2006 – Haiti

Happy New Year. Sorry about going AWOL. Let’s just get straight back to business.

Things are happening very fast in Haiti.

Happy New Year. Sorry about going AWOL. Let’s just get straight back to business.

Things are happening very fast in Haiti.

The head of the UN military Mission, MINUSTAH, a Brazilian General named Urano Teixera da Matta Bacellar, is dead. They are calling it a suicide – he was found in his room at the Hotel Montana in Port au Prince on Jan 7. If it was a suicide, he didn’t get into full dress uniform to do it or anything – the story I read said he was found in T-shirt and shorts. I have heard that he was a hard-nosed general who joined the Brazilian military at the time of the dictatorship. An unlikely candidate for suicide.

His replacement is a Chilean General, Eduardo Aldunate Herman. Aldunate was in the Chilean military during the Pinochet regime.

Over the weekend there was a ‘general strike’ in Haiti. It was called by Reginald Boulos, the head of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce, and by Andy Apaid, a factory owner and leader of the Group 184 that overthrew Aristide. The was directed against the United Nations, to pressure MINUSTAH to ‘crack down’ harder on the gangs in Cite Soleil. [Worth noting that Thomas Griffin heard from various sources that Apaid was the patron of one of the Cite Soleil gangs – the gang led by Thomas ‘Labanye’ Robinson. Labanye was later killed – by other gangsters, according to reports. So was Labanye’s rival, Emmanuel ‘Dred’ Wilme – Wilme killed by the Haitian police and the UN in operations in July 2005.]

The new MINUSTAH force commander might be the type that Boulos and Apaid are looking for.

Does this all have any connection to the fact that the Haitian elections have been delayed, again, this time from January 8 to February 7? Latortue, the post-coup Prime Minister, has said that he is going to step down no matter what happens on February 7. And right-wing groups have argued that what is needed is for this government to step down and be replaced with a ‘government of national unity’.

Another note. General Teixera killed himself. But he has only been the force commander for the UN in Haiti for a few months. Teixera replaced General Augusto Heleno. Heleno quit some time after the July 2005 operations in which civilians were killed. I’ve actually read – though I haven’t checked up on this – that Heleno said on record that he was quitting because he didn’t want to be judged at an international war crimes tribunal for what he was doing in Haiti. If that’s true, it’s not something a military person says lightly under any circumstances, much less publicly.

These are all signs that something filthy is in the works.

For more filth, please see the next blog entry.

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.