Friday, April 28, 2017

Arrest of Guy Philippe was Haitian Government’s Initiative

Profile photo of Samuel Maxime

Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – It was the initiative of the Haitian Government to arrest and extradite Senator-elect Guy Philippe, according to a source. The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in a statement after the arrest saluted the Haitian police on their professionalism.

According to the former interim-Mayor of Croix-des-Bouquets, Nyrvah Florens Bruno, upon calling the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. to inquire about the arrest, she was told that it was Haitian authorities who coordinated the arrest and then contacted the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which has had a long-standing warrant, based on a 2005 indictment, against Philippe.

Mr. Philippe has also had criminal charges placed against him in the past year. But the Electoral Decree does not allow the arrest of candidate during an election and the Constitution of Haiti does not allow for the arrest of a member of Parliament. It was in this small window between the end of the campaign and declaration of results in Le Moniteur and before the swearing-in of the victor that Mr. Philippe was apprehended.

To those ends, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince congratulated the arrest which led to extradition:

The Embassy of the United States welcomes the arrest of Guy Philippe, a wanted fugitive, by the National Police of Haiti on Thursday, January 5th, and congratulates their professionalism in the way they carried out the arrest. Mr. Philippe was transferred to the United States.

The United States and the Haitian government have a longstanding cooperation in judicial and law enforcement matters, and we look forward to continuing our cooperation in the future.

Most in Haiti know that President Jocelerme Privert, who once held the senate seat to which Mr. Philippe was elected to, had, over the past year, become enemies. Mr. Philippe, who led the 2004 coup d’etat against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, spent the month of June 2016 announcing that he would overthrow interim President Privert in the same fashion if he did not leave office on June 14.

As June 14 passed and Mr. Privert remained in the National Palace, a brazen attack on the Departmental Police Station in Aux Cayes had taken place. One officer died, several were injured, many of the attackers died as well but not before seizing arms and munitions from the barracks.

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About The Author

Profile photo of Samuel Maxime

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.