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8426: INS arrests ex-colonel given life in Haiti (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Published Friday, June 22, 2001
INS arrests ex-colonel given life in Haiti for his role in massacre
Carl Dorelien, who won $3.2 million in the Florida lottery, was a leader in
the coup against Aristide.
BY ALFONSO CHARDY
Immigration agents have arrested Carl Dorelien, a former Haitian army
colonel who helped lead a coup against President Jean Bertrand Aristide and
who, while in exile in Florida, won $3.2 million in the state lottery, the
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service said Thursday.
Rodney Germain, an INS spokesman in Miami, said immigration agents took
Dorelien into custody in Port St. Lucie, where he has lived for several
years. When agents went to the front door of Dorelien's house Thursday, he
tried to sneak out the back but was caught by agents waiting there, Germain
On June 28, 1997, Dorelien held one of two winning tickets bought in Fort
Pierce that split a jackpot of $6.3 million, according to Florida Lottery
His arrest raises to 26 the number of foreign nationals the INS has arrested
since the agency last year began detaining people deemed human rights
abusers. Dorelien is perhaps the most prominent of the group besides former
Haitian police Capt. Jackson Joanis, who was arrested in November.
That month, Dorelien and other former Haitian military officers who led the
coup against Aristide and several of their supporters were sentenced in
absentia in Haiti to life in prison with hard labor for their alleged role
in an April 1994 massacre.
The sentence came after a jury found 16 officers guilty of taking part in
the rampage, in which dozens of residents of Raboteau, a seaside slum of
Gonaives, were beaten and shot to death.
Besides Dorelien, other defendants included former Haitian junta leaders
Raoul Cedras and Philippe Biamby, who received asylum in Panama; former
Port-au-Prince Police Chief Michel François, who went to Honduras; and
paramilitary leader Emmanuel ``Toto'' Constant, who lives in New York City.
``We support the INS actions,'' said an elated Ira Kurzban, a Miami
immigration attorney who also acts as attorney for the Haitian government
and served as lawyer in the Raboteau case. ``There is a criminal conviction
against Carl Dorelien for summary executions and gross violations of human
rights in Haiti. We hope they will deport him so he can serve his sentence
As INS agents took Dorelien to the Krome Service Processing Center for
deportation proceedings, Joanis, the former Haitian police captain, was in a
Krome court telling a federal immigration judge that deporting him to Haiti
would be tantamount to a death sentence.
``I will be killed,'' Joanis, former commander of the Port-au-Prince
police's investigations branch and anti-gang unit, told the court, according
to Carlo Jean-Joseph, his attorney.
The hearing was closed to the news media, but Jean-Joseph provided details
later. The hearing will continue at a later date, probably in 30 days,
In the Joanis case, a Haitian judge on Sept. 25, 1995, sentenced him and 16
others -- also in absentia -- to life in prison for alleged conspiracy in
the 1993 murder of an Aristide supporter, businessman Antoine Izmery.
Jean-Joseph said his client was seeking ``relief'' from deportation under
the 1987 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, which the United States has signed.
Of the 26 foreign nationals arrested by the INS since its human rights
``persecutor program'' began last year, Joanis, 42, is the first to fight
back aggressively to preempt deportation.
According to an INS statement issued Nov. 16, Joanis was part of a group of
14 who were arrested after immigration judges found that they ``engaged in
human rights persecution prior to residing in the United States.''
While serving in the Port-au-Prince police, Joanis was a top aide to
François, the police chief. Joanis was also a close contact of U.S. military
officers at the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince.
After fleeing Haiti following the U.S. military occupation that restored
Aristide to office in 1994, Joanis drove a cab and came to live on the 5000
block of Grant Street in Hollywood in Broward County.
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