Lame Timanchet Strikes Again: Suspected in assassination of Gran Ravine Community leader, Esterne Bruner, Sept. 21, 2006
Ezili Danto's Note:
Haitian Attorney Evel Fanfan and AUMOHD make up a small group of committed young lawyers and University students in Haiti doing defense and advocacy work for the poor in the disinherited neighborhoods that no one else is doing. HLLN supports,
encourages and promotes AUMOHD human rights and legal work in Haiti.
It is with sadness we report that Esterne Bruner, Coordinator of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council was assassinated this today, Sept. 21, 2006
Yesterday, September 20, 2006, Mr. Bruner was at the AUMOHD’S office in a meeting organized by AUMODH and the Gran Ravine victims to ask the Preval government for help in apprehending the men responsible for the July 7th Gran Ravine massacre and, more particularly, for financial help to the families for the burial of more than 10 victims, whose dead, decomposing bodies still remain
in the city morgue since the July 7, 2006 massacre. The families are both too poor to bury their dead and some, are too afraid to go pick up, without police escort and protection, the corpse for fear of reprisal from Lame Timanchet. It is well known in Haiti that Lame Timanchet is protected by the coup d'etat Haitian police.
We know for a fact here at HLLN that Mr. Bruner took the responsibility for one six-year little girl named Widnise Pierre who was made an orphan because of the July 7, 2006 civilian massacre at Gran Ravine, Haiti. Both of little Widnise Pierre’s parents were assassinated, when in the dead of night, Lame Timanchet
broke the peace that had reigned in Haiti since the Renee Preval election by slaughtering more than 30 folks in Gran Ravine and burning more than 250 houses to the ground. Mr. Bruner, who rose up to lead the communities demand for help, protection and justice, asked for help to support little six-year old Widnise
Pierre. He sent HLLN a video of the little girl telling her sad story, how her parents were assassinated.
In a tape video interview, for the Ezili Danto Witness Project, Mr. Esterne Bruner, read off the names of the suspected perpetrators of both the Gran Ravine massacres. This list of suspects who have waged war, terrorizing and slaughtering the civilian population in Grand Ravine was also furnished to the UN, the Haitian police and the Preval government authorities. Mr. Bruner sought help for his community. He and his family took in and tried to place with other
families the children who had been orphaned by the first Grand Ravine massacre in August of 2005 and then the second Grand Ravine massacre that left over 30 Haitian civilians dead and more than 250 people homeless, their homes burnt to the ground. Countless times, over the last two years, since the first Gran
Ravine soccer massacre at an OIM/USAID-sponsored “Summer Camp for Peace” soccer game Mr. Bruner and the other Gran Ravine victims would express how absolutely intolerable Lame Timanchet's persecution was. The fifteen police officers who
were arrested and put in prison for the first Gran Ravine massacre were subsequently released. Then again, these same folks went back and conducted another massacre in Gran Ravine on almost on the anniversary of the first one.
Often the victims would tell HLLN "it’s happening right in front of the UN, the Haitian police and government officials who have been give our complaints and statements about those responsible. Where are the UN and Haitian police as Lame Ti Manchet continues to kill innocent Haitians? Why are the 30 arrest warrants, issued after the second massacre, for the arrest of Lame Timanchet gang not been prosecuted?"
Today, September 21, 2006 Mr. Esterne Bruner went to the offices of AUMOHD to fill out identification papers for little Widnise Pierre so that she could be enrolled in school. On his way back from AUMOHD offices, Mr. Esterne Bruner was assassinated. All the documents he had in his possession, including his cell phone were taken.
"Were do we go from here?" This is the question that Haitian lawyer, Evel Fanfan, who heads AUMOHD asked HLLN today? "Bruner was assassinated after leaving AUMOHD’s office?"
Evel’s demoralized voice was just so full of pain.
Folks, over the years we’ve lived through much pain with the people of Haiti. One never really becomes use to it. It’s always as new and shocking as the thrust of a hot bayonet exploding in your brain and body. and the families and victims of the Gran Ravine massacres are asking "What is the new Preval government doing?" Today as I spoke to Evel Fanfan of AUMOHD, he said to me, "Do you know that Lame Timanchet members are all well known by the authorities. they taunt the victims with their police protection and invincibility to prosecution. Just recently members of Lame Timanchet actually DEMONSTRATED in front of the National Palace! No one arrested them, No UN troops stopped them. These killers are targeting and destroying all those who are capable and with initiative and speaking out for their besieged communities like Esterne Bruner with complete impunity."