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Posted at 4:49 p.m., Tuesday, July 31, 2001
In Haiti, radical leftist Aristide's make-believe opposition armed attacks fail to produce anticipated results As usual, strange things happen in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, and elsewhere in that country. The decision by radical leftist Jean-Bertrand Aristide, according to a source we can thrust, first to plan and then carry out a series of armed attacks in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petion-Ville and many of Haiti's provincial towns Saturday is yet another instance of tyrant Aristide's failing to burn alive more of Haiti's democratic opposition members after accusing them of plotting to overthrow his de facto and corrupt regime. "On Saturday morning, six gunmen dressed in camouflaged clothing pulled up at the suburban Petion-Ville police academy and sprayed the barracks with gunfire, killing at least five, including a senior officer and two officers on guard duty," Lavalas police, commonly known as Aristide's police, Comdr. Jean-Yonel Trecil said. "Ten others were wounded," private Radio-Haiti-Inter reported. It should be noted, however, that hours later the Petion-Ville police station and a jail, both located about 1 1/2 miles away from the police academy, were attacked by gunmen who were said to be involved in the earlier attack. The attackers threatened to kill 21 inmates if they didn't say "long live the army," according to witnesses. The week-end attacks appeared to be as wide as waters, to be precise, the ocean, as the killing of officer Zachary Simon and abduction of three others by gunmen in the the town of Mirebalais, 25 miles northeast of the capital, later Saturday, according to Radio Plus, suggests. Police stations in the provincial cities of Jeremie and Gonaives and towns of Lascahobas and Belladeres were attacked, too. A former soldier, Wilner Jean-Louis, was shot dead following the weekend armed attacks during a clash with Lavalas riot police and SWAT team in the town of Hinche, 85 miles northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince. And the office of opposition leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, in the town of the same name, was burned to the ground. Nothing new when it comes to chief bandit Aristide. "A coup d'etat is underway, in its and political military guises," tyrant Aristide's Lavalas Party spokesperson Yvon Neptude, also a de facto Senator, said. More than that, Henri-Claude Menard, is a de facto Haitian Interior Minister, suggesting that he cannot define democracy. Even so, these were the very few words he had for the newsmedia in the aftermath of the armed attacks: "The days when coup d'etats were staged to crush democracy are behind us." Haiti's democratic opposition, however, Sunday denied any responsibility whatsoever in all of the Saturday armed attacks. "Anyone can disguise himself in a uniform," said former President Leslie F. Manigat, an opposition member. "Joel Theodore, a police officer at the Petion-Ville police station identified the gunmen, including a Haitian national palace pick-up, number 38," Haiti's democratic opposition, better known as the Convergence Democratique, said in a July 28 press release. "Joel Theodore was well aware of a plot by people in the inner circle of Jean Bertrand Aristide way before he traveled to Cuba." Added the press release, "Joel Theodore told Radio Plus that the Lavalas regime," a reference to tyrant Aristide, "deliberately designed and went ahead with his theatrical and macabre plan to justify the physical elimination of his political enemies and put an end to negotiations between him and members of the democratic opposition." What an official in the tyrant Aristide's de facto government was to recently tell members of the opposition on the condition of anonymity, according to the press release? I have attendended several meetings, which are often not opened to all cabinet members. The words that are often uttered by participants are: the May 21, 2000 parliamentary elections are not negotiable." Lavalas Police has so far taken 35 so-called suspects into custody. Four other so-called suspects involved in the Saturday armed attacks crossed the border into the Dominican Republic and sought political asylum there, foreign military sources said. The asylum seekers have since been held by the Dominican military, pending a decision of the Dominican Republic government as to whether they all should be sent back to Haiti or allowed to stay in the neighboring country. The opposition, which many of its members have been long taken out of the circulation by tyrant Aristide, send its condolences to the families of the police officers who were killed Saturday.
Posted at 5:45 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2001
60 Haitian boat people fear dead 69 Haitian boat people and the body of another one were found today by Bahamian authorities, six days after their35-foot sailboat crashed in southern Bahamas. 60 others were feared dead, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday. The survivors were all taken into custody by Bahamian immigration agents, pending their repatriation to Haiti.
Posted at 7:58 p.m., Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Radical leftist Aristide allegedly murders many men and women in Haiti
He likes to welcome foreign visitors at his unofficial Haitian national palace in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Tabare telling them how much of a democrat he is. But to one Haitian police officer he is a murderer. "Aristide not long ago had many poor men and women executed in the middle of the night after they were arrested on the trumpeted-up charges of committing crimes," a Haitian police officer told us on the condition that his name does not accompany this history. "The only crime, if I may call it so, I know them all to have committed is saying 'we cannot suffer anymore'". Many of the victims not long ago held a protest in front of the Haitian national palace. "We are hungry! We have no jobs! President Aristide, it is about time that you do something for us," the protesters angrily said. But tyrant Aristide, who days earlier during a visit at Port-au-Prince's Fort National, a women's jail, urged the malcontents to assemble peacefully in front of the national palace to voice their problems so he could in turn address them, as usual, had a different message for the dirt poor Haitians who hoped that once they communicated their suffering to him life would change for the better within a matter of days - not to say hours. "I was not talking to you, but to other people during my visit at Fort National last week," Aristide told them, "sure did you misunderstand me." According to the police officer, many of his colleagues were told by Aristide that the victims were bandits and they had to be taken out of the circulation and then executed. In fact, it is the same murderer Aristide who often calls himself "a prophet, a messiah and savior of the Haitian people. So it is understandable that the summary execution of the poor Haitian men and women also encourages caricature. If for the majority of the dirt poor and illiterate Haitians tyrant Aristide is incapable of proving he is a murderer or will never prove so, but for nearly all members of Haiti's middle class, its minuscule bourgeoisie and the Haitians who are literate enough to know how the affairs of the state must be governed so citizens can hope for a better quality of life, all the secret execution of those men and women suggests is that radical leftist Aristide, who arrogated to himself absolute power, has no intention of allowing his fellow Haitians compatriots, especially the desperately poor, to challenge his dictatorship of the proletariat, even when other Haitians are on the verge of becoming extremely poor, causing the already 85 percent of the estimated 7.8 million citizens who have long being enduring abject poverty to go upward while he and consorts live a life of luxury.
Medical doctor arrested in Haiti for alleged anti-radical leftist graffiti Auguste Blondel, a medical doctor and Executive Director of St. Catherine, a medical clinic in Haiti's biggest slum of Cite Soleil, was arrested Sunday at his mother's house by Lavalas Police officers, stationed at the Haitian national palace, allegedly for employing two young men to write graffiti, containing anti-tyrant Aristide's messages, on the walls of many public buildings. "He was about to have the Ministry of Public Health, which happens to be just a few feet from the national palace, blown up," said police spokesperson Jean Dady Simeon. But Simeon, as usual, minutes later sounded more like a young boy leaning how to tell lies than a police spokesperson when he said "This arrest has nothing at all to do with politics." Dr. Blondel was taken to the national palace after his arrest, perhaps to be slapped in the face a few times by tyrant Aristide for being insolent, before he was jailed at a police station. "I am now a victim because the dictatorship wants to make me pay for being a vocal critic of the way the affairs of the state have been governed. Also, for being critical of the rampant corruption that the Aristide/Cherestal is known for," Dr. Blondel said.
Posted at 1:10 a.m., Saturday, July 21, 2001
Wannabe certified public accountant sentenced in absentia Raymond Dubuche, who pretended to be a certified public accountant and assisted in the preparation of hundreds of false tax returns at his Tax Service enterprise in Spring Valley, Up State New York, was sentenced in absentia in a White Plains federal court Friday to 51 months in prison and fined $50,000. Dubuche became a fugitive from justice in October 2000, five days after a guilty verdict was returned against him by a jury. Federal authorities said Dubuche was a native of Haiti. "We ask anyone who may know his whereabouts to contact Deputy U.S. Marshal Paul Capolla at 914-682-6175 or Special Agent Steven Ashcroft of the IRS at 845-561-8576.
Man found guilty in Haiti murder case Curtis Wharton, a Shreveport Louisiana businessman who had his wife, Sheila Wharton, murdered in Haiti in January 2000 so he could in turn collect more than $2 million from the firm that sold him a life insurance policy taken on her earlier was found guilty by a federal jury Thursday, about 5:00 p.m. Mr. Wharton, whose trial was held in New Orleans because of extensive pretrial publicity in Shreveport, faces a mandatory of life in prison.
Posted at 9:22 p.m., Thursday, July 19, 2001
A lien placed on Louima's settlement fee It might be months or years before those forming Abner Louima's two "Dream Teams of attorneys, including Johnnie Cochran, can each tell their wives "My lovely we can now take a long vacation and an expensive one, too." There is a reason for this. Louima, who last week settled his police brutality case with the New City Police Union for $8.7 million, his original set of lawyers - Carl Thomas, Casilda Roper-Simpson and Brian Figeroux - have placed a lien on his settlement fee of $2.9 million, claiming that the case was stolen out from them by Cochran and his colleagues.
More Haitian boat people for Florida Thirty one Haitian boat people, including 30 men and one woman, believed to have been smuggled from Haiti abroad two speedboats that dropped them close to the shore of Palm Beach, in Florida Wednesday were immediately taken into custody by local police and Border Patrol officers.
Posted at 4:15 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2001
Millions of undocumented Haitians and others may soon become lawful residents of the U.S.
Days after United States President George W. Bush made his intention known to grant legal status to more than 3 million Mexicans living illegally in the U.S. senior Democratic senators on Wednesday urged him to include other undocumented, long-time workers, such as: Haitians, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Hondurans, and others in similar situations, in his soon-to-be-immigration policy. "We believe it's time to pass a broad legalization program for undocumented, long-time workers," said Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota at a news conference. "We know there are many forces pressuring President Bush to reconsider his support for more fair treatment of immigrant residents," added Senator Daschle. "We hope the president will resist that pressure." If there is another Democratic Senator illegal immigrants can count on, hoping they will soon be allowed to regularize their current status in the U.S., that person is Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who said "the administration would likely send an immigration proposal to Congress for reconsideration before he meets Mexican President Vincente Fox in September." Republican Senators John Ensign of Nevada and Sam Brownback of Kansas are two other Senators who favor including other immigrants in President Bush immigration policy. Both also attended the news briefing to show bipartisan support for changes in U.S. immigration policy. "The only beneficiaries of the status quo are the unscrupulous smugglers of illegal immigrants across the border," Brownback said.
Haitian native puts on his sunday best for a special occasion Marc Picard, a native of Haiti and resident of Lansing, Michigan had to wait for years before he could finally put on his Sunday best. That day finally came when he became an American citizen Monday. Picard, 26, who was dressed in a red-and-white suit and red shoes when he took the oath of citizenship in the Michigan state Senate chambers said afterward "The United States is just fabulous." If you are selling a house in Haiti, don't count on Picard, who seems to be now looking for a wife, as one of your prospective buyers. "I like the idea of buying a house, and having my wife and kids with me," added Picard. "It's just a better environment here."
Posted at 1:28 p.m., Monday, July 16, 2001
A police shooting in Boston Rene Romain, a 19-year-old Haitian-American man, who Boston police said lunged at its police officers with a 12-inch knife at the Boston's Mattapan busy train station or Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), after a robbery attempt at a nearby pizza restaurant, Nick's Pizza, early Saturday evening died early Sunday at Boston Medical Center from a single gunshot to the stomach fired at the time of the incident by one of the officers who hours earlier approached him, police said.
3 boat people die after their flimsy sailboat capsizes A flimsy sailboat with 23 immigrants, including Haitians, Colombians, Mexicans and Dominican, on board - all believed were on their way to Florida - capsized about 1:am. Sunday, about 20 miles southeast of the British Virgin Islands, killing at least three of the passengers, United States Coast Guard duty officer Tim Lavier said. The other 20 passengers were rescued by the Coast Guard. They all then turned over to U.S. immigration authorities, who will, perhaps today, deport them to their respective countries of origin.
Four Haitians killed in car accident This past Sunday, four Haitians - all residents of Vero Beach, in Florida, 130 miles south of Miami - became history. An SUV, driven by a 22-year-old Haitian-American man, Felix St. Aime, pulled in front of a van, which smashed into the driver's side of the SUV, killing four passengers in the young man's vehicle, including the driver of the van. St. Aime, Loupe Jean, 45; Marie Mathurin, 35; 9-year-old Jennifer Mathurin and the driver of the van, Kevin Page 23, were all killed. His 27-year-old wife, Lehoter, who St. Aime was also driving to Miami International Airport for a flight to Haiti when he stopped at a sign suffered minor injuries. Jean's 17-year-old son, Stanley Lormestile, was badly injured. Police has yet to determine whether either driver was intoxicated.
In Florida, a pre-down raid nets more than two dozen accused drug smugglers More than two dozen accused drug smugglers, who allegedly ferried cocaine from Haiti abroad freighters and then distributed it from the Miami ghetto of Overvtown to South Carolina, were taken out of the circulation Friday morning by authorities. The two-year-old investigation was conducted by the Florida's Broward County sheriff' Office, Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and Florida Highway Patrol. Federal agencies also participated in the investigation. They included: the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Attorney's Office and Coast Guard.
Posted at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 14, 2001
Paul Magloire, a former Haitian military dictator, dies at 94 Some of the very few words that foreigners with an interest in Haiti often summon to describe the Caribbean country are:"Since its birth in 1804 it has been a land of dictators." Paul Magloire, who was a military dictator there, from 1950 to 1956, died Thursday night at his suburban Port-au-Prince residence, said his son, Raymond Magloire. Dictator Magloire, who was 94 and blind when he expired, returned to Haiti from New York City after the 29-year father-and-son dynasty of the Duvaliers became history in 1986. Magloire, who served in the capacity of adviser to Lt. Henry Namphy, a military dictator like himself, in 1988, had since kept a low profile. He left no memoirs, suggesting that researchers trying to determine how military dictators, including civilian dictator Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ended up turning Haiti into the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and fourth lawless country in the world, will experience great difficulties in doing so.
A Month After Court Victory, Immigrant Is Freed From Prison
|By David M. Herszenhorn|
BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 13 - Enrico St. Cyr, the Haitian immigrant whose victory before the United States Supreme Court last month changed the fate of thousands of legal immigrants facing deportation proceedings, has been released from prison. Mr. St. Cyr, 34, had been held at the Hartford Correctional Center by the Immigration and Naturalization Service since May 1999, when he completed a three-year state prison sentence for selling about $100 worth of cocaine. Under strict federal laws enacted in 1996 regarding immigrants convicted of certain crimes, immigrants like Mr. St. Cyr faced automatic deportation without the right to seek a waiver of deportation from a federal judge. Such waivers had frequently been granted to legal immigrants in the past, particularly those who had family ties in the United States or had been convicted of only minor offenses. Last month, in a 5 to 4 decision, the United States Supreme Court gave Mr. St.Cyr the right to seek such a waiver. One of Mr. St. Cyr's lawyers, Michael G. Moore of Springfield, Mass., had feared that it would take weeks if not months for him to be released from prison, and requested a hearing in Federal District Court to ask that Mr. St. Cyr be set free.
|A battle against deportation|
|can continue in freedom.|
But on Thursday afternoon, immigration officials authorized his release, and the hearing, scheduled for this morning, was canceled. Instead, Mr. St. Cyr was driven to the Bridgeport home of his mother, Marie Yvrose Simeon. He was welcomed by jubilant relatives including his aunt, Rose Jean Baptiste. "A lot of us stopped by to see him," Ms. Baptiste said today. "Everybody was happy." Ms. Simeon, who had not seen her son in five years, said he was so glad to be free that he did not even eat. Mr. St. Cyr did not respond to telephone messages today. But in an interview with the Hartford Courant shortly after his release, he said he planned to enroll in community college and find a job. Under the terms of his release, Mr. St. Cyr must report to immigration officials on the first Tuesday of every month and abide by restrictions on his travel and other activities. It was unclear when he would actually be able to seek his waiver of deportation. Editor's notes: This news article appeared in The New York Times of Saturday, July 14, 2001, and we (wehaitians.com) reprinted it on the day and year mentioned above for you, our visitors' own information.
Haitians remember monsignor
|By Megan Tench|
One by one, most with rosary beads dangling from their hands, members of Boston's Haitian community slowly walked through the doors of St. Matthew's Church in Dorchester two nights ago. Their eyes were sunken and their tears masked the somber look on their faces as they approached the casket of Pe, which is Creole for "Father." Inside lay Monsignor Leandre Jeannot, who was indeed revered as one of the fathers of this city's burgeoning Haitian community and its only spiritual leader. Jeannot, the first Haitian priest in Boston named a monsignor, died last Sunday after a long battle with colon cancer. He was 72. Though the pews at St.Matthew hold only 800, community leaders say they expect more than 2000 people from across the state to come to his funeral Mass today. Cardinal Bernard Law, leader of the Archdiocese of Boston, will say the Mass. "He was a true father in every sense of the term," said Pierre Imbert, executive director of the Haitian Multi-Service Center in Dorchester, which Jeannot founded in 1978. "The sense of community didn't come until he came," added Imbert, wiping away tears. "Pe Jeannot was the glue that brought this community together." Hardly ever leaving his modest home at St. Leo's Church in Dorchester, Jeannot was hailed for his relentless work with the community, bringing the French-Creole language to Catholic churches throughout Dorchester and Mattapan, and being the only Haitian priest in the area to preside over weddings, baptisms, and funerals. The Haitian Multi-Service Center often became the first stop for the wave of Haitian immigrants that began arriving in Boston in the late 1970s, escaping Haiti's dictatorship.
|'Pe Jeannot was the glue that brought this community together.'|
|Pierre Imbert, Haitian Multi-Service Center|
Helping immigrants struggling for social and economic advancement, the Center is much more than a human service agency: It is the tightknit population's town square, the place they gather for news about Haiti or their community. And the one person who would never say no to any request for help was Jeannot. "I've seen this guy go into his pocket and give everything he can." said Bob Powell, who worked at St. Leo's for the past 28 years. "He always told me that I have to help, because that is my job. He was a good man and a good priest." So it was understandable then that scores filled through St. Matthew's Thursday and yesterday for one last glimpse of the cleric. The pews bore the weight of sudden sadness as some mourners stood nervously by the open casket and laid hands on Jeannot for the last time. Shielded by the smoke of burning incense, as prayers were said in Creole, some mourners collapsed in anguish. Born in Haiti in 1929, Jeannot, who had become a political opponent of Haiti's powerful regime, was no stranger to adversity. He was forced to flee Haiti in 1959. "Orders were given not to arrest me but to kill me," Jeannot told the Globe five years ago. "I escaped by chance; I just happened not to be home when they came. It was not only Tonton Macoute, [a murderous security force created by dictator Francois Duvalier in the late 1950s]. An officer from the army came, too. He declared to my family that if they find me, they would shoot me." So he fled to the Dominican Republic, and then to Colombia where he became a member of the Salesian order. Jeannot spent most of the 1960s in exile, studying theology in Latin America and completing his studies in Lyon, France. He was ordained a priest in 1970 in Medellin, Colombia, and was assigned to St. Leo's in 1972. When Sylvane Simon, the owner of a local Haitian radio station in Dorchester, left Haiti as a controversial youth organizer and came here in the late 1970s, he was told Jeannot was the man he needed to see. "When I came, he was very friendly. His parish was the only Haitian church that had Mass in Haitian-Creole,: said Simon, who later moved to Somerville and became a member of St. Leo's parish. "He sent me to college to finish my theology studies in English.We were very close." Jeannot, like many Haitian immigrants, wanted one day to return to a peaceful, democratic Haiti., those who knew him said. But in the end he realized that Boston - home to more than 70,000 Haitians - was where he was really needed. "The Haitian family here has to sustain not only itself but three or four families in Haiti," Jeannot told the Globe. "Everyone, even myself, compromises their living here to participate in that. Without the diaspora, Haiti would not survive." Yves Isidor, spokesperson for We Haitians United We Stand For Democracy, a Cambridge-based nonpartisan political group, recalls similar conversations with Jeannot. "Certainly he was a churchman, but he always dreamed of a democratic Haiti," said Isidor. "Too bad he expires without having the opportunity to say aloud, 'Finally, Haiti is now a democracy. No more dictators!'" Isidor also recalls speaking with Jeannot about serving God. "It was a love at first. Total and absolute,' Jeannot once told me," Isidor said. "Jeannot will not be remembered, and this for many years, by the Boston Haitian-American community because he was a monsignor, but for his lifelong obsession with rendering services, including advising husbands and wives in time of distress." said Isidor. "To members of that community he so considered his sons, his brothers, his sisters, his fathers, and mothers. So I will miss him too. I hope he rests in peace. Editor's notes: This news article appeared in the Boston Globe of Saturday, July 14, 2001, and we (wehaitians.com) reprinted it on the day and year mentioned above for you, our visitors' information.
Louima Statement on Settlement of Suit Following is a transcript of Abner Louima's statement on the settlement of his civil lawsuit against the city and its main police union, as recorded by The Associated Press: Aug. 9, 1997, is a day I will never forget. Since that day almost four years ago, I have vowed to do everything I can to ensure that the torture and cover-up I suffered will not be inflicted on my children or anyone else's children in the future. That is why I cooperated thoroughly with the United States attorney on not one but three separate criminal trials. Although the first trial focused on the beating and torture, the second and third trials resulted in the unprecendeted convictions of five police officers who covered up what had happened to me. Just as the two criminal trials helped to chip away at the blue wall, so too has my civil lawsuit further dismantled it. As a result of what happened to me on Aug. 9, 1997, several changes for the better have taken place at the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the New York City Police Department, and more, I hope, will be implemented in the future. 1. The filing of administrative charges against a total of 14 officers stemming from what the police did to me. In addition to the six who were criminally convicted, eight other officers face administrative charges. 2. More importantly, the 48-hour rule was taken off the table by the city from the current round of collective bargaining with the P.B.A. In fact, since the fall of 1997, all new contracts with supervisory officers deleted the 48-hours rule, and the city refuses to negotiate this term with the P.B.A. in the new contract negotiations. At the police union, two of the reforms attributable to what happened to me are: 1. The P.B.A' s creation of a conflicts counsel. They have hired a respected law professor to assist police officers who request legal advice but believe they may have a conflict of interest with other officers or a conflict with the P.B.A. itself. Now, even the identity of the officer who seeks counsel, should the officer request confidentiality, will not be disclosed to anyone in the P.B.A., except to the chairman of the P.B.A. Law Committee, who nevertheless must keep it confidential. 2. The P.B.A. is also hiring outside experts who will participate in formal training sessions beginning this summer for all union officials. Training will ensure that services provided to its members are in full compliance with the law. In addition to these two reforms, during the prosecution of the criminal case a federal judge issued a decision specifying that if a police officer reveals his misconduct to a union delegate or trustee, he can longer expect that it will be kept secret from appropriate law enforcement agencies and state and federal prosecutors. Now there is no longer any such thing as a "P.B. A. privilege. Obviously, mine is just one case and so much more needs to be done. That is why, with a portion of the proceeds of this settlement, I intend to create a new organization for victims of police brutality and their families. This will be the subject of a separate announcement at a later date, but for now I can say that we victims of brutality who have come through it can provide special communication, services and advocacy for others who have yet to experience it. We will not serve just one community but rather the needs of victims of brutality of all races, cultures and ethnicity. Finally, I take this opportunity to thank, with all my heart, my loyal friends, the community and particularly Reverend Sharpton, Reverend Daughtry, and Reverend Dillon for supporting me through my ordeal - the hospitalization, the multiple criminal trials and the settlement process. Ultimately, I thank my wife, Micheline, and my family for always standing by me. Thank you all.
Posted at 2:25 p.m., Thursday, July 12, 2001
$8.7 million for Abner Louima It was four years ago, to be precise, August 9, 1997, that Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, was sodomized with broken broomstick and tortured by four New York City police officers in the bathroom of a Brooklyn, one of that city section, police precinct after his arrest in a melee outside a nightclub. The civil litigation in the case, which has since has drawn international attention, as did the 1999 trial of the four perpetrators, including Justin Volpe, who is now serving a 30-year sentence, for torturing and sodomize Louima, came to an end Thursday after New York Federal Magistrate Cheryl Pollack approved a settlement in which the city's police union agreed to pay $8.7 million to Louima. Today's agreement caused New York City to be $7.1 million poorer. So did it cost the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association $1.6 million, for a sum of $8.7 to be paid to Louima.
Posted at 2:10 p.m., Wednesday, July 11, 2001
A hold-up at a Haitian money enterprise Late Tuesday afternoon, July 10th, was supposed to be when a significant number of hardworking Haitian-American would descend on LifeTime, a money transfer enterprise in the city of Somerville (Union Square), Massachusetts, to send money to their families left behind in Haiti. But something unusual happened there yesterday, about 5:20 p.m. Two young men, described to be in their early 20s and Haitians, held it (LifeTime) up, taking with them more than $6,640.
Medical doctor regains freedom in Haiti Dr. Alix Charles, who has long been considered a suspect in the disappearance of the body of Wilner Lalanne, who investigative Haitian judge Claudy Gassant believes played an important role in the April 3, 2000 murder of Jean Leopold Dominique, a prominent Haitian radio journalist, regained his liberty Wednesday. Lavalas Police arrested Dr. Lalanne on July 6 on the front stairs of a Haitian courthouse.
Radical leftist Aristide to travel to Cuba Haitians and foreigners who follow Haitian politics no longer have to say "radical leftist Jean-Bertrand Aristide will one day visit Cuba's Fidel Castro," suggesting that a meeting of dictators will take place there. On July 16th, we learned, Aristide will travel to Cuba to meet with Castro. Sure such a visit will further provide both tyrants with an opportunity to further demonize the United States since this is what they are good at doing. In the meantime, their citizens will continue to endure abject poverty. In another development, Dany Toussaint, a de facto Senator, who has been named in an indictment by judge Claudy Gassant for the early morning of April 3, 2000 brutal murder of Haiti's most prominent radio commentator and unofficial advisor to then-leftist President Rene Preval, once again this week failed to appear in the judge's courtroom, despite he was summoned to do so. "I do not recognize the judge's authority, he is not a judge," Toussaint said.
Posted at 1:10 a.m., Wednesday, July 11, 2001
Cream cheese joke gets Palm Beach Gardens police officer in trouble If you are a police officer and go to a restaurant with one of your colleagues don't place an order of cream cheese. In case you do, because it is one of the items on the menu you so much want to consume, don't say today at least one of my jokes is going to be about cream cheese. "All police officers don't eat cream because they don't know what it is," for example, will certainly cause you to face disciplinary action by your department internal division, including being sued by your offended colleague. This is exactly what is now happening to a Palm Beach Gardens police officer, in Florida. An internal inquiry found that derogatory remarks were being made by three police officers about Adolf Alexandre, a Haitian-American, who did not survive his probation period and as result was fired. "Haitians don't need any (expletive) cream cheese," Officer Robert O'Dell told a waitress while eating bagel with Alexandre at a deli. In addition to O'Dell, who also asked Alexandre if they had cream cheese in Haiti, Lt. Jay Spencer and officer Jack Schnur, according to the department's inquiry, imitated Alexandre's accent. Spencer, who is White, denied that his behavior resembled that of a racist, as Alexandre's attorney, Frederick Ford of North Palm Beach, filed in a complaint listing 30 incidents of racial discrimination. "It was not only Alexandre, but everybody else was part of everyday joking," said Schuner, one of the defendant police officers. "I have not yet decided to discipline the officers," City Manager Ron Ferris said. Lt. Robert Artola who said that he disapproves of the way his colleagues behaved expressed great relief that the findings didn't support Alexandre's more serious claim of racial discrimination.
Posted at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Leandre Jeannot, first Boston's Haitian Monsignor and man of the people, died July 8th, aged 72
It would be possible for us to write a fairly interesting memoir about Leandre Jeannot - Boston's first Haitian Monsignor and a man of the people, who died on July 8th at 5:15 p.m. in Boston after suffering for years from colon cancer - dealing with his career, first as a simple priest, and later Monsignor. So first, a short biography. Jeannot, aged 72, was born in Haiti on March 11, 1929 in the town of Saut d'eau. The son of Gregoire L. Jeannot, a notary public and mayor of that town for more than 15 years, and Lucie Dorilas, years later became a member of the Salesian order in the Dominican Republic. It was in 1970 that Jeannot completed his theology studies in Lyon, France. He was ordained priest on March 11th of that year in Medellin, Colombia, where he would a few months later leave to become a priest at The St. Teresa of Avila parish in Brooklyn, New York. In 1972, Jeannot was transferred from The Lakes parish in New Jersey, where he served in the capacity of a priest in 1971, to the St. Leo's parish, situated in the Boston's Dorchester section in the state of Massachusetts. 1996 was the year when Jeannot, whose three brothers also entered the priesthood, became the administrator of St. Leo's Church and its pastor as well. One year later, 1997, he was appointed pastor of St. Matthew's church, too. Many Boston's Haitians happily called him "Pe Jeannot" or "father Jeannot," even after he was conferred the title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1998. Jeannot, who could also count two of his sisters among the Daughters of Wisdom nuns - an order, which birth was made possible due to the diligence of "Saint-Louis de Monfort," in France - will not be remembered, and this for years, by the Boston's Haitian community because he was a Monsignor, but for the many services "the man of the people" rendered to members of that community. So will we miss him, too. We hope he rests in peace. May God bless him! Certainly, he was a churchman, but he always dreamed of a democratic Haiti. Too bad he expires without having the opportunity to say aloud "finally, Haiti is now a democracy. No more dictators! Surprise, Surprise, God will keep all of the dictators in hell." A funeral mass for Pe Jeannot, as we always called him, too, will be said Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Matthew's church in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Posted at 12:59 a.m., Friday, July 6, 2001
U.S. Coast Guard repatriates 23 Haitian boat people
They were all trying to illegally enter the United States, leaving behind Haiti's abject poverty, which they could no longer endure. But the 33 Haitians who landed at the U.S. Guantanamo military base in eastern Cuba, 500 miles from Miami, were all but 10 repatriated to Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince Thursday by U.S. Coast Guard. Ten of the boat people who sought political asylum in the U.S. were still being interviewing by U.S. immigration officials. "The U.S. Coast Guard has repatriated 1,160 Haitians trying to illegally enter Florida since Oct.1, 2000," said Marc Cawthon, a Coast Guard liaison officer for the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Posted at 2:59 p.m., Thursday, July 5, 2001
Late night shooting left Boston's Haitian Cabbie paralyzed This is a very bad week for Yves Andre, 43, a 17-year Boston's Haitian taxi driver. When he picked up three young men at 89 Callender Street, in Boston's section of Dorchester Tuesday night, about 10:10 p.m., he did not know that a tragedy would minutes later occur, permanently putting an end to his career as a taxis driver. Andre led his passengers out of his taxi cab, at about 10:30 p.m., at 49 Alwin St., in the Boston's section of Hyde Park, only to seconds later be shot in the back through his driver's side window allegedly by at least one of the three young men he picked up earlier in Dorchester. "We do believe at this point that the motive was robbery," Boston Police spokeswoman Mariellen said, but could not confirm whether any money or valuables were taken. Andre, whose school-age daughter was vacationing in New York City with her grand parents when he was shot, is paralyzed from the waste down, police said Wednesday. "All his new wife, Mireille Raymond, has been doing since he was shot is crying. She is really devastated," said friends of the family.
Posted at 1:50 p.m., Monday, July 2, 2001
The Haitians are still fleeing dehumanizing poverty and dictatorship of the proletariat Tired of dehumanizing poverty and dictatorship of the proletariat 175 Haitian boat people left Haiti early last week and were all taken into custody Saturday after their flimsy 35-foot sailboat was intercepted by Bahamian authorities near Shroud Cay in the Exuma Cays, about 225 miles southeast of Miami. As has been the case for the 3,000 or so Haitian boat people that Bahamas has repatriated this year, all of the 175 boat people taken out of the circulation Saturday will be processed and then repatriated to Haiti. Last year alone, Bahamas repatriated more than 5,900 Haitian boat people to Haiti, and this at an economic cost of more than $3 million.
Vorsts help Haitian children
Carole and Carl Vorst volunteer about 60 combined hours a week and donate more than $36,000 a year to help children in Haiti as directors of the House of Hope in Port-au-Prince. Carl Vorst is an associate fellow at Boeing-St. Louis. At House of Hope, 23 girls ages 6 to 19 are given food, clothing, shelter, schooling and medicine. "I've seen children on their first day in the house eat until they are sick because they don't believe they will get another meal any time soon," Carole Vorst said. "They think it is incredible that they each have their own bed and clothes." Two women who grew up in the house - now a nurse and a teacher - live with and watch over the children. The House also supports eight other girls in their 20s who have grown up in the house. Funding comes from donations. Sponsors can donate money or goods or they can sponsor a specific child. Donations come from individuals and churches. "I didn't know he was involved in this at all until last year when he was one of the finalists for the William Allen award for the Boeing Co. volunteer effort,: said Bonnie Brandt, manager, community and education relations for Boeing St. Louis. He's a very shy, quiet volunteer, and, I guess, just one of those people who feels this is a calling for him." House of Hope has been around for 26 years, the Vorsts became directors in 1995, five years after their first trip to Haiti. Carole, a teacher, offered seminars for Haitian teachers, and Carl repaired buildings and cars. He also mentored and taught Haitians vocational skills. The Vorsts hope to open a preschool in Haiti. firstname.lastname@example.org This article appeared on July 2, 2001 in the St. Louis Business Journal Help the poor children of Haiti ... they are all waiting for your help.
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