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Posted January 28, 2011

Shame on Michele Montas!


co-editor Jeune Haiti Magazine

“To everyone, the judicial and political systems in Haiti have no structural or ethical authority to put President Duvalier on trial” As a young radio journalist of Radio Lumiere, I had the distinct honor and privilege to contribute in the pro-democracy movement that led to the overthrow of the Duvalier dynasty in 1986. In this Caribbean state, opportunists of all kinds thrive as wild vegetation.

 I presume my past commitment for a real change in this nation allows me to place a few rational words regarding the unexpected return of former President for life Jean Claude Duvalier in Haiti on Sunday, January 16.

From listening to callers of radio shows via the internet from Haiti, I am left with the impression that the Haitian people have been shocked to learn that Ms Michele Montas, the wife of the eminent journalist and owner of Radio Haiti Inter, Jean Dominique, was the first to proclaim she has filed a complaint against Mr. Duvalier for “false imprisonment, exile, destruction of property, physical and moral torture, and violation of civil and political rights”. The prosecutor in charge of her case said the Haitian authorities were following now two investigations: the prosecution for corruption and embezzlement and the crimes against humanity.

Everyone remembers the gruesome conditions in which the allies of the ruling party executed Jean Dominique and his driver Jean Claude Louissaint in broad day light as they entered the station’s courtyard on April 3, 2000. These heinous murders happened during Preval’s first term in office, and he had ordered three days of national mourning. In addition, more than 17,000 people attended Dominique’s memorial service which took place at Sylvio Cator Stadium in Port-au-Prince, the capital.

Mr. Dominique was suspected being a probable presidential candidate in the 2000 elections.  Such a possible occurrence petrified Aristide who was hunting at all costs for a second term. Michele Montas has maintained for years privilege relations with the current President of the republic. And yet, she has by no means used her connection to brag though courts her husband’s assassins who are now running the streets. How to comprehend these double standards? As a matter of fact, even people who hold doctorates in political sciences will experience great complexities to decode the logic behind her behavior.  Perhaps, Jean Claude Duvalier would be for Ms. Montas a painless medication to swallow?

I do not intend to defend the ex-President for life against which individual complaints for violations of human rights are mounting. I was too young to be a beneficiary of his administration. Even so, I must have the guts to tell the truth. To everyone, the judicial and political systems in Haiti have no structural or ethical authority to put President Duvalier on trial.  Grievances for political killings and misappropriation of public founds should be filed against all those who have succeeded to authority after him, starting with President Preval himself and to reach to Jean Bertrand Aristide. Mr. Lesly Manigat is the only one exemption to this disgraceful regulation.

During my lifetime, I would be thrilled to witness a trial against the Haitian political system that is manufacturing dictators, thieves, and criminals. The problem is primarily a societal predicament. If I have to respect historical facts, I can insist that through the reign of Duvalier our country had more worldwide stature. For instance, in a report published well before the earthquake, several international organizations estimate that Haiti would require some 30 years going back to where Duvalier had left in February 1986.

Similar to each other Haitian citizen, Jean Claude Duvalier and Jean Bertrand Aristide have the constitutional right to come back to their country no matter what time or day. Conversely, they must assess whether their return will contribute to the improvement of social equality and stability.

In summary, a significant number of Haitian citizen believe that Ms Montas is poorly positioned to bring complaint against Duvalier that is not liable for her husband’s death. It is time for such political tango to come to an end in this country.

Romeo Estinvil can be reached by electronic mail, estinro@hotmail.com.


Wehaitians.com fully agrees with the many good points made by journalist Romeo Estinvil by way of the above Op-Ed piece. The current extreme violence-issued president, Rene Preval, is a man with a well documented terrorist past. Sure it is difficult to comprehend how even an alleged criminal can force another one to face the bar of justice, which certainly is inexistent in Haiti. Overall, Michele Montas is a funny as a clow is this a smile.   

Wehaitians.com, the scholarly journal of democracy and human rights
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