Human rights team finds US-backed Haitian government culpable in Lasalin massacre

Miliana Louis cries during a Dec. 13, 2018, memorial for the victims of a massacre in the Lasalin neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Louis said her 22-year-old son, James, was killed with a machete in the mass killing on Nov. 13 and his body fed to pigs. – Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery AP

By Haiti Action Committee, San Francisco Bay Review, July 16, 2019

Haiti Action Committee together with the National Lawyers Guild is releasing a new report, “The Lasalin Massacre and the Human Rights Crisis in Haiti,” about the November 2018 massacre in the neighborhood of Lasalin in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. The report provides evidence of other subsequent massacres and human rights violations facilitated and supported by the government of Jovenel Moise and his ruling PHTK party.

The report is co-authored by Judith Mirkinson, president of the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and Seth Donnelly, a member of Haiti Action Committee. Other members of the team include Margaret Prescod, an investigative journalist based in Los Angeles and producer of the Sojourner Truth radio program nationally syndicated on Pacifica, as well as Ramiro Funez, assistant producer of the Sojourner Truth program.

On April 1, 2019, our team went to Lasalin and interviewed survivors and eye-witnesses of the November massacre. The report demonstrates that the Lasalin massacre – rather than simply an example of “gang violence” as portrayed by the Haitian government and some US media sources – was in fact an attack facilitated by government officials and directly conducted by Haitian National Police officers working closely with paramilitary elements logistically supported by the PHTK.


Lasalin was targeted because it is a base of protests and opposition against the Moise government. Perpetrators of the massacre destroyed homes, burned people alive, hacked people to death, fed body parts to pigs and dogs, and raped women. People of all ages, including a 10-month-old child, were systematically butchered

The report examines how the US government has continued to diplomatically and economically support the Moise government, despite clear evidence of its human rights violations. US support for the Moise government includes millions of US tax dollars to fund and train the Haitian National Police, despite its well-documented participation in brutality, killings of unarmed protesters, arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial killings and massacres such as the Lasalin massacre.

The police and Moise government have also been politically, economically and logistically supported by the United Nations occupation forces in Haiti, MINUJUSTH. The report concludes: “As the toll mounts from the atrocities committed in Lasalin, it is time for both the United States and the United Nations to be held to task for their continued support of the repressive and illegitimate regime now in power in Haiti. The people of Haiti deserve the right to live without the daily threat of state-directed violence.”


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Posted July 19, 2019