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9881: Haiti's police inspector-general goes after police corruption (fwd)




From: MKarshan@aol.com

Radio interview: "Police inspector-general announces purge to weed out corruption" (Radio Metropole) December 3, 2001 (In English on BBC website) 

The inspector-general of the police has announced that a purge of the Haitian National Police [PNH] is taking place. Chief Inspector-General Arvel Victor Jean-Baptiste thinks that this measure is important in order to give the institution a new image. Jean-Baptiste declares that the most structured gangs in Haiti have contacts within the police. Jean-Baptiste spoke as follows:

[Jean-Baptiste - recording, in Creole] It is difficult to find a strong gang that is working without some police involvement. There are some people in the police whose lifestyle cannot depend only on the meagre salary that the institution gives them. Moreover, they do not have a legal business that can justify it either. You see what I am saying?

Unfortunately, the Inspector-General's Office does not have the means to carry out the infiltration that is necessary and to develop an information system to help uncover the gangs. Since it [presumably meaning corruption] is not allowed by any of my superiors in the hierarchy and since we do not agree with it either, then it is nothing unusual for us to find them out and get rid of them.

[Unidentified journalist] What measures have you taken to fight these men?

[Jean-Baptiste] Every time we are faced with a case like this, we punish the person concerned. In cases of kidnapping and several other cases, unfortunately, the biggest punishment that can be given to the policemen is dismissal. We then submit the case to the public prosecutor for judicial purposes.

[Journalist] Are there any preventive measures that can be taken? [Words indistinct]

[Jean-Baptiste] Certainly. Personally, there are four things that I do not allow: theft, criminal association, drug trafficking gangs and murder.

[Journalist] A lot of people now say that the police institution is corrupt. What is your reaction to that?

[Jean-Baptiste] I can say that they do not know the police well enough, because, in my experience there are a lot of honest people in the police. Unfortunately, the honest men do not talk enough, they do not fight enough against the presence of those two or three bandits and thus they allow the public to have the impression that the police is full of corrupt people.

But it is not true. I can tell you so because I am part of the police. I think that the police needs to create better relations with the population. The motto of the Haitian National Police is: To protect and serve. That means that it is important for the police to work so that we may have only one definition of the word service. If the police give a true service to the populace, and since the PNH is full of honest people within it, then the positive image will shine through.

We have a lot do. We must do it quickly so that we can move on. The Inspector-General's Office is a small part of the police. The better we do our work the better the reputation that the PNH will have.

Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French 1145 gmt 3 Dec 01

/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.