Catholic Church is Violating Rights of Internally Displaced People

More than 1,200 families are under threat from the authority of the Catholic Church in Carrefour to abandon the space where they have been living since the January 12th earthquake. The Salesian school has a large camp for internally displaced people (IDPs), victims of Haiti’s earthquake. Threats of a forcible eviction began more than a month ago where the school’s administrators paid thugs to burn and destroy the tents of victims even though they have no other place to go.

The school benefits from free land from the Government of Haiti because it is a Catholic school, yet they are behaving like the bourgeois who have demanded they be paid by the victims living in the camp or else they will force the people to leave. A committee from the Organization of Earthquake Victims (OVS) is monitoring the threats from Haitian National Police as well as thugs because they have been organizing with the victims to resist eviction until they can find another place to stay.

Badette, one of the leaders who has been organizing within the camp, is now in hiding because many people have threatened to kill him if he doesn’t stop organizing among the people, especially those thugs that were already hired by the Catholic Salesian school’s administration to destroy the latrines for the victims and burn their tents.

In the Salesian camp in Carrefour, the victims are living in extreme sleeping and sleeping with one eye open because thugs could arrive at any time to burn their tents.

The school’s administration explained to the victims that they need to prepare to open the school and people had to do whatever necessary to leave the school grounds. This, even though the land where the victims are living was given by Jean Claude Duvalier to the church as a gift from the state, and now the Church is using their right to this “private” property to make the residents of the camp victims again.

The administration has given some individuals $100 US to leave the camp, however this is not enough money for a family to eat for even one week, nevermind to rent a house.

Today tents are being torn and destroyed; this is the threat that several thousand people are facing after the misery they have already experienced in the rain, in the sun, without food or health care. Now they are losing their place to sleep, making things even more difficult.

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