Wednesday September 22, 2010, 11:23 the ground shook one more time in Haiti. Yes, a new earthquake was felt. It was a repeat of the earthquake of a magnitude of 4.4 on the Richter scale. It was felt during the night of Monday to Tuesday in Port-au-Prince and in some provinces, but there were no casualties. Its epicenter was located between the towns of Petit-Goâve and Miragoâne (south-west of the capital). http://haitienmarche.com/lestoutesdernieres.php?id=1285172618
One speaks of GENOCIDE in the case where certain actions were undertaken and these actions have caused harm to a large number of people or a segment of a population or an ethnic group. These actions can be considered an act of GENOCIDE if they were perpetrated for political, social, economic, or religious reasons. The act of GENOCIDE constitutes a great violation of the human rights of people and a denial of their humanity.
One of the most well known acts of GENOCIDE was the one perpetrated by the Nazis, under the order of Adolph Hitler, against the Jewish people of Europe. Indeed, the Jews were eliminated massively and systematically in concentration camps and gas chambers within the framework of the Final Solution aiming at exterminating these people. The Nazis leaders primarily responsible for this crime against humanity were trialed and condemned by an international court in Nuremberg, Germany, after the Second World War. More recently, the international court of Hague, in Holland, considered and condemned also several personalities known for crime against humanity. Such is the case for the Serb leader, Slobodan Milosevic and for the trial of the Liberian leader, Charles Taylor.
The acts being pursued by Mr. Préval and the Haitian government have all of the characteristics of GENOCIDE for several reasons. As a specialist in the field explain to us:
“One does not need platoons armed with machine-guns to kill 100,000 people in order to qualify it as an act of GENOCIDE… the mere fact that a government has chosen to deliberately do nothing to save endangered lives within a population, when it had all of the means or could obtain the support to do so, falls squarely within the framework of an act of GENOCIDE…”
In fact, the actions of Mr. Préval and his government resulted in the death of tens of thousands of people and could continue to cause still more victims. Because, one should consider the possibility where a hurricane would head for Haiti, and end up striking the areas where the hundreds of thousands of the displaced victims from the earthquake of last January 12, those who currently live in precarious shelters. In fact, if that were to happen, it would perpetuate the act of GENOCIDE. This is because Mr. Préval chose to leave these people under the tents, in order to have them near Port-au-Prince, the capital, for lucrative and political reasons. This decision will greatly hurt not just one or two people, but the several tens of thousands of people as well as the entire Haitian nation. Therefore, he must be judged for this act of GENOCIDE.
We must recall that President Préval knew that Port-au-Prince was threatened with the possibility of being struck by a cataclysm and that there was a risk that the population would be massively decimated.
For the two years before the earthquake, there were repeated earth tremors, and the Haitian and foreign specialists advised the government of the possibility that an important seism would strike the country and that it would be a disaster, taking into account the state in which the population of the capital city lived. President Préval and his government turned a deaf ear and even seemed to make fun of these forecasts, although they had come from very credible scientists, some of them were even working for the government.
During the transition government, which preceded the Préval government, the Ministry of the Interior, which we headed at the time, had launched several programs to improve the living conditions and protection of the population within the Haitian capital. In fact, the capital, Port-au-Prince, was so densely populated that, by itself, it constituted a time-bomb that could explode anytime under the effect of any major bad weather or an earthquake, either one of which would cause thousands of deaths. But, the reality was going to exceed anyone’s imagination. In fact, the earthquake of last January 12 resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and victims of all kinds.
Mr. Préval, once he took over power, had put an end to the Depopulation program of the capital and the majority of the 64 projects in progress. For example, the construction of the administrative complexes for each geographical department of the country was not completed. The purpose of these administrative projects and these complexes were to make available to the provinces a minimum of equipment and to facilitate the displacement of the population of Port-au-Prince in order to find the incentive and the environment necessary for the displaced people to make a new home in the provinces.
Even the plan set up to reinforce the services of civil protection in agreement with the US-Military Southern Command, had been blocked. Each time the country was prone to an important disaster, it was necessary to call upon an intervention of the neighbors within the area and more principally upon the services of the American military base of Guantanamo. As such, in order to avoid the delays that could ensue and be ready at all times, an agreement envisaged the installation of a modern and well equipped US unit of civil protection within the capital. Mr. Préval chose instead to give the space reserved for this unit to Venezuela and as such has put an end to this project.
Therefore, the actions of Mr. Préval deprived several tens of thousands of wounded victims the urgent care that they needed to survive immediately after the seism. It is an act of GENOCIDE.
In the days which followed the earthquake, President Préval and his cabinet simply abandoned the population to its dire fate. That’s the reason why, for days, the rumor persisted that they had all perished under the rubble, (which was nothing of the sort), or that they had left the country. Because, when Mr. Préval emerged from the hole in which he was hiding, he declared that he did not want to speak neither with the US president, Barack Obama, nor with the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, (the two of them, the most ready to send help for the victims); in his opinion, his allies are Venezuela and Iran… Therefore, President Préval had chosen to abandon his people, whom he had constitutionally sworn to serve and condemned thousands of people to perish by lack of care. As such he committed an act of GENOCIDE.
Consequently, the population, sensing that they had been abandoned by the very government, which was supposed to protect it, had chosen to spontaneously leave the capital to go to search refuge in the provinces. The Mayor of the commune of Abricots, Professor Jean-Claude Fignolé, spoke about “the unworthiness of the central government, which more and more shied away from its areas of responsibility”. In fact, Mr. Préval and his government, at the beginning, supported this displacement to the provinces. Mr. Préval even spoke about the possibility of a new earthquake of higher intensity and about the risks that the hundreds of thousands of homeless people in the capital are exposed to, living in precarious situations.
Thereafter, Mr. Préval and his government backtracked, because they calculated that even with the imminent dangers represented by the possibility of one catastrophic hurricane season, the depopulation of the capital would go against their political interests and against the lucrative interests of their cohorts. Mr. Préval thinks that the homeless people represent a captive electorate, which could vote for the “cat” that he chose to succeed him. Meanwhile, his cohorts, the principal providers of goods and services to the government, are making huge profits on the back of the people left homeless by the earthquake. It is all of that, which must be put in the context of the act of Genocide.
Thus, like Mr. Préval and his government had managed to put an end to the Depopulation program of the capital, which was launched before their arrival in power, they were also going to savagely be opposed to the displacement of the population.
Mr. Préval himself was going to take a stand in order to show that it was preferable that everyone remains within the capital, in spite of the absence of any real support to protect the homeless people from the potential of the bad weather and the disastrous consequences that could result from it. He even sought to encourage those who had already left to return back to the capital, by spreading the rumor that the government was going to give a house to all those who had been living under a tent. Mr. Préval and his government went even as far as accusing of secession the mayors who defended the opinions that it makes sense for them to organize a welcoming environment for the disaster victims in their provincial towns. Letters emanating from the Ministry for the Interior will be able to testify to this fact. Finally, as in the case of the Final Solution, Mr. Préval and his cohorts achieved their goals to create camps, concentrating a population in excess of more than 1.5 million people, totally exposed to the possibility of the next hurricane and worse yet of the next earthquake.
The earthquake, which shook Haiti on last January 12, left behind ruins and desolation. Indeed, the great majority of the public buildings of the capital and almost the totality of the houses crumbled under the strong jolts of the earthquake. More than 270,000 people died in less than 36 seconds and the casualties, and those who were affected by the collapse of the houses and the buildings, numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Today, more than one million of our brothers and sisters sleep in open air, among them children, babies, expectant mothers and old men, casualties and amputees who lost either an arm or a leg, or who still have all the limbs of their body completely broken. Today they are among the homeless people whom one finds under the shaky roofs in the capital and its suburbs, and in Gréssier, Léogane, Grand-Goâve, Petit-Goâve, in Jacmel, receiving very little support from the government.
The alarming cries of the human rights organizations, against the inhumane treatment being suffered by the homeless people, left Mr. Préval and his cohorts totally insensitive. In fact, the people who are in the camps are prone to all kinds of indignities and deprivations. These people live among the rats and the insects, because the camps are unclean, to say the least. In this kind of environment, infections and epidemics could spread quickly and result in thousands of deaths. The women and the children live in an atmosphere of sexual abuses and are afraid to move about in order to reduce the risk of being raped or abused, sometimes even in the middle of the street and in broad day light.
Access to health care and education is very limited, and more and more young girls are getting pregnant. Thus, if these concentration camps, erected for the disaster victims, are allowed to continue to exist, they will have a negative impact on several generations, and the future of a whole country will be mortgaged. This is why the action of Mr. Préval is characterized as GENOCIDE.
Yet, immediately after the earthquake, several organizations, including MORN, had published various very feasible approaches for the displacement of the homeless people toward the provinces, of course those willing to do so, with the support of the government. We insisted on the urgency to move this population towards places where it could find adequate shelters and care before the rainy season, precisely towards the provincial towns, by beginning a speedy decentralization of the country.
Mr. Préval had hundreds of million dollars to do it. But, he knowingly refused and has set aside these funds to be used instead in a plan of road construction, which will favor, according to him, the power grabbing mechanism by his chosen “young cat” who is the boss of the company that deals with the building of these roads in question.
Thus, Mr. Préval and his government concentrated more than 1.5 million people in camps for financial reasons and politics. It is GENOCIDE.
Several scientists agree, even without being able to envisage precisely the exact date that Port-au-Prince was going to be struck soon by another earthquake that could be greater than that of January 12.
Do we have to wait and see a reenacting of this GENOCIDE before taking the necessary measures to protect thousands of lives? Absolutely not! It is as if we would close our eyes to the possibility of what can happen. Thus, we believe that we are faced with an emergency and that we must act immediately. We must act before it is too late.
That’s why we are asking every one of you, for whom the lives of our brothers and sisters, who are abandoned in the streets, have any importance, to accompany us in this humanistic endeavor.
Thanks to the support of two large law firms in the United States and one in Europe, we are preparing to call Mr. Préval to court for GENOCIDE and massive violations of the human rights of the population. One of the law firms will be in charge of the human rights violations lawsuit; another will pursue those who benefitted from the deplorable situation of the homeless people to make their fortunes. The third one has the responsibility of bringing the lawsuit in front of the international courts.
In addition to our effort to convict the perpetrators criminally, a sum of $1.5 billion is being claimed for damages on behalf of the victims. This money will be used by the human rights organizations in order to help the homeless people to get settled quickly in the provincial towns and ultimately to protect themselves from the perils of bad weather and to have a new start and a new life. We want also to make sure that the profit makers will refund all the moneys they have personally accumulated at the expense of the victims, and that they are tracked down until justice is served.
We will establish this precedent so that it is the last time that a Haitian government and its cohorts deceive the population and get away without paying a price.
To all perpetrators, be warned!
Paul Gustave Magloire
HAITI Former Minister of Interior, President of MORN HAITI, INC
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