Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Following blindly

The Tyee reports on the upcoming election in Haiti, in an article which I'll criticize only in that the analogy between Haiti and Iraq underestimates the added injustice of a democratically-elected leader being toppled while the perpetrators of past massacres are set free:
Human rights have taken a step backwards since Aristide's departure.

"The scale of which human rights abuses are taking place - there's no comparison," said Anthony Fenton, a Vancouver-based activist and co-author of the recently published Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority.

"This was a very young democracy that was overthrown and there were problems, but the seeds for democracy were being planted," said Fenton who returned from a two-week visit to the country on October 4th. "Now those seeds have been torn out and the soil has been overturned. Haiti's gone back 50 years."

A May 3rd Supreme Court decision mirrors Fenton's words: the sentences of 15 members of the military and a paramilitary organization, who had participated in a massacre of pro-Aristide villagers, were rescinded...

Amnesty International said that the decision to overturn the sentences "constitutes a major setback in the fight against impunity in Haiti."

I've said before that notwithstanding any unfairness surrounding Aristide's ouster, Canada's role now should be to accept a peacekeeping role in exchange for reason to believe that the upcoming elections will be fair. Based on the article, though, it appears that not only is situation deteriorating generally, but Canada's involvement has included training some of the same police officers who have targeted potential Lavalas supporters, and defending the holding of prisoners without trial.

It's probably still not too late for Canada to demand a fair election in exchange for its involvement in Haiti. Unfortunately, there's been no action toward that to date...meaning that we're only a part of the problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment