sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who's in charge in Haiti?

Pre-earthquake and post-earthquake, the answer is the same.

To understand Haitian culture, one must take a trip back into history (and I won't bore you with too many details). The Haitian people's heritage and history began when the French imported African peoples who they enslaved. Those slaves worked sugar plantations. In the 1700's and much of the 1800's the sugar was used to create an alcoholic beverage known then (and now) as rum. The slaves successfully revolted against the French and set up their own nation, which became Haiti. Most Haitians are recipients of their cultural bias toward: France, Voodoo, and brute violence of a sort not seen in the rest of the Americas. As a result, the society is base, corruption is rampant and life is cheap.

Fast forward a gang of thugs formed under the leadership of François (Papa Doc) Duvalier. The official name of this thug army was the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (MVSN) (Militia of National Security Volunteers), also called just the Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale or VSN. The common name for this 'paramilitary militia' was the Tonton Macoutes. The name Tonton Macoutes, literally translated "Uncle Gunnysack" is derived from the legend of an old man, who walked the dimly lighted Haitian streets at night and would kidnap children who stayed out too late. He stuffed them into a gunnysack and they were hauled away, never to be heard from again. Use your imagination in deciding how this paramilitary force operated in Haiti. However base your imagination, I doubt it will reach the depths of depravity found in the ranks of the Tonton Macoutes.


Today that same gang, the Tonton Macoutes run Haiti. Aid delivered to refugees will be filtered through the street gang/organized crime group that runs the island nation and will be SOLD to the poor, or stockpiled against a day of need by the Tonton Macoutes (whatever the name the select - it's all the same). The BBC reported that Haiti is the most corrupt country in the world. (CLICK HERE) . According to the article, Transparency International placed Haiti #1 for corruption, followed by Bangladesh, Burma, Iraq, etc. Take a moment to read the article and then decide for yourself who will be receiving your aid money/goods.

(HINT: It won't be the suffering people)