Undoing the Wrong Against Haitian Women

I applaud the author of the article ``US Groups Rally to Support Haitian Women,'' Nov. 30. However, it lacks any mention of Solidarite Fanm Ayisyen (SOFA), a 5,000-member grass-roots organization in Haiti that suffered a great deal of repression because of its empowerment and advocacy of women. During a recent Witness for Peace delegation interview with representatives of SOFA in Haiti, our group learned that the ``widespread and systematic'' use of rape as a tool of repression coincided closely to the formation of the right-wing paramilitary group, Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH) in August 1993. Women were dragged out of their homes and raped publicly, often told that the rape was intended so that ``they would never vote again.''

Our delegation of faith-based activists felt doubly appalled because we now know that the CIA helped encourage and fund FRAPH and its leader, Emmanuel Constant (as documented in The Nation). Can anyone justify how our government could support such depravity, then send in US military forces to quell it? Whatever the reasoning, Haitian women merit not only an apology from US citizens, but also a strong effort to support the rebuilding of Haiti. Judith Kelly, Arlington, Va. Witness for Peace Haiti Task Force

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