With Nothing to Stabilize, MINUSTAH Soldiers Engage in Inappropriate Relationships and Pollute the Environment
by Etant Dupain
The video that shows MINUSTAH soldiers sexually aggressing Johnny Jean is evidence of one dishonorable act the MINUSTAH perpetrated in Port Salut, Haiti. But it is just one of many.
The video that degraded a family has raised many questions about the importance of MINUSTAH. It is yet another time that MINUSTAH has shown its true face – instead of accomplishing its mission it created more problems in society.
One of the things that people in the streets of Port Salut know is that MINUSTAH soldiers have fathered many children in the village, and they have a habit of exchanging food and money with women for sex.
Carole is a twenty-seven year old who was afraid to give her last name. She has traded sex for food with the Uraguayan MINUSTAH peacekeepers, and they have promised her a job. Carole explained that she very much regrets she did it, but she had no money to take care of herself and she has no job.
It wouldn’t be surprising if in a few years we see Port Salut turn into a town where many of the children are half Uruguayan and half Haitian, because one of the things the Uruguayan soldiers have done in the area is impregnate women and not take care of their children.
That is the situation Roselaine Duperval finds herself in, with a two-year child whose father is a MINUSTAH soldier. The father’s name is Santiago Barios, he is Uruguayan and no longer part of the UN Mission and his child’s name is Sasha Francesca Barios. Santiago left Roselaine when she was pregnant and left the UN Mission to return to his country. Since he left, Roselaine has never heard a word from him and their child has been prone to sickness. When I visited Roselaine and Sasha, I saw that Sasha was not in good health and the family is in a very difficult situation.
Rose Mina Joseph is seventeen years old and eight months pregnant. A Uruguayan soldier named Julio Posse got her pregnant after they had liked each other for a few months. Rose Mina was only sixteen years old when she got pregnant and now she is counting the days until her baby is born. Julio recognizes that he is the father of Rose Mina’s child and he still calls her on the phone to talk with her, but he hasn’t said whether or not he will return to help with his child.
During the eight months of her pregnancy so far, Rose Mina received two money transfers from Julio totaling $250 U.S. – not enough for her to make regular visits to the hospital and receive proper pre-natal care.
Rose Mina’s sister, Roselaine Joseph, explained how it was the members of their family now who have been spending their money at the hospital and to buy food for Rose Mina during her pregnancy. And in the coming days when Rose Mina will go into labor, they don’t know how they will find the money to take care of Rose Mina’s hospital bills and support her and her child.
As far as Eviks Daniel knows, soldiers from the MINUSTAH contingent in Port Salut have fathered at least five children in the village, and Rose Mina’s child will make the sixth. Eviks is a political activist and was responsible for organizing a demonstration on Monday, September 5 against the ongoing MINUSTAH presence in Port Salut.
I can confirm I personally spoke with three women who have had the children of MINUSTAH soldiers and their children have the last names of their fathers, Uruguayan MINUSTAH soldiers. Their children are light-skinned despite their mothers being dark, and some of them receive money transfers from the fathers of their children.
With two of the three families I spoke with, I saw the children and they gave me authorization to publish their names and photos, and I also confirmed their stories with others in street of Port Salut. It is not difficult to find a woman in Port Salut who has had a child with a MINUSTAH soldier.
Johnny Jean became one of many victims of MINUSTAH but it was not the first dishonorable act by the MINUSTAH in Port Salut. The worst thing in the history of violations of human rights MINUSTAH has perpetrated in Port Salut are the authorities who are aware but they never do anything to help the victims or denounce MINUSTAH, and because of this we have arrives at the case of Johnny Jean and a revolting act.
One of the reasons MINUSTAH has created so many problems in Port Salut is that they have no work to do – it is a peaceful and beautiful town that has never had any reputation of violence.
When you arrive at the MINUSTAH base to talk with someone in charge in Port Salut, all the soldiers stand with their big weapons and say they don’t talk to journalists. It wasn’t hard to find a pipe that MINUSTAH has coming out of their second base that is across from the high school in Port Salut. The pipe/canal empties directly onto the beach, and all waste water from the base is dumped there, with trash in it into this canal, creating a problem of mosquitoes in the area.
In the same way that MINUSTAH contaminated Haiti’s water with cholera that has killed more than 6,000 people, they are being irresponsible and could contaminate another public space, give more illness and further illustrate how MINUSTAH doesn’t respect Haitians or the value of their lives.