Friday, July 22, 2005

Murder of Journalist Jacques Roche in Port-Au-Prince

BBC is reporting that Haitian journalist Jocques Roche was kidnapped, tortured and shot to deat in Port-Au-Prince. They don't give much background on who this reporter is, who he works for, or what he wrote about. All they say is that the body was found in a "slum district" of the capital. This is perhaps meant to suggest that the crime was due to armed gangs or "armed gangs loyal to former President Aristide" which they blame for Haitian "instability" in the dated, poorly researched analysis of the Haitian crisis called "Aristide's Shadow".

The BBC's reporting on Latin America is usually pretty lacking, but it is downright terrible with regards to Haiti. The fact that "Aristide's Shadow" piece is the best analysis of the situation that they can do for so many months straight suggests that the organization as a whole doesn't really care.

But back to the point. Does anybody know who this journalist is? I just saw "The Agronomist" about a great Haitian journalist, Jean L. Dominique, who spent his life fighting for justice against tyranny in Haiti. He was shot and killed, and most people credit his murder to a corrupt police chief that switched sides from being with the dictatorship to working for the Lavalas government.

In any case, it seems a fearful situation when journalists are just gunned down, especially if that leads to increased violent repression and worsening news information. By the language of the BBC article, I suspect that the repression, state-violence and non-state violence are going to continue for some time now.

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