April 7, 1995
His Excellency Jean Casimir
Ambassador of Haiti
3211 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
The assassination late last month of Mme. Mireille Durocher-Bertin, and the allegation of complicity in this crime of members of the Government, cast a further pall on the prospects for the successful transition to democracy in Haiti that we all desire. While the President is to be commended for calling upon the investigative resources of the FBI, his willingness to follow up on their conclusions will be taken as an important sign of the Government's readiness to establish the rule of law.
This Conference has for many years deplored violations of human rights in Haiti, whether committed by the Duvalier regime or during any of the subsequent governments. We denounced the coup of 1991 and welcomed the restoration of the elected government last October. It was my personal privilege to join the Bishops of Haiti soon after they issued, on February 7, 1986, the first of many calls for national reconciliation: "Now is the time for reconciliation and forgiveness, not for discord, division and hatred," a call they have time and again sounded.
It is my fervent hope that every effort will be taken by your Government to ensure the rule of law, so essential for promoting national reconciliation, grounded as it must be, as the Haitian Bishops wrote last October, in truth, justice, and a spirit of loving forgiveness. Swift and decided action in the case of Mme. Durocher-Bertin will do much to strengthen Haiti's image as a nation on the road to democracy.
Most Reverend Daniel P. Reilly
Bishop of Worcester
Chairman, USCC Committee on