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Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 12:13:11 CST
Reply-To: nicanet@nyxfer.blythe.org
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: NY Transfer News Collective <nyt@nyxfer.blythe.org>
Subject: Weekly Update on the Americas #261 1/29/95

Has Rightist Violence Stopped?

From Weekly News Update on the Americas,
Issue 261, 29 January 1995

On Jan. 17 UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali released a 17-page report to the UN Security Council on the situation in Haiti, where the UN is to take over from the current US military occupation on Mar. 31. Although the report supported the US claim that the security situation had improved considerably since the occupation began, Boutros-Ghali warned that [t]he relative security currently enjoyed by the Haitian people remains very fragile. The report notes that in certain localities, particularly in certain parts of the [central] Artibonite region, people have said that they are afraid to meet or demonstrate because of the persistence of activities by former members of the FRAPH [the rightist Front for the Progress and Advancement of Haiti] or by 'attaches' [police deputies]. [Haiti Progres (NY) 1/25-31/95, part retranslated from French] Boutros-Ghali also says there has been a noticeable increase in vigilante activities over the past few weeks, although this is disputed by US and Haitian officials. [New York Times 1/29/95] [Vigilante activities has been used in the past to refer to self-defense actions by grassroots organizations.]

Meanwhile, robberies and acts of violence by unidentified armed men are reported almost nightly, according to Inter Press Service. Many suspect that these are the work of rightists now engaged in common crime. The body of pediatrician Anne-Marie Guirand was found the night of Jan. 19 near the village of Titanyen, 20 km north of Port-au-Prince. Armed bandits had intercepted her car in the northern part of the capital, according to the police; she was shot dead and a colleague riding with her, Willy Robain, was wounded. Rightists often deposited bodies near Titanyen when the military was in control.

Other acts of violence are harder to explain as common crimes. On Jan. 18 six armed men broke into the private radio station Haiti- Inter at Drouillard in the north of Port-au-Prince. The security guard was robbed and the thieves carried off the transmitters and other equipment, according to Inter Press Service; Haiti Progres reports that two guards were robbed and the transmitters were damaged. Dejean Louis, the deputy delegate (interim government representative) in Leogane, southwest of the capital, reported on Jan. 23 that there had been a marked resurgence of rightist activities around the nearby city of Petit-Goave. Groups have been postering with rightwing fliers at night; Louis suggests that they may even be responsible for electrical blackouts that have helped their nocturnal work. There are also reports that an arms shipment came to local rightists on Dec. 31. [IPS 1/24/95; HP 1/25-31/95]

The government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide has finally acted to settle often-bloody land disputes in the central Artibonite region [see Update #260]. A seven-member commission will study the situation and make recommendations to settle the land conflicts. However, US troops have reportedly been meddling in land disputes in the Leogane region, evicting seven peasants from fields that they had farmed for years. [HP 1/25-31/95]