Thursday, July 20, 2017

Haiti’s Anti-Corruption Chief Abruptly Fired, 1 year into 3-year term

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Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – The head of Haiti’s anti-corruption agency was abruptly fired, one year into a supposed three-year term, on Friday and the Jovenel Moise – Jack Lafontant administration has yet to release a statement regarding the change.

The termination comes at a time when the administration has, through irregular methods, sought to access money, for example, declaring a State of Emergency 9 months after Hurricane Matthew and 5 months in office and forwarding a finance bill requiring Haitians living abroad, who have no political representation, to pay an annual tax.

Haiti’s leading newspaper, Le Nouvelliste, reported having know advance notice of the change. In fact, the paper reports only learning that Joseph Oldy Bellegarde had been installed as head of the Financial Control and Intelligence Unit (UCREF), replacing former Government Commissioner Jean-Sonel Francois. Francois was appointed to the post in May 2016.

The executive director of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH), Pierre Espérance, also confirmed this information. He told Le Nouvelliste that his institution is protesting against the dismissal of Sonel Jean-François who was appointed to head the institution for a 3 year term.

 Pierre Espérance pointed out that the new director was appointed to head the Ucref operations department during the Martelly administration. “Joseph Bellegarde has come to the head of the institution because he guarantees his descent into hell,” he denounced.

Further on, Pierre Espérance regretted that the organization in question could no longer fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism. “With the new law, Ucref is under the regulated cut of the executive power. It no longer has autonomy and is no longer what it was in time, “he says.

This is a second director appointed to replace Sonel Jean-François, who is not in the smell of sanctity with the clan “Tèt kale”. Fritz Jean, Deputy Citizen Protector, was appointed by presidential decree to head the Central Financial Intelligence Unit. However, he had not taken office because of his “reservations”. This is what Lucien Jura had revealed about Magik 9 last June.

The decision of the head of state to replace Sonel Jean-François at the head of the Ucref had aroused a real outcry, given the ongoing investigation against the president of the Republic for money laundering following An administrative report of that body.

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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.