Etzer Dépestre of ADATH killed 

Etzer Déprestre was laid to rest May 13 at the Parc du Souvenir cemetery in Port-au-Prince, following a funeral service at the Methodist Church of Frères, Pétion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. 

We, at A Dollar A Tree For Haiti (ADATH), grieve with the Dépestre family the great loss of Etzer, who succumbed to the multiple bullets fired at his vehicle by two bandits on motorcycles around 2:30 pm, Friday, May 5, at Tabarre, a district of Port-au-Prince. We’ve learned that Mr. Dépestre had just withdrawn some cash from a bank and was to oversee some construction work during the weekend at Petit-Goave, about 45 miles away, for the Marco Dépestre Foundation, named in remembrance of his late father, who was a leader of the Methodist Church of Haiti. 

According to the Police, witnesses say the bandits took away an envelope from the victim’s pocket as well as his wallet. In their hurry, they failed to take his telephone. That allowed the Police to find information regarding one of his brothers, Pastor Marco Dépestre, like his late father a minister who is Superintendent of the Methodist District of Pétion-Ville, Secretary of the Methodist Church of Haiti and a past president (2009-2012) of the Board of Directors of the “Nouveau Collège Bird,” a renowned school founded by the Church in 1960. To Etzer Dépestre’s son and daughter, his three brothers, four sisters as well as other relatives and many friends, allies and supporters in Haiti, Canada and the U.S., ADATH presents its condolences.

Etzer Dépestre, 64 years old, was a journalist and community organizer, who also oversaw the budding work of ADATH, especially its nursery at “Habitation Bethel” near Cabaret, some 20 miles north of Port-au-Prince. We deplore and strongly denounce the murder of Etzer Dépestre who, with the support of ADATH and in collaboration with Mrs. Gina Duncan of “Fondation Enfant Jesus,” was about to start a second nursery in Lamardelle, near the Haitian-Dominican border, some 25 miles east of Port-au-Prince. 

The vision and mission of ADATH, espoused by Etzer Dépestre, was the “GREENING OF HAITI” through nurseries in various communities, nurseries that will be owned and supervised by local people involved in long term projects of reforestation.

Instead of discouraging us, may his passing energize us and many others to follow his example, because Haiti needs visionaries like him to undertake the daunting task of reforesting a land that was once called “The Pearl of the Antilles.” [We count on you reading this to continue the work.