Haiti Situation a "Nightmare," Says Archbishop

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, MARCH 8, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A “nightmare” and a “disaster” is how the president of the Haitian bishops’ conference described the situation in the Caribbean nation.

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In an e-mail sent to the charity Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Hubert Constant of Cap-Haitien said that the worst violence of the monthlong rebellion occurred in the capital Port-au-Prince, including looting, arson and summary executions.

In the northern region, around Cap-Haitien and Fort-Liberte, the riots left “more than a dozen killed,” and public offices as well as stores were looted and burned down, he said.

According to Archbishop Constant, “the number of victims is difficult to estimate.” Observers speak of “about 100” people killed in the country since the rebellion broke out Feb. 10 and forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to flee into exile. Estimates of material damage range up to $1 billion.

The archbishop concluded his message: “It is but in the faith, indeed, that many people can bear these extreme evils and tragedies of their existence: violence, hatred, death. Yes, in thee, Our Lord, our hope” remains.

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