[R-G] Haiti Progres: This Week In Haiti 23:21 8/3/2005
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Fri Aug 5 10:08:02 MDT 2005
> "This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI PROGRES
> newsweekly. For the complete edition with other news in French
> and Creole, please contact the paper at (tel) 718-434-8100,
> (fax) 718-434-5551 or e-mail at editor at haitiprogres.com.
> Also visit our website at <www.haitiprogres.com>.
> HAITI PROGRES
> "Le journal qui offre une alternative"
> * THIS WEEK IN HAITI *
> August 3 - 9, 2005
> Vol. 23, No. 21
> DE FACTO GOVERNMENT FREES DEATH SQUAD LEADER
> The government of de facto Prime Minister Gérard Latortue has freed
> Louis Jodel Chamblain, the second-in-command of the paramilitary
> known as the Revolutionary Front for Haitian Advancement and Progress
> (FRAPH), according to a prisoner rights activist.
> Chamblain was also one of the commanders of the Washington-backed
> "rebel" force which occupied several cities in Haiti's north just prior
> to Feb. 29, 2004, when U.S. Special Forces soldiers kidnapped President
> Jean-Bertrand Aristide from his home and flew him into exile.
> Chamblain had been in the Pétionville jail since April 22, 2004, when
> made a deal with de facto authorities to be retried for convictions
> which he received in absentia from Haitian courts in 2000. One
> lightening 14-hour retrial, held in the dead of night on Aug. 17, 2004,
> found him and co-defendant Jackson Joanis, former head of the Haitian
> police's Antigang Unit, not guilty for the Sep. 11, 1993 murder of
> pro-democracy activist Antoine Izméry (see HaVti ProgrPs, Vol. 22, No.
> 23, 8/18/2004).
> Amnesty International called the retrial "a mockery" and an "insult to
> Chamblain's release was announced Tuesday afternoon on Radio Ginen by
> Ronald St. Jean of the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of
> Haitian People (CDPH), who hailed the death-squad leader's liberation
> "a great step forward for democracy, justice and national
> reconciliation." St. Jean had always characterized Chamblain as a
> "political prisoner," despite his two convictions by Haitian courts,
> had repeatedly demanded his release, much to the dismay of the larger
> human rights community and the Haitian popular democratic movement. St.
> Jean also effusively praised new de facto Justice Minister Henri
> for freeing Chamblain.
> "Chamblain's illegal release is a slap in the face to the hundreds of
> people who have fought for justice in Haiti over the last decade,"
> responded Brian Concannon of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in
> Haiti (IJDH), who advised the constitutional Haitian government in its
> prosecution of Chamblain. "It is an insult to the memory of the [April
> 1994] Raboteau massacre victims, and the 5,000 others killed by
> Chamblain's FRAPH and the army during the de facto dictatorship."
> Chamblain's release seems to be a calculated move by the de facto
> government to make gestures of "reconciliation" to both pro-coup forces
> as well as the Lavalas sector to attract participation in the
> "elections" the de factos and occupation authorities want to hold from
> October to December. So far, about 90% of the eligible Haitian voters
> have refused to even obtain voter registration cards, despite a fierce
> campaign to distribute them.
> A gesture to the Lavalas will come soon, according to St. Jean. He
> announced that the de facto regime would release later this week four
> Lavalas-linked political prisoners: Father Gérard Jean-Juste, singer
> activist Annette "So An" Auguste, former security officer Anthony
> Nazaire, and activist musician Yvon "Zapzap" Antoine.
> "We ask all the other political prisoners to be patient," St. Jean
> as if speaking on behalf of the de facto government. "Their turn will
> Among those that St. Jean said would be released during the month of
> August are constitutional Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, constitutional
> Interior Minister Jocelerme Privert, former deputy Amanus Mayette,
> former delegate Jacques Mathelier, and former Miragoâne customs chief
> Yves Metellus.
> According to a well-placed source, Chamblain's lawyer claims at press
> time (Aug. 2) that his client had not yet been freed, despite an order
> for his release having been issued.
> FORMER LAVALAS POPULAR ORGANIZATION LEADER ARRESTED IN DOMINICAN
> REPUBLIC AND JAILED IN HAITI
> Paul Raymond, a former leader of the Little Church community (TKL) of
> St. Jean Bosco, was arrested by Dominican authorities at his home in
> exile in Santo Domingo on Jul. 21 and then extradited the same day to
> Haiti's de facto authorities.
> He is now reportedly being held in Haiti's National Penitentiary.
> Raymond's arrest signals a new level of cooperation between the
> government of President Lionel Fernandez in the Dominican Republic and
> Haiti's de facto authorities.
> Raymond was reportedly on a list, drawn up by Haiti's de facto
> government, of some thirty Haitians who sought refuge in the Dominican
> Republic after the Feb. 29, 2004 Haitian coup d'état. Dominican
> authorities are actively searching for the exiles, who include René
> Civil, the leader of Youth Popular Power (JPP) and close associate of
> Raymond. Dominican police have so far arrested four men, including
> Raymond, and sent them back to Haiti, where they have been jailed.
> Mario Exilomé, another Lavalas popular organization leader, was also
> arrested and sent back to Haiti with Raymond.
> Interviewed on Radio Kiskeya, Michaël Lycius, Haiti's police inspector
> general, could not specify any charges against Raymond and his
> other than to say that "there are complaints lodged against those guys"
> and that the police have "a lot of information" that "implicates those
> guys in the acts of banditry around Port-au-Prince in particular."
> if there was a new accord between Haitian and Dominican authorities
> which resulted in the arrests and extraditions, Lycius replied that
> there was an agreement "that one calls international repressive
> cooperation" between the police forces of the two nations.
> Raymond is hated by the Haitian bourgeoisie for the fiery declarations
> he made in defense of President Aristide's government. At a press
> conference on Jan. 9, 2001, Raymond and Civil used particularly
> bellicose language to challenge the bourgeois and imperialist forces
> which were already drawing up battle lines to attack the newly elected
> but not yet inaugurated Aristide government. U.S. Republican
> Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) and Porter Goss (R-FL) felt compelled the next
> day to issue a press release condemning Raymond's "threats" as
> "unacceptable" and accuse Aristide of supporting them.
> A collection of bourgeois-aligned Haitian radio stations issued a
> statement condemning Raymond's remarks as "intimidation."
> The bourgeoisie also blames Raymond and Civil for leading the popular
> backlash that swept the capital after Dominican-based Haitian "rebels"
> briefly took over the National Palace on Dec. 17, 2001, the second
> assault of the international destabilization campaign that eventually
> toppled Aristide (see HaVti ProgrPs, Vol. 19, No. 40, 12/19/2001).
> All articles copyrighted Haiti Progres, Inc. REPRINTS ENCOURAGED.
> Please credit Haiti Progres.
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