Danto Witness Project
"Live from Site Solèy" by Jean - May 9, 2005
Interview/Lakou New York
May 9, 2005
The original report, in Kreyol, may be listened to by our KREYOL
HLLN intro to "Live From Site Solèy"
by Frantz Jerome
Any Broadcasting student knows the importance of Edward R. Murrow to
the development of TV news. His ascension to the top of news broadcasting
coincided, incidentally, with his climbing rooftops in 1939, to describe
the bombing of England. His determination to bring “the clearest
possible image” to his audience forced him to ignore his personal
safety in order to “export”
the war to his listeners. The only tool he had: the crackling sound
of a microphone, distorted by shortwave signals.
Today, Edward R. Murrow’s name is found next to words or phrases
like: legend, courage, integrity, social responsibility, journalistic
excellence, emblematic of the highest ideals of both broadcast news
and the television…”, and the praises go on.
On May 9, 2005, Lakou New York broadcasted a live report from Bel Air,
Port-au-Prince. While listening to the explosions and sustained gunfire
in the background, I could not help but to think of Edward R. Murrow.
Jean, our reporter, has never heard of Murrow. But, He also had a crackling
microphone distorted by the poor quality of long-distance communication
in Haiti. I then realized that this young man deserved most of the praises
listed above. During the broadcast, one could only notice some level
of hesitation and distraction on three occasions.
His narrative style made the actors, the incidents, the meaning of the
symbolic acts take a new dimension. He created vivid images to illustrate
a reality others choose to ignore. “Site Solèy (Sun City)
is no longer the city of sun…”, he says, “…it
has become carnage city!” He risked his life to humanize victims
discounted by the international community. In solidarity with the people
of Site Solèy, he risked taking a bullet, in an attempt to hold
the world accountable for the innocent blood, giving new meaning to
the word solidarity!In 1939, Edward R. Murrow’s broadcasts mobilized
America toward a war against Nazi Germany. Jean’s testimony will
hopefully mobilize us towards peace for the people of Site Solèy
who have known no peace since February 2004.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
May 14, 2005
Live from Site Solèy – 5-9-05
translation of Jean's report on Lakou New York)
LNY: We have on the line Jean, a compatriot currently
in Site Solèy, who is
informing us that there has been sustained gunfire and many problems
Solèy today. Compatriot you are talking to Lakou New York show
Lakay, in New York. Could you tell us, tell the audience how things
in Site Solèy today?
Jean: Greetings to all compatriots currently listening
to us on Radio Lakay,
in Miami. We have a terrible situation in Haiti, especially in Site
where there is a general state of confusion, where MINUSTHA’s
many civilians in the population of Site Solèy.
To be more precise, this morning there is a 23 years old young man,
Pierre Nadère, who was shot in the head by MINUSTHA’s troops
Starting at approximately 11 going on 12 Oclock, there was sustained
on the National One Route in Site Solèy, subsequent to groups
Boston’s inhabitants, armed with sticks, rocks and other makeshift
success in destroying the area’s Police Barrack, where MINUSTHA
stationed. The soldiers, faced with an overwhelming number of rocks
bottles used as projectiles, ran for cover. All three Jordanian armored
vehicles vehicles retreated and left the Police Barrack of Site Solèy.
population then proceeded to set two cars left in the yard on fire.
MINUSTHA’s soldiers returned, shooting many rounds on their way
back. Many of
the bullets were reaching areas around us. Raymond Jean, a bystander
of over proof rum, hit in the head, died on the spot. He was 56 years
is survived by 3 children. Ramond Jean lived in (Tele?).
This situation is terrible in Haiti, especially in Site Solèy,
god given day many people are dying. We can use as an example, the April
2005, incident where MINUSTHA soldiers shot (Fedia) Raphael, a young
15 in the chest. The fact that MINUSTHA soldiers killed (Fedia) Raphael,
generally accepted. Yet, no explanation has been given in her case.
day, people die in Site Solèy and government officials remain
as we are speaking, is “climbing a ladder backwards.” Ruthless
groups roaming about, prevent any semblance of normal life.
As we are speaking to you, the tension is palpable. Students get shot;
on public transportation get shot, resulting in the National One Route
completely deserted. At this very moment it’s MINUSTHA single
controlling Site Solèy.
As we are reporting, many in Site Solèy wonder about the meaning
currently projected elections. Many in Site Solèy say that there
elections in the “heart of Haiti”, when the government says
selected the Boulos market, in Site Solèy, as a polling precinct.
that anyone who goes there may not survive a request for a voting card
attempt to vote. You may know that there are many honest citizens in
Solèy who claim that subsequent to statements made by the National
spokesperson, Mrs. Comeau-Coicou, a veritable bloodbath is occurring
Ever since the 1st April, on any god given day, more than 3 to 6 people
their lives in Site Solèy. Ever since Labanyè’s
death, the Jordanians,
Peruvians, Chinese are the ones controlling the situation in Site Solèy.
There is important point for the listening audience in Miami to know:
MINUSTHA soldiers are free to shoot to kill at any private vehicles
circulating in Site Solèy. Last Sunday there is a young man who
was shot dead
in his private vehicle, as he was circulating in Solèy 4. As
we are speaking,
the car is still located in Solèy 4, where the MINUSTHA soldiers
it with their armored vehicles.
MINUSTHA prevents all traffic within Site Solèy except for two
public transportation vehicles (taptap). The situation is terrible.
Solèy has queues, the traffic is at a virtual standstill. If
one needs to
take care of one business, one may wait in vein for public transportation,
since the number of vehicles has dwindled to a bare minimum. Indeed,
Volcy, trios BéBés, on the route leading to Site Limyè,
MINUSTHA uses big
containers to barricade and isolate. Even water is no longer freely
accessible. In order to fetch water, one must leave Site Solèy
(many of you listeners are familiar with the distances,) and walk to
where s/he must pay 15 Gourdes.
15 Gourdes for a bucket of water that one must then carry to Site Solèy.
Camep ceased all services to Site Solèy. It does absolutely nothing
Solèy inhabitants. Garbage is piling up and creating hazardous
Many are wondering how far the deterioration will be allowed to go,
and young are dying. What’s worst is the fact that the innocents
suffer, as illustrated by the Mach 20th MINUSTHA bullet in the head
of an 8
year old child. No one is safe, and no one trusts MINUSTHA. The population
Drouard for example will run and hide at the sight of MINUSTHA. That
terrible testimonial, young and old running at the sight of MINUSTHA.
when buying groceries at the market place, once a MINUSTHA vehicle stops,
A few weeks ago, on April 15, a terrible incident occurred where Jean
Jean died. This 28 years young man is yet to be buried. His parents
have the means to burry him. Who shot him? MINUSTHA!
MINUSTHA soldiers stood at Boulos Market and shot a young lady in the
last Saturday. She left behind a 2-month-old baby. This is terrible!
why we must make it plain for the listeners in Miami that within Haiti,
Solèy has now been transformed in “the Bloodbath City”.
Not too long ago they use to say that armed gangs would shoot it out.
However, since Labanyè’s death, we can see that there is
used to be a situation where no one could circulate. Subsequent to Labanyè’s
death, everyone united. The new collaboration is based on unity, the
we are strong” concept.
As you remember, on March 24, there was a march going from Site Solèy,
passing by National One route, to the Airport route, to Batima, going
Drouard, to go back to Site Solèy. Labanyè (Robinson Thomas)
was at the time
wearing a Police uniform. Before he died Andy Apaid, Charles Henry Baker,
Reginald Boulos, Danny Toussaint who financed his project, gave him
sums of money to kill the people of Site Solèy, they were forced
Still, ever since that day Site Solèy became “Site Blood
LNY: Compatriot, we are in New York, the show is Lakou
New York. We know that
two weeks ago, Bèlè militants organized a huge march in
solidarity with the
people of Site Solèy. Is there anyone else who pledge their support
Jean: Bèlè indeed organized a tremendous solidarity march;
we must confirm
that for the Lakou New York, audience. Bèlè organized
the solidarity march
once they became aware of the dangers lurking over the people of Site
MINUSTHA was, on a daily basis, killing indiscriminatelyand besieging
population. Bèlè came in solidarity, pledged their support
and shared their
rice, bread, water along with all kind of other food items.
Once the people from Bèlè arrived in Site Solèy,
the ruthless MINUSTHA
soldiers, along with the man in black of the National Police, shot at
marchers killing Marcelus Belizaire, a handicapped man (with one leg).
56 years old.
While they arrived at Site Solèy, via the National One route,
at them, wounding many. There is the case of Bo, the soccer coach of
Solèy’s team, who was killed as a result of MINUSTHA’s
actions. They arrested
Bo and handed him over to the National Police. They put Bo in a police
and started shooting. Instants later Bo was laying dead on the ground.
is also the case of a young man they shot thinking he was Ti Blanc Baptiste.
After they shot him they realize their mistake and casually walked away,
leaving the corpse on the street.
After this mark of solidarity, Site Solèy’s inhabitants
massive march went to greet the people of Bèlè. In the
process they went from
Site Solèy to Dèlma 2, through Dèlma 30, Kristwa,
through Nazon. Upon leaving
Bèlè they marched back to Site Solèy. At the conclusion
of that mini-march,
we learned that there might have been summary executions. Three young
militants, active organizers in Site Solèy were kidnapped and
have not been
heard of to this day. The only thing certain is the fact that they were
picked-up by the National Police.
There is a man working within Site Solèy. His name is Ernst Merilus
and he is
a former mayor of Dèlma. He has been collaborating with MINUSTHA
National Police. We must let Radyo Lakay’s listeners, following
report from Port-au-Prince, Haiti know that Ernst Merilus had a big
Site Solèy, that he rented to MINUSTHA for the establishment
of a control
center for the area. The Site Solèy population destroyed the
Ernst Merilus can be seen riding in the “white man’s”
In Haiti (….) says that there is a UN presence. Not true! It is
not the UN,
for the UN is using armed civilian such as Ernst Merilus, dressing them
National Police of Haiti, put them in Armored vehicles, have them shoot
population and help them massacre the people. As illustrated by the
Fedia Raphael, the 15 years old girl who caught a MINUSTHA bullet and
Where is the justice? Is this Democracy? That is what we ask! Upon kidnapping
President Aristide, are these military units the ones setup by the de
One will recall de facto Prime Minister Latortue’s famous statement:
shot at us, and we shot at them…”. Does he have the right?
from this iron-fisted dictator marked the beginning of the carnage.
a (….)named Sauveur in Pòtay Senjosèf, who executes
anyone he finds carrying
a picture of President Aristide. This situation is terrible. Yes, extremely
(Lakou New York theme song in background)
Jean: The day before yesterday an eight years old child
died. Why? No one
knows! That is why we are informing the Listeners in Lakou New York
Solèy is no longer the “city of sun”, but rather
the “bloodbath city!”
Because MINUSTHA is on a “all day” “all night”
killing rampage. They don’t
even avoid (LNY: Trying to end program saying “Conpatriot, …compatriot…”)
killing journalists, as illustrated by the case of the American journalist…
(Lakou New York theme song in background)
LNY: Conpatriot we must stop because our programming
time is up. Nonetheless,
we are grateful and thankful for the report you brought to us. We stand
solidarity with the people of Site Solèy. We must inform you
that though this
is the first time we collaborated with you, it will not be the last
Today time is up for our program, but we will continue communicating.
you very much!
(Lakou New York theme song)