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5368: Haiti news in DR press - polis/koudeta and numbers (fwd)

From: Yacine Khelladi <yacine@aacr.net>

Most but not all news deal about policemen and koudeta, but also look
down for numbers "> 4. DR shelters a million Haitians"

> ********************************************************************
> DR1 Daily News - Friday, 27 October 2000
> ********************************************************************
> 2. Mejia briefly deals with the Haitian police issue
> At one point during the meeting between government officials and a
> high ranking U.S. delegation, President Hipolito Mejia was briefly
> called away to receive with Carlos Andres Perez. The former Venezuelan
> President has been meeting with Haitian dissidents in an attempt to
> effect reconciliation between political factions in the neighboring
> country. Today?s newspapers indicate that Andres Perez has also taken
> on the role of mediator in the issue of asylum-vs.-extradition
> involving seven Haitian policemen who are currently ?guests? of the
> Dominican Armed Forces. After a few minutes absence, Mejia returned to
> the meeting in company with Andres Perez.
> 3. Haitian issues continue in the limelight
> After a session with former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrez Perez
> in Santo Domingo yesterday, the ex-Mayor of Port-au-Prince, Evans
> Paul, denied that there had been a recent attempt at a coup d?etat.
> According to Paul, the coup is an invention of the government of Prime
> Minister Edouard Alexis to justify repression of political dissent.
> Paul, once a close ally of President Jean Bertrande Aristide, now
> leads the opposition to Aristide. He demanded the intervention of the
> ?international community? in the forthcoming presidential elections,
> scheduled for November 26. ?Elections will not take place until we
> have a new Elections Commission, a total review of the outcome of the
> parliamentary elections of May 21, and a guarantee of security for all
> political parties,? he said.
> At the same time, rumors have began circulating that the seven
> policemen who have requested political asylum in the DR, and whose
> return to Haiti has been requested by that country?s government, would
> instead be sent to Ecuador. However, the Ambassador of Ecuador denied
> that his government has received a petition from the DR.  Interviewed
> by reporters at an unrelated function in the National Palace,
> Ambassador Luis Narvaéz said that his government would be pleased to
> consider such a request but he is not aware that one has been
> forthcoming. ?I am trying to do my duty by keeping my superiors
> informed so that, eventually, if Ecuador were called upon, it could
> have at its disposal what it needs to make a decision,? said Narvaéz
> ?but there?s been no request.?
> In a separate development, the Dominican Human Rights Commission
> (CDDC) submitted a formal petition to the government to grant asylum
> to three Haitian citizens who were candidates for parliamentary seats
> in last May?s election. According to the petition, Oberto Losias,
> Tissanit Bralien and Helene Furcile were beaten, tortured and
> imprisoned following the elections in which they ran on the opposition
> ticket of the Haitian Democratic Party (PADEMH). In their petition,
> Manuel Maria Mercedes Medina, President, and Salvador Justo, Executive
> Secretary, of the CDDC affirm that the ?persecution unleashed? by
> Haitian authorities against their own citizens violates their civil
> and political rights, as established in the Universal Declaration of
> Human Rights, to which Haiti is a signatory.
> 4. DR shelters a million Haitians
> The Director General of Immigration reports that more than a million
> Haitians reside in the Dominican Republic, the greater part of them
> illegally. According to Trajano Moreta Cuevas, round-ups of Haitians
> residing in the country illegally number between 60 and 100 each day.
> Despite beefed up security at border crossings, impoverished
> individuals and families find few obstacles when they try to cross the
> porous and desolate 260-kilometer border. Moreta Cuevas said that his
> department is ?flexible? with illegals because he realizes that
> ?Haitian labor is necessary I construction and agriculture because
> Dominicans don?t want to dedicate themselves to those activities.? He
> is trying to organize a system whereby employers would provide an
> up-to-date of Haitian temporary workers. Moreta Cuevas expressed
> concern over an organized group that brings the children of Haitian
> farm workers to Santiago to beg on the streets. ?We are pursuing the
> people involved in that scheme,? he said.

> DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 26 October 2000
> ********************************************************************
> 2. Haitian issues discussed in Santo Domingo
> Two important Dominican-Haitian meetings will take place in Santo
> Domingo today. Former Venezuelan President, Carlos Andres Perez, will
> lead discussions between rival Haitian political factions. Since the
> parliamentary elections held last May 21, Haiti has been wracked by
> political turmoil, with the opposition charging fraud against the
> Lavalas family, which was reported to have gained 80% of the vote.
> Andres Perez will meet with former Port-au-Prince mayor, Evans Paul,
> and his supporters. In 1991, as sitting President of Venezuela, Andres
> Perez received Haitian President, Jean Bertrand Aristide, in Caracas
> after he was deposed in a military coup.
> A second meeting brings Peter Romero, American Deputy Under-Secretary
> of State for Latin America, face to face with Dominican and Haitian
> officials to discuss the external debts of the two nations. A
> proposal, which first surfaced six years ago, during the ?Dominican
> Week in the United States? seminar, to convert the debts into a
> bi-national development fund is under discussion. Dominican and
> Haitian economists, lawyers and business executives will attend. The
> DR?s debt with the U.S. in around $3 billion, and that of Haiti around
> $1.2 billion, and the idea of forgiveness is gaining supporters in
> Washington, D.C. and at the World Bank. The European Union, whose
> members also carry DR and Haitian debts on their books, has expressed
> interest in the plan and will be represented at the meetings.
> There are no new developments in the case of the seven policemen in
> Santo Domingo, and two others in the Dominican embassy in
> Port-au-Prince who have sought political asylum. President Hipolito
> Mejia must make a decision concerning their request and that of the
> Haitian government for their repatriation.

> DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 25 October 2000
> ********************************************************************
> 4. Haitian repatriation petition is rejected
> The seven Haitian police officers alleged to have participated in a
> failed coup d?etat against President Rene Preval, will remain ?guests?
> of the Dominican government for the time being. Haiti?s Foreign
> Affairs Minister, Fritz Longchamp, flew home from Santo Domingo after
> failing in his attempt to convince Hugo Tolentino Dipp, his Dominican
> counterpart, to hand over the seven. Speaking to reporters at the
> Foreign Affairs Ministry, Tolentino Dipp, based his refusal to
> authorize immediate repatriation on ?respect for the principles of
> international law and human rights.?
> Similarly, no decision has been made regarding the fate of the other
> two police officers who are in residence at the Dominican embassy in
> Port-au-Prince, and who have requested political asylum. The police
> officers would ask for asylum in Ecuador if their Dominican petition
> were ejected. Tolentino Dipp promised a ?harmonious? resolution of the
> issue, and said that the President of the Republic is mulling over the
> options.

> DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 24 October 2000
> 2. Two more Haitian officers seek asylum
> The Dominican embassy in Port-au-Prince has received requests for
> political asylum from two police officers implicated in the recent,
> unsuccessful coup d?etat against the government of President Rene
> Preval. The pair has taken temporary refuge in the embassy awaiting
> the official governmental response. This brings to nine, the total
> number of Haitian police officers who have petitioned for asylum in
> the DR. The other seven, who crossed the border at Dajabon last week,
> are currently ?in protective custody? at the Armed Services Ministry
> in Santo Domingo.
> President Hipolito Mejia and Foreign Affairs Minister, Hugo Tolentino
> Dipp, visited with the seven yesterday, following which Mejia stated
> that the seven entered the country legally with Dominican visas, and
> as such have freedom of movement within the country. The Haitian
> government has already petitioned for the return of the seven, under
> term of a long-standing mutual repatriation treaty. Haitian Foreign
> Affairs Minister, Fritz Longchamp, will arrive in Santo Domingo today
> to press the case for his government. Mejia and Tolentino Dipp are
> considering the Dominican response.