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The unsolved murders of Haitian journalists in South Florida and why they're relevant today

Courtesy of Steel Communications
The podcast “Silenced: The Radio Murders” is about the murders of local Creole radio journalists in Little Haiti in the 1990s.

It was more than 30 years ago when three journalists in Little Haiti were shot and killed.

The neighborhood was shaken because the threat seemed to come from across the sea.

The murders came at a time of political crisis in Haiti. A new president, Jean-Betrand Aristide, had been elected. Factions still supported the dictatorships of the Duvaliers.

Allegiance to either side could get you killed — even if you were in Miami.

The three journalists supported the new president on their radio shows in South Florida. Their names wound up on a supposed kill list — and all three were murdered in separate shootings.

Ana Arana was a young newspaper reporter when she covered the killings. She never could let them go.

She partnered with journalist Oz Woloshyn to produce a new podcast Silenced: The Radio Murders, which revisits the shootings and tries to answer the question: Who ordered the murders of these three journalists?

The podcast delves into the political intrigue that followed Haitians from the island to the Little Haiti community. And how the violent clashes across the water spilled into South Florida.

It explores the power of radio to influence minds on both sides of the Caribbean. And how the exercise of free speech can have grave consequences.

On the May 2 episode of Sundial, Arana and Woloshyn join us to talk about their podcast investigation into a crime that shook South Florida.

On Sundial’s previous episode, Dr. Armen Henderson, the founder of Dade County Street Response, and Emily Eachus, a medical student who works for the organization, told us about combining medical care with social justice. They treat those with barriers to healthcare and meet them where they are.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Stay in touch with us by emailing us at sundial@wlrnnews.org.

Carlos Frías is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is a former associate producer for Sundial.