Folha de Sao Paolo (Brazil's
Most Influential Newspaper) Criticises MINUSTHA
May 26, 2005
"Given that the last government of Haiti abolished the Armed Forces
and the police, the defenseless people depend exclusively on the protection
of foreign troops." That was how the special envoy of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, Ricardo Seitenfus, justified the presences of Brazilian
forces in Haiti. In his words, "for the first time in Haitian history
there is a tacit acceptance of the foreign presence," because the
Caribbean country faced a situation marked by the "simple absence
of the State."
Seitenfus followed to the letter the role that had been given him-to
deceive Brazilian public opinion. Haiti has a State that is a corrupt
dictatorship dedicated to freeing from prison bloody figures and incarcerating
opponents to ensure its perpetuation in power. Ex-dictator Raoul Cédras
and his collaborators Philippe Biamby, Michel François, Emmanuel
"Toto" Constant and Jean Tatoune, sentenced to life in prison
after being convicted of committing a massacre in 1992, have been freed.
In compensation, Yvon Neptune, the last prime minister in the administration
of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, deposed by US intervention, has been in jail
for eleven months without charges and without having been brought before
a court. Former Minister Jocelerme Pivert, singer So Ann and hundreds
of supporters of Aristide's Lavalas Party find themselves in similar
The Haitian state relies on a murderous police force, which, on a daily
basis, invades shantytowns firing at Lavalas supporters. This dictatorship
has no national army, at least not for the time being. The UN forces,
under Brazilian command, play the role of substitute army, offering
military support for repressive police operations and judicial persecution.
In March, James Cavallaro, of Harvard Law School, presented Brazilian
authorities with a report on human rights abuses in Haiti. "This
is an irresponsible and frivolous accusation with the intent of creating
a diversion, " Marco Aurélio Garcia, international affairs
assistant to [President] Lula, responded.
Seitenfus and Garcia, like their superiors in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and the [Presidency] are active accomplices in these human rights
violations. When the former visited Haiti, Neptune had been in prison
for months. When the latter discarded Cavallaro's report, Neptune was
engaged in his first hunger strike, demanding to be tried or freed.
The second hunger strike, begun in mid-April, caught the attention of
Thierry Fagart, responsible for human rights within the UN mission,
who denounced the illegal detentions of the Haitian regime. Apparently,
"irresponsible" Fagart joined "frivolous" Cavallaro
"with the intent of creating a diversion."
With the cover of the deathly silence of the media and supported by
the overwhelming disinterest of members of Congress, concerned only
with transaction of nominations, the Brazilian government has played
the role of hired gunman of the United States. But the mission is slowly
sinking, together with the Haitian dictatorship, which appears incapable
of preparing even a tolerable electoral farce. A recent meeting of the
vice-Ministers of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile discussed the
possibility of terminating the military operation in the Caribbean.
The pretext, for public consumption, would be the shortage of resources
afforded by the UN for social and development projects in Haiti. Humanitarian,
Demétrio Magnoli escreve às
quintas-feiras nesta coluna.
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