Haiti Democracy Project

www.haitipolicy.org

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Leaders of the Federation

 

Ouest: AdyJeanGardy, President, Michelène Hilaire, Secrétaire Général de l=Association des Journalites de Petit Goave, Cherizard Robens, Coordonateur de Port-au-Prince Presse Club, Evans Duval Cadet, Secrétaire Général de l=Association des Journalistes de Sante, Maryse Balthazard Amicale des Femmes Journalistes.

Nord=Est: David Michel, Secrétaire General de l=Association des Journalistes du Nord=Est, Secretaire General de la Federation et Jocelyn St.Hilaire Coordinateur du Centre de Presse de Trou du Nord.

Nord=Ouest: Emmerlin Saintil Secrétaire Général de l=Assoiation des Médias du Nord=Ouest, Raymond Aristide Secretaire General Ass. Des Journalistes du Nord=Ouest.

Nord: Jean Etienne Secrétaire Général de l=Ordre de Journalistes du Nord, Franck Joue de la Société des Journalistes du Nord, William Benard, Yves Martin Jasmin Société Capoise de Presse.

Artibonite: Justin Altidor Secrétaire Général Association des Journalistes du Haut Artibonte, Rene JosueArdophe Marc Antoine, Association des Medias de l=Artibonite, et Agustin Frantz Secrétaire Général Association des Journalistes du Bas Artibonite.

Centre: Procede Wilcede, Secrétaire Général du Haut Plateau Central Dellile Exil; Patrick Pierre Louis Secrétaire Général de l=Association des Journalistes du Bas Plateau Central, Vadre Val, Moleon Richard, Assistant

Sud=Est: Jacques Phillipe Jovin, Secretaire General de l=Association des Journalistes du Sud=Est Renand Toussaint Secretaire General de l=Association des Journalistes de Anse à Pitre, Francky Depestre Jean Lesly Ambroise, Associatoin des Medias du Sud Est

Sud: Ernst Eliscar, Secretaire General de l=Association de Solidarite des Journalistes du Sud et Roody Balan, Secretaire General de l=Association des Medias du Sud

Grand=Anse: Lucner Laguerre Secretaire General de l=Association des Comite de Presse de la Grand=Anse.

 

 

 

 

 

INVESTIGATION

INTO THE

 

 

ASSASSINATION OF

THE REPORTER

 

BRIGNOL

LINDOR

 

 

 

(Preliminary Investigation

of the Haitian Press Federation)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INVESTIGATION INTO THE ASSASSINATION OF THE REPORTER BRIGNOL LINDOR

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATIVE REPORT

OF THE HAITIAN PRESS FEDERATION

 

A Preliminary Investigative Commission was set up by the Haitian Press Federation (FPH) including: l=Union des Journalistes du Plateau Central (Union of Journalists of the Central Plateau); L=Association des Journalistes et Directeus  de Medias de l=Artibonite (The Association of Journalists and Media Directors of Artibonite); l@Association de Solidarite des Journalistes du Sud (The Association of Journalists of Solidarity of the South) which is responsible for Human Rights within the FPH; Port-au-Prince Presse Club (Port-a-Prince Press Club); l=Ordre des Journalistes du Nord (The Order of Journalists of the North); and l=Association des Journalistes de Fort Libérté (The Association of Journalists of Fort Libérté).

 

Headed by the Federation=s President, Mr. Adyjeangardy, the Commision conducted an investigation in Petit Goave in the days that followed the odious assassination of Brignol Lindor, Adjunct Secretary of the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave (AJPEG), in order to gather all available elements and data to reach an objective conclusion on his assassination. AJPEG is responsible for Judicial Affairs within the Haitian Press Federation. 

 

Our investigation was based on several elements:


The career of the assassinated journalist

Witnesses= accounts

Crime scene and related evidence

Status of the preliminary investigation

The political environment

Statements  of the judicial authorities

Statements of the City Council and the local organization ADomi lan Bwa@ (Sleeping in the woods)

Statements of the Police Department

Statements of the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave.

 

 

 

 BIODATA ON ASSASSINATED JOURNALIST BRIGNOL LINDOR

 

Born on November 4th, 1970 at Petit Goave, Brignol Lindor completed his elementary

education at l=Ecole Nationale des Palmes (10th section of Petit Goave). He obtained his high school diploma from Lycee Faustin Soulouque, in his town of birth. He was 20 years old when he became involved in the first democratic elections in Haiti since 1929, organized in 1990 by the Honorable Ertha Pascal Trouillot. He shared the enthusiasm of hundreds of Petit Goave=s natives who in 1991 were "shocked@ by the coup against President Aristide. He devoted 3 years of his life (1991-1994) to defend arduously the Anecessity to return to constitutional order and the return of President Aristide@. He constantly endangered his own life for the aforementioned case. In the meantime, he registered in journalism school where he graduated at the top of his class after two years. He then studied judicial sciences at the Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Economiques in Port-au-Prince where he obtained his law degree. At 25 years old, he returned to Petit-Goave where he showed a great passion for philosophy, which he ended up teaching in various educational centers in his native town. At the same time,, he taught at l=Ecole de Droit de Miragoane.  He also offered his services to Radio Signal FM as a Press Correspondent.

 

When his young friend Alezi Ardouin decided to create Radio Echo 2000 three years ago, at his residence, the house of his mother, Mrs. Nortilia Ardouin, Lindol he was asked  to serve as news Director. Along with other journalists from the region, he created the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave (AJPEG) of which he became the Adjunct General Secretary. In 1999, along with AJPEG=s General Secretary Mrs. Michelene Hilaire, he requested and obtained affiliation with  to the Haitian Press Federation, Afor a larger national campaign for a free Haitian press and freedom of expression@ he wrote. He participated shortly thereafter in special journalism training in the U.S., at the recommendation of the Haitian Press Federation. He then returned to Haiti, determined as ever to stay in Petit Goave where he also worked as a Custom Inspector amongst other things. The assassination of Jean Leopold Dominique in April 2000 troubled him. He never stopped demanding investigation and prosecution of the killers.

 

 

On his show ADialogue@, he invited all partisans of President Aristide as well as members of the democratic opposition to speak freely. On November 28th, 2001, he aired an interview with several members of the opposition who called for the resignation of the president. On the next day, Adjunct Mayor Dumay Bony was rather upset and organized a press conference and rally for the application of the Zero-Tolerance formula (open and public lynching) on Brignol Lindor, whose name he called from a list.  Five days later, on December 3, 2001 at Croix Hilaire, 5 kilometers from Petit Goave. Lindor was stabbed in the back with a pickax and then cut into pieces with machetes by members of the group Domi Lan Bwa., a violent group which claims to be affiliated to the Aristide Government

 

 

 WITNESSES= ACCOUNTS

 

The Commission of the Haitian Press Federation listened to a multitude of witnesses including Journalist Emmanuel Espoir Cledamor, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave, who accompanied Lindor on December 3rd, and many residents of the area.   

 

According to Cledanor, in the morning of December 3, 2001, Lindor went to his Customs job at about 8:00 a.m. to inform his colleagues that he would go to Miragoane. In light of the declaration made by the Mayor five (5) days earlier, many persons from his job advised Lindor to be careful, but his repeated response was Athey could kill Brignol Lindor, but they could never bury the right of free speech and freedom of the press@. Cledanor explained that Lindor came to his house later that morning so that Cledanor could drive with him to Miragoane where the he had to teach at the Law School of Miragoane. Cledanor borrowed his father=s car and drove off with Lindor, en route to Miragoane at about 10:30 a.m. 

 

Lindor and Cledanor left Petit Goave as 700 students from Lycee Faustin Soulouque took the streets to protest, shouting slogans hostile to the government. According to the testimony of Montigène Sincère, Correspondent of Voice of America and Radio Haiti Focus of Petit Goave, leaders of the Convergence Party took to the streets attacking along their path those who showed hostility towards them. A Fanmi Lavalas partisan (President Aristide=s Party), Joseph Duverger, was taken aside and badly cut by a machete at 11:15 a.m., according to witnesses= account.  Mr Cemeres Beaulière, the Second Adjunct Mayor, arrested a member of Convergence Party. The police dispersed the gathering rather quickly with clubs. 

 

Brignol Lindor was still on his way to Miragoane with his friend Emmanuel Cledanor of Radio Plus of Port-a-Prince and recent Correspondent of Radio Maxima of Cap Haitian. Suddenly around Croix St. Jean, 3 2 Kilometers from Petit Goave, someone stopped their car at a barricade, carefully studying the car=s occupants without a word, as if he was making sure of the presence of someone he was looking for. He then shook his head and ordered them to continue on.  The 2 journalists then pursued their route exchanging small talk. Two kilometers farther, they noticed a gathering around a motorcycle, right in the middle of the street, a few steps from l=Ecole Nationale de l=Accul, they slowed down as they passed through.

 

The motorcyclist, Mr. Love Augustin testified to the Federation=s Commission to have in fact seen Lindor and Cledanor=s vehicle pass by while he was negotiating with the crowd, rather full of very excited individuals asking him whether he was one of President Aristide=s enemies, a member of the Convergence. Mr. Love, who was never affiliated to the Convergence Party had to swear as crowd members pointed a machete to his neck that he knew nothing about politics when suddenly a voice from the crowd cried:  Alook over in that car, it is Brignol Lindor!  We have received official orders to kill him before he reaches Miragoane, it=s him! It is indeed him that we are are looking for!@ Then, the crowd abandoned Mr. Augustin, and rushed after the car, using whistles that mobilize dozens of other armed individuals; They came from the woods, out of the trees, and the narrow roads, chanting like furious Azombis= with daggers, knives, machetes and pickax in hand shouting frightening sounds.  They circled the carY

 

According to Mr. Emmanuel Espoir, Cledanor who was driving came out of the car and attempts to explain.  He mentioned that he and his friend are journalists.  Brignol Lindor calmly remained in the car.  Suddenly, someone screamed Adon=t touch carpenter Lescot=s son, he is not at fault, it is Brignol that we want!@

 

While the other individuals from the crowd started to break the car windows and hit Brignol Lindor with a multitude of rocks, Emmanuel Espoir Cledanor whose family is from l=Acul and whose brother is a judge at Petit Goave is taken by the hands by about two (2) individuals who showed him a sugar cane field nearby.  Brignol went down and lay low on the seat.  They opened the car door shouting such profanities as:  AKK, you will learn to respect us@!  Brignol does not see how he will get out of this.  He managed to run away from the crowd as did his friend who was led through the sugar cane plantation.  Lindor sought refuge in the first house he came to as he ran from the violent crowd to ask for help.  That was the home of Petel Fils Zephyr, a member of the City Commission (Assemblée de Section Communale (ASEC).  He was taken from the inside of that house and thrown out to be literally devoured by the crowd. 

 

Emmanuel Espoir Cledanor had time to see Maxi Zéphyr, Petiel Fils Zephyr= brother, throwing the first rock.  Lindor is hit on the chest, limps, and tries to show his media identification.  His tie is pulled dragging his whole body forward as another individual totally hysterical, hit him with a pickax on the back, piercing through to his chest.  Brignol falls face down.  Then, his frail body is sliced with machetes, knives, as if he were a dangerous animal.  The crowd holds him by the tie and drags his body through the streets then turns the bloody and massacred cadaver face up.  It is 11:20 in the morning.  Brignol=s blood is flooding the streets.  This is not an act of revenge but a Aguet apens@.

 

   

The Amilitia@ full of rage cries and chants victoriously. They believe that they just killed an Aenemy of the family@.  One of them suggests burning Lindor=s body, the majority protests saying that they must leave the body as an example and symbol.  They prefer to throw him in a flack of dirty and polluted water the dislocated body parts that now make up the journalist Brignol Lindor.  Then they disappeared in thin air, like a gang of phantoms who appear in the middle of the day, at noontime, confusing the day with the nightY

 

 

CRIME SCENE AND EVIDENCE

 

Throughout the day, the police ignored the crime.  The reporter Emmanuel Espoir Cledanor escaped through the sugar cane fields and jumped in a minibus, then called the police on the telephone  as he arrived in Petit Goave around noon.  After attentively listening to Lindor, the Supervisor responded: >Excuse me sir, I have to hang up!@ Cledanor calls back, pointing out that the situation was alarming.  The supervisor calmly responds once more: AExcuse me sir, I will terminate this call@.  Cledanor again dialed the number, which this time remained busy for over one hour.  The police register commonly called Amain courante@ by the officers shows no record of Cledanor=s emergency calls for help.

 

Cledanor continued to call until finally the supervisor picked up the telephone once more saying: A The police chief is absent and I can do nothing for you!@  Cledanor calls his brother, Judge Alex Cledanor. The police then went to the crime scene around 5 o=clock p.m., according to Emmanel Cledanor.  His car was then set on fire at sunset around 6:00 p.m.  In the meantime, all evidence such as the bloody tie of the journalist are displaced and have disappeared from the crime scene. The bloody tie was removed and sent to Radio Echo 2000 as Aproof@ and a Apresent@. 

 

Brignol Lindor=s parents testified to the Haitian Press Federation=s Commission that they also went to the Police Department of Petit Goave.  They were asked to go home and were given no assistance.  They then went to the judge to ask him to accompany them to the crime scene with a Justice of the Peace to fill the necessary formalities and take eye witnesses=s testimonies on the crime.  The Justice of Peace refused to go as requested by Lindor= parents, saying that he has ordered his staff to take care of it..  Lindor=s parents decided immediately to go alone to the crime scene to take Lindor=s dislocated body parts and return with the body to Petit Goave and arrange his funeral.  Lindor=s cousin, a young priest alerted the Episcopalian Conference. In the vehicle that brought the body, the mourning and painful cries of Lindor=s parents cut the air.  They cross on the road a police car that turned around and followed them until they reached Villa Notre Dame, the funeral home where Substitute Judge Dumercier Bellande declared Lindor dead without going to the crime scene. 

 

The police department did not register the name of any suspect that day.  The evidence was completely neglected and not handled at all.  The crime scene was not secured.  The primary crime scene, the escape itineraries, the spontaneous declarations of possible suspects, none was investigated, no elementary procedure on the homicide had been recorded by the Police.  Moreover, they did not search for or question anyone who was present at the crime sceneY

 

The police did not either seek to determine and record the area of the crime.  In addition, no photographs were taken. No canvassing was done. No fingerprints, no photographs of the sliced body, or other pertinent information was registered by the police. 

 

The Haitian Press Federation=s Commission noted therefore that no pertinent information was gathered from the crime scene. Neither was anything done to preserve, describe, document and thus facilitate any judicial investigation. 

 

STATUS OF THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

 

The Haitian Press Federation=s Commission is strongly interested in the way the judicial authorities addressed the case.  Judge Alex Cledanor, at the onset, recused himself citing conflict of interest.  He said he was too directly involved,  given that his brother Emmanuel Espoir Cledanor was driving the victim the day of the assassination and would be called to testify. 

 

Judge Cledanor explained that it is up to the State Attorney (Commissaire du Gouvernement) to open the case with an investigation request so that the police act immediately and so that a subpoena can be issued particularly to the political organizations accused at the onset. 

 

ACommissaire du Gouvergement@ Frantz Philemon, based in Leogane, assisted by Substitute Judge Dumerzier Bellande, who is based in Petit Goave now feels threatened.  He bases his fear on the simple fact that he had begun pre-trial procedures on the case and drafted a list of individuals to appear to testify on the matter.  That list would include especially names of members of the Convergence Party according to the opposition.

 

Judge Alex Cledanor of Petit Goave informed the Haitian Press Federation=s Commission that there are no Agrounds@ and that he does not plan to trial this case either:  AAnother Judge needs to be assigned to this case@ he says.  He prefers to turn to the Interim Dean of the civil Court Mr. Emmanuel Tataille who has re-opened the Tribunal last October, with no official nomination to replace retired Judge Dean Emmanuel St. Amour who=s aptitude are deemed limited as well.  Judge Cledanor also turns to the 3rd Circuit Judge of Petit Goave, Mr. Duclerc Fritzner and principally towards the Federal State Attorney (Procureur de la Republique) who has already being Athreatened@ since the very beginning of the preliminary investigation. 

 

If he feels Atoo threatened@, he can, according to explanations from the Bar, at the receipt of the first report from the investigation (on the basis of the findings and declarations of the Substitute) either Afile them and do no follow up@ and await formal instructions from the Executive branch.  In addition, the suspects left no evidence according to the first very Averbal@ incident reports of the Petit Goave Police Department.

 

Judge Alex Cledanor is formal:  AWe can trial a case without documentation, without preliminary investigation from the Police, and without the request from the State Attorney.  And, even if we go through with this, there needs to be a desire from the public to apply the law:  take for instance the murder case of the Athis couple who were cut in pieces with a machete at Petit Goave, as a Judge, I gave a list along with arrest warrants on the suspects.  Some people came to destroy the Civil Court of Petit Goave in the middle of the day, the police was not willing to help, no one was arrested and the assailants are still on the loose@.  What do we do then? Asked the Federation=s Commission.  Judge Cledanor got up suddenly and responded:  AI must tell you sincerely that even if another colleague accepts to bring the Lindor case to trial, I do not guarantee any serious result if the press does not play a role and maintain the pressure to see that the laws are properly applied.

 

 

THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT AT PETIT GOAVE

 

Brignol Lindor is dead in a very politicized environment, some 70 kilometers west of Port-au-prince, on the northern coast of the southern island the Indians called Aguava (La Meduse).  This Apolitical@ city which just saw the spectacular execution of a young journalist crystallizes Haitian political passions.  There are about 20 political organizations in Petit Goave.  The 10 most influential include: 

 

PARTY

POSITION

Fanmi Lavalas

President Aristide Party

MPSN -  Mouvement Pour la Sauvegarde Nationale

Anti-Lavalas

MOREP B Mouvement Revolutionnaire

Pro-Lavalas

OPL -  Oganizasyon Pep en Lut

Anti-Lavalas

MOLTIG -  Mouvement Lavalas de Petit Goave

Pro-Lavalas

Rassemblement Capois La Mort

Anti-Lavalas

MTF B Multiplicateur Fanmi Lavalas

Pro-Lavalas

MJR B Mouvement des Jeunes Revolutionnaires

Anti-Lavalas

UMIPEG B Unon des Militants Lavalas de Petit Goave

Pro-Lavalas

GDB -  Groupe Domi lan Bwa - 

Vigilantes Sleeping in the Woods

Pro-Lavalas

 

Radical and ultra nationalist political leaders lead some of these organizations. These leaders have become true experts in organized strategies to fight politically in rural areas. 

 

In this explosive environment also lives Petit Goave=s Bishop, the Reverend Edwidge Carre who is considered as President Aristide=s eyes and ears in the region.  Reverend Carred has for 20 years been preaching on the basis of the theology of liberation.  He has played a key role in the downfall of Duvalier in 1986 before he was sent to Kenskoff under the direction of Father Sicot.  He was sent back to Petit Goave under the new presidence of Mr. Aristide.  He is supported by numerous influential popular organizations (OP) at Petit Goave including Henri Claude Leconte.  The Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave and Lindor=s family had expressed their desire to hear a statement from Reverend Carre who kept silent on Lindor=s assassination. 

 

In that same environment there is Mr. Dufort Milord, a legislator from Petit Goave who refused to make a public statement on the murder of the journalist.  He has been considered for quite some time as the Spokesperson of Fanmi Lavalas in Petit Goave. 

 

Mayor Emmanuel Antoine has not engaged himself publicly on the case either, remaining to date away and managing with the support of the other two (2) City Council members the affairs of Fanmi Lavalas in the city.  They have also called for, at a press conference the application of public lynching (zero tolerance principle) against members of the Convergence Party. 

 

The professional environment at the Customs bureau where Lindor also worked remains equally silent and unwilling to give any testimony on this case to date as well.  Everyone is reluctant to disclose information on the last persons with whom Lindor met, those who left at the same time as he the Customs office on motorcycles that morning and who have taken apparently the same route as Lindor as he and his friend headed to Miragoane.

 

At the Law School of Miragoane, those who knew Lindor paint him as Aone of the most intelligent products of his generation@Y as a Apromotor of non-violence and a follower  of Gandhi=s philosophy@. 

 

 

THE ATTITUDE OF THE JUDICIAL AUTHORITIES

 

The Commission found out that the judicial authorities exhibited a APonce Pilate@ attitude in the days that followed the murder of Journalist Lindor.  At Petit Goave where there exist several courts:  civil, penal, administrative, etc.) no official seems to know where to begin, neither do they seem to know how to proceed so that the assailants be found and punished, given the tense environment where people are subject to constant threats.  No Justice of the Peace has done a report of the murder.  The Substitute Judge was late getting to the scene and had to go to the funeral home that was made accessible to television, photographers, and the general public. 

 

The assassination of the journalist remains hypothetical for a Afrightened@ judicial body with limited ability.  The trial judges whose mission is to hear crime and garnish the assets of the criminals after being found guilty, remind us that they cannot do miracles in a town dominated by politics and which overpowers the judicial system.  Nothing can be accomplished if the State Attorney does not begin the process.

 

 

 

 

The judicial authorities are passing the ball amongst themselves to date and try they best to avoid it hitting anyone=s net or touching any camp in order to protect the Department of Justice of Petit Goave.  The procedures exist.  Unfortunately, the justice system at Petit Goave remains in an ad hoc state.  It just lost a journalist but also a young lawyer with a bright future. 

 

All in all, in the context of threats against the Magistrate, no commission has ordered adequate prosecution that would motivate them and outline the various procedural operations. Instructions are lacking.

 

The Federation=s Commission has reminded the judicial authorities of Petit Goave with whom we have met that all persons suffering loss from a crime (for example in this case, Lindor=s family) may make bring civil suit and, the District Attorney=s Office owes them protection.  Or the District Attorney is himself seeking protection from the AInstruction@  Judge who categorically refuses to hear the case for the aforementioned reasons. 

 

The State Attorney called to manage the situation mentions Awarrants@ to appear.  The District Attorney=s Office must also send a request for supplemental information to the Police Department for the immediate activation of the investigation prior to proceeding with searches in the crime area and of the home of any suspect who may have participated in the act or withholding evidence.  This investigation could also be handled by the Procurer to gather all elements prior to disclosing information in time to proceed with complete and broader investigations.  If the case is filed with no follow up, the family plans on filing a complaint directly to the International Court with all possible consequences.  Breaking into tears, Lindor=s father, Mr. Belozier Lindor who belted his waste with his son=s shirt explained to the Federation=s Commission: ABrignol meant everything to us, his mother passed away two years ago, she was advised, she knows the names of all the assassins and I have filed a complaint to God and to the invisible Tirbunal.  If justice is not granted on this earth, God will answer.@

 

 

THE ATTITUDE OF CITY OFFICIALS

 

The attitude of the municipal authorities is also part of the problem.  The three-member Commission is comprised of representatives of the Fanmi Lavalas Party in Petit Goave.  The Mayor, Emmanuel Antoine and Adjunct Mayors Cemeres Beauliere and Dumay Bony are all tied to the ASEC and to the Inter-Departmental Councils.  Although they represent a decentralized constituency, they are Aa priori@ members of a political party and they adhere and submit to the party=s politics and philosophies.  Justice as they would like to see it is primarily that of the party.  They do not tolerate any contest of their party at Petit Goave.  They complement the Police Department and help in the arrest of any anti-lavalas demonstrator, as for example on December 3rd, 2001, Ato ensure order and security in the city.@

 

Mr.Bony Dumay who has himself called for the application of zero tolerance (public lynching of certain individuals whom they presume are members of the democratic opposition).  Dumay has on his own legitimacy denied any responsibility for the crime and wishes that the Legislators elected in the May 21, 2000 election shows solidarity to the City, under the pretext that Brignol Lindor had a bad Aattitude@ and divulged tracts against the government. 

 

Having been rejected by the Legislature, whose members have expressed rather openly their wish to see the Mayor arrested to Afacilitate the investigation on the cruel infliction on the Journalist@, Mr. Bony returns to Petit Goave, satisfied by the Policie Department=s refusal to address him and his action,  on the basis that they did not receive any order from the General Director of the Police Nationale d=Haiti.

 

The Council of Petit Goave reacted immediately, protesting against this arrest warrant on the Mayor at Port-au-Prince.  Better yet, they claim procedural guarantees at Petit Goave.  The Police Officers delegated to serve the warrant to Mr. Bony had to return, following the Mayor=s reminder that he was still the Mayor and that he is entitled to and should enjoy immunity which he threatened they cannot violate without severe consequences.  The police officers were told that the mayor couldn=t be the objet of any sanctioning measure without being invited to provide written explanation on the matter he is accused of. 

 

The attitude of the City Council is situated in the context of the multitude of officials following the same governing mechanisms.  Especially when most of the official positions throughout the City were offered by the governing party (Fanmi Lavalas) through its direct representatives at Petit Goave. 

 

The Federation=s Investigation Commission has therefore noted that incorrect procedures were applied to keep Mayor Bony from appearing in Court, few days prior to the funerals of the journalist.  Claiming the  Aout of cause@ principle, the Mayor does not plan to respond to any request to appear since he claims that he is Asimply being defamed without cause@.  During his visit to the Legislature, the Mayor was, according to eyewitnesses, by about a dozen members of the organization ADomi lan Bwa@ accused of murdering Lindor. 

 

 

THE ATTITUDE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

The Petit Goave Police reacted in a disorderly manner; making declarations, which after the murder of the journalist, had unfortunately not helped restore trust.  ALa main courante@ which must record grave incidents reported to avoid that proof be vanished, did not notify the emergency system until hours after the incident. 

 

The police unit did not deem necessary to go to the crime scene with a Justice of the Peace the same day either.  In addition, it slowed its actions since the body was already brought to the funeral home.  In addition, two days after the assassination, the Police announced that it was difficult to find any suspect or any witness, the crime scenes having been Adeserted@. 

 

The Federation=s Commission noted the declaration of the Chief of Police at Petit Goave who prior to engaging in the investigation made some affirmations which he later denied, notably on the gravity of the situation.  At first, the Petit Goave Chief of Police explains that the journalist was simply injured, according apparently to police reports based on rumors.  Then, the amalgam Amember of the Convergence@ was also twisted in the plate irrespective of the necessary abstentions necessary in confused situations and cases. The Police Chief later came back on these issues, looking to benefit from his own mistakes, thus embarrassing the Police Department. 

 

The Federation=s Investigation Commission noticed a Apanic@ atmosphere in the days that followed the assassination.  The Petit Goave Police Department called for back up and spread the city with tear gas.  The police officers went as far as throwing grenades in the deceased=s house where the grieving family was crying for his death.  Lindor=s house was confused for a Agathering@.  The excessive spread of tear gas caused the death of two (2) newborns and the elder Mrs. Lucarne Dorleans who came from New York following the September 11th attack to retire in peace in her hometown. 

 

The Federation=s Investigation Commission estimates that the tear gas used by the police to Acalm@ the population at Petit Goave, following the assassination of Brignol Lindor is strongly toxic.  The level of carbon monoxide in these gases is too high.  The journalists who have inhaled this oxy carbonated gas experienced collective troubles during several hours notably: breathing difficulties, severe headaches, nausea, and fainting. 

 

Intoxication by inhalation of these non recommended tear gases can cause death and can leave severe and disturbing neurological consequences.  The attitude of the police following the murder of Brignol has not ameliorated existing tense relations between the population and the Police Department of Petit Goave which is not yet assimilated to a Community Police. 

 

 

THE ATTITUDE OF THE >ASSEMBLEE DE SECTION COMMUNALE

 

The members of the Assemblee de Section Communale (ASEC) implicated in the affair attempt to bail their representative from Croix Hilaire, Mr. Petiel Fils Zephyr who claimed to have been absent from the crime scene the day of Brignol=s assassination.  His brother Maxi Zephyr remains in hiding.

 

The Federation=s Commission heard this name on several occasions as one of the five (5) principal assailants who hit the journalist, supported by a crowd of about 50 delirious individuals, presumed members of the political organization ADomi lan bwa@ which claims appurtenance to Fanmi Lavalas.  The ASEC members who work collaboratively, generally vote strictly on local affairs.  The mobilization to kill Lindor appears to be apparently pre-meditated in this region of l=Acul where the leaders have a preponderant influence. 

 

In their defense, the supporters of Mr. Zephyr claim that the journalist had with him in the car, armed men who fired on them.  One of them even gave the precision that the gun in question was a 12 caliber.  This appears improbable.  Neither the empty bullets, nor anyone injured by such a hunting gun have been loated.  This accusation which paints journalist Lindor as a guerillero does not hold strong.  The Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave (AJPEG) find this story to be too sad. 

 

THE ATTITUDE OF THE ASSOCIATION DES JOURNALISTES DE PETIT GOAVE

 

The Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave (AJPEG) receives this shock with stoicism.  The members cry onstantly as they continue to practice their professions as Press Correspondents, informing the world of the situation behind the hills of Tapion.  With muh pain in their voices, leaving in relative poverty, and with limited eonomic resources, these journalists whose sole fortune is their dignity are being threatened and murdered. 

 

Responsible for judicial affairs within the Haitian Press Federation, AJPEG immediately requested from all the other press associations within the Haitian Press Federation disseminated throughout the country to reate in the immediate a Preliminary Investigation Commission.  That Commission would have representatives from the nine (9) geographical departments, would investigate the fats surrounding the murder of their colleague Brignol Lindor.

 

AJPEG has also requested that all radio and television stations observe a call from the Federation to halt regular programming until Brignol=s funerals and to not air especially any statements from the authorities who have called for the lynching of the News Director of Radio Echo 2000 of Petit Goave, Brignol Lindor. 

 

The Association of Journalists of Petit Goave has reqested and obtained the total spport of the Church which has condemned the crime.  The position of Father Alexandre and Augustin Miguel has been remarkable in this case.  The Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave questions the silence of Father Carre and has openly requested that Father Carre gives a clear statement on Lindor=s assassination and provide his version to the church for the investigation. 

 

The funeral ceremony (mass) was broadasted in Jacmel.  The solidarity between the two associations, and the members of the Haitian Press Federation was perfect.  In solidarity, the town of Jacmel dedicated held on Sunday, December 9th, a mass in the name of the journalist and dedicated ongoing radio programs on the life and accomplishments of Brignol. 

 

The Ordre des Journalistes du Nord (The Order of Journalists of the North) which gathers five (5) different press associations from the north organized at the request of the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave (AJPEG), following the Federation=s instructions, organized a funeral mass in Cap Haitian on Monday, December 10th, 2001. Following the mass, the members of the Order of Journalists of the North held a sit-in on the Place d=Armes du Cap-Haotien, pledging to continue the fight for the freedom of the press. 

 

The Union des Journalistes de Hinh and the Association des Journalistes de Mirebalais organized on behalf of the Federation several similar demonstrations in solidarity to AJPEG which requested that Plateau Central be in the heart of the investigation. 

 

The Association ode Solidarity des Journalistes du Sud (Solidarity Association of Journalists of the South) planed to bring the case of Lindor=s assassination to the  attention of  international organizations for human rights at the request of the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave so that international investigators seek the fats surrounding Lindor=s murder and force the authorities to act accordingly to keep such acts from recurring in the country. 

 

The Association des Journalistes du Nord Est and the Association de Presse de Trou du Nord planned to organize on behalf of the Federation, on December 12th and 13th, 2001 two general grieving and reflections days on Brignol Lindor at Fort Liberte.  AJPEG specifically asked the northeast section of the country to bring the issue to the attention of all north American organizations working for the protection of journalists where they have an important audience. 

 

The Comités de Presse de la Grand=Anse have declared 3 grieving days in the department, in memory of Brignol Lindor and all radio and television have aired only circumnstancial music at the request of the Haitian Press Federation.  

 

The Association de Medias du Nord=Ouest, the Association des Journalistes de Bas Artibonite and the Association des Journalistes des Gonaives along with Port-au-prince Presse Club have sent delegations at Petit Goave as a sign of solidarity to AJPEG and as a response to AJPEG=s request for the creation of a preliminary investigation commission on Lindor=s assassination.  All associations, members of the Federation have sent floral arrangements to Lindor=s family from notably:  Cap Haitien, Cayes, Fort-Liberte, Port-de-Paix, St. Marc, Gonaives, Jacmel, Jeremie, Port-a-Prince, Mirebalais, and Hinche.  AJPEG=s response to the solidarity demonstrated by other associations was drafted in a letter addressed to all the associations from the aforementioned areas.  In the letter, AJPEG mentioned:  AThe Adjunct General Secretary of the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave who has been assassinated awaits for justice so that freedom may never be burried@.  AJPEG expresses that such solidarity must continue to avoid a disguised investigation in the town of Petit Goave. 

 

 

HAITIAN PRESS FEDERATION=S RECOMMENDATIONS

 

The Preliminary Investigation Commission of the Haitian Press Federation is presently making the following recommendations:


               That journalist Lindor=s family which is left to fan for itself since Lindor=s assassination receive compensation with interests in the form of a pension which will afford assistance to Lindor=s surviving father and the relative children that Lindor had to his charge. 

 

               That an internal police investigation be conducted immediately with due consideration on the Petit Goave Police department, its resources, its capabilities, its operational ability, and its liabilities so that guilt or innocence of one or the other be determined.  This will give way to proper administration of the institution and will help rebuild the police department=s image and the public= trust in that institution. 

 

               That an investigation by the judicial police be opened immediately on the crime scene to reconstitute the event to identify the culprits and bring them to justice and punish them accordingly without delay. 

 

               That a warrant be issued by the State Attorney to begin the suit process and witnesses  prior to bringing the record for judgement. 

 

               That a criminal judge be chosen without delay to issue warrants and collect deposition from all those denounced by the public, in hope that the process does not exceed the statutory limitation prescribed by law. 

 

               That an executive order authorizing that the municipal council be brought to the court.

 

               That the organization ADomi lan Bwa@ be the object of serious investigation so that the five (5) assailants and the 50 killers be found, judged, and condemned, including any member of the municipal council who might be implicated in this assassination act. 

 

               That an independent investigation commission be created and that it includes two (2) human rights representatives, two press representatives, a member of the police department, a member of the public, an international observer from the United Nations specialized in human rights affairs. 

 

               That the independent investigation commission publish and divulge the results obtained every three (3) months and that his final report is returned to the authorities prior to the opening of the criminal suit. 

 

               That all members of the Haitian Press Federation and media throughout t he country express constant solidarity with the Association des Journalistes de Petit Goave,  one of the leading national press organizations within the Federation maintaining thus the commitment: SOLIDARITY FIRST, AND SOLIDARITY ALWAYS for a permanent combat in favor of freedom of the press and against crime in Haiti. 

 

Done at Petit Goave, December 11th, 2001

 

Haitian Press Federation

Endorsed by:

Ouest: AdyJeanGardy, President, Michelène Hilaire, Secrétaire Général de l=Association des Journalites de Petit Goave, Cherizard Robens, Coordonateur de Port-au-Prince Presse Club, Evans Duval Cadet, Secrétaire Général de l=Association des Journalistes de Sante, Maryse Balthazard Amicale des Femmes Journalistes.

Nord=Est: David Michel, Secrétaire General de l=Association des Journalistes du Nord=Est, Secretaire General de la Federation et Jocelyn St.Hilaire Coordinateur du Centre de Presse de Trou du Nord.

Nord=Ouest: Emmerlin Saintil Secrétaire Général de l=Assoiation des Médias du Nord=Ouest, Raymond Aristide Secretaire General Ass. Des Journalistes du Nord=Ouest.

Nord: Jean Etienne Secrétaire Général de l=Ordre de Journalistes du Nord, Franck Joue de la Société des Journalistes du Nord, William Benard, Yves Martin Jasmin Société Capoise de Presse.

Artibonite: Justin Altidor Secrétaire Général Association des Journalistes du Haut Artibonte, Rene JosueArdophe Marc Antoine, Association des Medias de l=Artibonite, et Agustin Frantz Secrétaire Général Association des Journalistes du Bas Artibonite.

Centre: Procede Wilcede, Secrétaire Général du Haut Plateau Central Dellile Exil; Patrick Pierre Louis Secrétaire Général de l=Association des Journalistes du Bas Plateau Central, Vadre Val, Moleon Richard, Assistant

Sud=Est: Jacques Phillipe Jovin, Secretaire General de l=Association des Journalistes du Sud=Est Renand Toussaint Secretaire General de l=Association des Journalistes de Anse à Pitre, Francky Depestre Jean Lesly Ambroise, Associatoin des Medias du Sud Est

Sud: Ernst Eliscar, Secretaire General de l=Association de Solidarite des Journalistes du Sud et Roody Balan, Secretaire General de l=Association des Medias du Sud

Grand=Anse: Lucner Laguerre Secretaire General de l=Association des Comite de Presse de la Grand=Anse.

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