Marx-Vilaire Aristide : Un vrai patriote haïtien

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Post by admin » Sun Jun 20, 2004 10:05 pm

Serge, I am extremely sorry to hear of the death of Marx Vilaire Aristide. This seems so very unjust. Marx was one of our brightest young minds.

For years, I enjoyed his commentary on the Corbett List. He was always informed, always eloquent, always passionate about his people, majority class Haitians most especially. We corresponded on and off. I met him in Washington at a "500 years is enough" conference and I met him again later in Haiti. In fact, we shared a room one night at Ron Voss's residence, where I stayed in Port-au-Prince while serving as an electoral observer in 2000. We talked a lot that night, as he complimented me endlessly for an article that I had written (don't remember which at this point) and as I asked him question after question about one of his pet management projects at that time in Haiti, where he had returned for a few productive years. I remember reflecting at that time that a country that produced some first-rate idealists like Marx had to, one day, escape its condition of economic bondage. To me, Marx symbolized that hope.

Some of you may have previously read his article "Dyas... it's a class thing" on Windows on Haiti.

JUST THIS MORNING, I was reading a post that Marx sent to the Corbett list, I repeat, this morning. It may have been the last thing that he would ever write. I remember thinking that I had to bring his comments over to my "Environment and Development" section, along with a much longer article that he refers to in his note, on the topic of an alternative development for Haiti. Ironically, I would have already done so, if not for the fact that I was taken out today to enjoy "Father's Day". And it's just now, on my return that I checked to see what's new on the forum and noted Serge Bellegarde's announcement of this sad and shocking news. I can't help but think that he too was out like me, on this beautiful day, enjoying the love of family. A cruel thing to happen on this Father's Day. So much promise... extinguished by fate that waits for no one.

My greatest sympathy to his loved ones. To finish, I will simply include the note that Marx-Vilaire Aristide posted the morning of his death. Peace to his soul!

From: "Bob Corbett" <corbetre@webster.edu>
To: "Haiti mailing list" <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2004 9:43 AM
Subject: 22422: Vilaire: Responding to Marina: Real, Sustainable Development in Haiti (fwd)
Marx-Vilaire Aristide wrote:Marina,

Charles Arthur has responded to your request for an alternative by posting policy recommendations and prescriptions that were developed in the mid-90s by Haitian development and civil society organizations. Unfortunately, they were ignored by the IFIs and Haitian policy-makers. Contact any of these organizations and they'll be more than happy to ela
borate and share their vision for what sustainable development would look like in Haiti. Two relevant groups come to mind: Haitian Advocacy Platform for an Alternative Development (PAPDA), and The National Association of Haitian Agro-Professinals (ANDAH).

I believe strongly in the strength of the model they've outlined. I believe it presents a more sensible approach to Haiti's development -- especially since the sweatshop model has never worked anywhere.

I wish to make a few additional points:

1. You write: "We need practical answers, not theory."
But Marina, all practical answers have some theoretical foundation. The "practical" sweatshop model to develop Haiti's economy is grounded on a set of clear, albeit faulty, theories. Here are two key aspects of this discredited theory:

-Haiti has no business producing food crops (e.g., rice) since it lacks the comparative advantage. So, let big US companies produce rice and supply it to Haiti in a zero-tariff environment.

-Those farmers who no longer produce food can now work for sweatshops. After all, Haiti's comparative advantage lies in its dirt cheap labor. So, let the sweatshops take over and let's have a happy marriage between cheap labor and international sweatshops.

Here are two key aspects of the theory for real and sustainable development in Haiti:

-Food self-sufficiency and security is paramount. In this sense, peasants and farmers should be supported and protected. Production of basic food for the national market is a major priority. Key sectors of the economy (like agriculture) need protection -- not unfettered invasion of cheap imports.

-Industrialization should focus on ensuring the transfer of skills and technology and linkages to the national economy.

2. Notes on Haitian agriculture and a few random things
Before you all start yelling about the lack of effective demand for rice or inability of Haiti to produce rice or accusing me of cooking up some conspiracy theory about the impact of cheap US rice on Haiti, take a look at these figures and come to your own conclusions (source: US Department of Commerce):

US Rice Exports to Haiti (in milled tons)
1985: 7,337
1987: 100,177
1990: 112,892
1993: 135,679
1995: 197,713

Furthermore, for the week dated May 6, 2004, we read that Haiti bought almost half (21,400 metric tons) of US rice sales. To top it off, we get this from the US Department of Commerce "The amount of cereal grains exported to Haiti in 2000 reached its highest point, totaling $82.7 million USD. Haiti cannot produce enough cereal to supply local demand." [source: http://www.export.gov].

Please note: prior to this invasion of US rice, Haitian farmers were ABLE to produce all the rice consumed by Haitians.

3. More facts:

-Of the more than $500 million that poured into Haiti in 1994-95, agriculture got 1.1%, education less than 1%; the environment got almost nothing.

-Haiti has the lowest rate of import tariff of any developing country in the world. You will not find a more open economy in the Americas. Not even the US, preacher of economic liberalization, has a more open economy than Haiti.

-Haiti is the largest market for US rice in the Caribbean; the 7th largest importer of US rice in the world (1997).

Think about this for a minute: The "poorest country in the western hemisphere" figures among the top buyer of rice from the richest country in the world! And that "poorest" country bought grain and cereals for $83 million.

The scandal is not that Haiti imported that much in agriculture from the US The real scandal is that Haiti -- until the bitter prescriptions of so-called experts -- used to produce these things for its dynamic and vibrant local market. Yes, vibrant and dynamic, as American rice exporters have come to know.

Now with cynical debonair, we are told that "Haiti cannot produce enough cereal to supply local demand." It's all so convenient, isn't it? Since Haitians can't produce, let big American agribusiness do it for them. And since they're not working the land anyway, why not dispatch them to sweatshops -- provided they don't get ideas about workers' rights, of course.

Marx-Vilaire

DougRHess

M-V A

Post by DougRHess » Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:59 pm

Marx will be missed. I would appreciate any details that can be provided on an DC area service. I can be reached at dougrhess@aol.com (the r has to be in there to reach me).

I first met Marx almost 12 years ago and had lunch with Marx a couple months ago. At one point he did some work on a project on voter registration in the US that I am doing some consulting for this summer. All spring we had been exchanging job listsings online, too. I had an email from him just a few days ago, and I see that his AOL account is still on-line as I write. In fact, I just sent him a joke this morning via AOL instant messenger.

What a loss. Any additional info would be greatly appreciated.

-Doug Hess

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Haiti Activist Dies After Crash (Washington Post)

Post by admin » Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:40 pm


Haiti Activist Dies After Crash

By Del Quentin Wilber and Martin Weil

One of this country's most prominent activists for democracy and development in Haiti was fatally injured over the weekend when his car was struck by a stolen vehicle driven by a teenager, D.C. police said.

Marx Aristide, 37, of Silver Spring and a 30-year-old Maryland woman who was described by friends as his fiancee, were hit Saturday evening in Northwest Washington, police said.

Aristide, an economist who had once run the Washington Office on Haiti, a nonprofit human rights group, was described as an eloquent voice for his native island. He died about noon Sunday at Howard University Hospital, police said.

Authorities declined to identify the woman, calling her a witness to the accident, which occurred about 6:25 p.m. Saturday at Florida Avenue and 14th Street.

The 14-year-old driver of the stolen Jeep was charged with second-degree murder, leaving an accident and reckless driving, police said.

News reports of Aristide's writing and speaking, and associates interviewed yesterday, portrayed him as vigorous in urging Haitian Americans to contribute their talents and energies to help relieve Haiti's grinding poverty.

"He started a nonprofit organization called the Skill Share Foundation," said Haitian American leader Mildred Charles. The group reached out to Haitian expatriates to "share their knowledge and expertise in trying to rebuild Haiti," he said.

In addition, after Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide was apparently forced from office this year -- an action to which Marx Aristide objected -- he went to Haiti to observe the new interim government and the state of human rights, according to Washington-based rights activist Nicole Lee.

She said that he told audiences that despite his name, he was related to neither President Aristide nor Karl Marx.

Friends said that after president Aristide left office, Marx Aristide "was very active in challenging" what he considered U.S. policies that had driven him out. He and two others were to discuss Haiti yesterday with the editorial board of The Washington Post; the meeting was canceled.

Bill Fletcher Jr. of TransAfrica Forum, who was to head the delegation, said Aristide would have brought "a visceral connection . . . with the people and the situation in Haiti that was unique."

Marx Aristide was born in the Haitian city of Gonaives, studied at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and did graduate work at Howard University.

His mother lives in New York and he had a daughter, friends said.

Police said that Marx Aristide was headed east on Florida Avenue when his Toyota was struck by the Jeep, which was headed south at high speed on 14th Street NW. The Jeep's driver and another 14-year-old in the car ran but were later arrested, police said. They were not identified because of their age.

Marx Aristide's "life was a message to us all, to stand up and fight for what is right," Mildred Charles said.

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Wake and Funeral Information

Post by admin » Wed Jun 23, 2004 5:59 pm


22 Jen 2004

Zanmi yo,

Nanpwen kouraj pou n pale. Pou sa k panko tande nouvèl la se gwo trajedi k frape kominote Ayisyen an ak tout zanmi Ayiti.

Samdi 19 Jen 2004 la a 6:30pm 2 timoun 12 ak 14 an ki t ap fè gwo vitès nan yon Jeep Cherokee yo te vòlè travèse yon limyè wouj epi Jeep la fonse dirèkteman sou Marx ki te sou volan machin li ak fiyanse l akote l. Malgre gwo jèfò lopital Howard University, Marx pa chape. Msye mouri Dimanch 20 Jen 2004 a 11:51 am.

Marx se “alumni” ekip jèn Ayisyen ki te kwaze nan Klib Ayisyen Inivèsite Stony Brook nan ane 1980 yo ki te pran angajman pou nou aprann konprann peyi nou epi pou nou viv chak jou responsabilite nou anbrase pou fè lonè zansèt nou yo.

Lanbi an sonnen pou tout patriyòt vin ride fanmi Marx, fiyanse li, pitit li, manman pitit li ak tout fanmi ak zanmi yo pote rèl la.

Vèy la
Vandredi 25 Jen 2004 soti 5è pm pou rive 9è pm nan Torregrossa Funeral Home: 2265 Flatbush Ave ant Fillmore ak Ave. R nan Brooklyn nan.

Lantèman an
Menm kote a nan landemen Samdi maten soti 8:30 am pou rive 10 am. Apre sa kòtèj la ap mennen kadav la al repoze nan simityè Cypress Hills.

Resepsyon
Apati 12:30 pm,
734 East 80 Street
Brooklyn, NY

*******************

Dear Friends,

The words are truly hard to come by but for those of you who haven't heard the aweful news, a major tagedy has visited the Haitian community and all friends of Haiti.

Last Saturday June 19th 2004 around 6:30 pm 2 kids driving a in a stolen Jeep Cherokee ran a red light and rammed directly into the driver's door of the car Marx Aristide was driving with his fiancée by his side. Despite all the efforts of the doctors at Howard University Hospital, Marx expired the following day, Saturday June 20th 2004 at 11:51 am.

Marx is an alumni of SUNY @ Stony Brook's Haitian Students' Organization
where in the 1980's a group of Haitian students made a pact to learn to understand our people and our culture and to embrace our responsibility to the legacy of our ancestors.

We are calling on all patriots and friends of Haiti to come out to support Marx's family and friends in this difficult moment.

Wake
Friday June 25th, 2004, 5pm to 9pm at Torregrossa Funeral Home
2265 Flatbush Ave between Fillmore & Ave. R in Brooklyn.

Funeral
Also at Terragrossa, Saturday morning 8:30 am to 10 am. Internment will follow at Cypress Hills Cemetary.

Reception
From 12:30 pm on
734 East 80 Street
Brooklyn, NY

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Post by admin » Mon Jun 28, 2004 11:06 am


So long, Marx Vilaire Aristide. Your very short life inspired profound respect from those who came in contact with you. The news of your passing was and still is a great shock, even these days when we wake up every day to the news of young people like you dying in Haiti, in Iraq, and elsewhere. Somehow we could not imagine a fate so cruel as to steal from us one of Haiti's best spokespersons at a time when we needed you the most.

Fortunately, from the contacts that I have had with you, I sense that you want us to continue the struggle for a better Haiti, with even greater determination. Your extreme love of your compatriots is the beacon that will continue to guide us.

Peace.
Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti

Hugues St. Fort

Adieu camarade! (Adieu Marx-Vilaire)

Post by Hugues St. Fort » Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:39 pm

Du côté de chez Hugues, The Haitian Times, Vol. 6, No. 27, June 30-July 6, 2004:

Adieu camarade!

Par Hugues St. Fort

Au contraire de la plupart de ceux qui ont exprimé leur peine à l'annonce de sa mort brutale, je n'ai pas connu Marx-Vilaire Aristide et je ne l'ai jamais rencontré. Mais je lisais régulièrement ses interventions sur le forum de discussion Corbett où j'ai pu apprécier son immense intelligence dans tous les sujets qu'il abordait. Je lui consacre ma chronique d'aujourd'hui pour témoigner de mon chagrin, de ma tristesse et de la révolte que je ressens face aux circonstances dans lesquelles il a perdu la vie, circonstances si typiques de l'aspect insensé de notre condition post-moderne où l'on veut tout avoir tout de suite (deux adolescents brûlant un feu rouge dans une voiture volée sont rentrés brutalement de son côté dans la voiture qu'il condui
sait.). Inévitablement, les circonstances de la mort de Marx-Vilaire invitent à se poser les traditionnelles questions philosophiques : pourquoi? Y-a-t-il une raison pour expliquer cette perte révoltante? Si Dieu existe, comment et pourquoi a-t-il laissé cet accident se produire? Pourquoi ce sont toujours les innocents qui souffrent?

La première fois que j'ai lu Marx-Vilaire Aristide, c'était sur le forum de discussion de Guy Antoine dans un article intitulé «Dyas…It's a class thing.» daté du 13 juin 2001 (voir http://haitiforever.com/windowsonhaiti/w030228.shtml ). Dans cet article, Marx-Vilaire Aristide (MVA) développe la thèse que, contrairement à ce que certains semblent croire, la diaspora haitienne ne constitue nullement une entité sociale ou économique particulière et la fausse dichotomie entre Haitiens de l'intérieur et Haitiens de l'extérieur cache en réalité les contradictions profondes qui sous-tendent la structure de classe de la société haitienne. Cette fine analyse marxiste de MVA (sans j
eux de mots!) est sans doute l'une des meilleures que j'aie lues au sujet de la diaspora haitienne. Cependant, c'est sur le forum de discussion Corbett que MVA s'est le plus manifesté. Sa dernière intervention a été postée le 20 juin 2004 (peut-être qu'elle a été écrite le 18 ou le 19, soit la veille de sa mort) et c'était une réponse à une habituée du forum qui disait «we need practical answers, not theory» (nous n'avons pas besoin de théorie, nous avons besoin de réponses pratiques). MVA fit remarquer fort justement que toutes les réponses pratiques ont une fondation théorique (qui peut être fausse) et exposa deux aspects essentiels de la fausse théorie qui sous-tend le modèle tellement vanté des ateliers pratiques où la main d'œuvre est exploitée (sweatshop model).

Quelques jours auparavant, MVA était intervenu dans le bizarre et fascinant débat sur le viol dans la société haitienne, débat initié par une Américaine qui vit en Haiti et se fait appeler «Mambo Racine» (sic). Selon cette Américaine, il
y a une culture du viol dans la société haitienne et les Haitiens sont élevés pour devenir des violeurs qui ne seront pas punis. MVA dans sa brève intervention demanda à Mambo Racine s'il devrait, sur la base d'une révélation fournie par le Washington Post que des tas de diplomates de tous les coins du monde ainsi que des législateurs américains (Congressmen) avaient violé, battu, exploité des jeunes filles innocentes, généraliser comme elle le fait pour les Haitiens et conclure que tous les diplomates et tous les législateurs américains «are nothing but a bunch of dirty old men, whose only mission in life is to rape, exploit, beat, dehumanize and scar the innocence of tender young girls.» (ne sont rien qu'un groupe de vieux cochons dont la seule mission dans la vie est de violer, battre, exploiter, déshumaniser et salir l'innocence de délicates jeunes filles) (ma traduction).

Mais le sujet sur lequel MVA a retenu mon attention est la fermeture récente de l'industrie d'assemblage Grupo M qui employait
700 ouvriers haitiens. Utilisant sa formation d'économiste, MVA démolit l'idée largement répandue dans certains milieux que le développement de l'industrie d'assemblage en Haiti favoriserait l'économie haitienne en général en fournissant du travail à des milliers de travailleurs haitiens analphabètes et affamés. Il prit la défense de ces 700 ouvriers haitiens surexploités par Grupo M. Voici la réponse qu'il a lancée à son interlocuteur: «Mr. D…, no industrialization will ever take place with an assembly sector that is driven only to exploit local labor for foreign consumption. Industrialization would take place if there were a plan to transfer technology. This is never the case. The company comes in. It does its business. It makes its money. When it decides to shut down, it does so and leaves none, zilch, zero, nada of its technology behind. What industrialization can possibly occur in such scenario?»

Toujours lucide, MVA s'est gardé de suivre tête baissée le mouvement anti-Lavalas et son chef de parti
. Mais il a pris ses distances avec Lavalas et son chef. Voici ce qu'il écrivait au début de janvier 2004: «The least we should do is recognize, and yes, CELEBRATE the amazing, bold, and brave feats of our ancestors. They deserve no less. True, there's nothing to celebrate in terms of the country's development and poverty. But WE are the ones to blame for screwing up the liberty for which our ancestors gave their lives.»

Email: hugo274@aol.com

D.C. Crash Victim's Mother Seeks Mercy for Teen

Post by » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:32 am

washingtonpost.com


D.C. Crash Victim's Mother Seeks Mercy for Teen

By Nicole Fuller
Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, December 10, 2004

The mother of a community activist who was killed when his car was broadsided by a teenage joy rider urged a judge yesterday to release the youth to his family.

The emotional plea came at a sentencing hearing for the 14-year-old who has been found responsible for the death of Marx Aristide, a prominent activist for democracy and development in Haiti. The youth was driving a stolen car when he slammed into a vehicle driven by Aristide on June 19.

The D.C. attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case, is seeking to have the youth kept in the city's custody until age 21, the maximum penalty for a juvenile. But Aristide's mother joined the teenager's family in asking a D.C. Superior Court judge to show mercy. Judge Fern Flanagan Saddler is expected to rule Monday, when the hearing is scheduled to resume.

The mother, Claire Aristide, who speaks limited English, made her appeal through an interpreter, Dahoud Andre, a friend of Marx Aristide's.

"Nothing is going to bring Marx back," Andre told the court. "What [Claire Aristide] is going to lose, she lost already, and there's no reason for another mother to have to lose her child over this accident."

Aristide, 37, of Silver Spring, was among four people in the Washington area who were killed within a month last summer in traffic accidents for which teenage car thieves were blamed. Another death was attributed to reckless driving by a 16-year-old. The fatalities led to calls for stricter law enforcement and tougher penalties against juveniles.

Authorities said the 14-year-old was driving a stolen Jeep Cherokee at high speed on 14th Street NW when he ran a red light at Florida Avenue about 6:25 p.m., ramming into the driver's side of Aristide's vehicle. Aristide died the next day. His fiancee, a passenger in the car, was injured.

The youth pleaded responsible to second-degree murder and other charges. He has been in custody at the Oak Hill juvenile detention center in Laurel since his arrest.

Juvenile hearings are typically closed to the public, but reporters were permitted to observe the proceedings on the condition that the juvenile's identity not be disclosed.

In seeking to keep the youth in custody until age 21, prosecutors cited his admission that he had driven stolen cars at least twice before Aristide's death. Prosecutors also said the youth had attempted to flee the scene of the crash.

"He acknowledged that he has stolen cars in the past," said prosecutor Lynette Collins. "So clearly this type of behavior poses a danger to the community and one that the court can simply not gloss over."

The youth cried at times during the two-hour hearing, in which his father and aunt testified that he was a good child who made a mistake. He is expected to address the court Monday.

His father cried, too, as he told the court: "I'm sorry for the tragedy my son caused you all. I tried to be the best father I could at a young age. Please, don't take my baby away."

Aristide worked as an economist and had once run the Washington Office on Haiti, a nonprofit human rights group. He was not related to former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

His fiancee attended the hearing but did not make a statement and declined to speak to reporters.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Boy Gets Maximum for Fatal Crash

Post by » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:34 am

Boy Gets Maximum for Fatal Crash
14-Year-Old Ran Light in NW While Speeding in Stolen Car

By Nicole Fuller
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 14, 2004; Page B01

A 14-year-old boy who admitted killing a community activist in a traffic accident in Northwest Washington was sentenced yesterday to remain in the city's custody until he is 21, the maximum penalty.

The youth, who was driving a stolen car, expressed remorse for causing the death of Marx Aristide, telling the judge: "If I could go back to that day, I would change the hands of time, but I can't. I would just like to say I'm sorry."

The teenager's remarks came at the end of an extraordinary hearing in D.C. Superior Court, in which Aristide's mother joined with the youth's relatives in seeking to have him released to his family. Both families talked about the trauma they have endured since the June 19 crash. But Judge Fern Flanagan Saddler called for the youth to be committed to the city's youth services agency until he is 21.

The youth services agency will decide on the appropriate course. It could decide, for example, to keep the youth at the city's Oak Hill juvenile detention facility, move him to a group home or permit him at some point to return to his family under supervision. The judge recommended that, for now, he remain confined.

"I do think it's notable and unique that the family of the decedent has reached out . . . in a unique way and apparently towards a pattern of forgiveness," Saddler said. But she told the youth, "Your actions and choices have had a lot of negative consequences."

The D.C. attorney general's office argued for the maximum penalty, noting the youth's admission that he had driven stolen cars at least twice before the accident. Aristide, 37, an activist for democracy and development in Haiti, was one of four people who died in accidents involving youths in stolen vehicles within a one-month period.

One of the youth's attorneys, Trevor Gardner, cited the wishes of the two families in arguing for a more lenient sentence, saying, "This is a unique story of two families coming together, to bridge a seemingly bridgeless gap, even embracing in this very court."

Aristide and his fiancee had just finished their wedding plans when the 14-year-old, who authorities said was speeding in a stolen Jeep Cherokee, rammed into his car after running a red light at 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW. Aristide, of Silver Spring, died the next day.

Although juvenile proceedings are typically closed to the public and the media, The Washington Post was allowed to attend on condition that the boy not be identified.

In court last week, Claire Aristide, Marx's mother, who spoke through an interpreter, said that the youth's incarceration would not bring back her son. The boy's family also pleaded for his release.

Aristide's fiancee, who was injured in the crash, did not attend yesterday's sentencing. In a telephone interview, she said she believes that the court process places too much emphasis on protecting the rights of the juvenile and not enough on the victim.

"My concern is not the length of time that he be placed in youth detention, but that the service that he receives is in a structured environment where he can be rehabilitated and receive strong therapeutic and academic services," she said. "So that when he leaves the detention center, he has the tools necessary to live a productive life."

Outside of court, the boy's father apologized to the Aristide family. "Justice was served," he said. "I'm very upset that my son has done what he's done."

Marx Aristide, who worked as an economist, was not related to former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. His brother, Fedlaire Aristide, 36, a real estate investor who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., said by phone that he hoped the youth can turn around his life.

"If that kid can actually make a man out of himself in later years, then we would feel that my brother lived through him," he said.

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Letter sent by Marx Aristide's family to the Prosecution

Post by admin » Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:26 pm

Dear members of the forum,

I want to share with you the letter that was sent by Marx's family to the Prosecutors in the case against the two boys. I am sure that you will find it quite inspirational. What a tribute to Marx Aristide's life!

[quote]August 1st, 2004

Aricia Washington, Attorney
Assistant Corporation Counsel, DC
441 4th Street, NW Room 450 N
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Ms. Washington,

This letter is a follow-up to our conversation and the phone call placed to your office by Attorney James Drew on our behalf regarding the fate of the two 14 year-old boys, Terrel Tyrone McDonald and Jonathan Nathaniel Robinson, the driver and the passenger in the vehicle which collided with the car Marx-Vilaire Arisitide was driving on Saturday June 19th 2004 and caused the injuries which subsequently led to his death on Sunday June 20th 2004.

First and foremost we would like to thank you for taking the time to come to the memorial honoring Marx which was held at Howard University on July 10th 2004 to learn more about him and also for listening to us and our wishes in this matter.

As you may have realized through the film where Marx spoke about himself and the various testimonials from family and friends, Marx was a humanitarian. He was someone who dedicated his life to Haiti, to helping the poorest of the poor and for the betterment of mankind in general. At the memorial, our family took the very bold and for some controversial initiative of inviting Ms. Ida McDonald, Terrel McDonald's mother to come and address the audience together with Fedlaire Ariside, Marx's younger brother for the simple reason that there is no doubt in our minds and in our hearts that this is exactly what Marx would have wanted.

In keeping with the life that Marx lived, our family publicly embraced Ms. Ida McDonald and pledged that we would do all in our power to see to it that this tragic accident not be the cause of 2 more lost lives in addition to the one we have already lost. While we understand that these 2 young men will be tried as juveniles thus limiting the maximum period of incarceration, we would request that as the prosecutors in this case you keep in mind that in so many ways these two young men are also victims in this tragedy-victims of a society which has all but abandoned them. We firmly believe that the charge of second degree murder which is being brought against both boys is truly inappropriate and we request that your office consider rescinding this most serious charge.

We are aware that the issues which surround this case, car-jackings, stolen cars, accidents with stolen cars which lead to lost lives, are very serious indeed and do demand a firm response. We would though request that Marx's life not be used as a prop in the rush to bring paliatives to placate a concerned citizenry and in the process destroy the lives of
2 innocent though misguided young boys.

Respectfully,

Hilaire Aristide
Marx's father

Claire Aristide
Marx's mother

Fedlaire Aristide
Marx's brother

CC Lynette Collins, Esq.
James Drew, Esq. [/quote]

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