the period covered by this report, the human rights situation in Haiti
has deteriorated badly. The
incidence of such human rights violations as extrajudicial executions,
enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture, abuse, extortion
and repression of the press has greatly increased.
Most of these violations were engendered in a political scenario
created by the de facto government in its desire to consolidate
rights violations perpetrated in a variety of ways by the de facto
government have become a routine part of the Haitian people's daily life,
creating disorder and leaving them totally defenseless against the
tactics used by State agents against them.
The de facto government's practice has been to arrest
members of the political opposition and anyone it suspects of supporting
the restoration of democracy. The
charge of "terrorism" is commonly used by the military to
justify summary executions, arbitrary arrests and violent, unannounced
institutionalized violence and corruption practiced with impunity by
members of the army and police whose function is to protect the
citizenry, has caused a series of abuses against the Haitian people.
The section chiefs and their aides -the old repressive system
that the de facto authorities have reinstated- are far
overstepping their functions as police, terrorizing a rural population
that is utterly helpless and completely at their mercy.
At the same time, the judicial authorities have been neither
efficient nor decisive in prosecuting investigations into these
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights must point out that
regardless of the prevailing political situation, the American
Convention on Human Rights continues to be in force for the Haitian
State. Consequently, those
who exercise power, though it be de facto power, have the
obligation to respect the rights and freedoms contained in the
Convention and to guarantee their free and full exercise.
has been the position of the Commission that of the varied forms of
government recognized under constitutional law, the democratic system
must be the overriding element so that a society can fully exercise its
human rights. As has been
shown, to deny political rights or to disregard the will of the people
begets violence. The
Commission is fully aware that until the interested parties share a
genuine political resolve to find a solution to the Haitian crisis, the
human rights situation will continue to deteriorate.
Commission therefore hopes that the efforts made by the Organization of
American States and the United Nations will help find a political
solution that will restore the democratic system of government, where
human rights can be respected to the fullest.
Commission will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Haiti
in furtherance of its duties as established by the American Convention
on Human Rights.