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#5192: Events of the past week (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
(from Caribbean Insight, 29 Sept 00)
The assistant secretary-general of the second Organisation of American
States (OAS), Luigi Einaudi, arrived in Haiti on September 21 in the second
OAS attempt in a month to try to broker a solution to the political
deadlock caused by the inaccurately-calculated results of the May 21
legislative elections. Top US, Canadian and Caricom officials also flew in
to support his efforts. The main opposition grouping, Convergence,
demanded the resignation of the Conseil Électoral Provisoire (CEP),
suspension of parliament and an end to threats against its leaders before
agreeing to talk with former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's Fanmi
Lavalas (FL) party. About 1,000 opposition supporters demonstrated against
the government in Gonaïves on September 20 and called for the elections to
The president of the CEP, Ernst Mirville, denounced the opposition
on September 20 as "useless" and said it and the country's "most repugnant"
and "pseudo-intellectual" upper class ignored the poor and "spat in the
food they couldn't eat." Opposition parties said Mirville's remarks
confirmed their argument that the CEP was unfit to organise the November 26
presidential and senatorial elections and justified their plan to boycott
them. The remarks also reportedly caused a split in the CEP.
The badly-tortured body of Amos Jeannot, a employee at the
grassroots bank Fonkoze, was found on September 21, two weeks after 10
armed men in police uniforms had robbed Fonkoze offices in Port-au-Prince,
demanded the bank's closure and kidnapped Jeannot. Rival banks are thought
to be behind the attack.
The government has presented a measure to parliament to regulate
the many NGOs operating in the country and through which the US has warned
it will channel all aid if the government fails to solve the elections
deadlock. Senators denounced some NGOs as thieves and as a source of wealth
for a small group to the detriment of the general population.
Former President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier told the US daily
newspaper Newsday in mid-September from his French exile that he was trying
to get back to Haiti. He earlier told supporters by telephone in New York
that he wanted to return to power.
Carlo Désinor, editor of the daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste for the
past 30 years, former information and social affairs minister (1990-91) and
head of state television after the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship, died
on September 20, aged 49.
A US businessman and his secretary have been charged in Lousiana
with plotting to kill his wife, Sheila Webb, who died in Haiti in January,
in order to collect $2.5m in insurance. Prosecutors said they falsely
claimed she had been shot dead by car thieves.