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8422: Aristide visits police, supports summary action and "zero , tolerance" (fwd)




From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

Haiti: Aristide visits police, supports summary action and "zero tolerance"
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jun 21, 2001

Text of report by Haitian Metropole radio on 21 June; passages within double
oblique strokes in Creole

The president of the republic has given his full support to the Haitian
National Police [PNH] in its fight against organized crime. The head of
state visited the police headquarters yesterday as well as some police
stations to congratulate the members of the police force. The watchword of
the head of state was "zero tolerance". Naomie Calixte reports the
following:

[Calixte - recording] Preparations were made at the PNH directorate one day
before the president's visit, which was announced for 19 June. But that
visit was postponed until the next day. Early on Wednesday [20 June]
morning, police officers and PNH employees were mobilized. Jean-Bertrand
Aristide came to offer his support to the institution in its fight against
insecurity and he gave full power to policemen. The head of state
established the members of the police force as judges over criminals.

[Aristide] //If a criminal [Creole: zenglendo] stops a car out on the
street, takes the car keys, forces the driver to get out and drives away
with the vehicle, then that person is guilty. That person is guilty because
the vehicle does not belong to him. You [policemen] do not need to take him
to court to answer to the judge, because the car does not belong to him. It
is a criminal [zenglendo] who is forcing people to get out of their car so
he can steal it, and so then he is a culprit. If a criminal carries out
physical violence against somebody out in the street with intent to kill
that person, you do not need to wait for that criminal to appear before the
judge, you can prevent that murderer from taking action.//

[Calixte] Concerning police repression denounced by the Democratic
Consultation Group [Espace], the president of the republic spoke rather in
terms of fighting acts of banditry. The president recalled the slogan of 7
February [from his inaugural speech] to the policemen saying "zero
tolerance".

[Aristide] I think it is a good thing in democracy for somebody to say what
he thinks it is correct to say. As for me, I shall repeat what I said on 7
February: //When it has to do with criminals it is zero tolerance. Period
and full stop [Creole: pwen e pwen final].//

[Calixte] When questioned about policemen's expectations for life and health
insurance, the head of state explained that the members of the police force,
in comparison to Dessalines's time [Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the father of
Haitian independence who proclaimed himself emperor of an independent Haiti
in 1804 and was assassinated in 1806] are true heroes. They are patriots
truly devoted to their mission.

[Aristide] //Dessalines had an indigenous army that fought with their
fingernails to give us independence. And that is what we are experiencing
now. We are now experiencing// the patriotic force, the civic courage //that
is like the driving force that helps a policeman forget material needs and
logistics for a while to show that the great Haitians did not exist only in
Dessalines's time but exist also in our time. I am personally proud to
observe// how with very little means the PNH gives a lot of good results,
//which makes the Haitian people feel very proud.// As regards insurance for
policemen, their education, their careers and their future, we for our part
take the responsibility to work to accompany you. You will see the
realization as you go along through concrete actions that we shall be
accomplishing together.

[Calixte] The head of state supports the police chief's efforts to recruit
1,000 policemen every year. This decision, according to Aristide, will help
with the pursuit of criminals who take refuge in the provinces after
committing acts of banditry in Port-au-Prince. The president of the republic
therefore calls on the collaboration of the populace in reporting criminals.

Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 21 Jun 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.