Haiti: Peasant Farmers Killed in Bloody Land Eviction Operation

Written by

Friday, 27 July 2012 13:34

MARIGOT, Haiti (defend.ht) - Residents of the seaside commune of Marigot, 10 miles east of Jacmel, have filed complaints to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to investigate the deaths of a suspected dozen Haitians during a land eviction operation on Monday July 23rd.

A delegation from UN Civil Affairs, the UN Police and the Office of Communications for the peacekeeping mission visited Seguin in Marigot (photos).

A post by the Reference Institute of Journalism and Communication said that the UN delegation met for several hours in discussions with local police, the deputy commissioner, community leaders and families and neighbors of the victims.

Land Eviction in Marigot

According to the RIJC, on Monday July 23rd, noon, the municipal government of Marigot, its security forces and an ambulance team from the Haitian Red Cross held a land eviction operation at an area called "the Park" that has been inhabited by families for 70 years, since 1942.

Gun fire and stones were exchanged between the residents and police which led to the death of at least 8 civilians and 5 police officers. Four bodies were discovered, thos of Desir Enoz, 32, Nicolas David, 28, Robinson Volcin, 22, and Desir Aleis, 18. Four children are reported missing while three houses were burn and four others ransacked. Three oxen were slaughtered.

The central government through the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Public Security gave the authority for the evictions. Officials say the 140 families that lived in Seguin, Marigot were given 50,000 HTG ($1,200.00 [US]) with $600 before they move and another $600 afterwards. The families say they never given a place to relocate to or homes they could now afford.

The Park is a nature reserve on the hills straddling the towns of Marigot and Kenskoff respectively the Sud'Est and Ouest Departments.

Since 1942 people from neighboring towns have been settling on parts of the reserve and deforestation has been an issue as settlers make room for agriculture.

The reserve is also a water reservoir for the departments of the Ouest and Sud-Est through the capital Port-au-Prince and the city of Jacmel.

According to experts, the water level has dropped significantly since the settlers arrived and are visible in the watershed under the two cities above-mentioned.

Recommendations were made to the government to take measures to protect the reserve through the eviction of the 140 families.