July 18, 2005 by

Jacques Roche

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Categories: Media, Writers/Editors

Jacques Roche, a well-known Haitian journalist, was found shot to death on July 14 on a Port-au-Prince street. He was in his early 40s.
The print/broadcast reporter and poet was kidnapped at gunpoint on July 10 while driving in the capital city. The abductors requested ransom money from his family, but they were unable to comply.
“They demanded $250,000, but after a lot of negotiation, they revised the amount downwards to $10,000. His relatives and friends had collected $10,000 that was sent to the kidnappers. Then they said they were waiting for the $240,000 remaining,” said journalist Chenald Augustin.
Roche edited the arts and culture section of Le Matin newspaper, and worked as a sports commentator for Radio IBO. He also hosted a local TV program on civil society issues, including one show about Groupe des 184, a coalition of 13 prominent business, religious and civic groups. Groupe des 184 played a role in the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide last year.
Roche’s body, which was found handcuffed and chained to a chair, showed signs of torture. His arms had been broken and burned, and his body was covered in blood.
[Update – July 19, 2005: Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue plans to schedule a national day of mourning for Roche. The government is also considering renaming the street where Roche’s body was found after him.]

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