Demonstration to oppose occupation of Haiti, August 7, 2005.
Photo: Bill Hackwell
During the early hours of July 6, UN troops carried out a violent operation in Port-au-Prince, allegedly to capture “gang leader” Dread Wilme in the poor neighborhood of Cité Soleil outside of the Haitian capital.
However, a U.S. Labor/Human Rights delegation found that the “operation” was a politically motivated bloodbath targeting Aristide supporters. The delegation visited Cité Soleil on July 7 and witnessed the destruction wrought upon the community.
According to reports, some 300 UN troops sealed off the neighborhood around 3 a.m. and attacked unarmed residents with machine guns, tear gas, armored personnel carriers armed with cannons and two helicopters. Bullet holes and structural damage substantiated these accounts.
Community members counted at least 23 dead bodies. A hospital admitted 26 people with serious abdominal gunshot wounds. A videotape shows 10 people either dead or being killed, including a mother and her two children. The delegation also saw several bodies still at the scene.
Residents held a funeral for Wilme, who was killed in the attack. Wilme was no gang member, but a respected leader and protector of the community.
Despite denials by UN commanders, evidence confirms the operation was part and parcel of the efforts to root out those demanding the return of democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was ousted in a coup master-minded by the Bush administration.