Note by Tom Luce 6.25, 2010: On my last trip to Haiti before the earthquake , I was pleased to be part of the renewal of the Grand Ravin Community Human Rights Council (CHRC-GR).

After the brutal slaying of its leader, Esterne Bruner, 9.21.06, the CHRC-GR
continued working but each year, 2007 and 2008, its new leader Franzco Joseph was seriously threatened with death for his leadership Hurah was able to mobilize financial support along with the Irish defender of human rights defenders, Frontline, to provide safe housing for him and his family. He served as the representative to the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reinsertion (NDDR) working with the government to effect a just transition of armed groups to a non-violent form of promoting community justice.
The CHRC-GR sought programs of dialog, reconciliation, community improvement etc. In 2009 the CHRC-GR resolved to continue, even visibly by opening an office. Hurah was able to support this development with money to renovate the space and computer equipment. On the day that we went to see the new office, an older woman spontaneously came running across the street to embrace Atty. Fanfan who was ahead of me with the CHRC-GR members. Following is the brief story of how this woman has been plagued by violence since the early 1990's and lost her own home in 06 as well as her son. Yet she still, along with her community activists, believes in pursuing justice non-violently.

by Gaëlle Celestin
translated by Tom Luce

photo: Idalia, Atty. Fanfan, Idalia's daughter, Gaëlle Celestin
- Tom Luce, April 09

A married, widowed, mother of 6 children, Idalia’s husband died following the painful events of 1991 (armed coup against Pres. Aristide).  Since then she has been in charge of her 6 poor children as a widow.  She has worked very hard to send them to school.  They have all been in school.  She built her own house in Grand Ravin having boiught a piece of private land.


In the month of July 2006 here oldest son, Claude Aristide was assassinated for having the same name as the expresident Aristide.  She had her life saved thanks to a neighbor who kept her at her house during the night of July 26,27

 In the month of August 2006 one month after the assassination of her son, Aristide, her house was burned with all of its contents, her sales stock, papers, everything.  From that date she has had to live the life of a nomad.  She has no means to rent a house nor the means to start up her business again.

Mother of 5 children without a job, victim twice of armed violence, her economic condition is very serious.  According to her she intends to begin a minimal amount of her business again.  She wants to have her house repaired from its almost totally destroyed status.  She sends out a call for help to everyone to help her take up a normal life again.


   " If it were not for AUMOHD and Atty. Fanfan I would already be dead.  Atty. Fanfan has taken the place of my boy who died."