Jean-Pierre Cloutier

Note : Initially published in Haiti Times, September 1987.

Bernard Sansaricq is now safely harboured within the confines of the embassy of Argentina. After his Jeremian adventure, and in spite of all the efforts deployed by the army and the police to track him down, he apparently made it to the embassy disguised in a priest's robe (a less than safe disguise these days). A chapter in the epic tale of the maverick public figure Sansaricq has become is thus ended. But is the story over and done with?

After the Jeremie incidents, the government published its version of the facts. Then came Sansaricq's answer on a cassette giving his interpretation of the events. I have often disagreed with Sansaricq and his positions, but I fail to be convinced that he wished, as the government would have us believe, to try a "terrorist" attack in Jeremie. The theory of his wanting to attend the appearance of Saintange Bontemps in relation to the 1964 Jeremian Vespers, although un-mentioned in the government's communique, is much more valid. Sansaricq had waited long enough to reveal some information, and his day had come to do so. Or so he thought. He had documented proof that some of our actual leaders were involved in the massacre, and he was ready to blow the whistle.

Temporarily, the military have succeeded in silencing him. Tacit agreements prevent someone having requested political asylum in an embassy to make public declarations. A safe conduct allowing him to leave the country is, in Sansaricq's case, very unlikely. Walls of silence are surrounding him. And as in a Machiavelian plot, the mute witness is preferable to a dead hero and legend. Which leaves room to think that maybe, just maybe, Sansaricq was conveniently allowed to enter the walls that would silence him. But nothing is forever, not in Haiti, not anywhere.


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On this site: May 18, 1997