. The coup, led by Lieutenant General Raoul Cedras, plunged the nation into a particularly violent and turbulent period. For three years the Haitian military and its paramilitary arm, the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, ran an exceptionally brutal regime, kidnapping, torturing and murdering supporters of the ousted Aristide. By 1994 the death toll had reached an estimated 5,000.

Following an intervention by the United States, Aristide was restored to power in late 1994 on condition that he implement economic reforms favored by Washington. He dismantled the military the following year. The disbandment of the military did not cure Haiti of all its ills, but the dissolution was followed by two successful transitions of presidential power, in 1996 and 2000.

In 2004, however, a paramilitary force consisting of former soldiers with help from United States, France and Canada organized a second successful coup against Aristide, who had been elected to a second term in 2000 after serving out his first in 1996. Although another successful transition between presidents began in 2010, the 2004 coup showed that even after their official disbandment, former soldiers were still able to influence political outcomes in Haiti.

A Return to Form

And now, after two decades in the shadows, the military is back: Haitian President Michel Martelly has followed through on a campaign promise to reconstitute the Haitian military. The new force launched its first operations this February.

This has left many Haitians wondering why a country with no external threats, a history of violent, military-led repression against its own citizens and an abundance of more pressing problems would need—or even want—a new military. “Given the history of Haiti’s military,” warned Mark Weisbrot, its “existence alone could be considered a threat to security.”

Martelly’s personal history provides some clues about his sympathies. Before he began his political career, Michel Martelly was a provocative konpa singer who went by the name Sweet Micky. During the Duvalier era, he ran a nightclub named Garage that was frequented by military officials and other members of Haiti’s tiny elite.

Around this time Martelly befriended Lieutenant Colonel Michel Francois, the man who would later become chief of the secret police under Raoul Cedras. Martelly remained a “favorite” of the thugs who worked for the Duvalier regime and, after its collapse, would even accompany the death squads organized by Francois to murder Aristide supporters.

While death squads hunted dissidents by night, Martelly taunted them by day. Lavalas, the massive pro-democracy movement launched by Aristide after Baby Doc was ousted, quickly became the target of Martelly’s biting lyrics. Throughout Aristide’s presidency, Martelly remained an outspoken critic of the president and his supporters, eventually emerging as a politician in his own right.

After a hotly contested and controversial election in 2011, Martelly was elected president of Haiti. Later that year, an anonymous Haitian official leaked a document to the Associated Press outlining a plan for the revival of the Haitian military.

Solving the Wrong Problems

The document cited several reasons why Haiti supposedly needs to spend $95 million building up a new military force: to provide opportunities for young people, to rebuild Haiti’s infrastructure, to patrol its border with the Dominican Republic and—perhaps most ominous—to “keep order” during times of chaos.

Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

Although Haiti is well within its rights to establish an army, the purpose of a military is not to provide internal security, but to combat external threats. A Haitian official claims that it’s embarrassing to have the United Nations providing security in Haiti. But although its mission has been marred by scandal, the UN is training a national police force to provide security and keep order once the peacekeepers finally leave. It’s unclear why a military would be preferable in this regard to a civilian security force.

And it’s similarly unclear why Martelly thinks he needs a military to create jobs or invest in infrastructure. Haiti is in desperate need of construction workers—the country's infrastructure was already in a precarious position even before the 2010 earthquake leveled buildings and destroyed homes. If Martelly truly wanted to provide opportunities for young people, he could initiate a program that would train men and women in construction and create jobs for the multitudes of unemployed Haitians. Instead, the new military will supposedly be rebuilding the country while millions of Haitians continue to languish in poverty.

In a country with a sparse amount of cash and a government unable to provide even the most basic necessities to its own population, it seems fiscally irresponsible and morally bankrupt to spend $95 million on rebuilding an army that has such an atrocious record of human rights abuses. The cholera outbreak, food insecurity and the 500,000 squatters lacking permanent homes are just a few of the litany of problems facing Haiti today. The lack of a military force is not high on that list of priorities.

Although Haiti’s elite and powerful seem to support the new military, a poll conducted over five years found that fully 96 percentof Haitians oppose its recreation. Defying this widespread opposition and the pressing need for other development projects, Michel Martelly’s plan has finally come to fruition.

Despite assurances from officials that this military force will not have the means to imitate its predecessors, the horrors of the recent past still linger in the minds of many. Haiti is now in danger of reverting back to the days when standing on the wrong side of the ideological fence meant certain death.

Read Next: Michelle Chen argues that Haiti's women need more than a trickle of aid money.

View Original Article: thenation.com
Disclaimer statement: The point of this article or rights belongs to the authors and publishers. We take no responsibility for the content of this article and legitimacy.
Do you have any questions about this article, please contact the news source thenation.com.
Or contact us

Share

Write an article relevant this topic share on facebook share on twitter share on google plus share on oknews share on linkedin share on digg share on reddit share on newsvine share on pinterest share on netlog share on tumblr share on delicious send email print add to favorite

"Back to Dark Days in Haiti? |..." IN THE COMMUNITY!

Facebook
    Twitter

      PHOTO

        No results related
      Share one Sentence

      Manage my submission

      [{"b":"c","i":"1824770","t":"BNP Poised to Name Chairman to Replace Prot, Le Figaro Reports","a":1},{"b":"d","i":"873901","t":"DHL launches Malaysia's largest international express facility","a":2},{"b":"f","i":"1083520","t":"Today on the Hill: Duffy could have trial date set","a":3},{"b":"d","i":"873868","t":"Ebola cases to triple to 20,000 by Nov unless efforts raised: WHO","a":4},{"b":"f","i":"1083542","t":"ESPNTopNews","a":5},{"b":"c","i":"1824740","t":"Something in the Dodgers' bullpen setup is shaky","a":6},{"b":"d","i":"873810","t":"Business chiefs doubtful on wage pledge","a":7},{"b":"c","i":"1824732","t":"UPI Almanac for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014","a":8},{"b":"c","i":"1824718","t":"Something in the Dodgers' bullpen setup is shaky","a":9},{"b":"c","i":"1824725","t":"Israel Shoots Down Syrian Fighter Jet That Infiltrated Air Space","a":10},{"b":"d","i":"873760","t":"Africa: Global Film Industry Perpetuates Discrimination Against Women - UN-Backed Study","a":11},{"b":"d","i":"873703","t":"Real-Life 'Scorpion' Architect Discusses Life, Mission With CBS2's Crystal Cruz","a":12},{"b":"c","i":"1824679","t":"Jimmy Choo to Begin London IPO Next Month as JAB Approves Sale","a":13},{"b":"c","i":"1824669","t":"OPEC Output-Target Cut Not Agreed Yet, U.A.E. Oil Minister Says","a":14},{"b":"d","i":"873665","t":"WHL ON SHAW SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED","a":15},{"b":"c","i":"1824648","t":"Treasuries Halt Gain Before $106 Billion of Note Sales This Week","a":16},{"b":"c","i":"1824651","t":"Tesco Says Alan Stewart to Join Company as Finance Chief Today","a":17},{"b":"d","i":"873632","t":"Sushma Sawaraj to leave for US today to attend UN General Assembly session","a":18},{"b":"d","i":"873585","t":"Be ready for regional war: Chinese President tells army","a":19},{"b":"d","i":"873594","t":"Xi Jinping tells Chinese army to be ready for regional war; demands absolute loyalty","a":20},{"b":"d","i":"873562","t":"Suven Life bags Pharmexcil's Gold Patent Award for NCE's","a":21},{"b":"d","i":"873520","t":"FLIR Systems Announces AX8 Thermal Imager for Industrial Automation","a":22},{"b":"d","i":"873528","t":"10 Million in iPhone sales just the beginning for Apple","a":23},{"b":"d","i":"873531","t":"Orcollo and Corteza aim to repeat at World Cup of Pool","a":24},{"b":"d","i":"873503","t":"Endangered Archives Programme Calls for Applications","a":25},{"b":"d","i":"873475","t":"World leaders to gather for Climate Summit","a":26},{"b":"d","i":"873483","t":"Tennis Results","a":27},{"b":"c","i":"1824584","t":"Israeli Forces Kill Two Palestinians Suspected in Kidnap, Murder","a":28},{"b":"d","i":"873485","t":"Palestinians suspected of abducting Israeli teens killed in shoot-out","a":29},{"b":"e","i":"506491","t":"Crackdown Targets Inversions Designed to Limit U.S. Taxes","a":30},{"b":"e","i":"506493","t":"Sultan Picks Azmin Over Anwar's Wife to Lead Most Populous Malaysian State","a":31},{"b":"e","i":"506487","t":"Jessica Capshaw: Why My Third Child Is the ‘Squeaky Wheel’","a":32},{"b":"f","i":"1083273","t":"Autumn Falls: Change of Seasons Brings New Sights, Smells","a":33},{"b":"a","i":"1246900","t":"Citizens Freed From RBS by IPO Works to Boost Returns","a":34},{"b":"e","i":"506482","t":"Is Strategy Dead? 7 Reasons The Answer May Be Yes","a":35},{"b":"d","i":"873414","t":"Where are they now? The heroes of Manchester City's 5-1 derby win","a":36},{"b":"a","i":"1246872","t":"Oil prices up after upbeat Chinese data, Syria bombing","a":37},{"b":"d","i":"873404","t":"Washington Federal Announces 127th Consecutive Quarterly Cash Dividend","a":38},{"b":"a","i":"1246830","t":"SirsiDynix Jump-Starts the Library Conversation","a":39},{"b":"a","i":"1246841","t":"Crude Oil Recovers On China PMI Beat, Gold Firmer Ahead Of US Data - Yahoo Finance Canada","a":40},{"b":"a","i":"1246848","t":"Finding & Trading the Next Big Mover in Forex","a":41},{"b":"f","i":"1083299","t":"Harvard Today: September 23, 2014","a":42},{"b":"c","i":"1824502","t":"Creative era of Jess Collins, Robert Duncan brought full circle","a":43},{"b":"c","i":"1824503","t":"When Freedom Comes","a":44},{"b":"c","i":"1824492","t":"China factory data surprises to upside, cheering markets (a bit)","a":45},{"b":"c","i":"1824494","t":"Creative era of Jess Collins, Robert Duncan brought full circle","a":46},{"b":"c","i":"1824451","t":"Obama Joins Climate Summit That Doesn\u2019t Force Remedies","a":47},{"b":"c","i":"1824452","t":"Ebola Outlook Grim as Study Predicts 21,000 Cases by Nov.","a":48},{"b":"c","i":"1824455","t":"Ray Ozzie's Talko Wants Users to Pick Up the Phone","a":49},{"b":"a","i":"1246787","t":"New BMWs to be fitted with Vodafone SIM - Yahoo Finance New Zealand","a":50},{"b":"a","i":"1246788","t":"Pittsburgh park would honor Negro Leagues stars","a":51},{"b":"a","i":"1246790","t":"Avigilon Brings Adaptive Video Analytics to its Industry-Leading HD Cameras - Yahoo Finance Canada","a":52},{"b":"a","i":"1246794","t":"Power privatisation backed by Energy Green Paper","a":53},{"b":"a","i":"1246803","t":"\u200bROH Confirms A WrestleMania 31 Weekend Event - COO Jeff Koff Comments & More","a":54},{"b":"f","i":"1083293","t":"Autumn arrival (photos)","a":55},{"b":"d","i":"873346","t":"City to merge elementary schools","a":56},{"b":"e","i":"506469","t":"Security Now a 'Board-Level' Issue: Venture Capitalist","a":57},{"b":"f","i":"1083112","t":"Jack Locker injured again","a":58},{"b":"c","i":"1824374","t":"Palestinians Prepare Diplomatic Clash at UN With Israel","a":59},{"b":"d","i":"873328","t":"Thousands join Hong Kong students' democracy protest as classroom boycott begins","a":60},{"b":"a","i":"1246750","t":"Ebola-stricken Community in Liberia Receives Safe Water through Charleston based Non-Profit, Water Missions International - Yahoo7 Finance Australia","a":61},{"b":"c","i":"1824332","t":"FOX4 sports anchor Max Morgan dies at 59","a":62},{"b":"d","i":"873317","t":"10.7% drop in traffic accidents in UAE","a":63},{"b":"a","i":"1246740","t":"Taoiseach to tell UN summit climate Bill a priority","a":64},{"b":"e","i":"506430","t":"The Rockefeller Family Made Billions from Oil, Now They\u2019re Divesting Over Climate Change","a":65},{"b":"a","i":"1246730","t":"New exhibition showcases how to make New York more sustainable and resilient","a":66},{"b":"a","i":"1246735","t":"Celebrating 20 years of ‘Friends’","a":67},{"b":"a","i":"1246737","t":"Jamie T interview: \u2018Don't release it till it's fucking good\u2019","a":68},{"b":"e","i":"506425","t":"Azealia Banks\u2019 New House-Influenced Single Is Her Best Song in Years","a":69},{"b":"c","i":"1824303","t":"Featured Stories","a":70},{"b":"c","i":"1824259","t":"U.S. launches airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria","a":71},{"b":"f","i":"1082929","t":"Quotes from Seattle coach Pete Carroll","a":72},{"b":"a","i":"1246701","t":"Found: Hugh MacDiarmid\u2019s forgotten war poems","a":73},{"b":"e","i":"506398","t":"Alibaba Banks Bring Home $261 Million in Fees","a":74},{"b":"c","i":"1824214","t":"Hulu teams up with J.J. Abrams and Stephen King for new original series","a":75},{"b":"e","i":"506370","t":"Hulu's New Streaming Weapons Are Steven King And 'Star Wars' Heir J.J. Abrams","a":76},{"b":"f","i":"1082952","t":"Pittsburgh Tuesday takes","a":77},{"b":"a","i":"1246686","t":"Rangel’s dissent: Wise call for war debate","a":78},{"b":"a","i":"1246690","t":"10 Things to Know for Today","a":79},{"b":"a","i":"1246681","t":"Gold Trades Near January Low as Dollar Assessed With Stocks Drop","a":80},{"b":"a","i":"1246685","t":"Report: Tibetan student sets self on fire in China","a":81},{"b":"c","i":"1824137","t":"Microsoft Windows 8.1","a":82},{"b":"f","i":"1082907","t":"The Latest Edition Of Canvas 2 Canvas Featuring The Undertaker + Booker T's Milestone","a":83},{"b":"f","i":"1082872","t":"SportSouth announces 2014-15 Grizzlies television schedule","a":84},{"b":"f","i":"1082969","t":"Need to Know - Monday September 22, 2014","a":85},{"b":"f","i":"1082847","t":"PV industry struggles following HECO rule","a":86},{"b":"d","i":"873104","t":"So Cal Attorney Facing Suspension for Fake Photos with Celebs | FOX40","a":87},{"b":"c","i":"1824097","t":"Could the Ebola outbreak last forever?","a":88},{"b":"c","i":"1824104","t":"'Lost' turns 10: Catching up with the cast","a":89},{"b":"c","i":"1824086","t":"Is Google, Inc\u2019s Fiber Getting Ready to Go Mainstream?","a":90},{"b":"a","i":"1246637","t":"Prime minister arriving today","a":91},{"b":"a","i":"1246641","t":"Despite airstrikes, ISIS appears to hold its ground in Iraq","a":92},{"b":"a","i":"1246617","t":"U.N. summit: Europe touts 40% carbon cut goal","a":93},{"b":"a","i":"1246624","t":"The Roosevelt Hotel NYC Celebrates Ninety Years with "Last Name Roosevelt" - Yahoo Finance Canada","a":94},{"b":"c","i":"1824035","t":"Union firefighters battle gas-fed blaze in home","a":95},{"b":"a","i":"1246596","t":"Terminix(R) Places Top Talent Behind International Division - Yahoo Finance UK","a":96},{"b":"a","i":"1246602","t":"Labour's vow to give North-East transport chiefs 'London-style powers'","a":97},{"b":"a","i":"1246609","t":"Global Capacity Adds New Point of Presence in CoreSite's Denver Market","a":98},{"b":"a","i":"1246610","t":"Breaking newsLottery bonanza for Shipley charity to help elderly stay independent","a":99},{"b":"a","i":"1246613","t":"Peoria Applicantions for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Cultivation Center Submitted to State","a":100}]

      100

      BNP Poised to Name Chairman to Replace Prot, Le Figaro Reports