PART THIRTEENTH INSTALLMENT IN A SERIES OF POSTS DISCUSSING JOURNALISTS ACTIONS AND RESPONSES TO THE KILLING OF FABIENNE CHERISMA IN PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI ON THE 19TH JANUARY 2010.

The world only knew of Fabienne Cherisma’s life in the aftermath of her death.

15-year-old Fabienne Cherisma lies dead after being shot in the head in Port-au-Prince. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Carlos Garcia Rawlins’ photograph was used for Rory Carroll’s Guardian article, He had not picked her up since she was a toddler. Last week he carried her home (Tuesday 26th January). The article is succinct and dignified; Rory Carroll details Fabienne’s simple life and bold aspirations. For me, it remains the best news piece I have read about Fabienne and her family.

Thus, I went to the source and asked Rory to clear up some basic facts about Fabienne’s story.

PP: When did you meet with the Cherisma family?

RC: I met them on Friday 22nd January. I interviewed the parents and sister, Amanda, at their market-stall, and accompanied them to their home where we finished the interview.

PP: Who exactly, makes up Fabienne’s immediate family? I have seen many different spellings – can you verify their names?

RC: Father Osam, mother Amante Kerly, sister Amanda, brothers Ruben, Jeff, Jimmy and Biterly (not sure about spelling of latter, nor if brother or sister). (In all the photographs of the Cherismas the only brother known to us is Jeff (below). Many news outlets – including this blog – have had Amanda incorrectly referred to as Samantha)

PP: When was Fabienne buried in Zorange? What date?

RC: Wednesday 20th, the day after she was killed. (This answer is interesting as it means that Nick Kozak and the Cherismas chanced upon one another on the same day she was buried – I presume before the Cherismas left for Zorange.)

Photo: Nick Kozak, January 20, 2010

PP: What did the Cherismas intend to do.

RC: [They planned to] continue as before, working at the stall, with no plans to sue or prosecute.

PP: You said at the end of your report, “The one photo of her, in which she smiles, is lost. So is her birth certificate. The family thinks the hospital which recorded her birth was destroyed. There is no police investigation and the death is not registered. Officially, it is as if the teenager never was.” Do you think this will always be the case?

RC: Maybe not. Hopefully not – given the media attention paid to the story.

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Time and time again through my investigation I have found that few, if any, options exist for the Cherismas to launch an inquiry and insist upon an accountability for Fabienne’s death. The idea that they’ll “continue as before” – as if the expectation of public awareness and criminal prosecution is unreasonable – is a travesty.

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ALSO IN THE ‘PHOTOGRAPHING FABIENNE’ SERIES

Part One: Fabienne Cherisma (Initial inquiries, Jan Grarup, Olivier Laban Mattei)
Part Two: More on Fabienne Cherisma (Carlos Garcia Rawlins)
Part Three: Furthermore on Fabienne Cherisma (Michael Mullady)
Part Four: Yet more on Fabienne Cherisma (Linsmier, Nathan Weber)
Part Five: Interview with Edward Linsmier
Part Six: Interview with Jan Grarup
Part Seven: Interview with Paul Hansen
Part Eight: Interview with Michael Winiarski
Part Nine: Interview with Nathan Weber
Part Ten: Interview with James Oatway
Part Eleven: Interview with Nick Kozak
Part Twelve: Two Months On (Winiarski/Hansen)

Part Fourteen: Interview with Alon Skuy
Part Fifteen: Conclusions

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