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Crisis: Transitional justice to deal with massive abuses in Haiti, advocates jurist Jacques Letang

  • March 21, 2024
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P-to-P, March 20, 2024 [AlterPresse] — Jurist Jacques Letang, president of the Haitian Bar Federation (Fbh), advocates the approach of “transitional justice” in the face of the trauma caused by armed violence which left thousands dead and injured in Haiti in recent years, on the show TiChezBa broadcast on AlterRadio 106.1 Fm and various other Internet platforms, and followed by the online agency AlterPresse.

Transitional justice is “the full range of various processes and mechanisms implemented by a society to attempt to confront massive abuses committed in the past, with a view to establishing responsibilities, rendering justice and enabling reconciliation”, according to the United Nations (UN).

“The crisis that Haiti is experiencing recently is the result of justice, which was totally absent from its sovereign mission,” declares Jacques Letang.

Justice, which was unable to fulfill its mission effectively, gradually allowed armed bandits to gain ground and reign supreme, he points out.

The crisis resulted in the total collapse of the state, a process that began several years ago. Because there have never been elections in the country to renew political personnel, he analyzes.

The Federation of Bars of Haiti (Fbh) reports a parliamentary and presidential vacuum as well as a dysfunction of justice.

Haiti has been facing a serious political, security and humanitarian crisis since the assassination, on Wednesday July 7, 2021, of Jovenel Moïse.

Security forces are overwhelmed by the violence of armed gangs, who have taken control of entire swaths of the country, including the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Since Thursday February 29, 2024, armed gangs, who demanded the resignation of de facto prime minister, Ariel Henryattacked strategic sites like Port-au-Prince international airport.

Any new power must pose the problem of armed gangs in Haitiestimates the political party Grand Rally for the Evolution of Haiti (Greh).

The Greh political party calls for taking into account the problem of armed violence in any prospect of a solution to the crisis, which is shaking Haiti, prey to an escalation of gang attacks on the capital since February 29, 2024.

In the establishment of the next power, this question must be on the agenda of discussions, underlines the president of the political party Greh, former colonel Himmler Rébu, in a special interview broadcast on AlterRadio 106.1 Fm and various other platforms Internet.

The former holder (March 24, 1999 – March 2, 2001) of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (Mjsp), Me. Camille Leblanc, advocates disarming the armed gangs, who sow terror in Haiti, and judging them for their actionsin another special interview on AlterPresse and AlterRadio.

The leaders of armed gangs, who have serious cases, can voluntarily surrender to the State, which will disarm them, so that they can be judged, hopes Me. Camille Leblanc.

He also suggests identifying ways to disarm the thousands of young people who are part of these armed gangs, and integrating them into training processes.

The issue of armed gangs, which are setting Port-au-Prince ablaze, has become a very popular subject of debate and discussion these days.

After this show of force by armed gangs, former police officer Guy Philippe suggested that he would be ready to implement an amnesty program for gang leaders in Haiti, once elected president, in an interview given to the Reuters agency.

Guy Philippe declares that he advocates a so-called “peaceful” “revolution”.

It was on Thursday November 30, 2023 that the former police officer, Guy Philippe, 55 (born February 29, 1968), was deported to Haiti, aboard a flight with more than a dozen other people.

He served a 6-year prison sentence in the United States of America for money laundering linked to illicit drug traffickingafter his arrest in Pétionville on Thursday January 5, 2017.

The State no longer has control of the territory, its institutions, public power, nor the monopoly on violence, regrets the president of the Federation of Haitian Bars (Fbh).

The police, the main public force, faces a problem of staffing and good governance, giving the impression of detaching itself from its primary mission, which is to protect and serve, he notes.

“If justice functioned as a sovereign institution, with a strong, independent, impartial judicial power, sanctions would have been taken. The reign of impunity would not have had time to continue and we would not have to face this reign of violence,” says Letang.

The failure of justice comes from the fact that the Superior Council of the Judicial Power (Cspj) has not truly fulfilled its mission, which is to guarantee the independence of judges and protect the rights of citizens, explains he.

“The Cspj and the Ministry of Justice should co-administer justice to guarantee legal security for citizens. But, in recent years, there has been a total loss of confidence in justice, with citizens seeking to obtain justice by indirect means.”

“We have a judicial system that is instrumentalized, manipulated, sometimes by economic power, sometimes by political power. Which leads to a weakened society, on the verge of explosion and to a lot of inequalities,” insists jurist Jacques Letang. [mff emb rc apr 21/03/2024 12:25]