...it was one of the greatest human rights cover-ups in history.
Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits
Blood literally runs through the streets in this chronicle of Feb. 2004's forced ouster of Haiti's elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide and the terror of its citizens that followed. While many more may have died in recent natural tragedies in Haiti, this film shows how terror and repression have had their own distinct and lasting impact on the consciousness of the Haitian people.
The film shows thousands of Aristide supporters gathered to celebrate his inauguration; he promised political and social change, better education, food, and health care for the masses. But not everyone was in favor of change. Haiti's business community and intelligentsia worked against Aristide from the very beginning. And they wouldn't accept, it seems, that a poor man's vote is worth as much as a rich man's.
Internationally, most mainstream media reported only negatively on Aristide. At his ouster, they gave the impression that Aristide fled to South Africa out of concern for his own safety. A transitional government was put in place as tens of thousands of pro-Aristide/Lavalas supporters took to the streets to demand his return. This reality is captured in remarkable detail exposing one of the main premises justifying Aristide's ouster, namely he had lost the support of the Haitian people.
Over and over again the film shows marches and rallies of hope-filled people uniting in peaceful protest. Their voices fell on deaf ears and were often silenced by a hail bullets. Calling the demonstrators bandits, the Haitian police commit well-documented shootings, arrests and killings. Ironically, members of the UN are filmed telling people to listen to and respect the police even as the killing continues and Haitian jails fill with political prisoners. As armed resistance grows against the repression, the UN launches military raids against several communities and are accused by Haitians of committing massacres.
Although this documentary is at the same time a stunning and disturbing chronicle of oppression, the courage and hope of the poor masses of the Haitian people is by far the most unforgettable element of the story.
It is a must-see documentary for understanding the context of elections in Haiti and why Aristide and Lavalas continue to influence the political debate over Haiti's future.
The video the United Nations doesn't want you to see!