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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). [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file Sources: Unnamed witnesses interviewed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation]

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

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [Jamaica Observer, 3/28/2004; CNN, 4/9/2004; Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file; Democracy Now!, 4/12/2004; Brattleboro Reformer, 4/30/2004]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

March 1, 2004: Aristide Says He Was Kidnapped

In the Central African Republic, Haitian President-in-exile Jean-Bertrand Aristide, uses a smuggled phone to contact US Congresswoman Maxine Waters and family friend Randall Robinson and “emphatically” denies that he had resigned (see February 28, 2004-March 1, 2004). Robinson tells Democracy Now that he had an early morning phone conversation with Aristide. “He did not resign. He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup,” Randall tells Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Maxine Waters speaks with the president at about 9am. “He’s surrounded by military.” Waters will explain to Goodman. “It’s like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped.” She provides an account of Aristide’s exit that differs dramatically from the description of events that had been provided by the Bush administration the day before. [Democracy Now!, 3/1/2004] Later in the day, Aristide is permitted access to the press. When read a copy of his resignation letter, Aristide claims it’s a fraud. “That’s not right. They took out the sentence where I said, ‘If I am obliged to leave in order to avoid bloodshed.’ They took that off the document. That’s why they are lying to you by giving to you a false document,” Aristide says. [Reuters, 3/1/2004; Reuters, 3/1/2004]

Entity Tags: Maxine Waters, Randal Robinson, Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

US President George Bush announces that the US is sending US forces to Haiti to help stabilize the country. [Reuters, 3/1/2004]

Entity Tags: George W. Bush

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup, US-Haiti (1804-2005)

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]
bullet “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]
bullet “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]
bullet “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]
bullet “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]
bullet “The MIF must take steps to protect police and judicial records relating to past human rights abuses.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]
bullet “No amnesty for past or recent human rights abuses can be permitted.” [Amnesty International, 3/3/2004]
bullet “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]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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). [Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2004; Haiti Info, 4/6/2004]

Entity Tags: Paul Denis, Adamo Guino, Leslie Voltaire

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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

Entity Tags: Boniface Alexandre, Leon Charles

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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). [Fire, 1999; Agence France-Presse, 1/7/2004; Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, 3/4/2004; US Department of State, 3/19/2004; Haiti Info, 4/6/2004]

Entity Tags: Mac Donald Jean, Leslie Voltaire, Paul Denis, Paul Emile Simon, Danielle Magliore, Lamartine Clermont, Christian Rousseau, Adamo Guino, Ariel Henry, Anne-Marie Issa

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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). [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file; Democracy Now!, 4/12/2004 Sources: Director of the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [Agence France-Presse, 3/11/2004; NBC 6 (Miami), 3/11/2004; Reuters, 3/13/2004] 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 6 (Miami), 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]

Entity Tags: Mac Donald Jean, Danielle Magliore, Paul Emile Simon, Lamartine Clermont, Christian Rousseau, Gerard Latortue, Anne-Marie Issa, Ariel Henry

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) 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 (D-MI) 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 Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004; US Congress, 3/9/2004 pdf file]
bullet “Did the US Government impede democracy and contribute to the overthrow of the Aristide government?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “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 Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “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 Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “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 Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “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 Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “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 Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

Entity Tags: Barbara Lee, John Conyers

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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). [Associated Press, 3/11/2004; CBS News, 3/11/2004]

Entity Tags: Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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]

Entity Tags: Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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; Xinhua News Agency (Beijing), 3/15/2004]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file Sources: Ti Gary]

Entity Tags: Ti Gary, Guy Philippe

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

“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. [CNN, 3/16/2004; Haiti Support Group, 3/17/2004] 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, like Mr. LaTortue himself, are from Boca Raton, Florida, leading some observers to refer to the new government as the “Boca Regime.” [Z Magazine, 5/5/2004]

Entity Tags: Josette Bijoux, Yvon Simeon, Smarck Michel, Mac Donald Jean, Herard Abraham, Roland Pierreas, Paul Emile Simon, Pierre Buteau, Lamartine Clermont, Danielle Magliore, Gerard Latortue, Anne-Marie Issa, Ariel Henry, Henri Bazan, Christian Rousseau, Bernard Gousse, Daniel Saint-Lot

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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). [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file Sources: Unnamed witnesses interviewed by a National Lawyers Guild human rights delegation]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file; 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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file] The photographs are later shown on the April 12 program of Democracy Now!. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file; Democracy Now!, 4/12/2004]

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

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [CARICOM, 3/26/2004; Inter Press Service, 4/13/2004] 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; Agence France-Presse, 4/5/2004; Washington Times, 4/6/2004; Inter Press Service, 4/13/2004] 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]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Colin Powell, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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). [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file; Democracy Now!, 4/12/2004 Sources: Director of the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]

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

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

US National Security Adviser 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]

Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice, Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file Sources: Unnamed employees at the State Morgue in Port-au-Prince]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
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: [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet 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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet “Hotline” forms completed by the group include terms like “a supporter of the dictator Aristide.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet The delegation finds “no evidence that CARLI conducts any investigation before condemning the named person.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet “The person ‘condemned’ to the list is never contacted to answer to the allegations.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet The lists have contained only Lavalas supporters. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet 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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet CARLI has never investigated cases involving Lavalas victims. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet “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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet The NCHR cannot name even one incident where a Lavalas supporter was a victim of a human rights abuse. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet “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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet “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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet 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. [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet “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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]
bullet “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.” [Griffin, 4/11/2004 pdf file]

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

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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; Human Rights Watch, 4/5/2004; CNN, 4/8/2004] 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. [Human Rights Watch, 4/5/2004; CNN, 4/8/2004]

Entity Tags: Joanne Mariner, Bernard Gousse, Louis-Jodel Chamblain

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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 advisers will work with the local police to vet its personnel and assist with “strategic planning, management, and command and control issues.” Two more advisers 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 adviser 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]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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 Department of State, 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 Department of State, 4/14/2004]

Entity Tags: American Enterprise Institute, Roger Francisco Noriega

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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]

Entity Tags: Gerard Latortue, Michele Alliot-Marie

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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]

Entity Tags: Palmer Legare

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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 absentia, he will be retried for his crimes as allowed under the Haitian constitution. [Miami Herald, 4/24/2004]

Entity Tags: Louis-Jodel Chamblain

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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]

Entity Tags: Guy Philippe, Louis-Jodel Chamblain

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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; Associated Press, 5/4/2004; Z Magazine, 5/5/2004]

Entity Tags: Jonas Petit, Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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). [Associated Press, 5/4/2004]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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]

Entity Tags: Knowlson Gift, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Organization of American States (OAS)

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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).

Entity Tags: Gerard Latortue, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), Organization of American States (OAS)

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Gerard Latortue, Haiti’s Interim Prime Minister, defends his government by denying that Haiti is a failed state. In his defense, 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]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

The International Crisis Group {ICG) 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. [International Crisis Group, 2/8/2005]

Entity Tags: International Crisis Group, Haitian National Police

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Witnesses say that Aristide supporter 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]

Entity Tags: Abdias Jean, Haitian National Police, Gessy Coicou

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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]
bullet 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]
bullet 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 (a 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]
bullet 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]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Gerard Latortue, Haitian National Police, US Department of State

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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. [Associated Press, 2/26/2005]

Entity Tags: United Nations, Carlos Chagas Braga, Haitian National Police

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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 anniversary of the rebellion. [Associated Press, 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).

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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; Reuters, 3/5/2005]

Entity Tags: Haitian National Police, Samba Boukman

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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]

Entity Tags: MINUSTAH, Bernard Gousse, Haitian National Police

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Discussions from the “Ottawa Initiative” meeting in January (see January 2003) are leaked to the CBC in an interview with Denis Paradis, Canada’s Secretary of State for Latin America. Paradis concludes from the “Ottawa Initiative” that “the international community wouldn’t want to wait for the five-year mandate of President Aristide to run its course in 2005.” Paradis states that a consensus was reached that “Aristide should go.” Paradis also says that military occupation might be necessary after an intervention and “until elections can be held.” [News Haiti, 8/28/2004]

Entity Tags: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Denis Paradis

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

While in Argentina, Donald Rumsfeld gives a speech praising foreign participation in the UN mission to Haiti. Rumsfeld says that Argentina in particular is “playing a truly vital role in the multinational peacekeeping forces in Haiti.” In response to Donald Rumsfeld’s speech, sociologist Emilio Taddei denounces the UN intervention in Haiti saying that the US and France are pressuring Latin American armies to intervene. Taddei adds that “humanitarian missions are the new disguise for the old colonial invasions that served to legitimize a coup d’etat.” [Inter Press Service, 3/22/2005]

Entity Tags: Donald Rumsfeld, Emilio Taddei

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

The Miami Seven. Group leader Narseal Batiste is on the bottom right.The Miami Seven. Group leader Narseal Batiste is on the bottom right. [Source: BBC]Police arrest seven people during a raid on a warehouse in the Miami area. The men are alleged to be a “home-grown” terrorist cell plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI building in Miami, as well as possible other unspecified targets. They had allegedly conducted video surveillance of their targets. [CNN, 6/23/2006] The men are identified in the federal indictment as Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin, and Rotschild Augustine. [FindLaw, 6/22/2006] Two are Haitians, five are US citizens, and two are US immigrants. [Democracy Now!, 6/26/2006] Vice President Dick Cheney describes them as a “a very real threat.” [London Times, 6/25/2006] Bruce Hoffman, a counterterrorism expert who heads the Washington office of the Rand Corp., says that “amateur terrorists can kill as effectively as the professional kind.” [Washington Post, 6/24/2006] However, officials concede that the group never had any contact with any other terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda. [BBC, 6/23/2006] Officials also admit that the men had not acquired any explosives or weapons. Chicago Police Superintendent Philip Cline says “there was never any danger to the Sears Tower or Chicago.” Deputy FBI Director John Pistole says that the plot had not progressed beyond early planning stages and “was aspirational rather than operational.” Hoffman says that it is “not clear is whether they had any real capabilities to pull [the plot] off.” [Washington Post, 6/24/2006] An FBI informant posing as an al-Qaeda operative had infiltrated the group for nearly six months and many conversations were recorded. [Washington Post, 9/2/2006] Batiste, the leader of the group, allegedly stated that he and his “soldiers” wanted to receive terrorist training in order to wage a “full ground war” against the US and to “kill all the devils we can.” [BBC, 6/23/2006] He requested boots, uniforms, machine guns, radios, vehicles, and $50,000 in cash from the informant. However, the men were only able to acquire military boots and a video camera. The indictment indicates that the men lacked any real resources; these organizational problems caused the plot to peter out by May. [Washington Post, 6/24/2006] Critics accuse the FBI of running a border-line entrapment operation in which a plot that was virtually a pipe-dream was kept alive by the involvement of the informant. Max Rameau of Miami CopWatch points out that the military gear and cameras had been supplied to the men by the government, via the informant. [Democracy Now!, 6/26/2006] Court records would later show that not only did the government provide materiel to the group, but the informant also suggested the Miami FBI office as the first target. The records show that the informant, known as CW2, played a key role in the advancement of the plot, such as administering the “al-Qaeda oaths” taken by the men. At a detention hearing, judge Ted E. Bandstra says that the allegations are “disturbing,” but adds that “the plans appear to be beyond the present ability of these defendants.” [Washington Post, 9/2/2006]

Entity Tags: Narseal Batiste, Naudimar Herrera, Patrick Abraham, Rotschild Augustine, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Max Rameau, Philip J. Cline, Lyglenson Lemorin, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joan Leonard, Al-Qaeda, John S. Pistole, Bruce Hoffman, CW2, Burson Augustin, Ted E. Bandstra, Stanley Grant Phanor

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

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