After 13 years of occupying the nation—throughout which they fired on protesters and by accident launched cholera to the island, setting off an epidemic—UN “peacekeepers” have been lastly withdrawn from Haiti in October. To take up the slack in preventing drug gangs within the capital Port-au-Prince, the United Nations has referred to as for elevated worldwide help for the 15,000-strong Haitian National Police.
But this name is forged in a doubtful mild by a harrowing November 18 Al Jazeera report on what seems to have been a police bloodbath throughout a supposed anti-gang raid on a Port-au-Prince faculty. The raid led to at the least seven lifeless—together with college students and academics, all evidently unarmed. Local residents are saying the variety of lifeless may very well be larger and assert that there have been no armed males inside the varsity when National Police troops charged in and opened hearth.
Some of the victims might have been killed execution-style in retaliation for the slaying of two police brokers elsewhere in Port-au-Prince earlier that day.
Deja Vu For Dictatorship
Amid all this, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise is shifting to re-establish the nation’s military after 22 years—within the identify of preventing the narco-gangs, in fact.
On November 16, he named former military colonel Jodel Lesage as appearing commander-in-chief, shifting troops nearer to full operation, Reuters reported. The appointment nonetheless must be accepted by Haiti’s Senate But two days later, Moise welcomed the military’s anticipated return with a parade that includes dozens of camouflaged troopers toting rifles within the northern coastal metropolis of Cap-Haitien
Haiti has been with out a military since 1995, when populist president Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the army after returning to energy following a coup. But veteran officers of the disbanded military have been behind the 2004 coup that ousted Aristide for a second and last time. And a few of these similar veteran officers are themselves implicated within the narco commerce.
But probably the most infamous of those is Guy Philippe, a former paramilitary enforcer for the gang behind the 2004 coup, who was arrested by the DEA in Port-au-Prince in January and flown to Miami to face trial on cocaine trafficking costs. In June, he was sentenced to 9 years in jail after copping a plea—admitting to a cash laundering cost in change for the dropping of a trafficking cost that would have despatched him to jail for all times.
And, as National Public Radio famous, Moise is bringing again the military simply as indignant protests are breaking out, demanding his ouster over his unpopular plan to hike taxes on Haiti’s already struggling poor.
So with the National Police already unleashing tear-gas and water-cannons on protesters, the military will as soon as once more be available to use but larger repression—as beneath the previous regime of dictator-for-life Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, overthrown by a well-liked revolution in 1986. Baby Doc died in 2014 a free man, with out ever dealing with costs for the lengthy reign of terror by his military and paramilitary forces.