Haitian army general staff appointed amid tensions with the Dominican Republic


Haitian army general staff appointed amid tensions with the Dominican Republic

John Marion

6 April 2018

Recent events show that workers and peasants face grave dangers as the ruling elite on both sides of Hispaniola resurrect figures from their violent pasts.

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse announced on March 13 the appointment of six general staff members for the reconstituted Forces Armées d’Haïti. All six held senior posts in the FAd’H before it was disbanded by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1995. Three have blood on their hands from the period of the Raoul Cédras military dictatorship in the early 1990s.

Colonel Jean-Robert Gabriel, a new assistant chief of staff, was convicted in absentia for his role in the April 1994 Raboteau Massacre under Cédras. After his appointment to the new general staff was announced, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, which had secured his conviction in connection with Raboteau in 2000, issued a press release noting that not only was he complicit in the massacre, but he also was a torturer under Cédras.

A Haitian court overturned Gabriel’s conviction in 2006, using a technicality it had dredged up from a 1928 law passed during the American occupation.

Brigade General Sadrac Saintil, the new army chief of staff, was a Lieutenant Colonel during the Cédras regime and participated in the official whitewash of the Raboteau Massacre.

Another assistant chief of staff in the resurrected army, Derby Guerrier, had his assets frozen by the US Treasury in 1993 because of his role in the Cédras dictatorship. The current acting commander in chief of the FAd’H, Jodel Lesage, served in the military of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier and was trained by the US military as a member of the Leopard Corps.

In announcing the…

Read more