On July 14, the body of Haitian journalist and activist Jacques Roche was found. Roche had been kidnapped, tortured and killed. (Read the Reuters report here.)
This week, a coalition of human rights organizations, alternative development groups, public health advocates, women’s groups and other civil society organizations have issued a statement emphasizing Roche’s contributions as an activist–for example, he organized traveling art and photography exhibitions to educate communities and to encourage resistance to privatization and free trade schemes like Haiti’s Zona Franca on the border of the Dominican Republic, which replaced some of the last productive, fertile land on the Maribahoux plain with sweatshops.
The declaration calls on the people of Haiti and of the world to come together to remember the life of this man, and to honor his work by mobilizing to stop the unacceptable conditions that have gripped Haiti for too long.
We are proud to say that Grassroots’ partner the Haitian Platform for Alternative Development (PAPDA) and the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH), a member of the Haitian Platform on Human Rights, (POHDH), another Grassroots partner, are among the signatories to this declaration.