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 Global Perspective

February 11, 2004
Vol. 1, No. 43

global perspective
Sr. Judy Dohner lives and works in Haiti.



At the street clinics in Wharf Jeremy, Pele, and San Fils where I work with a Haitian medical team five days a week, we see the results of the violence on a daily basis.

Street level witness in Haiti

By Judy Dohner, HM

Links to news on Haiti

Pro-Aristide Forces Step Up Defense
Moscow Times, Russia
CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti -- Armed civilians loyal to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide stoked up fiery barricades and blocked entry to Haiti's second-largest city for ...

White House rebukes Haitian government for unrest
San Francisco Chronicle
With the Haitian government locked in a deadly battle with opponents, the White House on Wednesday issued a rebuke of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ...

Police, rebels battle in Haitian city
Toronto Star, Canada
CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (AP) - Police attacked rebels holed up in a slum in the port city of St. Marc on Tuesday and armed civilians ...

Cap Haitien Remains Paralyzed in Haitian Uprising
Voice of America
Armed loyalists of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide are blocking off Haiti's second-largest city again Wednesday, as an uprising against the government ...

Looting, torching in Haiti
The Australian, Australia
HAITI'S second-largest city remained without power today after a food depot was looted and torched in the latest troubles to hit the stricken Caribbean republic ...

Leave Haiti, US advises citizens
BBC News, UK
The US State Department has urged American citizens to leave Haiti, if they can do so safely. The warning follows days of unrest ...

Editor's Note: had planned to run a Global Perspective column from Sr. Judy Dohner on Feb. 5. Unfortunately, the situation in Haiti was changing so rapidly the editors decided to hold that reflection and ask Dohner to tell us what she is seeing and hearing in Haiti right now.

This is the report she sent us:

I could not begin to tell you all that is happening daily in this country. So, let me start with today ...

As I write, there is a pro-Aristide demonstration marching in front of the hospital St. Damien Children's Hospital. There are thousands of people, shouting, dancing. Peacefully, thank God. They are responding to the anti-Aristide demonstration of 134,000 people from last Saturday.

As I watch the people passing, our ambulance is trying to get out of the driveway to take two of our doctors to Gonaives to pick up an 8-year-old boy shot in the abdomen this morning. He is at the Missionaries of Charity house, but the Sisters are unable to leave their compound because of the danger. The hospital is closed in Gonaives. The police station was trashed and prisoners released. The mayor's home was burned, and the people have declared themselves an independent state, no longer connected with the government of Haiti.

Demonstrations continue on a daily basis in Port au Prince. However, the schools -- which have been closed since mid-December due to the unrest -- have slowly and quietly opened in February. There have been no more problems at St. Damien Children's Hospital where I live since the tear gas episode in December, and the midnight evacuation in January while the gas station across the street burned.

At the street clinics in Wharf Jeremy, Pele, and San Fils where I work with a Haitian medical team five days a week, we see the results of the violence on a daily basis. A 54-year-old woman came to us after being raped by two chemer (street thugs hired by the government to support Aristide). A woman street merchant came with a knife wound in her arm from an attempted robbery. A 7-day-old baby was brought to us with a bullet wound through her foot from a stray bullet.

The stories could fill a book.

Where is God in all of this? I'm reading a book, Walking with God in a Fragile World (Rowman & Littlefield, December 2002), edited by James R. Langford and Leroy S. Rouner. It says:

"God doesn't go around the world with fingers on triggers, his fist around knives, and his hands on the controls of airplanes. It is outrageous to credit God with the worst follies of humankind. They are our fault... and they break a loving God's heart."

"...When in anguish over any human violence done to innocent victims, we ask of God: 'How could you let that happen?', it is well to remember that God at that very moment is asking the exact same question of us."

Thank you for your continued prayers for me and for the people of Haiti.

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