[Documents menu] Documents menu

Date: Fri, 17 Nov 1995 01:02:34 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu>
Organization: PACH
Subject: HAITI: UPDATE (Nov.8, 1995)
To: Multiple recipients of list ACTIV-L <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>

/** reg.carib: 207.0 **/
** Topic: HAITI: UPDATE (Nov.8, 1995) **
** Written 11:29 AM Nov 9, 1995 by ilophaiti in cdp:reg.carib **

Sources assert that the US blocks investigation of coup crimes

Haiti Update, 8 November 1995

Despite United States government assistance to reform the judicial system, according to various sources the United States government has failed to adequately support prosecution of those who are responsible for 5,000 assassinations and massive human rights abuses. In an article in The Nation (October 9, 1995), Allan Nairn writes that a prisoner accused of the assassination of Justice Minister Guy Malary on October 14, 1993 informed investigators that he was receiving money from the United States Embassy at the tim e of the assassination. According to the article, those officials confirmed that Marcel Morisaint collaborated with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) while he worked as the attachi of the Chief of Police and coup leader, Michel Frangois. Subseq uently, US officials assisted in the prisoner's escape. Morrisaint was going to be one of the principle witnesses of the international criminal investigating team put together by President Aristide to investigate some of the crimes committed during the c oup. Along the same line, the New York weekly The Village Voice (October 10, 1995) in an article entitled "Aristide investigates crimes that the United States would prefer left unsolved" indicates that "...surrounding Aristide's attempts to enforce law and or der is a growing suspicion that the United States may be trying to stymie his efforts". The article cites a memo from Major John Shissler, Information Chief of the Commander of the Multinational Forces, in which he states that to investigate the crimes o f the de facto government of Cedras could be interpreted as an act of vengeance by the present government, and therefore could alienate members of the right wing and the economic elite. The Haitian Creole language newspaper Libhte (Liberty) in an article titled "Who is obstructing the judicial system?" (October 4-10 edition) asserts that the US government is responsible for impeding the prosecution of the principle authors of the coup s uch as Raoul Cedras, Michel Frangois, Emmanuel Constant, Louis Jodel Chamblain, Marcel Morissaint, Gros Fanfan, etc., thus preventing the events of the coup d'etat from being uncovered. Other news articles have frequently reported on the links between h igh-ranking members of the military dictatorship and members of the paramilitary organizations and the CIA (see for instance, New York Times, November 1, 1993.) In an article from Inter Press Service (October 10, 1995), Dan Coughlin writes that the Pentagon refused to hand over some 60,000 pages of documents confiscated last year when the U.S. troops stormed FRAPH's offices. Created in 1993, FRAPH organized and participated in a large number of assassinations, tortures, illegal detentions and rapes during the military regime. According to human rights lawyer Michel Ratner, these documents contain crucial information about FRAPH's financing and arms supply as well as its numerous acts of torture and murder. This information would be a great help to the National Truth and Justice Commission that is examining the human rights violations committed during the military regime, responsible for the deaths of approxi mately 5,000 people. The Haitian Senate, in one of its first acts, passed a resolution expressing grave concern at the US apparent unwillingness to cooperate with efforts to shed light on human rights violations in Haiti. Also, as the mandate of the Truth Commission runs out, and despite the public support of President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the US government refuses to respond to numerous appeals for funding. Were it not for disbursements from Europe, Canada a nd the UN, it is extremely doubtful that the Commission would be functioning at all. v