Haiti: A demand for justice for fallen LGBTI leader Charlot Jeudy

Twenty-one LGBTI rights activists have appealed to Haitian President Jovenel Moïse for a thorough, impartial investigation into the suspicious death of LGBTI leader Charlot Jeudy six months ago.

Graphic from the Spanish-language ILGALAC site highlights the letter about Charlot Jeudy.
Graphic from the Spanish-language ILGALAC site highlights the letter about Charlot Jeudy.

Their plea to Moïse was made in a letter sent by Pedro Paradiso Sottile, executive director of ILGALAC (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association for Latin America and the Caribbean).

Below is a translation of a press release from ILGALAC about the appeal to Jovenel Moïse and, below that, the translated text of the letter.

From ILGALAC:

Six months after the death of Haitian activist Charlot Jeudy

Logo of International Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Trans Association in Latin America and the Caribbean (ILGALAC).

On November 25, 2019, Haitian activist Charlot Jeudy was found dead at his home without the authorities having yet clarified the circumstances of his death.

Charlot Jeudy, president of Kouraj, was a staunch defender of the human rights of LGBTI people in Haiti. His widely recognized work began in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed thousands in Haiti and which religious fundamentalists have attributed to masisis, a derogatory name for gay men on the island.

These accusations have led to the exclusion of hundreds of LGBTI people from government assistance, their persecution, their stigmatization and even, in some cases, their rape.

In this context, Charlot Jeudy founded Kouraj and decided to raise his voice and fight not only homophobic leaders who endangered the lives of LGBTI people, but also a whole belief system which defended and even validated exclusion. , discrimination and hatred towards the LGBTI community. As human rights defenders, we must not give up their fight for the most neglected, or the search for the truth around their death.

Six months after his death, ILGALAC sent a letter to the president of Haiti, Mr. Jovenel Moïse, asking him to take the necessary measures to clarify the circumstances of the death of Charlot Jeudy.

Co-signers of the ILGALAC letter included:

Joel SIMPSON, Managing Director of SASOD Guyana.
Colin STEWART, founder of the blog Erasing 76 Crimes.
Céline FAURE, President of KAP Caribbean.
Hetera ESTIMPHIL, President of KOURAJ.
Moïse MANOEL, PhD student in sociology in the field of homophobia, CRILLASH Laboratory, University of the Antilles.
Dominique ST VIL, OTHRA General Coordinator.
Djennifer MERCER, activist.
Kenita Placide, executive director, Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE).
Viviane MELYON DE FRANCE, President of Amalgame Humanis.
Alexa D V. HOFFMANN, Director of Trans Advocacy & Agitation Barbados (TAAB)
Lydie SIWSANKER, President of My Difference – LGBT.
Robert SIMON, president of Solidarité Internationale LGBTQI.
Cesar CIGLIUTTI, presidente Comunidad Homosexual Argentina.
Steven KUZAN, activist.
Williamson BELFORT, activist.
Kami MATHIASIN, activist.
Emilio VILLAFUERTE, Director fundador de valientes de Corazon, Ecuador.
Florencia PALTRINIERI, Coordinadora Conurbanes por la Diversidad, Argentina.
Bianka RODRIGUEZ, presidenta COMCAVIS, El Salvador.
David ARUQUIPA PÉREZ, Presidente directorio Comunidad Diversidad, Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia.
Beto DE JESUS, Instituto Edson Neris, Director Ejecutivo, Brasil

This is a translation of the letter addressed to Mr. Jovenel Moïse, president of Haiti, by Pedro Paradiso Sottile, executive director of ILGALAC.

Mr. President of the Republic
Jovenel MOISE

Buenos Aires, May 25, 2020
Subject: Investigation into the circumstances of the death of Charlot JEUDY

Mister President,

Jovenel Moïse, president of Haiti (Photo courtesy of VOA via Wikimedia Commons)

On November 25, 2019, Charlot JEUDY was found dead at his home in extremely suspicious circumstances. Mr. JEUDY was an advocate for the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. His work was recognized not only in Haiti but also by the international human rights community.

Six months after his sudden and unexplained death, the results of the autopsy remain unknown, as is the progress of the investigation by the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ). The lack of knowledge of the circumstances of this death sends a message of impunity to the attackers of LGBTI people and endangers the physical integrity of the human rights defenders who continue to work in Haiti.

We know that because of his commitment to the community, Mr. JEUDY had been previously threatened and was the target of homophobic people. The fact that he was the victim of reprisals and was killed because of his XXXcommitments or his sexual orientation is a very strong assumption that your government must commit to clarifying.

The International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (ILGALAC) reiterates its request, made on November 26, to the Haitian investigation services to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the possible murder of Mr. Charlot JEUDY and the Haitian State to provide all the means at its disposal so that updated and precise information is provided on the progress of the investigation and that results are quickly obtained.

If it is confirmed that Charlot JEUDY has been murdered, we request that the perpetrators of this homophobic crime be quickly identified and brought to justice. The Republic of Haiti must demonstrate that its LGBTI citizens have full access to justice and are guaranteed to live their lives with dignity and will not be killed because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual characteristics .
Finally, we urge the Haitian state to protect other LGBTI rights defenders in Haiti: one more death would be unacceptable for the rule of law and confirm the worst fears for the LGBTI community.

In a tweet of November 26, you said that you deplore the death of Charlot JEUDY and that you hope that “the causes of his death are quickly clarified”: we share your wish, Mr. President, and we hope that these declarations are not only the expression of wishful thinking but that your will and authority will be used to resolve the circumstances of this tragic death. The triumph of impunity is always a defeat for the state and its citizens and involves ignoring the exemplary commitment of Charlot JEUDY throughout his life and his legacy.

Please accept, Mr. President, our respectful greetings.

Pedro Paradiso Sottile

Executive director
ILGALAC

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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