[News] Haiti: Govt condemns violence and campaign of disinformation

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Wed Feb 11 18:01:26 EST 2004




AHP News - February 10, 2004 - English translation (Unofficial)
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Government officials again condemn the lethal violence by opposition 
partisans and denounce a campaign of disinformation
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Port-au-Prince, February 10, 2004 -(AHP)- Government officials again 
denounced Tuesday the lethal violence perpetrated over the past few days by 
armed supporters of the political Platform of the 184 in several regions of 
the country.

Secretary of State for Communication Mario Dupuy, speaking at the 58th 
edition of the government's Press Tuesdays, particularly condemned 
terrorist acts committed notably in Gonaïves against police officers, 
members of the civilian population and public buildings.

Mario Dupuy said he was saddened by the behavior of certain journalists who 
he claimed are working as press attachés for the terrorists, blindly 
relaying the false information that they give them in an attempt to 
psychologically destabilize the police and the general population.

Mr. Dupuy reaffirmed that one police officer from the Swat Team was killed 
Saturday in Gonaïves during the attempt to re-take the city from the grip 
of the armed men of the Platform.

He also recalled that each time the Haitian people take to the streets to 
say no to an attempted coup d'état, the opposition generally steps up its 
violence in an effort to prevent the people from doing so.

"If from 1991 to 1994, the forces of terror caused more than 5,000 deaths 
in their attempts to be successful in their coups, what would they do with 
the more than one million Haitians who took to the streets Saturday to 
reaffirm their determination to live in a democratic society where power is 
won through elections", Mario Dupuy wondered.

The secretary of State for Communication once again asked those who are 
bringing grief to the population to pull themselves together in order that 
peace may return to the country.

He also asserted that when one rejects dialogue and one wishes at any cost 
to attain unconstitutional objectives, the only way one can try to do so is 
through blind violence.

The Minister of the Interior and Territorial Collectivities, Jocelerme 
Privert, in turn presented an assessment of the death toll since the 
beginning of the violence.

According to Jocelerme Privert, 41 deaths have been recorded in the 
Artibonite department, 30 of which were at Pernales, including police 
officers, government officials and members of the population.

Mr. Privert stated that these acts of violence constitute a flagrant 
violation of the provisions of the Constitution because, he said, this is 
no longer a matter of peaceful demonstrations calling for the departure of 
the elected authorities, but rather terrorist acts led by the fugitives 
from justice who have escaped from prison and are on the payroll of the 
opposition.

"The arson attacks against buildings representative of the State such as 
police stations that are there to provide security for every hamlet as well 
as the offices of the General Taxation Authority, tasked with collecting 
taxes, are designed to deprive the population of the most basic services 
and to provoke an uprising against the elected authorities", said Minister 
Jocelerme Privert.

Mr. Privert  reminded the people behind the current troubles that the 
country belongs to all Haitians without distinction and not to the 
government. It will be the taxes paid by the Haitian people that will have 
to be used to rebuild the government buildings that have been burned down.

He asked the authors of acts of violence to respect the rights of their 
fellow Haitians by ending their arson attacks against schools and homes of 
government supporters.

For his part, the Secretary of state for Public Security,  Jean Gérard 
Dubreuil, called on the population to continue to count on the national 
police, to remain calm, but vigilant with respect to the violence committed 
notably in Gonaïves by partisans of the opposition.

Jean Gérard Dubreuil deplored the ongoing wave of disinformation regarding 
the situation in Gonaïves.

As of February 9th, police officers from the Haitian National Police 
stationed in the troubled regions and who were obliged to take evasive 
action to ensure their safety, have continued to show up for duty at their 
station even though they were rumored to be dead.

He too said that until there is evidence to the contrary, the police force 
has only documented one death in Gonaïves.

Jean Gérard Dubreuil reassured the population that the reaction of the 
government to the situation in Gonaïves will be effective, even if it is 
slow in coming.

"Would the population like to be governed by terrorists who set fire to 
public buildings and private homes along with people who loot containers of 
the merchandise inside, which belongs to individuals", Mr. Dubreuil asked.

He asked the opposition Platform to adopt the same civilized behavior as 
the Haitian people did on February 7th during the giant demonstration that 
drew hundreds of thousands of people, according to independent sources, and 
more than a million, according to the organizers.

Police commissioner Emmanuel Monpremier, present at Tuesday's press 
briefing, and whose death had been announced by several radio stations in 
the capital, said he was deeply saddened at the behavior of certain media 
which, he said, generally broadcast information that has not been verified.

Commissioner Monpremier reminded all those who are trying to 
psychologically destabilize the police through this wave of disinformation 
that their effort will fail.

The commissioner also reminded all Haitians and journalists in particular 
that they are called upon to assist the national police in carrying out its 
work.

He announced that any defamation of character against him personally would 
be addressed through legal action.



AHP February 10, 2004  12:15 PM

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