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Haiti Coup themes

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

 
  

Project: 2004 Ousting of Jean-Bertrand Aristide

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Showing 101-123 of 123 events (use filters to narrow search):    previous 100

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

       Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide flies from the Central African Republic to Jamaica despite objections from the United States and the new government of Haiti. Haiti's new leadership then announces that it is temporarily suspending Haiti's membership in the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) and that Haiti's ambassador to Jamaica will be recalled. [Guardian, 3/15/2004; Xinhuanet, 3/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Jean-Bertrand Aristide
          

(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. [National Lawyers Guild, 4/11/2004; Democracy Now! 4/12/2004 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: Edward Carlson, Judy DaCruz, March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Tom Griffin  Additional Info 
          

March 25-26, 2004

       CARICOM members meet in Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis and call for a UN investigation into the February 29 ouster (see February 28, 2004-March 1, 2004) of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's. “In the light of contradictory reports still in circulation concerning the departure of President Aristide from office, heads of government (of CARICOM) believed that it is in the compelling interest of the international community that the preceding events and all the circumstances surrounding the transfer of power from a constitutionally elected head of state, be fully investigated,” the statement reads. [Inter Press Service, 4/13/2004; CARICOM, 3/26/2004] US Secretary of State Colin Powell will dismiss CARICOM's call for a probe on April 5. “I don't think any purpose would be served by an inquiry. We were on the verge of a bloodbath and President Aristide found himself in great danger.” [US Department of State, 4/5/2004; Inter Press Service, 4/13/2004; Agence-France Presse, 4/5/2004; Washington Times, 4/6/2004] And according to diplomatic sources interviewed by Inter Press Service, the US and France intimidate CARICOM into delaying its official request for a UN inquiry. Both countries warn that they will veto any resolution calling for a probe. [Inter Press Service, 4/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed sources]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Colin Powell, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)
          

Late March 2004

       US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice demands that Jamaica expel Jean-Bertrand Aristide from the region, claiming that his presence in the Caribbean will increase tension in Haiti. She also threatens Jamaica, saying that if anything happens to US soldiers in Haiti, that Jamaica would be blamed and subjected to the full force of the US. [Democracy Now!, 4/25/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Condoleezza Rice
          

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: Judy DaCruz, March 2004 National Lawyers Guild Human Rights Delegation to Haiti, Tom Griffin, Edward Carlson
          

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: Bernard Gousse, Joanne Mariner, Louis-Jodel Chamblain
          

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]
          

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

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: American Enterprise Institute, Roger Francisco Noriega
          

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: Michele Alliot-Marie, Gerard Latortue
          

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 
          

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. [Zmag, 5/5/2004; CNN, 5/4/2004; Reuters, 5/3/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jonas Petit, Gerard Latortue
          

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: Louis-Jodel Chamblain, Guy Philippe
          

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 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

       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
          

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: Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Knowlson Gift, Organization of American States (OAS)
          
Showing 101-123 of 123 events (use filters to narrow search):    previous 100


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