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The opposition/post-Artistide gov't
Economic policy, foreign interference (24)
Foreign involvement (29)
The overthrow of Aristide (16)
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The 2004 removal of Jean-Bertrand Aristide

 
  

Project: 2004 Ousting of Jean-Bertrand Aristide

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Early 1990s

       Haitian Guy Philippe is trained by US Special Forces in Ecuador. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04; Observer, 3/2/2004; One World, 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe
          

October 31, 1991-October 15, 1994

       In Haiti, the Front for the Advancement of Progress of the Haitian People (FRAPH) overthrows the government while Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is on a visit to the UN in New York. The group rules as a repressive military regime until 1994 when a US-led UN intervention puts Aristide back in power (see September 19, 1994-October 15, 1994) [Rogozinski, 1992; Observer, 3/2/2004] The junta is responsible for the massacre of hundreds—or by some estimates, thousands—of dissidents. [Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004; Observer, 3/2/2004] The leader of the group is Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, who later acknowledges he had support from the CIA. “Emmanuel Constant is widely alleged, and himself claims, to have been in the pay of, and under the orders of, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) during the coup period,” Amnesty International will later report. The amount paid to Constant by the CIA during this period is $500/month. [Amnesty International, 2/7/1996; Observer, 3/7/2004; Center for Constitutional Rights, 2/18/2004; London Review of Books, 4/15/2004] Second in command is Louis-Jodel Chamblain, who had led death squads during the years of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier's dictatorship and who is later convicted and implicated in multiple crimes committed during this period. [The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004; Observer, 3/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

September 11, 1993

       Antoine Izmery, financier of Haitian President Jean-Claude Bertrand and a known pro-democracy advocate, is dragged from church during a mass, and executed. Louis-Jodel Chamblain is later convicted in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime. [The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004; Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04 Sources: Amnesty International Letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Antoine Izmery, Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

October 14, 1993

       Haitian Justice Minister Guy Malary and his bodyguard are killed in an ambush. According to a CIA memorandum, dated October 28, 1993, which will later be obtained by the Center for Constitutional Rights, “FRAPH members Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel Constant, and Gabriel Douzable met with an unidentified military officer on the morning of 14 October to discuss plans to kill Malary.” According to the Center, “Constant at the time was a paid CIA informant, earning $500 a month.” [Center for Constitutional Rights, 2/18/2004; Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant
          

April 18-22, 1994

       On April 18 and 22, 1994, members of the Haitian Armed Forces and the paramilitary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH) enter the costal slum of Raboteau on the outskirts of the city of Gonaives. They break into “dozens of homes, beating and arresting those they found inside,” the BBC recounts several years later. Several of the victims are “tortured on site” and “forced to lie in open sewers” while others are shot as they try to escape. [The Center for Justice and Accountability, n.d.; BBC, 10/4/2004; The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004] Between two dozen and one hundred deaths are attributed to the Raboteau Massacre. The number will remain undetermined, however, because the attackers kill many who are fleeing in boats and whose bodies fall into the sea. Additionally, the killers toss several bodies of people killed on the land also into the ocean. Days later, mutilated bodies wash back to shore. [St. Petersburg Times, 9/1/2002; The Center for Justice and Accountability, n.d. Sources: Amnesty International Letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell] Among those who will be convicted for the atrocity are Louis-Jodel Chamblain and Jean Pierre Baptiste. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; BBC, 10/4/2004; The Center for Justice and Accountability, n.d.; The Jamaica Observer, 3/7/2004 Sources: Amnesty International Letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Jean Pierre Baptiste, “Jean Tatoune”
          

(September 1994)

       Louis-Jodel Chamblain escapes to the Dominican Republic in 1994 when the US military intervenes in Haiti to return Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

(Late October 1994)

       The United States-led Multinational Force (MNF) searches the FRAPH office in Port-au-Prince and removes 60,000 pages of documents, mostly in French, which are given to the US. [FAS, n.d.; Amnesty International, 2/7/1996]
          

(December 1994)

       Haitian authorities put warrants out for the arrest of FRAPH leaders Emmanuel “Toto” Constant and his deputy, Louis Jodel Chamblain who are wanted for their involvement in human rights violations that occurred during the previous three-year period of military rule. Emmanuel Constant flees to the United States. [Amnesty International, 2/7/1996]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant
          

1995

       Guy Philippe joins the new Haitian National Police and is posted at Ouanamithe near Haiti's northern border with the Dominican Republic. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe
          

Early October 1995-October 1996

       Haiti's government and lawyers for Alerte Belance, a Haitian woman who was assaulted by FRAPH forces during the coup period (see October 31, 1991-October 15, 1994), seek the FRAPH documents (see (Late October 1994)) from the United States. But the US Defense Department refuses to provide them, saying the papers are classified and must first be reviewed before being released. The Haitian government wants to use the documents as evidence in the prosecution of FRAPH members and Belance's attorneys have subpoenaed them for use as evidence in a lawsuit against FRAPH member Emmanuel Constant who is living openly in the USA, and who has admitted being a paid CIA asset during the FRAPH's period of military rule in Haiti (see October 14, 1993). Belance's lawyers say the documents could contain important information about FRAPH's financing, their weapons, and the crimes they are accused of having committed. In October 1996, the US sends documents to Port-au-Prince, but the Haitian government refuses them on grounds that they are incomplete. [Amnesty International, 3/2004; UPS, 10/10/1995; Amnesty International, 2/7/1996]
People and organizations involved: Alerte Belance, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant
          

1997-1999

       Guy Philippe serves as police chief in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas. According to Human Rights Watch, “dozens of suspected gang members ... [are] summarily executed, mainly by police under the command of Inspector Berthony Bazile, Philippe's deputy.” Philippe will later deny the allegation in an interview with the Miami Herald. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04]
People and organizations involved: Berthony Bazile, Guy Philippe
          

May 21, 2000

       After being postponed three times during the last seven months, Haitian parliamentary and local elections are finally held with a turnout of about 60 percent. Voters must fill some 7,625 posts in the legislature, mayoral commissions, and local and rural councils that were made vacant in January 1999, when the congress and local offices were disbanded by President Rene Preval (see January 1999). The Lavalas party of Jean-Bertrand Aristide wins the elections by a landslide, winning 15 of the 19 contested Senate seats and some 80 percent of the seats in the House of Assembly. However the results are challenged by the opposition, the US, and the Organization of American States, which say that Haiti's electoral council did not use the proper formula to calculate the votes. As a result of the controversy, the opposition will boycott the June 9 run-off elections (see July 9, 2000) as well as the presidential elections in November (see November 2000). More significantly, aid donors threaten that they will continue to withhold $500 million in aid if the government does not come to an agreement with the opposition. [CounterPunch, 3/1/2004; Associated Press, 12/7/2000; BBC, 7/8/2000; US Department of State, 2/23/2001; CBS News, 11/29/2000; BBC, 5/30/2000; Taipei Times, 3/1/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; BBC, 5/22/2000; BBC, 5/22/2000; Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; BBC, 7/14/2000]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Rene Preval
          

After May 21, 2000

       Political groups opposed to the party of Jean-Bertrand Aristide form the Democratic Convergence, a coalition made up of roughly 200 groups, which is headed by former Port-au-Prince mayor Evans Paul, a previous Aristide supporter and leader of the Convention for Democratic Unity. [Boston Globe, 2/14/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004] The Convergence is a product of the USAID program, “Democracy Enhancement,” the purpose of which is to “fund those sectors of the Haitian political spectrum where opposition to the Aristide government could be encouraged.” Financial support for the Convergence comes from the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is associated with the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. The IRI receives about $3 million annually from Congress, as well as millions more from private Haitian and US interests. The organization's board includes a number of “current or former Republican Party officials, Republican officeholders, or members of Republican administrations.” The IRI's activities in Haiti are not completely understood and Roger Noriega, the US permanent representative to the Organization of American States, has always refused to elaborate on the organization's work in Haiti. [Boston Globe, 2/14/2004; Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), 2/27/2004; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; Chomsky, n.d.; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Evans Paul, USAID, Democratic Convergence, International Republican Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, US Congress, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

October 18, 2000

       The prime minister of Haiti says that Guy Philippe and others are planning to overthrow the Aristide government. Philippe and the other plotters flee across the Dominican border before they can be arrested. [Human Rights Watch, 2/27/04; Miami Herald, 2/28/04]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

November 2000

       Jean-Bertrand Aristide runs unopposed in Haiti's presidential elections and wins with 91.5 percent of the vote. The opposition Democratic Convergence party does not participate in the elections in protest of the May 21, 2000 congressional and municipal elections (see May 21, 2000) which its members claim were rigged. The election turnout is disputed. Though some news agencies report a low turnout of between 5 percent and 10 percent, Aristide's party, as well as five US-based NGOs—Global Exchange, the Quixote Center, Witness for Peace and Pax Christi—estimate the figure at 61 percent, or 3 million of Haiti's voters. [Global Exchange, 2001; Associated Press, 12/7/2000; Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004; BBC, 7/7/2000; Zmag, 5/5/2004; CounterPunch, 3/1/2004; CBS News, 11/29/2000] These figures are also supported by USAID-commissioned Gallup polls taken both before and after the elections, but which are suppressed by the US. [Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Democratic Convergence, USAID
          

June 8, 2001

       Seven of the eight Haitian senators, whose elections are still being disputed by the Democratic Convergence (see May 21, 2000), resign after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide tells the General Assembly of the Organization of American States that he will hold new elections for the contested Senate seats within six months. But the Democratic Convergence is not satisfied with the concession and maintains its insistence that he resign and that it be put in charge of a non-elected “transition” government. [Dollars and Sense, 9/2003; BBC, 6/8/2001; Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Democratic Convergence
          

March 2002

       A USAID-commissioned Gallup poll indicates that 61.6 percent of the survey's participants sympathize or are members of Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas party, while only 13 percent say they support the Democratic Convergence or any of its associated parties. Sixty percent of the respondents indicate that the Haitian leader they trust most is Aristide, though several say they trust no one. Democratic Convergence leader Gerard Gourgue, with only 3.7 percent, is the next most trusted politician. [Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Gerard Gourgue, USAID
          

November 19, 2002

       The Haiti Democracy Project (HDP) is formally established. At its official launching, which takes place at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., speakers warn that the current “crisis” in democracy in Haiti is worsening at an ever increasing pace. “... Luigi Einaudi opened the talks with dire predictions that Haiti was fast approaching a point where diplomatic means would no longer contribute to solve the crisis. According to Einaudi, those concerned about Haiti should at this time be gathering for a ‘wake.’ The rapidly deteriorating economic situation, the inability of the main protagonists to advance the negotiating process and the increasing protest demonstrations throughout the country made for a very bleak future.” US ambassador to the OAS, Roger Noriega also speaks at the ceremony. At one point, Noriega says, referring to the contested 2000 Haitian elections (see May 21, 2000), “We have to get them [The Haitian people] that opportunity as they will not participate in a farce.” [Haiti Democracy Project, 11/20/2004] Attending the event are some questionable figures including Stanley Lucas and Olivier Nadal. Lucas is said to be the point man in Haiti for the USAID-financed International Republican Institute, which is providing training and funds to anti-Aristide Haitian rebels in the Dominican Republic (see (2001-2004)). Nadal is a Miami-based Haitian businessman and the former president of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce. [Haiti Democracy Project, 11/20/2004] Nadal is implicated in a peasant massacre that occurred in the Haitian town of Piatre. In 1990, a group of peasants were killed by Nadal's security after they squatted on unused land that he owned. [National Coalition for Haitian Rights, 4/24/2004; Haitis Progres, 7/21/1999] The prominent businessman Antoine Izmery said shortly before he was murdered that Nadal had been one of the financiers of the 1991 coup d'etat (see October 31, 1991-October 15, 1994) that ousted Aristide from office. And in 1994, the United States government froze Nadal's assets because of his suspected involvement in the coup. [Haitis Progres, 7/21/1999] The Haiti Democracy Project is funded by the wealthy, right-wing Haitian Boulos family, which owns several companies including Pharval Pharmaceuticals, the USAID-funded Radio Vision 2000, the Delimart supermarket, and Le Matin. In February 2002, Rudolph Boulos was under investigation for his possible involvement in the assassination of Haitian journalist Jean Dominique who had been very critical of Pharval after contamination of the company's “Afrebril and Valodon” syrups with diethyl alcohol had resulted in the deaths of 60 children. [Haiti Weekly News, 2/28/02; Haiti Democracy Project, 11/20/2004; Haiti Progres, 7/21/1999; Knight Ridder, 3/11/2004] The project's board of directors includes Rudolph Boulos, CEO of Pharval Laboratories; Vicki Carney of CRInternational; Prof. Henry F. Carey of Georgia State University; Timothy Carney, US ambassador to Haiti (1998-1999); Clotilde Charlot, former vice-president of the Haitian Association of Voluntary Agencies; Lionel Delatour of the Center for Free Enterprise and Democracy (CLED); Ira Lowenthal, an “Anthropologist”; Charles Manus; Orlando Marville, Chief of the OAS electoral mission to Haiti in 2000; James Morrell, the Haiti Democracy Project's executive director; Lawrence Pezzullo, US special envoy for Haiti (1993-1994); and Ernest H. Preeg, US ambassador to Haiti (1981-1983). [Haiti Democracy Project, 3/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Antoine Izmery, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Olivier Nadal, Haiti Democracy Project, Vicki Carney, Jean Dominique, Henry F. Carey, Rudolph Boulos, Stanley Lucas, Luigi Einaudi, Timothy Carney, Roger Francisco Noriega, Ernest H. Preeg, Lawrence Pezzullo, James Morrell, Orlando Marville, Clotilde Charlot, Lionel Delatour, Ira Lowenthal, Charles Manus
          

December 2002

       The Haiti Democracy Project creates the “Coalition of 184 Civic Institutions,” which is comprised of Haitian NGOs funded by USAID and/or the International Republican Institute (IRI ), the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce, as well as several other groups. [Dollars and Sense, 9/7/2003] The coalition's leader is Andre Apaid, a US citizen born to Haitian parents who is the head of Alpha Industries,“one of the oldest and largest assembly factories in Haiti.” His factories—located in Haiti's free trade zones—produce textiles and assemble electronic products for several US companies, including Sperry/Unisys, IBM, Remington and Honeywell, some of which are used in US Government computers and US Defense Department sonar and radar equipment. According to a report by the National Labor Committee, Apaid's businesses are known to have forced their employees to work 78-hour work-weeks at wages below the minimum rate. [London Review of Books, 4/15/2004; National Labor Committee for Worker and Human Rights, 1/1996; Haiti Progres, 11/12/2003]
People and organizations involved: Haiti Democracy Project, Andre Apaid, USAID, International Republican Institute
          

February 2003

       Stanley Lucas, who is the point man in Haiti for the Republican-dominated International Republican Institute (IRI) based in the Dominican Republic, meets with Haitian rebel Guy Philippe and his men. Three months later the group will cross into Haiti and attack a hydroelectric power plant. Lucas has long ties to the Haitian military (see Early May 2003). After the toppling of Aristide's government 12 months later, it will be learned that the group had been funded and trained through the IRI (see (2001-2004)). [Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC), 2/27/2004; The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe, Stanley Lucas, International Republican Institute
          

Early May 2003

       A group of at least 20 paramilitary soldiers—trained and funded by the US (see (2001-2004)) —cross into Haiti from the neighboring Dominican Republic and attack a hydroelectric power plant on Haiti's central plateau. Shortly after the attack, Dominican authorities, at the behest of the Haitian government, arrest five men, including Guy Philippe, in connection with the paramilitary operation. But they are quickly released by the Dominicans who say there is no evidence of their involvement in the attack. Philippe is interviewed by the Associated Press afterwards and asked what he is doing in the Dominican. Philippe, who mentions to the reporter that he would support a coup against Aristide, refuses to “say how he makes a living or what he does to spend his time in the Dominican Republic.” Less than one year later, Philippe will participate in the overthrow of the Aristide government. [The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003] On the same day the five men are detained, Haitian authorities raid the Port-au-Prince residence of mayoral candidate Judith Roy of the Democratic Convergence opposition. The Haitians claim to find “assault weapons, ammunitions, and plans to attack the National Palace and Aristide's suburban residence.” The Haitian government contends that Roy is close to Philippe. [The Black Commentator, 5/15/2003]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence, Judith Roy, Guy Philippe
          

May 6, 2003

       Dominican police arrest five Haitians, including Arcelin Paul, the official Democratic Convergence representative in the Dominican Republic, who they believe are plotting the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government. Also at this time, there is a US build-up along the Dominican border, where “900 US soldiers patrol jointly with the Dominican army, whom they have armed with 20,000 M16s.” Ben Dupuy, general secretary of the left-wing party PPN, tells the left-wing Haiti Progres, “There is no doubt these guys are true terrorists working with the CIA under Dominican protection.” Documentary filmmaker Kevin Pina, who has been covering Haiti for over a decade, calls this the “US funding of the Haitian ‘Contras.’ ” A September 2003 article in the magazine, Dollars and Sense, will comment: “Whatever we call them, there is an organized and well-funded armed group with ties to the Convergence, based in the Dominican Republic, which aims to overthrow the Aristide government. The Bush administration's support for the Convergence and its refusal to denounce this violence, as well as the US military presence along the border, through which the ‘Manman’ army easily travels, clearly implicates the United States in this aim.” [Dollars and Sense, 9/2003]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence, Ben Dupuy, Arcelin Paul, Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

January 2004

       The terms of all Haitian legislators elected in 2000 expire. The Democratic Convergence refuses to allow new congressional elections, so Haiti at this time no longer has a legislature. [Resource Center of the Americas, 2/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Democratic Convergence
          

January 1, 2004

       Seventy wealthy Haitians and Haitian-Americans officially launch Haiti's first investment bank, PromoCapital. The bank, a 50/50 joint-venture between Haitian and US shareholders, consists of two institutions: PromoCapital Haiti, SA—incorporated in Haiti as a “Soci�t� Financi�re de D�veloppement” —and PromoCapital USA, Inc,—a corporation registered in the state of Delaware. [PromoCapital Press Release, 4/2/2004; USA Today, 4/29/2004] The bank's headquarters are in Petionville, Haiti with representative offices in Washington DC and Aventura, Florida. [PromoCapital Press Release, 4/2/2004; USA Today, 4/29/2004] Its founder, Dumarsais Sim�us, who owns a large food-processing business in Texas, says the bank's investors hope to see annual returns on their investment in the mid- or high teens. He is also the chair of PromoCapital USA. Henri Deschamps, a prominent Port-au-Prince printing and media executive, is the chairman of PromoCapital Haiti. [USA Today, 4/29/2004; PromoCapital Press Release, 4/2/2004] Of the 70 names included on the list of PromoCapital shareholders, nine—Frederic Madsen, Gilbert Bigio, Gregory Brandt, Marc-Antoine Acra, Monique Bigio, Olivier Acra, Ronald Georges, Reuven Bigi, and Sebastien Acra—appear on a US Treasury Department list of people and organizations whose assets had been blocked by the US Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control under the Clinton Administration, until 1994. [Sources: Office of Foreign Assets Control Listing of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Entities since December 7, 1993] And one of them, Hans Tippenhauer, had told The Washington Post on February 23 that the Haitians had enthusiastically greeted the paramilitary rebel forces as “freedom fighters.” [The Washington Post, 2/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: The Simeus Foundation, Steeve Handal, Serge Pinard, Serge Parisien, Vanessa Dickey, Reuven Bigio, Yael Bigio-Garoute, Yves Joseph, Rudolph Moise, Ronald Georges, Michael Gay Sr., May Parisien, Marc-Antoine Acra, Magdalah Silva, Laurent Pierre-Philippe, Monique Bigio, Rudolph Berrou→t, Nadege Tippenhauer, Patrice Backer, R←gynald Heurtelou, Reginald Villard, Patrick Tardieu, Patrick Moynihan, Patrick Delatour, Olivier Acra, Laurence Bigio, Kimberly Simeus, Josseline Colimon-F←thi│re, Albert Levy, PromoCapital, Axan Abellard, Carlet Auguste, Caroline Racine, Daniel Rouzier, Herve Francois, Henry Paul, Henri Deschamps, Hendrik Verwaay, Harriet Michel, Jacques Deschamps Fils, Hans Tippenhauer, Jean-Henry C←ant, Jean-Pierre Saint-Victor, Joseph Baptiste, Jon Robertson, Joelle Coupaud, Jerry Tardieu, Jean-Robert Vertus, Jean-Marie Wolff, Gregory Brandt, Gilbert Bigio, Gerd Pasquet, Elisabeth Delatour, Dumarsais M. Sim←us, Dimy Doresca, Daniele Jean-Pierre, Esq., Daniel Silva, Emile Corneille, Emmanuel Francois, Florence Bellande Robertson, Frantz Bourget, Georges J. Casimir, Gary Jean-Baptiste, Julio Bateau, Gabrielle Alexis, Esq., Fred Tony, Frederic Madsen, Fritz Fougy, Sebastien Acra, Elda James, Esq.  Additional Info 
          

January 30, 2004

       In Washington, there is an anti-Aristide demonstration sponsored by the Haiti Democracy Project. Several hundred protesters, including many Haitian Americans and recent exiles, attend the event. Many of the demonstrators arrive in buses from New York and Boston. [Miami Herald, 1/30/04]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Democratic Convergence
          

February 2004

       Comite des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertes Individuelles (CARLI), a Haitian “human rights” organization, compiles a list with the names of about 85 alleged human rights violators, all of which belong to either the Lavalas party or to the Haitian National Police. The names come from phone calls made to their “hotline” and possibly from other leads as well. CARLI issues leaflets containing the names to the public, calling for their arrest. The leaflets—published only in French, not Creole—are also given to the US embassy and USAID, which sponsors the hotline program. It is unclear whether or not CARLI—whose staff consists of only two volunteer lawyers—investigates and confirms the allegations before it publicizes the names of the condemned (see February 29, 2004). The accused are never contacted to respond to the charges. People named on the list flee their homes and go into hiding, fearing that the rebel paramilitary groups will come after them. They later tell a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation that they were not guilty of the charges and that the list had been used as a political ploy by the opposition to instill fear. The delegation also interviews CARLI's two lawyers and uncovers strong evidence suggesting that the organization is a tool of the opposition (see February 29, 2004). [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Edward Carlson, Judy DaCruz, USAID, National Committee for Haitian Rights (NCHR), March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Tom Griffin
          

Late February 2004

       Guy Philippe tells the Miami Herald during an interview conducted in Cap Haitein, Haiti, that the man he admires most is former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. “Pinochet made Chile what it is,” the 35-year-old rebel says. Philippe adds that US President Ronald Reagan is his next favorite. [Jamaican Observer, 3/7/2004; Miami Herald, 2/28/04; One World, 3/2/2004]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, Ronald Reagan
          

February 29, 2004-April 2004

       In the Haitian town of Petit Goave, “Ti Kenley” and his followers burn the homes of Aristide supporters, including the homes of the national congress deputy, local elected political and civic leaders, student leaders, and family members of Aristide supporters. The burned homes are later photographed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation (see March 29, 2004-April 5, 2004). [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004 Sources: Unnamed witnesses interviewed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation]
People and organizations involved: Ti Kenley, March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Judy DaCruz, Edward Carlson, Tom Griffin
          

February 29, 2004

       With the removal of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Boniface Alexandre, chief justice of the Supreme Court, is sworn in as president at the home of Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, in conformance with Haiti's constitutional rite of succession. The ceremony is attended by US Ambassador James Foley. However without a parliament (see January 2004), his appointment cannot be approved as required by Haiti's 1987 Constitution. [Reuters, 2/29/2004; Associated Press, 3/1/2004; New York Times, 3/1/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Boniface Alexandre, James Foley
          

February 29, 2004

       Haitian police abandon their posts in Le Cayes, Haiti, and flee approaching paramilitary rebel forces. 30-year-old “Ti Gary” steps in to fill the power vacuum, making himself the town's law enforcer. He will order at least 5 public extra-judiciary executions. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ti Gary
          

March 2004

       The new Haitian government halts funding and other support to Haiti's popular organizations (“OPs”) which oversee literacy programs, food and shelter programs and orphanages. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
          

March 2004-May 2004

       Throughout Haiti, supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and leaders of popular organizations (“OPs”) are hunted down, arrested, and sometimes beaten and killed by the new government's police and by remnants of the paramilitary rebel forces. In order to avoid this persecution, many Aristide supporters go into hiding, either in Port-au-Prince, or in the mountains, taking their spouses and children with them. In many cases, their homes, left vacant, are burned to the ground by opposition forces. Leaders of popular organizations who seek asylum at the embassies of the United States, Mexico, Canada, France and Venezuela, are turned away. The multinational coalition's forces—consisting of some 3,600 US, Canadian, French and Chilean troops—reportedly limit their patrolling to Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, thus providing no security in other cities or the outlying areas. [The Jamaica Observer, 3/28/2004; Democracy Now! 4/12/2004; National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004; Battleboro Reformer, 4/30/2004; CNN, 4/9/2004]
          

March 3, 2004

       Amnesty International releases a statement calling on the US-led force in Haiti to prevent the paramilitary leaders from taking power. The organization makes the following demands: [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]
“The MIF must take urgent steps to guarantee that notorious human rights offenders with pending sentences for human rights convictions, and those facing indictments on human rights grounds, are taken into custody and brought before the Haitian justice system. Escapees must be returned to prison; those perpetrators convicted in absentia have the opportunity for a retrial, under Haitian law, and should be held in custody until the retrial occurs.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The MIF must take immediate steps to disarm the rebel groups, and armed pro-government gangs, to minimize the risks of ongoing human rights abuses.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The international community must as a matter of priority ensure that under no circumstances are those convicted of or implicated in serious human rights abuses given any position of authority, whether in a transitional government or among the security forces, where they might commit further violations.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The Multinational Interim Force (MIF) must take urgent steps to ensure that the safety of all police and justice officials, witnesses and human rights defenders involved in bringing the individuals named in this report to justice is guaranteed.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“The MIF must take steps to protect police and judicial records relating to past human rights abuses.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“No amnesty for past or recent human rights abuses can be permitted.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

“In the longer term, the international community must assist the Haitian justice system so that it can bring to justice all of those accused of involvement in human rights violations.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]

          

March 4, 2004

       Haitian President Boniface Alexandre appoints Leon Charles, former commander of the Haitian Coast Guard, as Director General of the Haitian National Police. [US State Department, 3/19/2004]
People and organizations involved: Boniface Alexandre, Leon Charles
          

March 4, 2004

       A Tripartite Council is formed in accordance with Organization of American States resolutions CP/Res. 861 (February 19, 2004), CP/Res. 862 (February 26, 2004) and UN resolution S/1529 (February 29, 2004). Selected to serve on the council are Leslie Voltaire, Minister of Haitians Living Abroad; Paul Denis, Democratic Convergence spokesman; and Adamo Guino, UN Resident Coordinator in Haiti. The council is charged with the task of selecting a seven-member Council of Sages (see March 4, 2004). [Haiti Info, 4/6/2004; Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2004]
People and organizations involved: Adamo Guino, Paul Denis, Leslie Voltaire
          

March 5, 2004

       A Tripartite Council (see March 4, 2004) meets and selects a seven-member Council of Sages. It chooses Lamartine Clermont, Catholic Church; Ariel Henry, Democratic Convergence; Anne-Marie Issa, director-general of Signal FM Radio; Mac Donald Jean, Anglican Church; Danielle Magliore, director of ENFOFANM; Christian Rousseau, University administrator (previously involved in opposition student protests); and Paul Emile Simon, Fanmil Lavalas (party of Aristide government). [Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2003; Haiti Info, 3/6/2004; US State Department, 3/19/2004; Fire, 1999; Agence-France Presse, 1/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Christian Rousseau, Danielle Magliore, Paul Emile Simon, Leslie Voltaire, Paul Denis, Adamo Guino, Mac Donald Jean, Anne-Marie Issa, Lamartine Clermont, Ariel Henry
          

March 7, 2004

       The bodies of 800 Haitians are “dumped and buried” by the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince, which typically buries only about 100 bodies per month. The corpses are buried in a mass grave 200 miles north of the capital in Titanye. On March 28, the morgue buries another 200 bodies (see March 28, 2004). Many of the “bodies ... had their hands tied behind their backs and had black bags over their heads, and had been shot.” This continues in April (see Early April 2004). [Democracy Now! 4/12/2004; National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004 Sources: Director of the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince]
          

March 9, 2004

       Congresswoman Barbara Lee of the Congressional Black Caucus Haiti Task Force Co-Chair introduces the TRUTH (The Responsibility to Uncover the Truth about Haiti) Act, calling for an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the circumstances of the toppling of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government. The bill, H.R. 3919, is co-sponsored by CBC Haiti Task Force Co-Chair John Conyers and 23 other members of the House. “The Bush administration's efforts in the overthrow of a democratically-elected government must be investigated,” says Lee. “All of the evidence brought forward thus far suggests that the Administration has, in essence, carried out a form of ‘regime change,’ a different variation than it took in Iraq, but still regime change. The American people and the international community deserve to know the truth, and this bill will offer the opportunity to investigate the long term origins of the overthrow of the Haitian government and the impact of our failure to protect democracy.” The bill seeks to answer 6 specific questions. [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004 Sources: H.R. 3919]
“Did the US Government impede democracy and contribute to the overthrow of the Aristide government?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“Under what circumstances did President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resign, and what was the role of the United States Government in bringing about his departure?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“To what extent did the US impede efforts by the international community, particularly the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, to prevent the overthrow of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“What was the role of the United States in influencing decisions regarding Haiti at the United Nations Security Council and in discussions between Haiti and other countries that were willing to assist in the preservation of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti by sending security forces to Haiti?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“Was US assistance provided or were US personnel involved in supporting, directly or indirectly, the forces opposed to the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

“Was US bilateral assistance channeled through nongovernmental organizations that were directly or indirectly associated with political groups actively involved in fomenting hostilities or violence toward the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

People and organizations involved: Barbara Lee, John Conyers  Additional Info 
          

March 9, 2004

       Haitian Gerard Latortue is appointed Prime Minister by the seven-member Council of Sages formed under a plan approved by the United States, France and the Organization of American States (see March 5, 2004). Latortue, whose current place of residence is Boca Raton, Florida, has been living outside of Haiti for decades. [Reuters, 3/13/2004; NBC News, 3/11/2004; Agence-France Presse, 3/11/2004] The 69-year-old former foreign minister has worked for the UN Industrial Development Organization in Africa (1972-1994) and most recently has been working as an international business consultant in Miami. [Associated Press, 3/10/2004; NBC News, 3/11/2004; Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] Hours after the appointment, US members of the international security force are fired upon by gunmen in three separate incidents while on patrol near the prime minister's official residence. [Agence-France Presse, 3/11/2004; Associated Press, 3/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Danielle Magliore, Ariel Henry, Gerard Latortue, Christian Rousseau, Anne-Marie Issa, Paul Emile Simon, Lamartine Clermont, Mac Donald Jean
          

March 10, 2004

       Gerard Latortue is flown from Florida to Haiti after being appointed the day before as the country's new prime minister (see March 9, 2004). He is sworn in on March 12 (see March 12, 2004). [CBS News, 3/11/2004; Associated Press, 3/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue
          

March 12, 2004

       Gerard Latortue is sworn in as prime minister of Haiti “before a crowd of 200 people under heavy security,” two days after arriving in Haiti from Florida. [Associated Press, 3/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue
          

(March 15, 2004)

       Guy Philippe orders 30-year-old anti-Aristide paramilitary leader, “Ti Gary,” to “go into the La Savanne neighborhood and kill Lavalas supporters.” When Ti Gary refuses, Philippe's deputy shoots him with a shotgun in the leg. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004 Sources: Ti Gary]
People and organizations involved: Ti Gary, Guy Philippe
          

March 22, 2004

       Forty to sixty bodies are transported in trucks to a field near the Piste D'Aviation, bordering the Delmas 2 neighborhood of Port-au-Prince along a road to the airport. The following day the bodies will be relocated and burned (see March 22, 2004). [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004 Sources: Unnamed witnesses interviewed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation]
          

March 23, 2004

       Forty to sixty bodies are moved from the roadside near the Piste D'Aviation (see March 22, 2004) to a remote field a quarter-mile away and burned. [Democracy Now! 4/12/2004; National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004 Sources: Unnamed witnesses interviewed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation] A National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation (see March 29, 2004-April 5, 2004) investigating the incident observes a “massive ash pile, and pigs eating flesh of human bones that had not burned at Piste D'Aviation.” The delegation photographs “fresh skulls and other human bones, some still tangled in clothes or with shoes and sneakers nearby.” The fuel for the fire had been transported in containers marked “Haitian currency.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004] The photographs are later shown on the April 12 program of Democracy Now!. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004; Democracy Now! 4/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Tom Griffin, Judy DaCruz, March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Edward Carlson  Additional Info 
          

March 28, 2004

       The bodies of 200 Haitians are dumped by the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince, which typically buries only about 100 bodies per month. On March 7, the morgue had buried some 800 bodies (see March 7, 2004). Many of the “bodies ... had their hands tied behind their backs and had black bags over their heads, and had been shot.” This continues in April (see Early April 2004). [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004; Democracy Now! 4/12/2004 Sources: Director of the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince]
          

March 29, 2004-April 5, 2004

       A National Lawyers Guild Human Rights delegation, consisting of two lawyers and a journalist, travels to Haiti to investigate the various aspects of the human rights and security conditions in Port-au-Prince, Petit Goave, Gran Goave, Les Cayes, and Fond des Blancs, a remote village in the Southwest Department. After concluding its work, the delegation issues a preliminary report on April 11 which states: “[T]he delegation found overwhelming evidence that the victims of the threats and violence have been supporters of the elected government of President Aristide and the Fanmi Lavalas party, elected and appointed officials in that government or party, or employees of the government, including police. Many are in hiding in the mountains or in Port-au-Prince, others have been beaten and or killed. Many of their homes have been selectively destroyed, mostly by arson.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
People and organizations involved: Edward Carlson, March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Judy DaCruz, Tom Griffin
          

Early April 2004

       Bodies of dead Haitians continue (see March 7, 2004) (see March 28, 2004) to arrive at the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince with their “hands tied behind their backs and bags over their heads.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004 Sources: Unnamed employees at the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince]
          

April 1, 2004

       Haiti's new justice minister, Bernard Gousse, announces that Haiti will seek the extradition of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide for alleged corruption and human rights abuses. Gousse also suggests that convicted murderer and known human rights violator, Louis-Jodel Chamblain, could be pardoned. Chamblain was convicted in 2000 in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the Raboteau Massacre (see April 18-22, 1994). “We have to take into consideration that [Chamblain] helped get rid of two dictators in Haiti—[Jean-Claude] Duvalier and Aristide,” Gousse claims. [Miami Herald, 4/2/2004; CNN, 4/8/2004; Human Rights Watch, 4/5/2004] Human Rights Watch quickly condemns the suggestion. “The contrast between the Haitian government's eagerness to prosecute former Aristide officials and its indifference to the abusive record of certain rebel leaders could not be more stark,” says Joanne Mariner, deputy director of Americas Division for Human Rights Watch. [CNN, 4/8/2004; Human Rights Watch, 4/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Joanne Mariner, Bernard Gousse, Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

Early April 2004

       A National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation visits the offices of two Haitian “human rights” organizations, Comite des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertes Individuelles (CARLI) and National Committee for Haitian Rights (NCHR). During the visits, the delegation's members become convinced that the two organizations are working with the opposition. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]
Comite des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertes Individuelles (CARLI) - In the case of CARLI—which publishes lists of alleged human rights organizations, which it disperses to the public, the police, other government agencies, USAID, and the US Embassy—there are several factors which cause suspicion among the delegation's members: [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

Though the group insists that it thoroughly investigates “each of the 60 to 100 monthly calls and verifies all information beyond a reasonable doubt before publicly condemning a person by naming him/her,” CARLI “has no full time staff” —only two volunteer lawyers. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

“Hotline” forms completed by the group include terms like “a supporter of the dictator Aristide.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

The delegation finds “no evidence that CARLI conducts any investigation before condemning the named person.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

“The person ‘condemned’ to the list is never contacted to answer to the allegations.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

The lists have contained only Lavalas supporters. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

The leaflets dispersed to the public are written only in French, which is spoken and understood mainly by the educated elite. Most Haitians speak Creole. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

CARLI has never investigated cases involving Lavalas victims. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

“CARLI was asked if it would consider ceasing the publication of the ‘list’ because it was forcing innocent people into hiding and to fear for their lives, preventing people from returning to their jobs and schools,and, as a non-judicial forum, was creating the possibility of a extra-judicial execution squads, and non-judicial arrest warrants. CARLI refused.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

National Committee for Haitian Rights (NCHR) - The well-funded NCHR claims to represent victims of human rights abuses, regardless of their political affiliation. But the organization demonstrates an obvious bias in favor of the opposition. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

The NCHR cannot name even one incident where a Lavalas supporter was a victim of a human rights abuse. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

“NCHR took the delegation into a large meeting room where the wall was adorned with a large ‘wanted’ poster featuring Aristide and his cabinet, in small photos, across the top. It named Aristide a ‘dictator’ guilty of human rights abuses. Among a long list of other charges, it condemned him for the murder of John Dominique and included a large photo of Dominique's dead body. The poster calls for the arrest and imprisonment of Aristide and his associates.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

“The Delegation suggested that NCHR's neutrality and inclusiveness might be better expressed with additional posters condemning, for example, FRAPH, Jodel Chamblain, Jean ‘Tatoune’ Baptiste, Ti Kenley, etc. While the Director and the staff acknowledged the existence of all of those named, they laughed at the suggestion of adding other wanted posters to the office.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

Many of the newsletters, “open letters,” and advisories that were in the NCHR waiting room refer to Aristide as a “dictator.” None of the literature addresses abuses against supporters of Aristide. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

“NCHR was asked if they would investigate the 1000 bodies dumped and buried by the morgue during the last few weeks at Titanye (see March 7, 2004) (see March 28, 2004), and the alleged malfunctioning of the refrigeration at the morgue. The director and his staff denied ever knowing about these events, laughed, and said none of it was true.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

“NCHR was asked if it would investigate the dumped bodies at Piste D'Aviation (see March 22, 2004) (see March 23, 2004). The director and his staff laughed and denied that it was true. The Delegation then showed NCHR the photographs we had taken of the ashes and fresh human skeletons. In response, the NCHR director told us that the General Hospital routinely dumps bodies at the Piste D'Aviation.” [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004]

People and organizations involved: USAID, Judy DaCruz, National Committee for Haitian Rights (NCHR), Comite des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertes Individuelles (CARLI), Edward Carlson, Tom Griffin, March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti
          

April 5, 2004

       The United States announces that it will send a seven-member advisory group to Haiti. One member of the team will assist Haiti's new minister of interior with planning as well as coordination with the United Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS) and Haiti's donors. Two advisors will work with the local police to vet its personnel and assist with “strategic planning, management, and command and control issues.” Two more advisors will help Haiti work on other issues related to internal security, one helping the new government restart its police academy, while the other will contribute in the area of local prison administration. The sixth member of the team will work with the courts and ministry of justice. The role of the last advisor will be to coordinate the activities of all the team's members. [US Department of State, 4/5/2004; United Press International, 4/6/2004]
          

April 14, 2004

       In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger F. Noriega speaks about Haiti. On the issue of democracy, he says that under Aristide the people of Haiti had “lost their democracy,” explaining, “Leaders can undermine a republic and their own legitimacy by their actions and that is how a people can lose their democracy.” He contends that Aristide had willfully refused to “give any quarter to or compromise with political adversaries.” [US State Department, 4/14/2004] In the section of his speech titled, “Principles of US Engagement in Haiti,” Noriega says the US will help Haiti adopt neoliberal reforms: “We will provide technical and legal aid to update Haiti's Commercial Code, which dates from the 19th century, in order to help create the right environment for growth and wealth creation. We will also encourage the Government of Haiti to move forward, at the appropriate time, with restructuring and privatization of some public sector enterprises through a transparent process.” [US State Department, 4/14/2004]
People and organizations involved: Roger Francisco Noriega, American Enterprise Institute
          

April 18, 2004

       Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue drops a demand that former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide had made to France—that the country's former colonizer pay reparations to Haiti in the amount of $21 billion (see November 2003). “This claim was illegal, ridiculous and was made only for political reasons,” Prime Minister Gerard Latortue claims, adding that Haiti wants to have good relations with France. “This matter is closed. What we need now is increased cooperation with France that could help us build roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructure.” France, significantly, had called for Aristide's resignation before his ouster (see February 25, 2004), leading many to speculate that its involvement in the intervention had been motivated by its interest in ending the reparations demand. During a visit earlier in the month, Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie denied this allegation, saying that French involvement had been motivated solely by a desire to help Haiti. [Reuters, 4/18/2004]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue, Michele Alliot-Marie
          

April 18-24, 2004

       The Ecumenical Program on Central America and the Caribbean (EPICA) sponsors a fact-finding trip to Haiti to investigate human rights conditions under the new government. Palmer Legare, a member of a Vermont citizens' lobby group who participates in the investigation, tells a local newspaper upon returning from Haiti: “It's very clear that members and supporters of Aristide's party are being targeted. They're being arrested, they're being beaten, they're being killed.” Legar recounts one particularly violent incident during which a boy was shot in the back by troops after running away from them out of fear. “He almost died because [the troops] closed the streets and he couldn't get to a hospital,” Legare explains. [Brattleboro Reformer, 4/30/2004]
          

April 24, 2004

       Convicted murderer and rebel leader Louis-Jodel Chamblain (see September 11, 1993) (see April 18-22, 1994) surrenders to Haitian authorities. Chamberlain—in tears—says before his surrender, “The Haitian people will see if justice is for real, if we are on a new route for Haitian justice.” Since he had been convicted in abstentia, he will be retried for his crimes as allowed under the Haitian constitution. [Miami Herald, 4/24/2004]
People and organizations involved: Louis-Jodel Chamblain  Additional Info 
          

April 29, 2004

       In an interview with the Miami Herald, Haitian rebel Guy Philippe says that his paramilitary group, the Front de Resistance, would soon be laying down its arms and founding a new political party, the Front de Reconstrucion Nationale. He adds that he will consider running as the party's candidate for president. “We have to do a poll and see who has the advantage,” he explains. “If the poll says I am the person, I will be the person.” If elected president, Philippe says his first priority would be reestablishing the Haitian national army. “This would be a professional army, not the one we had,” he says, reasoning that “[y]ou can't have foreigners invest without security.” Next on his agenda, Philippe continues, would be “education, education, education.” And unlike Aristide, whose policies often conflicted with the interests of Haiti's wealthy elite— “who have maintained a stark class system in Haiti for 200 years” —Philippe's policies would avoid antagonizing them. “They have a key role in this country,” he explains. Philippe claims that he and other rebels, whom human rights groups have demanded be excluded from politics in post-Aristide Haiti (see March 3, 2004), are being misrepresented. For example, he contends that Louis-Jodel Chamblain, who was convicted in absentia for his involvement in the Raboteau Massacre (see April 18-22, 1994), is in fact a hero. “I'm sorry, but Chamblain is a hero. A lot of people love him here. He offered his life for his countrymen.” An unnamed US official tells the Miami Herald, “It's a very scary thought. It's all the same guys. Talk about taking one step forward and two steps back.” [Miami Herald, 4/30/2004]
People and organizations involved: Guy Philippe, Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

Late April 2004

       In Haiti, the Lavalas party holds a conference and agrees not to select a member for the provisional electoral council, citing widespread human rights violations against its members. The party agrees that it will not select a representative until interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue signs an agreement stating that his government will protect Lavalas members, halt illegal arrests and disarm paramilitary rebels and thugs. “After the brutal interruption of the democratic process in Haiti, the Lavalas Family party cannot name a representative under such conditions,” Jonas Petit, a spokesman for Lavalas explains. “We won't do so until the government puts an end to the killing, persecutions, illegal arrests, and destruction of personal property of our members and supporters.” Latortue, though saying he agrees in principle to the request, says he will not sign any agreement until Lavalas has selected a representative for the council. [Reuters, 5/3/2004; CNN, 5/4/2004; Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jonas Petit, Gerard Latortue
          

May 4, 2004

       In Haiti, a panel of judges swears in the new eight-member provisional electoral council. A ninth seat, meant for the Lavalas party, is left vacant because the party has so far refused to appoint a representative, citing widespread violence against its members (see Late April 2004). [CNN, 5/4/2004]
          

May 6, 2004

       Trinidad Foreign Affairs Minister Knowlson Gift announces that the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) has requested that the Organization of American States (OAS) investigate the February 29 removal (see February 28, 2004-March 1, 2004) of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. [Associated Press, 5/6/2004; Associated Press, 5/6/2004]
People and organizations involved: Organization of American States (OAS), Knowlson Gift, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)
          

May 6, 2004

       At an OAS meeting in Washington, Haitian interim Prime Minister Gerard LaTortue appeals for reconciliation with the governments of other Caribbean states. “Haiti is a member of CARICOM and proposes to continue being a member,” LaTortue says. “In this key moment of its history, my country needs all of you. May the misunderstandings be left behind.” [Associated Press, 5/6/2004; Associated Press, 5/6/2004] The new government of Haiti had previously announced its temporary withdrawal from CARICOM because of the organization's refusal to recognize the new interim government (see March 15, 2004).
People and organizations involved: Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Organization of American States (OAS), Gerard Latortue
          

Mid-March 2004

       “Following a US-backed plan,” Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue meets with political leaders to begin the process of selecting thirteen ministers for a new interim government. People who had worked in the government since 2000 are automatically disqualified. Additionally, no representatives from any political parties—the Lavalas Family Party or the opposition—are supposed to be included in the interim cabinet. Notably, several of those chosen have held posts in international development organizations, which as the Haiti Support Group notes, “have been very active in Haiti for many decades without making any discernible progress with the country's social or economic development.” Among those chosen are Yvon Simeon as foreign minister; Bernard Gousse, an anti-Aristide lawyer, as justice minister; Henri Bazan, president of the Haitian Association of Economists, UN consultant, as finance minister; former Gen. Herard Abraham as interior minister; Josette Bijoux, World Health Organization, as public health minister; Daniel Saint-Lot, Director of Training for the controversial USAID-funded, community radio development program, RAMAK, as commerce, industry and tourism minister, Pierre Buteau, as education and culture minister; Roland Pierre, agronomist, as planning and environment minister, Smarck Michel, former primer minister, as planning minister. [Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004; CNN, 3/16/2004] Despite Latortue's assurances, several of these people do have ties to political parties. Yvon Simeon, was the Democratic Convergence's representative in Europe and Bernard Gousse is said to be an active member of the Group of 184. [Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] Interestingly, many of the new cabinet members, lilke Mr. LaTortue himself, are from Boca Raton, Florida, leading some observers to refer to the new government as the “Boca Regime.” [Zmag, 5/5/2004]
People and organizations involved: Daniel Saint-Lot, Josette Bijoux, Herard Abraham, Pierre Buteau, Roland Pierreas, Smarck Michel, Henri Bazan, Bernard Gousse, Yvon Simeon, Gerard Latortue, Lamartine Clermont, Anne-Marie Issa, Christian Rousseau, Ariel Henry, Danielle Magliore, Mac Donald Jean, Paul Emile Simon
          

February 8, 2005

       Gerard Latortue, Haiti's Interim Prime Minister, defends his government by denying that Haiti is a failed state. In his defense, Prime Minister Gerard Latortue states that he won't “stay one minute in this job if there are flagarant cases of human-rights violations.” Latortue also blames former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide for orchestrating violence from his exile in South Africa. [Globe and Mail, 2/8/2005]
People and organizations involved: Gerard Latortue
          

February 8, 2005

       The International Crisis Group releases a report claiming that the Haitian National Police is responsible for human rights abuses. The report calls on the UN mission in Haiti to provide security to civilians in the countryside, for the interim government to engage in dialogue with Haitian citizens, and for the interim government to focus on relieving economic marginalization. [Crisis Group, 2/8/2005]
People and organizations involved: Haitian National Police
          

February 14, 2005

       Witnesses say that Abdias Jean is dragged from his house at lunch time and shot in the head by Haitian National Police. Witnesses state that ten days earlier a 17-year-old girl was executed in the same neighborhood. Witnesses in Port-Au-Prince say that summary execution is becoming a routine tactic of the police to try and intimidate Aristide supporters in Haiti. A human rights lawyer in Haiti, Judy Dacruz, says the human rights situation is “critical right now” and claims that the authorities are taking part in a “complicity of silence.” Police spokesperson Gessy Coicou denies that there have been executions taking place and encourages Abdias Jean's family to “file a complaint.” [Newsday, 2/14/2005]
People and organizations involved: Haitian National Police
          

February 26, 2005

       The US State Department releases a report on human rights in Haiti one year after the ouster of Jean Bertrand Aristide. The report concludes that human rights violations have remained high under the interim government but that the interim government is not responsible for the abuses. [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]
The report condemns members of the former military (FAd'H), members of the paramilitary Revolutionary Army for the Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), and the Haitian National Police (HNP) for using “deadly-force.” [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]

The report also provides numerous examples of the HNP arresting Lavalas supporters without warrant and detaining them for extended periods of time without charge. The report condemns these actions as being in direct violation of the Haitian Constitution which states that a detainee cannot spend longer than 48 hours without hearing a charge before a judge. Of the people detained without charge, the report lists So Anne (Lavalas activist, folk singer, imprisoned May 2004, still imprisoned as of February 28, 2005), Father Gerard Jean-Juste (well known Catholic Bishop, pro-Aristide activist, imprisoned October 13 and released November 29), and various members of the Lavalas Party in the Senate and Municipal government. The highest profile prisoner mentioned in the report is former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who as of February 28, 2005, has yet to hear a charge against him. [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]

The report documents various killings of Aristide/Lavalas supporters that have taken place over the past year. The report assigns blame for some of the killings to the HNP. For others, the report concludes that the perpertrators of the killings could not be determined. [US Department of State, 2/28/2005]

People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haitian National Police, Gerard Latortue, US Department of State
          

February 26, 2005

       Aristide supporters rally to call for the return of their democratically elected president. The march is interrupted and dispersed by the UN an hour after it begins. Carlos Chagas Braga, a spokesperson of the UN in Haiti, says that the march did not receive authorization from the Haiti National Police and the UN Peacekeepers. [Taiwan News, 2/26/2005]
          

February 28, 2005

       Protests break out in Port-au-Prince calling for the return of ousted Prime Minister Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Two protesters are shot dead by Hatian Police. Witnesses say that the police created a roadblock and began firing tear gas to disperse the crowd. The crowd refused to disperse, and the police began shooting into the crowd of people. Before shots were fired protesters were chanting “George Bush is the biggest terrorist!” Aristide has repeatedly blamed Bush for his ouster. Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a friend of Aristide who was jailed after Aristide left the country, says that “the people are revolting only to ask for what they voted for.” The deaths of the two protesters marks the one year annniversary of the rebellion. [Globe and Mail, 2/28/2005] The new government of Haiti had previously announced its temporary withdrawal from CARICOM because of the organization's refusal to recognize the new interim government (see March 15, 2004).
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

March 4, 2005

       Four days after the bloody one year anniversary of Aristide's ouster, protesters march peacefully on the Haitian capital calling for the return of Aristide and the release of political prisoners. Protestors march under the protection of the UN peacekeepers, who were simply observers on February 28, 2004. Haitian police officers are prevented from entering the march's perimeter by UN forces. A spokesperson for the march, Samba Boukman says: “We don't want the Haitian Police. They are killing us. We want to deal with UN troops.” [Reuters, 3/4/2005; New York Times, 3/5/2005]
People and organizations involved: Haitian National Police
          

March 5, 2005

       Haiti's Justice Minister Bernard Gousse says that the UN removal of Haiti's National Police from the March 4 demonstration (see March 4, 2005) was a violation of the UN mandate. Even though demonstrators thanked the UN troops for protecting them, Gousse states that “there is no way MINUSTAH (UN presence in Haiti) can ask national police to leave an area within Haitian territory.” Gousse also claims that the Haitian National Police were “told in an aggressive way” that they were not to be present at the demonstration. [Business Day, 3/7/2005; New York Times, 3/5/2005]
People and organizations involved: MINUSTAH, Haitian National Police, Bernard Gousse
          


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