Sunday, May 13, 2007

Filmmaker Kevin Pina Screens New Documentary on Haiti in Detroit

Haiti Documentary Filmmaker Featured at MECAWI Meeting

Kevin Pina screens new documentay on Haiti

By Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor
Pan-African News Wire

DETROIT, 13 May, 2007 (PANW)--On Saturday Oakland-based filmmaker Kevin Pina was featured at a public meeting sponsored by the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI). His new film, "WE Must Kill the Bandits", chronicles recent developments in Haitian history since the overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Jean Bertrande-Aristide on February 29, 2004.

Pina, who visited Detroit in the fall of 2005, had lived in Haiti for seven years, is embarking upon a national tour of both United States and Canada to promote his new documentary. The film shows how the United States government invaded Haiti in 2004 and kidnapped President Aristide and took him to the Central African Republic (CAR). This set of facts releated to the American intervention were in contravention to what was promoted as the official position of the Bush administration at the time. The administration had stated that Aristide agreed to resign and requested a marine escort out of the country.

The events of February 29, 2004 represented a culmination of efforts financed by the United States and France to destabilize that Caribbean nation. Governmental aid from the US was withheld from the Aristide regime and a gang of counter-revolutionary bandits were financed by the US to assassinate political leaders and create chaos in the country.

MECAWI has demonstrated support for the Haitian people since the invasion of 2004. In the spring of that year MECAWI organized a mass meeting at the Wayne State University Law School which featured Congressman John Conyers of Detroit and Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California who vehemently opposed the American invasion.

After the screening of the film, there was a frank and candid discussion on the current situation in Haiti and the impact of the United Nations so-called peacekeeping forces inside the country. The peacekeeping force is composed of military troops from several countries including Chile, Brazil and Canada.

MECAWI activists stated their willingness to continue efforts in support of democracy in Haiti.

Pina will be speaking at the University of Windsor on Tuesday as part of a major conference which will also feature MIT linguist Noam Chomsky. A screening of "We Must Kill the Bandits" at the University of Windsor will take place on Tuesday evening after the conference.

For more information log on to the websites below:

Haiti Information Project

Haiti Action

Haiti documentary captures Cité Soleil reality and post-coup atrocities

The acclaimed documentary by journalist Kevin Pina - Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits - continued its tour this weekend in Detroit before heading to London, Ontario. Featuring a hip-hop title track, the lyrics and beats of rapper Ali Aumeer and songstress Sara Marlowe capture the repeating history of U.S. intervention - to demonize the target population that would feed resistance to foreign occupation by labeling them "bandits" or "gangsters" and install a brutal coup government.

The documentary exposes the disinformation campaign that covered up one of the greatest human rights travesties in the history of Latin America and the Caribbbean. Thousands of Haitians were killed, jailed and forced into exile after the February 29, 2004 ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

BANDITS calls into question the credibility of so-called Haitian human rights organizations as it becomes clear they were far from impartial and actually participated in creating a witchhunt climate of persecution against Aristide supporters. One such group, the National Coalition for Haitian Rights or NCHR, is mentioned time and time again in BANDITS by family members working with political prisoner organizations in Haiti. They claim that NCHR whipped up a climate of hatred with disinformation that allowed for the political persecution of thousands of Aristide supporters and their imprisonment without trial.

Amazingly, the UN Secretary General's current spokeswoman and the widow of one of Haiti's most famous journalists, Michelle Montas, was a member of the Board of Director's of NCHR along with filmmaker Jonathan Demme. The latter would produce a documentary about Montas's murdered husband, Jean Dominique, where he implies that Aristide may have had culpability in his assasination for poliical reasons. NCHR was also the primary source for human rights information on the ground in Haiti for organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch after Feb. 29, 2004. Both groups have received severe critisizm for their apparent indifference to the human rights nightmare Haiti had become following Arsitide's ouster.

US Marines take control of Haiti's capital even before the bloodletting begins. They are later replaced by a UN occupation force under the command of the three Latin America militaries with the most heinious human rights records in the history of the western hemisphere - namely Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

UN forces have been accused of committing numerous massacres in neighborhoods like Cite Soleil and massive campaigns of arbitrary arrests in places like Bel Air, where massive demonstrations demanding Aristide's return have been launched. The documentary provides video evidence of UN atocities that were designed to destroy opposition to a brutal regime installed at the behest of U.S. policymakers. Images of the carnage and interviews with survivors, following a UN raid in Cite Soleil on July 6, 2005, should be more than enough to convince any objective viewer that the international force is playing more than a mere "peacekeeping" role in Haiti.

Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits tour began in Detroit with a community event sponsored by MECAWI, the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice. College and community events are then planned in Ontario, Canada where Pina will be joined by former Haitian legislator Jean Candio. Candio was arrested and held for three weeks by Canadian authorities last December who initially claimed he was a member of a terrorist organization and a threat to public security. "I am pleased that Jean Candio will finally get a chance to speak directly to the Canadian public about his false incarceration." stated Pina. Events featuring Mr. Candio will be held at King's University College in London,ON and at the University of Windsor,ON. The presentation at Windsor follows the first day of registration for a three-day Media and Propaganda Conference, featuring the work of Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, also held on the University of Windsor campus. Pina is scheduled to provide a Haiti workshop segment for the conference aptly entitled, "Guerilla Tactics for Challenging the Corporate Media."

The second leg of the BANDITS tour takes Pina to the Pacific Northwest with several dates scheduled in Seattle, Portland and Olympia. The final leg of the tour travels to NY and Washington DC in early June. The next leg will begin in July.

The itinerary to see Kevin Pina and his documentary:

Detroit MI - Saturday May 12 - 6:00 pm
5922 Second Avenue, Near WSU Campus For More Info: (313) 680-5508; e-mail: URL:

London ON - Sunday May 13 - 7:00 pm
King's University College 266 Epworth Ave. London in Room 100, Labatt Hall

Windsor ON - Tuesday May 15 - 9:00 pm
University of Windsor 401 Sunset Avenue in the Moot Court (Law building at the corner of University Ave. and Sunset Ave.) Special guest: former Lavalas Legislator Jean Candio

Seattle WA - Sunday May 20 - 12:00 PM (noon)
Bethany UCC Church 6230 Beacon Avenue South

Olympia WA - Sunday May 20 - 7:30 pm
Capital Theater 206 E. 5th Ave.

Olympia WA - Monday May 21 - 2:00 pm
South Sound Community College 2011 Mottman Rd SW

Portland OR - Wednesday May 22 - 7:00 pm
Liberty Hall 311 N Ivy Street

Olympia WA - Thursday May 24 - 11:30 am
Evergreen State College 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW

Portland OR - Thursday May 24
Clinton Theater 2522 SE Clinton Street

New York/Manhattan - Friday June 1
Millennium Theater 66th E. 4th Street
For more info:
908-472-5362/6464-236-6861 co-sponsored by: GREFPOM Fanmi Lavalas Haiti

Brooklyn, NY - Saturday June 2
Erasmus High School 911 Flatbush Ave. F
or more info:
908-472-5362/6464-236-6861 co-sponsored by: GREFPOM Fanmi Lavalas Haiti

Wash. DC - Tuesday June 5
Festival Center 1640 Columbia Road NW (close to Green Line, Columbia Heights metro stop. Also, 5-2 or 5-4 metrobuses along 16th Street to Columbia Road)
For more info, call 202-277-8252

1 comment:

JH said...

Haiti Information Project (HIP) and Kevin Pina honored with Project Censored award.

(HIP story among Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008 recognized by Project Censored):

# 12 Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops
Sources:, January 21, 2007
Title: “UN in Haiti: Accused of Second Massacre”
Authors: Haiti Information Project

Inter Press Service
Title: “Haiti: Poor Residents of Capital Describe a State of Siege”
Authors: Wadner Pierre and Jeb Sprague

Student Researcher: William Leeming
Faculty Evaluator: Dianne Parness

Eyewitness testimony confirms indiscriminate killings by UN forces in Haiti’s Cité Soleil community on December 22, 2006, reportedly as collective punishment against the community for a massive demonstration of Lavalas supporters in which about ten thousand people rallied for the return of President Aristide in clear condemnation of the foreign military occupation of their country. According to residents, UN forces attacked their neighborhood in the early morning, killing more than thirty people, including women and children. Footage taken by Haiti Information Project (HIP) videographers shows unarmed civilians dying as they tell of extensive gunfire from UN peacekeeping forces (MINUSTAH).

A hardened UN strategy became apparent days after the demonstration, when UN officials stated they were entering Cité Soleil to capture or kill gangsters and kidnappers. While officials of MINUSTAH have admitted to “collateral damage,” in the raids of December 2006, they say they are there to fight gangsters at the request of the René Préval government.

But many residents and local human rights activists say that scores of people having no involvement with gangs were killed, wounded, and arrested in the raids.

Although MINUSTAH denied firing from helicopter gunships, HIP captured more than three hours of video footage and a large selection of digital photos, illustrating the UN’s behavior in Haiti.

An unidentified twenty-eight-year-old man, filmed by HIP, can be seen dying as he testifies that he was shot from a circling UN helicopter that rained gunfire on those below. HIP film also shows a sixteen-year-old, dying just after being shot by UN forces. Before dying he describes details of the UN opening fire on unarmed civilians in his neighborhood. The wounded and dying, filmed by HIP, all express horror and confusion.

IPS observed that buildings throughout Cité Soleil were pockmarked by bullets; many showing huge holes made by heavy caliber UN weapons, as residents attest. Often pipes that brought in water to the slum community now lay shattered.

A recently declassified document from the US embassy in Port-au-Prince reveals that during a similar operation carried out in July 2005, MINUSTAH expended 22,000 bullets over several hours. In the report, an official from MINUSTAH acknowledged, “given the flimsy construction of homes in Cité Soleil and the large quantity of ammunition expended, it is likely that rounds penetrated many buildings, striking unintended targets.”

Frantz Michel Guerrier, spokesman for the Committee of Notables for the Development of Cité Soleil based in the Bois Neuf zone, said, “It is very difficult for me to explain to you what the people of Bois Neuf went through on Dec. 22, 2006—almost unexplainable. It was a true massacre. We counted more than sixty wounded and more than twenty-five dead, among [them] infants, children, and young people.”

“We saw helicopters shoot at us, our houses broken by the tanks,” Guerrier told IPS. “We heard detonations of the heavy weapons. Many of the dead and wounded were found inside their houses. I must tell you that nobody had been saved, not even the babies. The Red Cross was not allowed to help people. The soldiers had refused to let the Red Cross in categorically, in violation of the Geneva Convention.” Several residents told IPS that MINUSTAH, after conducting its operations, evacuated without checking for wounded.

Following the removal of Haiti’s elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide government (see Censored 2005, story #12), up to one thousand Lavalas political activists were imprisoned under the US-backed interim government, according to a Miami University Human Rights study.

A study released by the Lancet Journal of Medicine in August 2006 estimates that 8,000 were killed and 35,000 sexually assaulted in the greater Port-au-Prince area during the time of the interim government (2004-2006). The study attributed human rights abuses to purported “criminals,” police, anti-Lavalas gangs, and UN peacekeepers.

HIP Founding Editor Kevin Pina commented, “It is clear that this represents an act of terror against the community. This video evidence shows clearly that the UN stands accused, once again, of targeting unarmed civilians in Cité Soleil. There can be no justification for using this level of force in the close quarters of those neighborhoods. It is clear that the UN views the killing of these innocents as somehow acceptable to their goal of pacifying this community. Every demonstration, no matter how peaceful, is seen as a threat to their control if it includes demands for the return of Aristide to Haiti. In that context it is difficult to continue to view the UN mission as an independent and neutral force in Haiti. They apparently decided sometime ago it was acceptable to use military force to alter Haiti’s political landscape to match their strategic goals for the Haitian people.”

Update by Kevin Pina

Since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his Lavalas political party were ousted from power on February 29, 2004, accusations of gross human rights violations have persisted in Haiti. While the Haitian National Police (HNP) received training and assistance from the UN following Aristide’s ouster, they were also accused of summary executions, arbitrary arrests, and the killing of unarmed demonstrators. The actions of the Haitian police became so egregious that even UN police trainers (CIVPOL) began to question the motives of their commanders and the mission’s objectives. The Haiti Information Project (HIP) received the following correspondence in response to a May 8, 2005 article “UN accommodates Human Rights Abuses by police in Haiti.”1 This is the first publication of that correspondence:

"Just want to reinforce your observations as all being accurate.

I am one of the 25 US CIVPOL here on the ground in Haiti, having arrived last November. As a group we are frustrated by the UN’s and CIVPOL’s unwillingness to interpret their mandate aggressively. I have been pushing them to conduct investigations into all the shootings and other significant Human Rights violations with no success. The Police Commissioner and command staff shows little interest and claim the mandate does not allow them to do this. Unfortunately I have countless examples.

The corruption in the HNP is massive with little interest in addressing the problem. Just keep up the pressure, I don’t know what else to do."

Stephen MacKinnon
Chief, Strategic Planning Unit

Chief MacKinnon provided HIP with information and documents that painted a disturbing picture of a UN operation more obsessed with political embarrassment caused by mounting demonstrations for Aristide’s return than interest in reigning in human rights abuses committed by the HNP.2

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) now stands accused of having itself committed several massacres in the seaside shantytown of Cité Soleil. This area of the capital served as a launching site for massive demonstrations demanding the return of President Aristide and for an end to what they called the foreign occupation of their country.
The Brazilian military has responsibility for leadership of the UN military forces in Haiti and is authorized to use deadly force. They are at the top of the command structure and their influence on the overall mission should not be understated. More importantly, there is a direct parallel between Brazilian military tactics utilized by UN forces in Haiti and similar military-style assaults used by the police in their own country.

The Brazilian military police have been accused of firing indiscriminately in the poor slums of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro called favelas. This was highlighted in an Amnesty International report “Brazil: ‘They come in Shooting’: Policing socially excluded communities,” released on December 2, 2005.3
This is similar to the tactics authorized by the Brazilian generals in Haiti. It has resulted in several high-profile massacres committed in the poor slum of Cité Soleil where protestors challenged the UN’s authority by continuing to launch massive demonstrations demanding Aristide’s return and condemning the UN’s presence in Haiti. In each instance, the UN and the elite-run Haitian press demonized the entire community as being criminals and gangsters and/or collaborators of criminals and gangsters. While it is true that armed “gangs” operated in the neighborhood and a few claimed they were aligned with Aristide’s Lavalas movement, these military raids had a clear correlation to the ongoing demonstrations and opposition to the UN presence in Haiti.

Cité Soleil was terrorized on July 6, 2005 when Brazilian commanders authorized a raid by UN forces with the stated aim of routing gangs in the area.4 For Aristide supporters, the raid was a preemptive strike by the UN to dampen the impact of protests on Aristide’s birthday, planned to take place only nine days later on July 15. It also represented the first time UN forces purposely sought to assassinate the leadership of armed groups claiming allegiance to Aristide’s Lavalas movement.5 By the time UN guns stopped firing, countless unarmed civilians lay dead with many having been killed by a single high-powered rifle shot to the head. Since then, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show the US Embassy and various intelligence agencies, were aware of the excessive use of force by UN forces in Haiti on July 6, 2005.6 Despite being heavily censored by US officials, what emerges is clear evidence of the disproportionate use of force by UN troops in Cité Soleil.

December 16, 2006 saw another large demonstration for Aristide that began in Cite Soleil and only six days later on December 22, Brazilian commanders would authorize a second deadly raid that residents and human rights groups say resulted in the wholesale slaughter of innocent victims. The unspoken parallel of Brazil’s role in leading the UN’s military strategy in Haiti is the fact that terror tactics such as these have been their modus operandi in their own country.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 2, UN forces entered Cité Soleil firing indiscriminately and their victims were two young girls killed as they slept in their own home.7 Massive demonstrations were scheduled to take place five days later demanding the return of Aristide throughout Haiti on Feb. 7. While these demonstrations went largely unreported by the international corporate media, this stood in contrast, to the avalanche of news stories filed two days later on Feb. 9, when UN forces launched yet another deadly military operation in Cité Soleil.8

Although these raids were ostensibly to rid the neighborhood of gangs, they followed the same pattern and relationship to demonstrations for Aristide’s return and military tactics used by Brazilian commanders in previous UN operations.
The only rights organizations documenting the loss of life and destruction of property resulting from the UN raid on December 22, 2006, as well as previous and subsequent UN military operations, were the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI).9 HIP, the organization originally authoring the article being recognized by Project Censored, is a news agency that has extensive video evidence and interviews from Cité Soleil taken the same day these attacks by UN forces were executed. HIP offers any human rights organization the opportunity to view the documentary footage and evidence supporting the claims of Cité Soleil residents that massacres by UN forces have been committed against them. Unfortunately, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States have remained conspicuously disinterested and silent about this evidence.

For further information and updates about Haiti, please visit,,,,, and


1. Haiti Information Project,”UN accommodates Human Rights Abuses by police in Haiti,” May 8, 2005. See

2. Internet correspondence received from Steve McKinnon to HIP May 12, 2005.

3. Amnesty International Report, “Brazil: ‘They come in Shooting’: Policing socially excluded communities” December 2, 2005. See &id=ENGAMR190252005

4. Haiti Information Project, “Evidence mounts of a UN massacre in Haiti,” July 12, 2005. See

5. Haiti Information Project,”The UN’s disconnect with the poor in Haiti,” December 25, 2005. See

6. Haiti Information Project, “US Embassy in Haiti acknowledges excessive force by UN,” January 24, 2007. Article based on FOIA documents obtained by College of DuPage Geography Professor Keith Yearman. See

7. Haiti Information Project—February 2, 2007. UN terror kills Haiti’s children at night

8. Haiti Information Project, “Massive demonstrations in Haiti catch UN by surprise,” February 9, 2007. See

9. Haiti Information Project,”The UNspoken truth about gangs in Haiti,” February 15, 2007. See

10. Video images documenting UN military operations on July 6, 2005 and December 22, 2006 were taken by HIP videographer Jean-Baptiste Ristil.