By Sebastián Amaya
El Observador (Spanish) | Lo de alla (English) | Al Jazeera Staff | Haiti Chery
The five Uruguayan MINUSTAH marines who are under investigation for assaulting a Haitian boy in Port-Salut, along with some of their close associates in MINUSTAH, were questioned on Monday October 17, 2011 in Montevideo by the Criminal Justice Department. The court reported that the case could be filed away because the Haitian boy was unavailable for questioning and did not file charges in Uruguay. If the case goes forward, the defense hopes to argue that the incident was a prank because the boy continued to visit the UN base after the alleged attack. Keep in mind that this boy comes from Haiti’s lowest socioeconomic rung. He was doing “cambiar” (exchanging small services for food) with UN troops when he was assaulted. A video of his humiliation has been broadcast the world over and his full name published all over the Haitian press. Nevertheless, on Jan 11, 2012 Al Jazeera showed that the boy is available for questioning although Uruguay released the soldiers accused of the rape on the pretext that the court could not find their accuser. This behavior of the Uruguayan MINUSTAH soldiers is typical of an occupation force. It not the first or last sexual assault by MINUSTAH. For a scholarly analysis and more comprehensive treatment of the depravity of these occupiers read: MINUSTAH’s Gang Rapes.
Dady Chery, Editor
Por Sebastián Amaya
La Justicia Penal tomó nuevos testimonios sobre el presunto caso de abuso de militares uruguayos, miembros de los cascos azules de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), a un menor en Haití. Este lunes se llevaron a cabo nuevos interrogatorios a allegados de los cinco militares que son investigados.
El fiscal Eduardo Fernández Dovat señaló a El Observador que, junto al juez Alejandro Guido, se le tomó declaración vía Skype a un marino compañero de los militares bajo investigación que se encuentra en Haití. Además, de forma presencial, se interrogó a otros tres compañeros que estaban de licencia en Uruguay.
El contenido de las declaraciones no puede ser divulgado porque forman parte de la reserva del presumario, indicó el fiscal, quien señaló que las averiguaciones a los cuatro marinos de este lunes ya terminaron.
El abogado de los cinco marinos, Gustavo Bordes, expresó a Últimas Noticias que con estas declaraciones se busca comprobar que luego de lo ocurrido el joven haitiano mantuvo una relación amistosa con los uniformados y que concurría a la puerta del contingente para conversar. De esa forma, el abogado entiende que es una prueba suficiente para confirmar que se trató de una broma.
Fernández Dovat destacó que
“no se ha tenido ninguna novedad en cuanto a la ubicación del joven haitiano, de quien es imprescindible su declaración para poder seguir avanzando. Sin su ubicación no se puede avanzar y esto queda en suspenso hasta el día en que aparezca”.
En Uruguay no consta ninguna denuncia que haya presentado el menor, expresó Fernández Dovat.
“En el país no hay ninguna manifestación de voluntad del joven de seguir adelante. Estamos a la espera de que aparezca, si es que aparece”, agregó.
Si el menor sigue sin aparecer, el caso puede ser archivado.
“Para formar instancia en un delito de violación son seis meses a partir del hecho, si en ese tiempo no hay instancia se archivaría”, explicó el fiscal.
Ver “Las violaciones de la MINUSTAH”, donde los autores explican que este niño, que fue violada por tropas de la MINUSTAH en Port-Salut en julio pasado, pertenece a una familia pobre y tiene que hacer “cambiar” para sobrevivir.
Fuente: El Observador
Uruguay: Haitian Youth Has Not Appeared and Investigation Is Pending
The Criminal Justice Department has taken new testimony in the case of alleged abuse by Uruguayan military personnel, members of the United Nations blue helmets (MINUSTAH), against a minor in Haiti. On Monday October 17th, new questioning was carried out of associates of the five military personnel being investigated.
Prosecutor Eduardo Fernández Dovat told El Observador that he and Judge Alejandro Guido took a statement via Skype from a marine in Haiti who is close to the military men under investigation. Three other associates on leave in Uruguay were also questioned.
The contents of their statements cannot be divulged because they are part of the reserva presumario, said the prosecutor, who indicated that the questioning of the four marines on Monday has ended.
The lawyer for the five marines, Gustavo Bordes, told Últimas Noticias that what is being sought with these statements is to show that after what occurred the Haitian youth maintained friendly relations with the uniformed personnel and that he would go to the compound gate for conversations. The lawyer holds that sufficient evidence thus exists to show that it was a matter of a prank.
Fernández Dovat stressed that
“There have been no new developments concerning the location of the Haitian youth, whose statement is necessary in order to continue moving forward. We cannot move forward without locating him and this remains pending until the day he appears.”
The youth has not filed any charge in Uruguay, Fernández Dovat stated.
“There is no indication in this country of the youth’s desire to move forward. We are waiting for his appearance, if he does appear,” he added.
If the youth does not appear, the case could be archived.
“In order to indict in the crime of rape, it is six months from the time of the act; if during that time there is no indictment it would be archived,” the prosecutor explained.
Translated from the Spanish by David Holmes Morris for Lo de alla
Editorial comment and reference added by Haiti Chery
Alleged Haiti abuse victim ‘ready to testify’
Haitian man disputes prosecutor’s claim that he has failed to co-operate over alleged assault by Uruguayan peacekeepers.
The Haitian victim of an alleged sexual assault by UN peacekeepers has spoken to Al Jazeera, disputing a statement from Uruguayan prosecutors that he is unreachable.
Eduardo Fernandez Dovat, the prosecutor in Uruguay, had said he may shelve the abuse case against six UN peacekeepers from Uruguay, accused of raping 19-year-old Johnny Jean.
Dovat said authorities could not get Jean to testify, but the Haitian, in a face-to-face interview with Al Jazeera, denied that.
“If they wanted to find me, they could find me,” Jean said.
“No one came to look for me. What do you mean they say they can’t find me?”
Jean told Al Jazeera he wanted his identity to be known so that his side of the incident is known.
Al Jazeera’s Andy Gallacher, reporting from the Haitian capital Port-Au-Prince, said:
“With just a few phone calls we’ve managed to find his family, literally five minutes from the hotel where the international press camp out.”
The former peacekeepers from Uruguay face a military trial on charges of violating rules against fraternising with civilians inside military bases.
A separate investigation into abuse charges is being conducted by a civilian criminal court, but that can only go to trial with the victim’s co-operation, a Uruguayan prosecutor said this week.
UN peacekeepers under fire
Jorge Menendez, Uruguay’s vice minister of defence, said last week that authorities had tried repeatedly to obtain the man’s testimony, either by bringing him to Uruguay or having him answer questions remotely.
They say they haven’t heard from him since his lawyer demanded a $5m settlement, which Uruguayan authorities said was not possible.
Exclusive: alleged Haiti abuse victim speaks to Al Jazeera
Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro, Uruguay’s defence minister, who together with Uruguayan President Jose Mujica apologised to Haiti for the incident, said earlier that Uruguay would compensate the alleged victim.
The six Uruguayan marines were expelled from Haiti in September and jailed at home while military and civilian prosecutors investigated allegations that the man had been raped after his peacekeeper friends invited him inside their base in the town of Port Salut.
The soldiers initially called the incident a prank that got out of hand.
But video footage of the alleged assault spread via mobile phones angered many Haitians, and gave ammunition to those who have been demanding a departure by the UN mission, known as MINUSTAH.
“I have to find justice,”
Jean’s mother told Al Jazeera.
“My son can no longer live among people. He’s been humiliated. He no longer has any value. He can’t go to school here – he’s in hiding.”
Word of the peacekeepers’ release prompted fresh declarations of outrage on Monday by human rights activists in Haiti.
Source: Al Jazeera
VIDEO: Al Jazeera reports on the case
VIDEO: Interview with rape victim
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