Letter from Haiti: “We have to empty Port-au-Prince”

Dear friends,

Yes Iderle and I are alive. I was in Papaye at the time of the disaster. I was giving a training session. I was left without any means of communication. But for the last three days we have had some access to communication and we are starting to get some information. We will keep you informed as time goes on.

The situation is terrible in Port-au-Prince. We are now talking about 100 to 200 000 casualties. The city is practically destroyed. The offices of MPP and MPNKP in Port-au-Prince with their equipment have disappeared. The office in Tèt Kole has not been damaged. Many members of La Via Campesina have lost their house and all their possessions. They have also lost members of their family.

MMP students have died as the universities collapsed.

At the moment, we have to empty Port-au-Prince. We are helping people to reach the Central Plateau where MPP has opened its training centre to victims willing to leave Port-au-Prince. We are also trying to help injured people who are being sent to hospital in the Central Plateau. They come from all over the country. We want to provide food and money for medicine.

The news coming from the South-East region is also alarming. The town of Jacmel is 60% destroyed. Many MPNKP members have lost their house in Cayes Jacmel, Marigot and Bainet. In the Western region, towns such as Kenskoff, Leogane, Grand-Goave are affected.

We will let you know how the situation evolves.

Chavannes Jean-Baptiste
Via Campesina Caribean

18 Janunary 2010