Haiti Update: Chaos or Conspiracy?

2

The story from Haiti gets stranger and stranger. We still
haven’t located any authentic Haitian bloggers.  One interesting
lead was John Engle, an American who WAS blogging from Haiti until Tuesday,
when he and his family quite sensibly bailed.

The word we are getting, however, from inside (second and third hand)
and outside of Haiti, is that the "Rebels" and their leader, Guy Phillippe,
are Very Bad Men, in the
voudou-drenched
Duvalier
tradition,
and represent the worst sort of virulent strain of Latin American military
dictatorship we had hoped had been forever eradicated from the American
continent. According to the Boston
Globe
, they make up in viciousness
what they lack in numbers:

Western diplomatic sources estimate that they do not number more than
300 men. But rebel leaders claim to have recruited scores of new members
since the uprising began Feb. 5, despite their reputations in Haiti
as brutal soldiers and policemen, drug traffickers, and death squad
leaders.

Philippe is a former army lieutenant and police captain. The front’s
second in command, Gilberto Dragon, is a former military officer and
police major. Both are cited on numerous government and diplomatic reports
for their alleged involvement in drug trafficking and racketeering.

The group’s strongman is Louis Jodel Chamblain, a former military general
who later headed the FRAPH, which stands for Front for the Advancement
and Progress of Haiti, which specialists describe as a paramilitary group
responsible for murdering thousands of Aristide followers in the early
1990s. The group’s systematic use of rape and torture as weapons sparked
the massive exodus of refugees that ultimately led to US military action.

"We’re very concerned about the reappearance of these people," said
Joanne Mariner, Deputy Director of the Americas Division of Human Rights
Watch. "FRAPH was a paramilitary group that committed massacres,
extrajudiciary executions, that helped keep repressive control over
Haiti. Chamblain was essentially the operational leader, very much
involved
in the details, the actual abuses committed."

Even after Aristide returned to power, both Philippe and Dragon were
part of the new police force. Philippe became the police chief of Cap-Haitien,
Dragon the commissaire of an important area in Port-au-Prince. Throughout,
they maintained their esprit de corps.

They and 10 other officers soon took on the name "Latinos," because
they had trained together in Ecuador and spoke Spanish. Philippe fled
to the Dominican Republic in 2000 after he and several other Latinos,
including Dragon, were tied to a coup plot.

Egads! An "Ecuadorian Connection". However,
the Dowbrigade can testify first hand that the Ecuadorian Army’s Officer
Training Institute
includes no courses in "Running a Voudou Drug Gang".

Unfortunately,
this is also a serious setback to the disarmament movement worldwide.
Under
President
Aristide
Haiti
joined a select list
of countries, mostly small island nations, which have abolished their
armies: Costa Rica, Dominica, Kiribati,Lichtenstein, Mauritius, Maldives,
Monaco, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, San Marino, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines,
Solomon Islands, and Western Samoa.

In fact, it appears that the drugged out remnants of the recently abolished
Haitian army are part and parcel of this "Rebellion." Latest reports
from Port
au Prince
say the city is in the hand of drugged out criminals and armed bands
of wacked-out youths. Now, the Bush administration has just announced
that President Aristide should "leave the country".  It
is starting to look more and more like an orchestrated campaign to get
rid of this one-time US ally who may have become an inconvenience to
an administration more interested in control than in conversation.

from the
Boston Globe

2 Comments

  1. Mindy

    February 7, 2010 @ 4:35 am

    1

    I’m really bumbed by this news and want to do my part in helping. It looks like lots of people are getting involved but more are definitely needed.

  2. Sable

    February 9, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

    2

    Things got boring at work so I came home early to see the latest news…things are a little better but I’ve learned that there is still tons of work to do… I’m glad I stopped by here…