Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Justice at Last for Leader of Haiti Coup

UPDATE: It appears Philippe managed to escape arrest and is nowhere to be found. A brother over at Haiti-Cuba-Venezuela Analysis has some... well, analysis. Given all that Phillipe knows about the events of 2004 (the roles of prominent businessmen and the US) anything is possible.

It seems the reprecussions of the US backed toppling of Haitian President Aristide in 2004 coup are not going away. On Sunday thousands of Aristide supporters marched in the capital - against Rene Preval for not allowing his return. And now, we have reports that coupster Guy Philippe, trained by US Special Forces and installed by the US supported coup, has been arrested for drug running.

In fairness, the guy was supposedly estranged from US officials for quite some time. But this does not explain how Mr. Philippe ended up with all his new guns and uniforms before the coup, nor why the US forbid Aristide's security company from bringing in additional guards, nor help protect democracy from thugs and criminals when it mattered. instead the 1000 Marines stationed offshore landed the day AFTER Phillipe marched on Port Au Prince.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested a former rebel leader and presidential candidate with alleged ties to drug traffickers, Haitian radio reported.

U.S. and Haitian officials declined to comment on the Radio Metropole report, which cited eyewitnesses who said officers swooped down Monday in helicopters on the home of Guy Philippe, who helped toppled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004.

Earlier, both Metropole and Radio Vision2000 reported that foreign-looking agents searched Philippe's home in the southern coastal town of Les Cayes but found only his wife.

Metropole said later that the former rebel leader was captured in Les Cayes by DEA officers, but the station cited no source and gave no details on the status of the 39-year-old former police commander who ran for president in 2006.

Philippe was the police chief of Haiti's second largest city, Cap-Haitien, but fled the country in 2000 after being accused of plotting a coup. He returned in 2004 to help rebels topple Aristide in a three-week uprising.

Aristide called Philippe and other rebels "terrorists," and accused them of ties to drug traffickers who use Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic to reach the U.S.

Human Rights Watch says that while Philippe was police chief in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas from 1997 to 1999, dozens of suspected gang members were executed by police under the command of his deputy.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "analysis" actually came from the Haiti Information Project (HIP).

Here's an excerpt from the story Drugs and Politics in Haiti. The full story can be found at:

Drugs and Politics in Haiti

HIP - The US Drug Enforcement Agency's recent attempt to hunt down former policeman, paramilitary commander and presidential candidate Guy Philippe on drug charges can be traced back to a recent arrest in the town of Gonaives, Haiti.

Haitian police and Argentinean units of the UN arrested Wilfort Ferdinand, alias Ti Wil; on May 26 after he gave a lengthy interview on local radio station Radio Gonaives FM. Although news of Ferdinand's arrest received scant attention in the international press it was one of the top stories throughout Haiti the following day. Much of the reporting in the Haitian press focused on the shared history of Wilfort Ferdinand and Guy Philippe in leading paramilitary forces that helped to oust the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In early February 2004, Wilfort Ferdinand along with Butteur Metayer, Winter Etienne and Dieujuste Jeanty, led armed gangs to attack police stations in the Artibonite region in a bid to oust Aristide's government. They left a bloody trail in their wake including the summary execution of Aristide supporters in the streets of several cities. Their group, called the Artibonite Resistance Front, later joined with the small but well-armed paramilitary groups that invaded Haiti from the Dominican Republic under the leadership of Guy Philippe and former death squad commander Jodel Chamblain. Ferdinand and the others quickly claimed allegiance to Philippe and publicly referred to him as their "commander-in-chief" in press interviews.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another article appeared in the Monterey County Herald a few days later that delved even deeper into the reasons behind the DEA raid on Philippe. Here's an excerpt and the full article can be found at

Real reason for Haiti raid

by John Yewell

Monterey County Herald - There were new suggestions this week that a raid 10 days ago by Haiti's police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration may have been an attempt to silence one of the leaders of a 2004 coup that toppled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide - a coup many believe was orchestrated by the United States.

Guy Philippe, the target of the raid, avoided capture and is now in hiding. He has since been heard on Haitian radio claiming his attempted arrest was for political reasons.

Between his alleged drug affiliations and human rights abuses, Philippe has few friends in the government of current Haitian President Rene Preval or in the United States. But according to a report this week by Kevin Pina, writing for the Haiti Information Project, there may be another explanation for the DEA grab.

According to Pina, on May 27, after the arrest of Wilfort Ferdinand, another coup participant, Philippe went on Haitian radio and "began to name names of business and political leaders who backed the paramilitary insurgency against Aristide's government by providing arms, ammunition and logistical support."

"High on (Philippe's) list," Pina continued, "was Andy Apaid, the leader of the civil society organization called the Group 184."

Seven weeks after Philippe's radio broadcast, the DEA went after him.

11:01 AM  

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