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#568: Gunmen fire through windows of Haitian radio station (fwd)


Gunmen fire through windows of Haitian radio station                
03:57 p.m Sep 25, 1999 Eastern  By Jennifer Bauduy 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Gunmen fired through the windows of
a Haitian radio station just one week after the radio broke a story
implicating four high-level police officers in drug trafficking, a radio
official told Reuters Saturday. Vision 2000, a private radio station,
was the first media to report on the detention of four police
commissioners last week,one of whom headed security at the presidential
palace, for alleged involvement in drug trafficking. The four officers
were found at a hotel in the northern city of Cap-Haitien where local
police captured three Colombian drug traffickers and seized an
unspecified quantity of cocaine.  Police spokesman Jean-Dady Simeon was
quoted by the radio confirming the detention of four police
commissioners. Haiti's national police force was created four years ago
after the dissolution of Haiti's repressive army in 1994.The fledgling
force, trained by the United Nations, has been plagued by drug
trafficking and allegations of police brutality. Vision 2000 received
several phone calls from members of the police on Sept. 17, the day the
station aired the story, warning the station not to continue reporting
on the incident, said the radio official, who spoke on condition of
anonymity. Last week gunmen fired shots in front of the radio station
several nights in a row, according to the station security guard.
Thursday night, unknown individuals sprayed the windows of      the
radio news room with bullets and threw rocks through the windows.     In
December 1997, Vision 2000 was forced to suspend a popular call-in radio
talk show critical of Haiti's political system, for two months after the
host/news director received death  threats. The programme was again
suspended for a month in April 1998 when the news director received new
death threats.