Riquet Michel, 1966 - 2010
Radio Producer (Haiti)
Riquet Michel, a national of Haiti, worked for the UN for over 16 years in various public information and communications roles, including overseeing a UN radio station. Most recently as a Press Relations Officer and Radio Producer for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Riquet had the distinction of having served in all the UN Missions in Haiti since 1993.
From 1993 until 2001, he worked as an information assistant with the successive UN peacekeeping missions in Haiti. Due to the civil unrest in the region and subsequent downsizing of the mission, he left in 2001. He worked in various media roles until returning to the UN in 2004 as radio journalist and producer.
“Having worked together at different UN Missions in Haiti from 1994 to 2000, Riquet was my colleague and friend,” said a colleague and high school friend “but our friendship started long before, on the benches at high school. He was a journalist who was passionate, loved life and all of its challenges.”
Another friend and colleague said, “A diligent worker, always good humoured and with a natural smile, it was a pleasure to work alongside him every day. We had just spoken on the phone last month about how he dreamed of leaving Haiti for New York. After so many years of serving with the different UN Missions, he had hoped that the Organization would reward him with an international post outside his beloved country.”
“I will always remember his warmth as he welcomed me to the radio,” said another colleague. “He never made me feel like an ‘outsider’ and he welcomed my experience. He will forever be remembered for his dedication, his spark and the love he had for his job and his country.” Another colleague agreed, “He had a bright spirit. I remember his incredibly positive energy and professionalism.”
A strong believer in his home country, Riquet made sure that the audio broadcast he transmitted from inside the studio would be factual, relevant and engaging for the people of Haiti. “Riquet was very experienced and an amazing radio journalist, with a rich voice. He had a great insight into all issues whether political, economic, social or cultural,” said a colleague. His voice was a frequent feature on the airwaves in Haiti, since he had also worked at Radio Metropole and Radio Galaxie.
“Ricoulet” or “Criquette,” as his close friends called him, lived in the district of Delmas with his wife Marie-Junelle, and two children Fabrice, 9, and Matteo, 5.
“He and his family lived simply but one could see he was very much a loving family person, caring for them deeply,” said his colleague and neighbour in Haiti.
“Riquet was the one everyone could count on,” said a colleague. “He is unforgettable. He died in the country that he loved so much.”
Educated in media and communications, Riquet graduated from the Université Martin Luther King in Haiti in 1990 with a degree in telecommunications, and later from the Institute of Training and Development in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he studied journalism. He also trained with Voice of America in radio broadcasting in Washington, D.C.
He is survived by his wife Marie-Junelle and their two sons.