A Note To Jacques Roche
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New York, July 21, 2005
Today, you also are confronted with savagery in that descent
into hell that has become our daily lot as a people, a descent
into hell that was nonetheless predictable and avoidable, a
descent into hell paved with so many stones of impunity.
Your fellow journalists will be standing at your side to say
no to the unacceptable just as they said no for Jean Dominique
and Brignol Lindor. The difference is that today the
unacceptable has become the norm undoubtedly as a result of so
many unpunished crimes.
Because you, Jacques, had believed in principles in a Haiti
today devoid of law and faith; because you also believed that
words could change life, they silenced you with a bullet to the
throat and your tongue savagely cut. Silence, they kill.
Because you had the temerity to dream that men and women of
good will could contain the onrushing violence, they
assassinated you as well.
Today you will be put to rest with belated pomp, you will
hear many official promises, and many crocodile tears will be
shed on your tortured body. You will hear many promises to
investigate. Do not believe too much in them. Your family will
demand -- as we did and as the family and colleagues of Brignol
Lindor did – the truth, but the investigation will continue
forever because too many influential people, under an elected
government as well as an interim government – mutatis mutandis –
have an interest in protecting impunity.
The “Jacques Roche case” – this is the way they will refer to
you – will collect arrest warrants that will not be served. They
will find witnesses dead – as they found you – in a street
corner and investigating judges will resign out of fear or a
sense of powerlessness. You “alleged” murderers will continue to
move about freely as with Ti Lou and Gimmy, who were accused of
killing Jean Dominique and who, today out of jail, lead their
own gangs in total impunity… An even if some day they are tried,
your murderers later will probably be exonerated under the
justice of the winners of the moment. Courage, Jacques, for at
that moment you will need much more courage than you had when
you were confronting your torturers.
They will praise you today the better to cover their
impotence or refusal to act. Political leaders will shower
praise on you and hasten to forget you once the Jacques Roche
case ceases to be useful to them. Do not be surprised if they
even spit on you should they find it useful to sit down with
your murderers. You understand very well the extent to which the
culture of forgetfulness, which is the comfortable mirror image
of impunity, is nurtured in our country. Courage, Jacques, for
you will need much courage to listen to “the words disguised by
the wretched to inflame the idiots.”
In the mean time Jacques, when yo see Jean, tell him about
the multifaceted violence, the gangrenous corruption, the loss
of references, the shoving aside of principles and values, tell
him about the bitter struggle for miserable power, and these
elections, planned elsewhere, to serve a purpose. Tell him about
the country “on the outside” drained of blood and abandoned to
its own devices. Tell him about the wind of Maribahoux… But do
not forget to tell him, Jacques, about the courage displayed
daily by thousands of us, when confronted by savagery,
stupidity, cowardice, the courage that you yourself displayed.
Tell him about the resistance and tenacious hope. Tell him that
your struggle has more than ever meaning and that no murderer
can assassinate the dreams of his loved ones and your loved
ones. I know that you will understand one another with few
Dreams like people put forth new shoots and flowers. And the
murderers who roam the city cannot put an end to it. And the
time will come for “your dream” to be born again.
Goodbye, my friend.
We will never forget.
Translated by Max Blanchet