Annette Auguste, or So Ann, has also been imprisoned - since May 10, 2004, when US Marines kicked down her door, shot her dogs, handcuffed her 5-year old granddaughter, and took this 70-year old grandmother and singer away.
So Ann is locked in a police station, locked up with 147 other women. When we asked her, sitting in a corner in the open area between locked hallways of cells under the eyes of guards and young women prisoners, how many of these women were political prisoners, she told us - all of them. They were all rounded up from the poor neighbourhoods, and facing charges of 'associating' with malcontents - something out of the napoleonic legal code.
As for So Ann herself, she told us the bizarre twists and turns of the case against her. The first set of charges the Marines brought were that she was colluding with Muslims in a local mosque to attack the Marines. Given that this was May 10, 2004, we concluded there must have been a mixup in the American occupation filing system and they accidentally pulled out an accusation file for Iraq. When the absence of a mosque in So Ann's neighbourhood cast some doubt on this accusation, they tried to charge So Ann with attacking the anti-Aristide opposition in September 2003. She was in the hospital at the time. Next they produced an eyewitness stating that So Ann had ground a baby with a mortar and pestle in order that Aristide could drink the baby's blood. The eyewitness said So Ann called her for the ritual and even produced the phone number - for a number which So Ann did not acquire until months after the ritual supposedly took place. Now at least this last charge has a witness, even though that witness is apparently in France and has not been heard from in some time, and so that's the charge they are sticking with.
From the Embassy to the Prison, Justin Podur, 21 Septembre 2005