The Mayor of Les Irois
Last week in a Boston courtroom, a jury found the mayor of a small town in southwest Haiti liable of killing one man and torturing and trying to kill two others. The plaintiffs – David Boniface, Nissandère Martyr, and Juders Ysemé – spent a decade trying to hold Jean Morose Viliena accountable. They filed criminal cases in Haiti and even asked the United Nations for help. But nothing worked. Until now.
The determined victims and their creative lawyers used a U.S. human rights law, the Torture Victims Protection Act, to finally find justice. The case provides a blueprint for victims to hold abusers accountable when every other option has failed.
Joining us to understand this case are two of the lawyers who made it happen. Daniel McLaughlin and Ela Matthews are attorneys at the Center for Justice & Accountability, a nonprofit organization that uses the law to fight human rights abuses.
- Ela Matthews (@elamatthews01)
- Daniel McLaughlin (@DMcLaughlinSF)
- Center for Justice & Accountability’s press release on the trial
- U.S. Department of Justice’s press release on Viliena’s arrest for immigration fraud
- Just Security’s Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) archive
- 8:45 Editor’s Note: Viliena was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice but arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- 22:00 NYU’s American Journalism Online Program
- Music: “The Parade” by “Hey Pluto!” from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/hey-pluto/the-parade (License code: 36B6ODD7Y6ODZ3BX)
- Music: “Big Dreams” by Simon Folwar from Uppbeat: https://uppbeat.io/t/simon-folwar/big-dreams (License code: RR993UDZVLULFLTG)