Father Gerard Jean-Juste

28 MAY 2009

Reverend Gerard Jean-Juste, a tireless advocate for justice for Haitians in Haiti and the U.S., passed away Wednesday, May 27, 2009.




Paraphrased from Social Edge:
Gérard Jean-Juste, a human rights activist and priest from Haiti, helped refugees fleeing persecution under the Duvalier regime in Miami in the ’70s, then returned to Haiti in 1990 to become pastor in Tiplas Kazo.

As a result of his activism, he was imprisoned for months at a time without access to due process of the law.

In this three-minute interview with Global X, Fr. Gérard Jean-Juste explained how he made the decision to start “une cantine” (a soup kitchen) in Haiti. A young boy, part of a family of ten children (“the father was dead, the mother was very ill”) went to him to complain that he was hungry.

“It was like a cry in my heart. I had to perform a miracle.”

He did.


Haitian Lawyers Association

Press Release

May 27, 2009


We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a man of integrity and courage, who by his grace, his generosity, his compassion, and his love has touched the lives of millions, regardless of color, class, race, and national origin. Indeed, he was a staunch advocate for civil rights, equality, racial and economic justice. His clarion call for freedom, democracy, justice, and equality in our mother land— Haiti has reverberated in all corners of the Haitian Diaspora.

He was so much more than those images that are emblazoned in our minds. By his example, he has brightened our lives and has reinforced our unflinching commitment to promote the common good, cherish our common humanity, and protect the universal values of mankind.

This man has devoted all his life to the cause of the poor, the powerless, and the voiceless. He strived to do good, seek justice, and foster change in a world where injustice, poverty, racial discrimination, and inequality dominate many governments and institutions around the globe. Now that he is no longer with us, may his legacy serve as a moral compass to us all as we continue our journey in this world. Although his passing will inevitably cause deep sadness and anguish, it is somewhat comforting to know that his legacy will endure for generations to come.

The Haitian Lawyers Association including its members, staff, and affiliates express their deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We urge you to keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers in this time of sorrow. As much as we lament his passing, it helps to remember that his journey in this world has been one of great accomplishments and success. Certainly, he earned the right to be in the pantheon of reverential men. Thus, his passing, though heartbreaking, is also a celebration of the life of a “great one”. His passing affords us an opportunity to reflect as a community about the socioeconomic problems that have plagued our communities and mother land for decades. Let’s follow his foot-steps to meet our true destiny as a people, the Haitian People. Let’s embrace his legacy as our moral compass when dealing with one another. Let’s open our hearts to his teachings of brotherhood and fraternity. Finally, let’s us work together and reject division and discord to fulfill his vision.

UNPROTECTED: Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste protests the 2003
U.S.-backed coup in Haiti.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – APRIL 30: Father Gerard Jean-Juste
holds up a fruit at Saint Clare’s church rectory April 30, 2008
in Port au Prince, Haiti. The church, headed by
Father Gerard Jean-Juste served about 1,000 people a day.

For those of us who speak, read, and understand Kreyol, the following is a message from Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide. It can be heard audibly as well at


Reveran Pè Gérard Jean Juste
Triyonfe sou lanmò

Pè Jean Juste triyonfe
Paske nan pòt lanmò a,
Sèl paspò e sèl viza
Ki konte se LANMOU.

E se la! Wi , wi, se la!
Se la, nan pòt lanmò a
Nou tout gen pou pase.
Se la, sèl paspò e sèl viza
Ki konte se LANMOU.

Se la, nan vil Jerizalèm,
Anndan jaden Jetsemani,
Arestasyon Jezu te fèt
Nan blakawout lahèn.

Se la, nan Petyon Vil,
Anndan legliz Sen Pyè,
Arestasyon Pè Djeri te fèt
Nan menm blakawout la.

Se la, sou tèt tèt mòn kalvè,
Tout bouji lanmou te etenn
Pou mechan yo sakrifye Jezu.

Se la, nan kacho prizon lakay,
Yo te deja sakrifye Pè Jean Juste
Sou lotèl kidnapinn 29 fevriye a.

Se la, akoz lanmou ki nan kè l,
Jezu te ofri tout san ki nan kò l
Pou wouze tout jaden delivrans.

Se la, nan swiv Jezu ke l renmen,
Pè Jean Juste ofri dènye gout san pa l
Pou Ayiti tounen yon tè delivrans.

Se la, nou ka dekouvri aklè
Pa gen pi gwo prèv lanmou
Pase lè ou sakrifye lavi ou
Pou moun ou renmen yo.

Se la tou nou dekouvri
Mouchwa konsolasyon
Pou siye dlo nan je moun
Ki renmen Frè nou an.

Onè pou ou, Pè Jean Juste!
Respè pou ou, Frè nou Djeri!
W ap toujou ret byen vivan
Nan lespri moun ki renmen w.
Se la ou triyonfe sou lanmò !

Plis nou rale zetwal konpliman
Pou ofri w kouwòn rekonesans,
Plis nap kontinye toujou sonje:

Se la, nan pòt lanmò a
Nou tout gen pou pase.
Se la, sèl paspò e sèl viza
Ki konte se LANMOU.

Dr Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Pretoria, 28 -05- 2009


One Response

  1. U.N. denials in Haiti

    by Kevin Pina

    Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a symbol of strength, courage and leadership to a great many, was to be laid to rest by his family, friends and supporters on June 18. Few expected the solemn occasion would be transformed into confusion and terror as U.N. forces opened fire towards Haiti’s national cathedral following the arrest of one of the mourners. A victim of a single gunshot wound to the head would be discovered moments later. Witnesses say his body writhed and convulsed struggling with the inevitable as blood slowly formed a crimson background around his head.

    Jean-Juste would probably not be surprised by the shooting given that he was a leader of Lavalas and this was after all a Lavalas funeral. He would most likely recall many other instances of human rights abuses committed against Lavalas where the U.N. was complicit or directly involved. He would often criticize the U.N. mission in Haiti for killing unarmed civilians in Cite Soleil and for training the Haitian police as they regularly shot up peaceful demonstrations, performed summary executions and falsely arrested Lavalas supporters following the ouster of Aristide in Feb. 2004. Jean-Juste more than most, would understand that this incident is but one more in a long list of violent offenses committed against the movement of the majority of the poor in Haiti as part of the U.N.’s current experiment in political landscaping.

    FULL ARTICLE: http://haitiaction.net/News/HIP/6_30_9/6_30_9.html

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