UN provoke mourners, gun down the unarmed, blames the killing on the crowd of mourners at Father Jean Juste's Haiti funeral
"They suffered and died
Every bloody month
Of the bloody year...
In a New World
Cursed by the West Storm
And raped by the powers
Of greed, wickedness, and death.
Alone, I faced the wrath
Of this world's powers
...Their mighty venom
Could not cripple me...
Alone, with my hurting hands
I broke the first link
Of the mighty chain
Of human curse
Alone on the traitorous hill
Of the New World
I carried the cross of a race
Into this century...
Refusing to get crucified.
I've been chained
I've been robbed
I've been raped and stabbed
And I have fought back
Alone I have paid and paid.
I have paid the senseless price
I have paid the endless price
...Every bloody month
Of every bloody year
I have fought constantly
With a burning spear
Stuck in my chest.
...From my wounded heart.
... I choose to stand
...alone ...to face the Devil
...Nobody stood by my side..." (Excerpt for Haiti the Rebel By Michel Sanon)
At the June 18, 2008 funeral of Father Jean Juste in Port-au-Prince, witnesses on the scene say that UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)'s soldiers fired on the funeral procession and gunned down Haitian mourner, Jacob Desir, outside the cathedral where Father Jean Juste's funeral was held.
The mourner's death was initially attributed to a gunshot wound. But then the UN said it was Haitians who killed the mourner. Still, undeterred by U.N. guns, lies and the world's indifference to their calls for justice and democracy, Haitians continue to run to the darkness with only their historic candle and upright Ancestral wick to draw fuel to their flame, using their bodies, breath and soul to light the world. Liberty or death! is still the call of these pioneers of the human rights struggle in this Western Hemisphere.
On the day of the shooting, the Associated Press reported that "The shooting happened as about 2,000 people were carrying Jean-Juste's flag-draped coffin to the presidential palace to protest President Rene Preval's policies and his failure to bring Aristide back from South African exile...There has been no evidence produced that would definitively prove who shot the man. None of the protesters were seen holding guns and the shooting took place on a busy thoroughfare intersected by multiple cross-streets and alleys...The protesters are incensed by the presence of foreign troops on Haitian soil. U.N. peacekeeping spokeswoman Sophie Boutaud de la Combe said the shooting was under investigation and that an autopsy would be quickly carried out." (Marchers accuse UN of shooting at Haiti funeral).
Also, in the same article, the Associated press, wrote, under a photo taken by Ramon Espinosa the following:
"People look the body of Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste during a memorial mass in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, June 18, 2009. A man was shot in the head Thursday as unrest swelled at a funeral procession for a Haitian priest who had fought for the rights of emigrants and was closely allied with exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. "
An early report from Press TV quotes Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, spokeswoman for the U.N. forces in Haiti: “It seems that one person was killed close to the cathedral. The first reports we have show that the soldiers fired in the air.” Searching for some sort of excuse, she added: “The blue helmets were apparently attacked by stone-throwing demonstrators from different parts of the town center.”
Later she told Reuters: “We can confirm that our troops shot about five times in the air. But only a ballistic test could finally determine whether the victim was killed by bullets fired by U.N. troops or not.” She told the Associated Press “that the shooting was under investigation and that an autopsy would be quickly carried out.”
Still later on that very same day, AFP reported in a story headlined “UN ‘categorically’ denies shooting death in Haiti” that the young man died not from a gunshot wound but due to a “head injury inflicted by a stone or a blunt object.” A look at the photo of the young man lying in a pool of blood from his head would put the lie to that statement."The commander of MINUSTAH, Brazilian General Floriano Peixoto, said before the preliminary investigation that he did not think his soldiers fired any deadly bullet." He further contended that: "All the soldiers involved said that they did not fire on the people.
"The truth is I do not believe... that the soldiers fired on the people with live ammunition," he told AFP soon after the incident...
Peixoto added that his soldiers were highly trained and accustomed to handling protests, and that soldiers on security patrols carry weapons that fire non-lethal ammunition.
"I'm convinced that this did not happen," he insisted.
Reuters quotes a man named Jean Mathieu who said he was nearby: “I saw several U.N. troops firing gunshots and immediately after I saw the man laid on the ground. I did not see anybody else shooting. I am sure the U.N. soldiers are the ones who shot the demonstrator.”
According to Reuters, “Some (mourners interviewed after the funeral) accused the government of former Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue (who took office - without benefit of an election - following the coup) of causing Jean-Juste’s death by imprisoning him in 2005 on charges that later proved false. Jean-Juste became ill with leukemia while in prison. …
“Many demonstrators accused the former Latortue government of jailing Jean-Juste in 2005 to prevent him from running for president.
“‘Latortue and his government should be tried for Jean-Juste’s death,’ said Maurice Legrand, a 37-year-old demonstrator. ‘When you jail somebody for political reasons and you prevent him from getting medical care, you are a criminal.’ …
“Latortue had repeatedly refused to release Jean-Juste to allow him to receive medical care in the United States, despite an independent diagnosis of leukemia and other complications.
“Jean-Juste was released in January 2006 under intense international pressure, including from a number of U.S. Congress members, and went to Florida for treatment. Many of his supporters believed he could have better coped with the disease if he had received treatment earlier.”
The UN Has No Credibility
The UN does not deny their soldiers were the only ones on the scene shooting that day. But without any evidence or investigation they summarily overlook all the Haitian eyewitnesses and even the TV footage to say it was a blunt object or stone that killed Jacob Desir.
Why would the world be more pre-disposed to listen to the UN spokesperson and Brazilian general assisting in taking Haitian sovereignty by force than Haitians who were on the ground and experienced what happened? Racism, what? The UN has been slaughtering innocent, unarmed Haitians in Haiti since 2004 and there is tons of documented evidence of their criminality. The only folks they provide security to is themselves, their NGOs, thugs like Louis Jodel-Chamblain who was acquitted of his death squad massacres, death-squads like Lame Timanchet and the Haitian mercenary families/Haitian oligarchy that denies and disenfranchise the people of Haiti.
The UN soldiers are documented, in so many cases, to be raping, molesting and sexually abusing Haitian children, sometimes in exchange for giving them food. Where is the world's outrage? Justice for Haiti, for Haitians? Especially when there's all this US media and political concern about protecting and defending protesters and dissenters asking for democracy in Iran. Why not for Haiti, or for Father Jean Juste whom UN honchos watched being beaten in a church before they belatedly intervene to stop it and then sent him off to jail, where, denied immediate medical help, he would die slowly and now this killing by the UN at his funeral?
Yvon "Zapzap" Antoine, one of the man the soldiers' allegedly tried to arrest at the funeral, has already spent two and a half years in UN prisons in Haiti, illegally detained under false charges, since 2004 for his dissent against foreign occupation and continual use of his music and talent to demand return of President Aristide from exile and release of Haiti by the Internationals and Haiti's tiny/mercenary economic elite?
Yvon "Zapzap" Antoine, is a musician and grassroots activist well known throughout Haiti as a member of the popular and radical band Raram.
Jack Lieberman, who worked closely with Father Jean-Juste, sent these details upon his return to Port au Prince from burying his friend:
“What occurred at the end of Father Jean-Juste’s funeral at Port Au Prince’s Cathedral this morning before my trip was a crime committed by the so-called U.N. peacekeepers, who attacked a peaceful funeral procession in an attempt to arrest a prominent Aristide supporter, Yvone Zapzap, who was attending the funeral. I was in the crowd where the incident occurred moments earlier and it was a completely peaceful event with the crowd reflecting Father Jean-Juste’s belief that Haiti’s democratically elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide must be returned to Haiti.
"According to several eyewitnesses, when members of the funeral procession blocked the provocative attempt to arrest Zapzap, the UN troops became enraged and one of them shot one of the attendees of the funeral at point blank range.
“This outrageous attack on a peaceful funeral procession mourning the passing of a leading Haitian human rights activist should be protested against internationally. We must demand that Bill Clinton, the U.N.’s newly appointed representative overseeing their Haitian operations, take immediate action to investigate this criminal attack and to insure that it is not repeated.”(Jack Leiberman's reporting from Haiti, June 18, 2009).
I would submit the attempt to arrest a popular musician at a funeral full of his fans, the funeral of a priest whose death tears Haiti’s heart, is a direct U.N. provocation to incite violence and chaos, display their dominion and control and then blame the resulting death on the peaceful mourners.
In the fracas, the people immediately took the body of Father Jean Juste to protect it from being vandalized, because when mourners were coming out of the church, the U.N. started shooting. The people also picked up the body of, Jacob Desir, the 20-year old man who was killed in front of the church by U.N. soldiers and marched it to the front of the National Palace despite the fact that they were being shot at by the U.N. soldiers to prevent their getting there.
There were reports of many cars being overturned and burned in Port au Prince. Radio Ginen reported and broadcast these events live on the radio and online.
The caravan of mourners were on their way to the cemetery from Port au Prince to Kavayon, which is two hours away, where the body of Father Jean-Juste was laid to rest beside his mother’s.*
A day later, on June 19, 2009, the Associated Press reported in a story headlined “Haitian TV airs footage of confrontation with UN" that "In the video shown by Radio Tele Ginen, five Brazilian soldiers are seen arresting a protester wearing dreadlocks and a T-shirt from Jean-Juste's Veye Yo organization.
As they lead him toward their open-top jeep ...the soldiers, ... periodically turn and fire their assault rifles ... Six gunshots are heard. The soldiers load the protester into the truck and fire two more shots as they drive away, followed by a Haitian police vehicle. As the camera pans around, bystanders and protesters come out of hiding from behind cars and walls. Within seconds some spot the young man lying unconscious in a pool of blood and a crowd, including an Associated Press photographer, gathers around. He appears to be breathing for several minutes while bleeding profusely from around the mouth and head. The victim remains unidentified. He was said by other protesters to be nicknamed "Junior" and live in an area near the capital's Bel Air slum." (Haitian TV airs footage of confrontation with UN)
Video and Eyewitness Evidence Contradict UN Assertions:
It is for very good reason that Haitians resent that the world seems more pre-disposed to listen to the UN spokesperson and the Brazilian general 's version of the matter. Haitians were calling for justice and democracy and protesting the presence of the UN in Haiti because they consider them criminals taking Haitian sovereignty by force.
"Eyewitnesses report today's shooting incident involving the UN began after mourners began chanting slogans for the return of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide outside of Haiti's national cathedral." ( UN Guns Down One, Opens Fire on Crowd at Funeral of Revered Haitian Priest)
Photos and video footage show the UN soldiers, in broad daylight, strangling an unarmed funeral attendee in a chokehold, right before the shooting. Why would the UN provoke like this and at a funeral of a priest they are accused of being complicit in killing and then claim they were attacked?
Clearly in the video footage we hear shots, then we SEE a person fall and later learn he's dead. In the photos, copied below, found in the Haiti Information Project (HIP) article and from Lakounewyork coverage of the funeral, it seem evident that that "blunt object" would have had to hurled from a speed and a distance to cause the damage it caused to the young man's head, certainly not by hand, but a gun. Look at the damage. It doesn't take some expert to see that Mr. Desir was shot in the head, not hit with a rock. One eyewitness Ezili's HLLN spoke to directly, who was there and saw the body, said the bullet entered from under the young boys neck and exited through his [lower cheek] head - bal la pran anba kou li e soti lan tèt li. Besides, most of the episode was captured live by Radio Tele Ginen Haiti and broadcast live on the internet. (See, Radio Tele Ginen's Deroulman antèman pè Gerard Jean-Juste )
At the start of the Radio Tele Ginen footage we hear music and see the procession milling around the Church cathedral. Then the camera pans to five Brazilian soldiers pulling a man out from the crowd, holding this unidentified man in dreadlock in a choke hold, dragging him away.
With their hands up in the air, we see some of the young Haitian men closest to the soldiers, following the soldiers and verbally protesting the arrest of this marcher. Their hands are up in the air as they proceed out of camera range. Then you see the crowd turn away and began to run in the opposite direction, presumably and according to eyewitnesses, this was because the UN soldiers turn their guns directly towards them. But we don't see this on-camera. We hear three shots being fired from the UN soldiers. On camera, simultaneous with the firing, we see a person in the crowd drop. Someone in the crowd picks the young dead boy up as everyone is running for cover against the UN shots. We see the puddle of blood left behind where the young boy, had dropped dead. Then we hear five more UN shots off-camera. The video footage cuts to show panic also inside the Church. There are reports that there was UN shooting inside the Church but we don't have this confirmed though we have seen footage of the panic and listened to a separate video footage, also from Radio Ginen, that captures a Haitian Deputy testifying he lost his wallet in the panic that ensued as the UN fired inside the Church. Later the video excerpt shows the mourners have laid the body at the gate in front of the Haitian National Palace steps, asking for justice.
This is what you'll see in the first video excerpt.
Eyewitnesses, who report to the Ezili Danto Witness Project, and who were there, on the scene, say the UN-Brazilian soldiers fired more shots straight into the crowd as they drove away, followed by a Haitian police vehicle. The man seen being arrested was let go, some say, by the UN twenty minutes after his arrest. If the man was unimportant enough to be set free immediately and it was a case of mistaken identity, why did the UN soldiers feel it necessary to arrest him, disrupting an event as sacred as a funeral?
A second video excerpt (released later) captured the UN firing, not in the air, but level at the crowd from the back of their pickup truck as they leave the scene. The Tele Ginen broadcast was streamed live during the funeral.
Since the 2004 Bush Regime Change/Kidnapping in Haiti, the UN forces have customarily and automatically profiled as "criminal" or "bandit" any young Haitian male or Vodouist wearing dreadlocks because the ruling Catholic/Francophone, light-skinned Haitian Oligarchy think them to be too "Black and African."
Here's the Radio Tele Ginen Video Footages:
Youtube - UN shoots at mourners during funeral for Father Gerard Jean Juste, June 18, 2009UN fire, not in the air, but level at the crowd (cue in at 1:19) from the back of a small pickup as they leave the scene.
Sham elections, student protests increase tensions
Tensions continue to escalate with runoff elections for 11 senatorial seats occurring Sunday, June 21, 2009, where less than 2% of the Haitian population participated. The Haitian majority keep asking for the return of President Aristide, the Internationals keep ignoring them and running sham elections under occupation.
In a press release the day after these elections the UN mission in Haiti claimed their $12.5million dollar shameful, less than 2% vote fiasco, was a rousing "success" from a technical and organizational standpoint.
A Haitian newsletter writer responded: "Today’s communiqué by the 'MINUSTAH,' as the Latin American military force occupying Haiti under a United Nations mandate is known...is an insult to every Haitian, of every walk of life, who has experienced these elections as both a fiasco and a fraud of monumental proportion. How dare they call this a success?"
The Fanmi Lavalas party, which represents at least 70 percent of Haitians, boycotted as it did the first round on April 19, when turnout was only about 3 percent, Lavalas candidates not having been allowed to run. The thousands of mourners at Jean Juste’s funeral probably angered the UN occupying forces because they were again demanding the return of the leader of Lavalas, the democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide, living in exile in South Africa since he was kidnapped by U.S. Marines during the coup d’etat of Feb. 29, 2004.
Protests led by medical students for the past month are making several demands, including an increase in the minimum wage and the removal of the 9,000 U.N. troops that have remained in Haiti since the coup. “On Wednesday, student protesters attacked and burned a U.N. police vehicle,” the Associated Press reports.
Bill Clinton - UN Envoy to Haiti and President Obama
The new UN-face to Haiti, UN envoy Bill Clinton, ought to demand accountability for the exclusion of the masses in these shame elections and an investigation of the abuse and the killing that occurred during the funeral. If the young man was indeed killed by a UN bullet, there must be grave consequences for so-called "peacekeepers" shooting at unarmed civilians in cold blood and then adding insult to murder by defaming the peaceful Haitian mourners.
Moreover, there should also be action taken against those responsible for the cover-up of this crime. The UN spokesperson, Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, should be removed from her position, as well as the head of the mission, the commander of UN/MINUSTAH, Brazilian General Floriano Peixoto. Both have stated that the UN shot "into the air" to disperse the crowd. According to the AFP article, General Peixoto and de la Combe are blatantly asserting that the UN firing at the funeral "had no connection with the death," and that the soldiers did not fire on the people with live ammunition. The UN Mission went so far as to, without any substantiating evidence, categorically deny that any of the UN security forces were involved in the death of the young man killed during the funeral. In fact, UN spokesperson, Sophie Boutaud de la Combe, also insists, also without providing any substantiating evidence, that it was the other way around, it was the "stone-throwing" mourners who attacked the blue helmets. This, despite clear video evidence, that the Brazilian troops felt perfectly safe entering the crowd of mourners and protesters to provoke and disturb them by making an arrest. ( See HLLN's Action Alert - Message to President Obama).
President Bill Clinton, as the new UN Envoy, should facilitate the return of President Aristide to Haitian soil in accordance with the law and begin an independent investigation of all crimes committed by the UN since setting foot on Haitian soil to uphold thugs, criminals, the imposed-US-Boca Raton Regime, its death squad - Lame Ti Manchet, Louis Jodel Chamblain - and the tiny Haitian economic elite.
Abuse and arrested man release by UN because of "mistaken identity"
The shooting occurred after the UN forces aggressively ventured into a peaceful group of mourners to arrest a popular musician -Yvon Zapzap. The UN soldiers apparently deliberately provoked a disturbance during a peaceful procession and protest. They then, within the same hour, released the person they had choked, abused and arrested because, our report is that, it was a case of "mistaken identity." To then blame the resulting death on the peaceful mourners makes the crime all the more hideous. For the photos, go to: UN Guns Down One, Opens Fire on Crowd at Funeral of Revered Haitian Priest ).The Obama Administration and the new UN Envoy ought to demand, from the UN occupation forces, an immediate accounting of the tragic events at Father Jean-Juste's funeral. This brutal UN intrusion at the funeral of a human rights activist, is criminal not to mention an assault to decency. Even in death, Father Jean Juste's could not be buried in peace, with dignity and respect. This appears to be a deliberate and intentional infliction of emotional distress and an arbitrary and capricious show of force. For to shoot at a crowd of mourners, and there are eyewitness reports of the UN shooting both inside and outside the Church, debases the Haitian people and the concept of peacekeeping.
As Haitians are apt to say, mete Minista deyò! - or, throw these UN "vampires of leisure" out of Haiti!
How you can help
The U.N.’s trigger happy occupation force in Haiti does the bidding of the U.S. Because President Barack Obama is defending dissent in Iran, to be consistent he must also condemn the shooting of peaceful, unarmed protesters in Haiti - outside the largest church in the country at the funeral of the priest who would have been Haiti’s president if he had not been jailed.
And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill, now the U.N. special envoy to Haiti, must seek more than opportunities for U.S. corporations to exploit Haiti’s “cheap” labor.
Tell them how you feel about the apparent attack by U.N. “peacekeepers” on mourners at the funeral of Father Jean-Juste, called by some commentators the Martin Luther King of Haiti. Tell them whether you agree with most Haitians that it’s long past time for the U.N. occupation force to leave Haiti.
Contact President Obama by phone at (202) 456-1111 or online at www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/ and Secretary of State Clinton at (202) 647-4000 or http://tiny.cc/n2Raz. ( See HLLN's Action Alert - Message to President Obama. Demand an end to the UN Occupation of Haiti. Justice for UN Victims. Immediate return of President Aristide from exile. Immediate release of all the political prisoners from prison).
As pastor of St. Claire, a church in Port au Prince, Father Jean Juste organized and built a feeding program that fed up to 3,000 children per week, with financial assistance provided by the What If? Foundation, a non-profit that can take tax-deductible donations to continue one part of his ministry.” Support for this work is an excellent way to honor the life and work of Father Jean Juste.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network ("HLLN")
June 19, 2009
(Last updated, June 22, 2009)
Photo Credit: Haiti Information Project
Footage does not show the shooting. Footage was taken after Father Jean-Juste's Funeral Mass, P-a-P, Haiti...June 19, 2009. Right before UN-Brazilian forces thought this was an opportune time to diplay a show of force, inflict a bit more psychological damage on the people of Haiti by disturbing the peaceful funeral proceedings through making an arrest, killing a mourner.
Gade Sa Neg d'Ayiti fè mwen! - Look at what Haiti (Haiti's Tyrants) did to me!"
HLLN's PhotoGallery - Wake and Funeral of Father Gerard Jean Juste
HLLN Pay Homage to Father Gerard Jean Juste
The Haitian struggle - the greatest Goliath vs. David battle being played out on this planet
UN 'categorically' denies shooting death in Haiti, June 18, 2009 AFP