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The National Security Archive at George Washington University

CONSORTIUM NEWS - Edited by Robert Parry


March 15, 2004

The Thugs of Haiti's 'Armed Opposition'

An X-Ray of Haiti’s 'Armed Opposition' (2/25/2004 - Haiti Progres)

Background on Haiti’s “rebel” leaders was compiled by the London-based Haiti Support Group. (As published in the Haiti Progres.)

Louis Jodel Chamblain
Chamblain was joint leader - along with CIA operative Emmanuel “Toto” Constant - of the Front révolutionnaire pour l’avancement et le progrès haïtien, (Revolutionary Front for Haitian Advancement and Progress) known by its acronym - FRAPH - which phonetically resembles the French and Creole words for ‘to beat’ or ‘to thrash’. FRAPH was formed by the military authorities who were the de facto leaders of the country during the 1991-94 military regime, and was responsible for numerous human rights violations before the 1994 restoration of democratic governance.

Among the victims of FRAPH under Chamblain’s leadership was Haitian Justice Minister Guy Malary. He was ambushed and machine-gunned to death with his body-guard and a driver on October 14, 1993. According to an October 28, 1993 CIA Intelligence Memorandum obtained by the Center for Constitutional Rights: “FRAPH members Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel Constant, and Gabriel Douzable met with an unidentified military officer on the morning of 14 October to discuss plans to kill Malary.” (Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, the leader of FRAPH, is now living freely in Queens, NYC.)

In September 1995, Chamblain was among seven senior military and FRAPH leaders convicted in absentia and sentenced to forced labour for life for involvement in the September 1993 extrajudicial execution of Antoine Izméry, a well-known pro-democracy activist. In late 1994 or early 1995, it is understood that Chamblain went into exile to the Dominican Republic in order to avoid prosecution.

Guy Philippe
Guy Philippe is a former member of the FAD’H (Haitian Army). During the 1991-94 military regime, he and a number of other officers received training from the US Special Forces in Equador, and when the FAD’H was dissolved by Aristide in early 1995, Philippe was incorporated into the new National Police Force.

He served as police chief in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas and in the second city, Cap-Haitien, before he fled Haiti in October 2000 when Haitian authorities discovered him plotting what they described as a coup, together with a clique of other police chiefs. Since that time, the Haitian government has accused Philippe of master-minding deadly attacks on the Haitian Police Academy and the National Palace in July and December 2001, as well as hit-and-run raids against police stations on Haiti’s Central Plateau over last two years.

Ernst Ravix
According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights report on Haiti, dated 7 September 1988, FAD’H Captain Ernst Ravix, was the military commander of Saint Marc, and head of a paramilitary squad of “sub-proletariat youths” who called themselves the Sans Manman (Motherless Ones). In May 1988, the government of President Manigat tried to reduce contraband and corruption in the port city of Saint Marc, but Ravix, the local Army commander, responded by organising a demonstration against the President in which some three thousand residents marched, chanted, and burned barricades. Manigat removed Ravix from his post, but after Manigat’s ouster, he was reinstated by the military dictator, Lt. Gen. Namphy.

Ravix was not heard of again until December 2001 when former FAD’H sergeant, Pierre Richardson, the person captured following the 17 December attack on the National Palace, reportedly confessed that the attack was a coup attempt planned in the Dominican Republic by three former police chiefs- Guy Philippe, Jean-Jacques Nau and Gilbert Dragon - and that it was led by former Captain Ernst Ravix. According to Richardson, Ravix’s group withdrew from the National Palace and fled to the Dominican Republic when reinforcements failed to arrive.

Jean Tatoune
Jean Pierre Baptiste, alias “Jean Tatoune”, first came to prominence as a leader of the anti-Duvalier mobilisations in his home town of Gonaives in 1985. For some years he was known and respected for his anti-Duvalierist activities but during the 1991-94 military regime he emerged as a local leader of FRAPH.

On 22 April 1994, he led a force of dozens of soldiers and FRAPH members in an attack on Raboteau, a desperately poor slum area in Gonaives and a stronghold of support for Aristide. Between 15 and 25 people were killed in what became known as the Raboteau massacre.

In 2000, Tatoune was put on trial and sentenced to forced labour for life for his participation in the Raboteau massacre. He was subsequently imprisoned in Gonaives, from where he escaped in August 2002, and took up arms again in his base in a poor area of the city. At various times he has spoken out against the government, and at other times in favour of it, but since September 2003 he has allied himself with the followers of murdered community leader, Amiot Metayer, and vowed to overthrow the government by force.

Jean-Baptiste Joseph
Joseph is a former Haitian Army sergeant who, following the disbanding of the FAD’H in 1995, headed an association of former FAD’H members. The formation of the Rassemblement des Militaires Révoqués Sans Motifs (RAMIRESM), the Assembly of Soldiers Retired Without Cause was announced at a 1 August 1995 press conference in Port-au-Prince. During 1995 and 1996, RAMIRESM was closely associated with Hubert De Ronceray’s neo-Duvalierist party, Mobilisation pour le développement national, (MDN) Mobilisation for National Development.

On 17 August 1996, Joseph was one of 15 former soldiers arrested at the MDN party headquarters and accused of plotting against the government. Two days later, approximately twenty armed men, reportedly in uniforms and thought to be former soldiers, fired on the main Port-au-Prince police station, killing one bystander.

Since then nothing had been heard of Joseph, until he emerged in Hinche with the rebel forces last week. The right-wing MDN party is a leading member of the Democratic Convergence coalition.

[Read the source...]


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