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9182: Deport Toto Constant - Haiti Support Group press release (fwd)
Press release: On the tenth anniversary of the military coup in Haiti, as an
international 'war on terrorism' is declared, the Haiti Support Group again
calls for the deportation back to Haiti of FRAPH leader, Toto Constant - 30
"Ours is a nation that does not seek revenge, but we do seek justice," said
US President George W. Bush on 25 September 2001.
Haiti seeks justice too. Justice for the 5,000 people killed between 30
September 1991 and 19 September 1994 when a brutal military regime held power
in Haiti. Justice for the tens of thousands who were beaten, tortured and
raped. Justice for hundreds of thousands who were terrorised by the Haitian
military and the death squad organisation called FRAPH.
Many of the worst offenders from this time are still at large in Haiti.
Others live comfortable lives in the United States. The most notorious of the
latter group is Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, the leader of the FRAPH death
Today, even though he is wanted for murder in Haiti, and even though US
authorities ordered his deportation in 1996, Toto Constant walks the streets
of Queens, New York City, a free man.
Victims of the human rights abuses during the 1991-94 military coup are still
seeking justice through the Haitian courts. A notable success was the trial,
late last year, of the perpetrators of the 1994 Raboteau massacre when over a
dozen people were killed, and many more were brutally beaten, by soldiers and
FRAPH gunmen. Toto Constant was one of those convicted, in absentia, of
premeditated, voluntary homicide.
Today, the US talks about an international coalition to fight terrorism on
all fronts, using all available methods. On 20 September, US President Bush,
speaking to the US Congress, announced, "Every nation in every region now has
a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."
This last Wednesday, 26 September, during their weekly protest meeting at the
Place des Martyrs in Port-au-Prince, members of the Haitian coup victims'
organisation, the September Thirtieth Foundation, accused the US authorities
of "giving refuge to the criminal terrorists who are guilty of the deaths of
5,000 victims of the 1991 coup d'etat."
On a Radio Nationale report, a Foundation spokesperson said, "The United
States has declared war on terrorists throughout the world following the
September 11th attacks against the American people, but the United States
itself is hiding criminals from the 1991 coup d'etat who spread sadness and
desolation among the families of the victims in Haiti."
To find out why the US will not deport Toto Constant, check the following
Virtual Truth Commission - Haiti
"Lying Down With Dogs" Time magazine, 17 October 1994
"Haiti Under The Gun" by Allan Nairn in The Nation, 15 January 1996
"U.S. Government Must Return Seized Haitian Documents. Deportation of Haitian
Death Squad Leader Urged" - Human Rights Watch, 16 September 1999
"Giving "The Devil" His Due" by David Grann in The Atlantic Monthly, June 2001
This email is forwarded as a service of the Haiti Support Group.
SEE THE HAITI SUPPORT GROUP WEB SITE: <A
The Haiti Support Group - solidarity with the Haitian people's struggle for
justice, participatory democracy and equitable development, since 1992.