Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I: The legal and political...
 Chapter II: Political rights
 Chapter III: The right to life,...
 Chapter IV: Freedom of thought...
 Conclusions and recommendation...
 Back Matter

Report on the situation regarding human rights in Haiti
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00001063/00003
 Material Information
Title: Report on the situation regarding human rights in Haiti
Physical Description: Archival
Publisher: Washington, Pan American Union, 1963
General Note: 4-tr-OAS-1993
General Note: Inter-Am. Com. on Human Rts.
 Record Information
Source Institution: Columbia Law Library
Holding Location: Columbia Law Library
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: LLMC31606
System ID: AA00001063:00003

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
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    Chapter I: The legal and political system in Haiti
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    Chapter II: Political rights
        Page 53
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    Chapter III: The right to life, liberty and security
        Page 107
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        Page 109
        Page 110
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        Page 113
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    Chapter IV: Freedom of thought and expression and freedom of association
        Page 165
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    Conclusions and recommendations
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    Back Matter
        Back Matter
Full Text

This volume was donated to LLMC
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Columbia University Law Library


OEA/Ser.L/V/ 1.74
Doc. 9 rev. 1
September 7, 1988
Original: English






Approved by the Commission at its 991st meeting,
held on September 7, 1988, during the 74th session
held from September 6 to 16, 1988




OAS PERMANENT COUNCIL ............................ 1

a. Activities of the Commission during
its On-site Observation ........................ 2
b. Complaints received ....................... ... . 5
c. Findings ........................................... 5
d. Observations of the Haitian Government on
the Human Rights Situation in Haiti ............ 6

IN THE PRESENT REPORT ............................. 7


a. Collapse of the Duvalier Regime .................. 8
b. Invitation of the National Governing
Council (CNG) to the Commission ................ 8
- Activities of the Commission during its
On-Site Observation .......................... 9
- Complaints received ....... ............. ...... 10
- Preliminary Findings ........... ............. 11
- The Emerging Crisis ........................... 16
- Derailment of the Democratization Process .... 20
c. The Elections of January 17, 1988 ................ 21
- Invitation of the Government of Leslie
Manigat to the Commission ................... 21
d. The Coup d'Etat of June 20, 1988 ................. 22
e. The Attack on the St. Jean Bosco Church ......... 22
f. The Ouster of Lt. Gen. Namphy .................... 23


GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ....... ..................... . 25


- i -

B. THE DUVALIER CONSTITUTIONS ........................... 28

a. The Power of the Executive under the
Duvalier Constitutions .............. ...... ... .... 28
b. The Political Organization of the
Duvalier State .................................. .. 30
- The Executive Branch .......................... 31
- The Legislative Branch ........................ 32
- The Judicial Branch ............................ 34
c. Rights and Guarantees under the
Duvalier Constitution (1983) ..................... 34
d. Mechanisms Established to protect Individual
Rights under the Duvalier State .................. 36
e. Restrictions Placed on the Enjoyment of Human
Rights by Government Practice under the
Duvalier regime .................................. 37
f. The Departure of Duvalier and the Transition
to the National Governing Council (CNG) ........... 37

C. THE HAITIAN CONSTITUTION OF 1987 ...................... 39

a. Disqualification of Duvalierists
for public office ................ ................. 39
b. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) ........... 39
c. The Power of the Executive under
the 1987 Constitution ........................... 40

UNDER THE 1987 CONSTITUTION ......................... 42

- The Executive Branch ............................ 42
- The Legislative Branch .......................... 43
- The Judicial Branch .................. ........ 45

a. Rights and Guarantees under the
1987 Constitution ................................ 45
b. Mechanisms Established to Protect Individual
Rights under the 1987 Constitution ............... 47

FIELD OF HUMAN RIGHTS ................. ............ 49

CONCLUSION ............................................ .. 50

- ii -



A. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ............................... 53

a. The Political Situation in 1985 ................... 56
b. The Referendum of July 22, 1985 ................... 58
c. Increasing Demands for President Duvalier
to Step Down ................................... .. 59
d. Mr. Gregoire Eugene's Defection ................... 60
e. Gonaives ......................................... .. 60

LEGAL SYSTEM (1986-1987) ........................... 61
a. Background to the Law Regulating the
Organization of Political Parties ................ 62
b. The Decree Regulating the Organization of
Political Parties ............................... 63
c. Background to the Creation of the
Provisional Electoral Council .................... 65
d. The Creation of the Provisional
Electoral Council (CEP) ......................... 71
e. The Continuing Struggle between the CNG
and the CEP for Control of the
November 29, 1987 Elections .................... 75

AND THE DISSOLUTION OF THE CEP ...................... 81

a. The Failure of the Army to Maintain Security ...... 81
b. The Dissolution of the Provisional
Electoral Council ............................... 84
c. The Election-day Aftermath ........................ 85
d. The Meeting of the OAS Permanent Council
on December 7, 1987 ............................. 88

D. THE ELECTIONS OF JANUARY 17, 1988 ...................... 89

a. The CNG's New Electoral Calendar ................... 89
b. The Boycott of the United Opposition Parties ...... 91

- iii


c. The Results of the January 17, 1988 Elections ..... 94
d. The Inauguration of Leslie Manigat
on February 7, 1988 ............................ . 95

E. THE COUP D'ETAT OF JUNE 20, 1988 ...................... 96

a. The Attempt by President Manigat to consolidate
his Power over the Military ...................... 96
b. The Coup of June 20, 1988 ......................... 100
c. The Installation of a Military Government ........ 100
d. The Political Agenda of General Namphy ............ 101


a. The Attack on the St. Jean Bosco Church ........... 103
b. The Ouster of Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy ............... 104

CONCLUSION ............................................... 105


A. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ............ ................... 107

a. Violations of the Right to Life and the
Failure of the Government to Investigate
and Punish those Persons Responsible ............. 108

- Martissant .................................... . 110
- Mr. Charlot Jacquelin (Case No. 9784) ......... 112
- The Killings in 1986-1987 ...................... 113
- The Killings on November 28-29, 1987 ........... 114
- The Killing of Mr. Lafontant Joseph
(Case No. 10.209) ........................... . 118
- The Killings at the St. Jean Bosco Church ...... 122

TO PERSONAL LIBERTY ................................ . 124

- iv -


a. The Commissaire du Gouvernement .................... 126
b. The Juge d'Instruction ...... ... ...... .......... .. 127

IN THE MATTER OF PERSONAL LIBERTY .................... 128

a. The Situation in the Detention Centers:
Persons in Detention .............................. 128
b. The Case of Mr. Jean Gibson Narcisse
(Case No. 9897) .................................. .. 134
c. The Case of Mr. Yves Volel (Case No. 10.095)......... 136
d. The Case of Mr. Jean Raymond Louis ................. 137
e. The Case of Messrs. Yves and Carl Auguste
(Case No. 10.022) ................................ 139
f. The Case of Messrs. Eddy Moise, Seneque Jean
Louis and Kador Deresil (Case No. 10.022) ......... 142
g. The Layout of Recherches Criminelles .............. 145
h. Arbitrary Arrests Prior and Following the
January 17, 1988 Elections ....................... 147
i. Harassment of Opponents to the Government ........ 150
- The Case of Mr. O'Daniel P. Bastiani ............ 151
- The Case of Mr. Murat ...... .................. 152
- The Case of Mr. Laurentes Robuste ............... 152
- The Case of Mr. Laennec Hurbon .................. 153

LIBERTY OF MOVEMENT ............................... 153

a. The Case of Nicolas Estiverne (Case No. 9855) ..... 153
b. The Case of Mr. Daniel Narcisse ................... 161
c. The Case of Dr. Ernst Mirville .................... 161
d. The Case of Dr. Turneb Delpe ...................... 162
e. The Cases of Messrs. Jean Robert Sabalat
and Jean Claude Roy ........................... . 162
f. The Case of Mr. Louis Dejoie II ................... 162
g. The Case of President Leslie Manigat and
Members of his Government ....................... 162
h. The Case of Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy ................. 163




A. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS ............................... 165

B. THE LEGAL REGIME ..................................... .. 167

EXPRESSION DURING THE CNG PERIOD ...................... 169



ASSOCIATION DURING THE CNG PERIOD ..................... 179

a. The Importance of KONAKOM ..................... 179


- The Peasants' Demands ......... ....... .......... 187

CONCLUSION ................................................ 188

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........................... 191

FOOTNOTES .................................................. . 195

- vi -



1. On June 29, 1988, the OAS Permanent Council met in Washington,
D.C., to consider the military takeover and the ensuing events which had
occurred in Haiti. At that meeting a resolution was adopted on "The
Situation in Haiti and (the) Validity of the Principles of the OAS
Charter." This Resolution, inter alia, called upon the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights to investigate the human rights situation in
Haiti and to submit its Report thereon to the OAS General Assembly,
scheduled to begin on November 14, 1988 in El Salvador.

2. The text of Resolution No. 502 is as follows:



The events that have transpired in Haiti since June 20, the date
on which a government headed by General Henri Namphy forcibly took
power, and especially the reports of certain measures taken by that
government that would affect the human rights enshrined in
instruments of the inter-American system to which Haiti is a party;


The principles of the Charter of the Organization of American
States and the high aims sought through them, in particular those
requiring the political organization of the member states on the
basis of the exercise of representative democracy and full respect
for fundamental human rights; and


Its resolution CP/RES. 441 (644/86) of February 14, 1986, which
states that the Organization of American States, adhering strictly to
the principle of nonintervention, is prepared to cooperate with the
Republic of Haiti in any way that will lead to strengthening the
essential principles of representative democracy enshrined in the
Charter of the Organization, as well as its resolution -CP/RES. 489
(720/87) of December 7, 1987, through which it expresses its
conviction that it is necessary to resume the democratic process in
Haiti and to adopt all necessary measures so that the people of Haiti
may express their will through free elections, without pressure or
interference of any type,

- 2 -


1. To reaffirm the full validity of all the principles of the
Charter of the Organization of American States and, in particular, in
light of the deplorable events that have transpired in Haiti, those
that call for the effective exercise of representative democracy as a
requirement for the solidarity of the American states, the high aims
sought by the Organization, and full enjoyment of fundamental human

2. To reiterate, within the context of the principle of
nonintervention, its solidarity with the Haitian people as well as
its hope that they will be able to realize their legitimate
aspirations to peace, freedom, and democracy by exercising their
right to self-determination.

3. To request the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to
examine the human rights situation in Haiti and to submit a complete
report thereon to the General Assembly at its next regular session.

4. To await the report that the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights will submit to the General Assembly and to make such
comments to the Assembly as it deems appropriate on the progressive
development of human rights in Haiti.

3. Pursuant to the terms of this mandate of the OAS Permanent
Council, the Commission on June 30, 1988, requested the consent of the
military regime of Lt. General Henri Namphy to send a delegation to Haiti
to conduct an on-site observation of the human rights situation. On July
12, 1988 the Commission received a cable from General Abraham, Haitian
Minister of Foreign Affairs, granting consent for the visit to take
place. Following discussions between representatives of the Haitian
military government and the Commission, the dates August 29-September 2,
1988, were agreed upon for the visit of the Commission.

4. Ms. Christina M. Cerna, the lawyer on the Commission's
Secretariat responsible for Haiti, traveled to Haiti from August 1-6,
1988, in order to make the necessary arrangements for the visit. During
this preparatory visit a press communique was released in Haiti announcing
the Commission's visit and Ms. Cerna and the representative of the OAS in
Haiti, Mr. Ragnar Arnesen, gave interviews to the television press
regarding the composition of the delegation and the purpose of the
upcoming mission.

a. Activities of the Commission during its On-site Observation

5. During its visit the Commission requested a meeting with the
President of the military government, Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, to which no

- 3 -

response was given. The Commission was advised that the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs had requested the meeting with the President for the
Commission, and until the last day of the Commission's stay no response
had been made. The delegation did meet with the Foreign Minister, Brig.
Gen. Herard Abraham and Brig. Gen. Fritz Antoine, the Minister of Justice,
as well as with Maj. Gen. Williams Regala, the Minister of Interior and
National Defense and many other government officials. The President of
the military government and the ministers had all held similar positions
while constituted as the National Council of Government from February 7,
1986 to February 7, 1988.

6. The Commission met with Mme. Mireille Pluviose, the Commissaire
du Gouvernement (Public Prosecutor) for Port-au-Prince, as well as with
Col. Joseph D. Baguidy, who is in charge of the police headquarters,
Recherches Criminelles. The Commission also met with Col. Jean-Claude
Paul, responsible for the military headquarters Casernes Dessalines in
Port-au-Prince, and with Major Isidor Pognon, head of Fort Dimanche and
Col. Weber Jodesty, head of the National Penitentiary. The Commission met
with the authorities at these detention centers and then visited the
detention areas and interviewed detainees in private. It requested to see
the registry of detainees in each location and to interview some
prisoners, by name, and others were selected at random. The Commission
requested to see the registry of detainees at Recherches Criminelles,
however Col. Baguidy refused to make the registry available to the
Commission, stating that he had received no instructions to do so. Col.
Paul stated that no one was detained at Casernes Dessalines, therefore,
there was no registry. As during its previous visit the Commission
inspected the cells and examined the prison conditions and investigated
all matters it considered useful as regards the medical care and legal
assistance available to the detainees.

7. The Commission met with representatives of many human rights
groups. The Commission received testimony from Mr. Jean-Jacques Honorat,
head of the Haitian Center for the Defense of Public Liberties (CHADEL);
from Mr. Jean-Claude Bajeux, the head of the Ecumenical Center for Human
Rights (CEDH); from Mr. Arnold Antonin, head of the National Network for
Human Rights Defense (RENADDWAM); from Mr. Gerard Toussaint, the General
Secretary of the League of Former Political Prisoners (LAPPH); from Mrs.
Raymonde Joseph, widow of Mr. Lafontant Joseph and head of the Women's
Committee against Torture; from Mr. Renaud Pierre, head of the League for
the Protection of Children and from Messrs. Joseph Maxi, the President and
Jean-Claude Nord, the Secretary General, of the Haitian League for Human
Rights. In light of the recent assassination of Mr. Lafontant Joseph, the
former head of the Center for the Promotion of Human Rights, special
attention was given to this case and the impact of this killing on the
human rights community.

8. The Commission interviewed many political leaders in order to
receive their views on the situation and the prospects for a return to the

- 4 -

democratization process: Rev. Sylvio Claude, President of the Parti
Democrate Chretien Haitien (PDCH); Mr. Louis Dejoie II, President of the
Parti Agricole Industriel National (PAIN); Mr. Gerard Gourgue, candidate
for the presidency in the elections of November 1987 of the Front National
de Concertation (FNC); Mr. Hubert de Ronceray, President of the
Mobilisation pour le Developpement National (MDN) party; Mr. Gregoire
Eugene, President of the Parti Social Chretien (PSCH); Mr. Serge Gilles,
President of the Parti National Progressiste Revolutionnaire
(PANAPRA-Socialist) and spokesman for the Patriotic Unitarian Bloc (BIP)
comprised of PANAPRA, the PNPDH of Dr. Turneb Delpe and the Mouvement de
28 November 1980 headed by Mr. Max Paen; and Mr. Victor Benoit, National
Secretary of the National Committee of the Congress of Democratic
Movements (KONAKOM). The Commission also had the opportunity, outside of
Haiti, to receive the views of the ousted President, Mr. Leslie Manigat.

9. The Commission received important testimony from members of the
written and oral press. It met with Mr. Adyjeangardy, the General
Secretary of the Press Asssociation, and with Mr. Dumayric Charlier of the
newspaper Le Matin.

10. The Commission received testimony from Father Hugo Triest, a
Belgian priest and director of Radio Soleil; Mr. Richard Widmaier of Radio
Metropole and Mr. Jacques Sampeur of Radio Antilles as regards the
situation of press freedom in Haiti. The members of the delegation had
frequent contact with members of the press who covered their visit while
in Haiti.

11. The Commission also sought the views of the business and labor
sectors and interviewed Mr. Jean Edouard Baker, the President of the
Association of Haitian Industries (ADIH); Mr. Claude Levy, the Director of
the Banque Credit Immobilier and, Mr. Antoine Izmery of the Haitian
Chamber of Commerce. The representatives of the business sector presented
important information as regards the impact of the military takeover and
the military government on the business climate in Haiti.

12. The Commission received important information on labor issues
from representatives of the three labor federations in Haiti: Messrs.
Germaine Jean Franqois and Jean Claude Le Brun of CATH-CLAT; Messrs.
Gabriel Miracle and Mr. Jean Auguste Mesyeux of the Autonomous Federation
of Haitian Workers (CATH); and, Messrs. Joseph Senat, Pierre Charles
Joseph and Benet Joseph of the FOS, the Federation of Unionized Workers.
At these meetings specific cases and problems concerning human rights
violations were discussed.

13. The Commission also met with Pere Aristide, a Salesian priest
and an important voice within the Catholic Church theology of liberation;
with the sociologist Mr. Gerard Pierre Charles and with representatives of
the Committee of the Civil Society created to call for respect for the
1987 Constitution.

- 5 -

14. The members of the delegation travelled to St. Marc, Pont Sonde
and Petite Riviere to receive information regarding recent events in the
Artibonite, as well as to Thomonde, Papaye and Hinche to receive testimony
regarding the events in the Central Plateau region of Haiti and in
particular, to investigate allegations regarding the repression of peasant
organizations and actions taken against local Catholic priests and nuns.
The Commission received information in the provinces in the form of
specific human rights complaints which must remain confidential until
these complaints have received due consideration by the full Commission.

b. Complaints received

15. The Commission, in its press release, announced that it would
receive any one in Haiti who wished to present information to it, on
Wednesday, August 31, 1988, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again in the
afternoon from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. In fact, much of the information received
on that day and during the Commission's visit was in the form of
complaints which will be processed according to the Commission's

c. Findings

16. The Commission's finding as a result of this visit are
summarized as follows:

1. The Commission has come to the conclusion that the current
military government in Haiti has perpetuated itself in power as a result
of violence instigated by elements of the Haitian Armed Forces resulting
in the massacre of Haitian voters on November 29, 1987, the manipulation
of the elections held on January 17, 1988, and the ouster of President
Leslie Manigat on June 20, 1988, when President Manigat attempted to
subordinate the military to civilian control.

2. Whether the military "seized" power on February 7, 1986, as it
claimed or was placed in power, the National Governing Council (CNG)
during its period in power demonstrated no vocation for democracy.

3. The result of the almost three-year old democratization process
led by the military in Haiti has been the entrenchment of the military in

4. The discussions with the Ministers during the Commission's
August 1988 on-site visit revealed absolutely no intention or disposition
on the part of the military to put Haiti on the road to democracy. On the
contrary, the military appeared to conceptualize that there is nothing
necessarily inconsistent between a military regime and democracy, ignoring
the fact that their seizure of power is inherently undemocratic,

- 6 -

particularly so in light of Article 3(d) of the OAS Charter and Article 23
of the American Convention.

5. Numerous arbitrary killings have occurred during the period
under consideration. The politically-motivated nature of the violence is
evidenced by the fact that it can be turned on and off by the military
authorities. The failure of the military to investigate and punish anyone
responsible for these death squad type killings has been a matter of
continuing concern to the Commission and leads it to conclude that these
death squads function because of the impunity granted to them by the

6. The military regime, by means of the coup d'etat, attempted to
nullify the 1987 Constitution, which was massively approved by popular
referendum on March 29, 1987. The use of force by the military to thwart
the will of the people is condemned by democratic nations and the
respective instruments of international law.

7. All fundamental human rights in Haiti are under serious strain,
limited by the Army's monopoly over the use of force. The Army,
functioning as a police force, does not serve to protect Haiti from
external threats to its security, it functions to repress those persons
and groups who attempt to change the deplorable conditions under which the
majority of Haitians live.

d. Observations of the Haitian Government on the
Human Rights Situation in Haiti

17. In order to incorporate the views of the military government in
its Report, the Commission requested on June 30, 1988, that the Government
provide the Commission with whatever information it considered appropriate
for inclusion in its Report by September 6, 1988, the date of the
Commission's 74th regular session, and the date on which a draft Report
would be submitted by the Secretariat to the Commission for its
consideration. The Commission reiterated this request, by telex on August
3, 1988, a copy of which was presented personally to Brig. Gen. Herard
Abraham, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, by Ms. Cerna of the Commission's
Secretariat. The Minister stated to Ms. Cerna that the Government's
"report" would be presented to the Commission during its on-site
observation. During the Commission's visit, Mr. David J. Padilla, the
Assistant Executive Secretary, reiterated this request for information.
The military government submitted a report to the Commission on September
8, 1988.

18. The Commission considered the report of the Government of Haiti
which was received during its 74th period of sessions held during the
period September 6-16, 1988. During that period of sessions the present
report was approved. On September 17, 1988 a group of non-commissioned

officers ousted Lt. Gen. Namphy. and replaced him with Lt. Gen. Prosper
Avril and a new government was formed. In light of the fact that thes4
events have just occurred an analysis thereof is premature at this time.


19. This report on the situation of human rights in Haiti covers the
period from February 7, 1986, with the departure of President-for-Life
Jean-Claude Duvalier, and the installation of the National Council of
Government (CNG), headed by Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, to the government which
assumed power, by force, on June 20, 1988, and was also headed by Lt. Gen.
Namphy. In the opinion of the Commission an analysis of this period
enables it to evaluate the conduct of the Government that has assumed
power on June 20, 1988, and the situation which Resolution 502 of the OAS
Permanent Council has specifically mandated the Commission to examine,
since this Government was headed by the same military officer and his
cabinet included many of the same officers of that earlier regime. As
stated in the preceding paragraph this Report notes the change in
government which occurred on September 17, 1988 but does not analyze it.

20. The Commission makes frequent reference in this Report to events
during the 29 year dictatorship of Frangois (1957-1971) and Jean-Claude
(1971-1986) Duvalier. In the opinion of the Commission it is only by
understanding what Haitian reality was like during the Duvalier period
that the present can be understood. The conflict between the
pro-Duvalierist and anti-Duvalierist forces and the role of the Army in
this conflict defines the present Haitian political context. The entire
catalog of human rights - the right to life, liberty and the security of
the person, the right to residence and movement, the right to nationality,
the right to a fair trial and due process of law, the right to freedom of
expression, the right to assembly and the right to exercise one's
political rights - all these individual rights are at risk in this
conflict of forces seeking to maintain the Duvalierist structure and those
which seek to bring about change based on a repudiation of the Duvalier

21. The Commission has embarked on this analysis by means of an
examination in which the manner successive regimes in Haiti have observed
the rights recognized in the American Convention on Human Rights, to which
Haiti is a State party. Since the departure of President-for-Life,
Jean-Claude Duvalier, created expectations for a transition to democracy,
the chapter on political rights is the central chapter of this report.
The announcement by Lt. Gen. Namphy that the Constitution of 1987 would be
replaced by a "new" Constitution undermines the rule of law, fragile as it
was, not to mention the entire structure of the state.

22. The Commission has used various sources in preparing this
Report. The most important has been the first-hand information obtained

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during the Commission's two on-site investigations: in January 1987 and
August 1988. The Commission is grateful to the military government of
Haiti for having permitted it to carry-out these investigative missions.

23. Haitian and foreign press sources have been used by the
Commission as sources of information for the events described in this
report. In those cases in which the Government of Haiti has provided
observations on cases or situations mentioned in this report, this
information has been given special consideration.

24. The Commission devotes a separate chapter to the legal framework
of the Haitian state as set forth in the 1987 Constitution, which by its
widespread acceptance during a national referendum in March 1987 provided
a reference point in the understanding of the aspirations of the Haitian
people. The Commission is particularly concerned about the unilateral
abrogation of this Constitution by the military government as a result of
the June 20, 1988 coup d'etat.

25. The Commission has also received important information from the
local human rights organizations working in Haiti. In addition, the
Commission is alarmed by the recent mutilation and murder of the human
rights activist and lawyer, Mr. Lafontant Joseph.


a. Collapse of the Duvalier Regime

26. On February 7, 1986 the Government of President-for-Life
Jean-Claude Duvalier collapsed as he and his closest supporters fled into
exile, and a civilian-military junta which called itself the National
Council of Government (CNG), headed by Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, the former
Chief of Staff of the Army under Jean-Claude Duvalier, assumed power. The
six members of the CNG were Namphy, Cols. Williams Regala, Prosper Avril,
Max Valles, and Messrs. Alix Cineas and G6rard Gourgue. The junta
effectively became a military junta in March 1986 as Mr. Gerard Gourgue
resigned (March 20) and Messrs. Avril, Valles and Cineas were removed
(March 21) following protest demonstrations against them.

b. Invitation of the CNG to the Commission

27. By note dated July 29, 1986 to the OAS Secretary General, Mr.
Joao Clemente Baena Soares, the CNG invited the Commission to conduct a
human rights mission in Haiti. During the Commission's 68th Session in
September 1986, the Commission considered the invitation of the Haitian
Government and decided that given the importance of this mission that all
the members should participate to give special emphasis to the
Commission's support for the democratization process in train. Following

- 9 -

the 68th Session, the Haitian Government and the Commission set the dates
January 20-23, 1987, for the Commission's visit to Haiti. Ms. Cerna
traveled to Haiti from January 7-9, 1987 to make the necessary
preparations for the Commission's visit.

Activities of the Commission during
its On-Site Observation

28. During its visit the Commission met with the President of the
National Council of Government, Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, and with Col.
Williams Regala, the Minister of Interior and National Defense and member
of the CNG. The Commission also met with the Foreign Minister, Col.
Herard Abraham; the Minister of Justice, Mr. Frangois St. Fleur; the Vice
Minister of Justice, Col. Fritz Antoine; and many other government
officials. Due to cabinet changes in four ministries on January 5, 1987,
the Foreign Minister and the Minister of Justice had been barely two weeks
in their new positions.

29. The Commission met with Mr. Dupleix Jean-Baptiste, the
President, and other representatives of the Consultative Council and with
Mr. Emile Jonassaint, President of the Constituent Assembly and other
representatives of the Constituent Assembly. The mandate of the
Constituent Assembly was to approve the text of a Constitution which would
be submitted for approval to a popular referendum.

30. The Commission met with the prison authorities at Fort Dimanche
and the National Penitentiary and in those institutions it interviewed
prisoners in private. It requested to see some prisoners, by name, and
others were selected at random.

31. The Commission met with representatives of many human rights
groups. It received testimony from Messrs. Jean-Jacques Honorat, Robert
Duval, Jean-Claude Bajeux, Victor Benoit, Arnold Antonin, and Ms. Simone
Castera. All of these human rights organizations have been functioning in
Haiti only since the departure of the Duvalier regime.

32. The Commission interviewed many political leaders in order to
receive their views on the democratization process: Rev. Sylvio Claude,
Messrs. Louis Dejoie II, Thomas Desulm6, Gr6goire Eugene, Serge Gilles,
Leslie F. Manigat, Hubert de Ronceray and, Mr. Rene Theodore.

33. The Commission received testimony from members of the written
and oral press. It met with Mr. Willem Romelus, editor of the newspaper
Haiti-Liberee, with Mr. Franck Magloire, editor of the newspaper Le Matin
and with Mr. Lucien Montas, editor of the newspaper, Le Nouvelliste.

34. It also received testimony from Mr. Jean Dominique, head of
Radio Haiti-Inter, the first Haitian radio station to broadcast programs

- 10 -

in the Creole language as well as in French. The Commission also met with
Father Hugo Triest, director of Radio Soleil, as well as with the members
of the staff of the radio station of the Catholic Church.

35. The Commission sought the views of the business and labor
sectors and interviewed Mr. Georges Sicard, President of the Haitian
Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Jean Edouard Baker, President of the Association
of Industries; and, Mr. Andre Apaid, the Founder of the Association of

36. The Commission received information on labor issues from the
leaders of two labor federations in Haiti, from Mr. Yves Antoine Richard,
the Secretary-General of the Autonomous Federation of Haitian Workers
(CATH), and from Mr. Georges Fortune, the President of CATH-CLAT and a
co-founder of the political party of Mr. Leslie Manigat.

37. The Commission met with Father Grandoit, head of operations of
MISYON ALFA, the literacy program which is organized and financed by the
Catholic Church. It also met with Mr. Evans Paul, head of the Committee
for Unity and Democracy (KID) which is a federation of neighborhood
committees and with Mr. Jean Paul Duperval and Mr. Jose Sinai, members of

38. Members of the Commission traveled to Gonaives and to Cap
Haitien. In Gonalves, the Commission met with Monsignor Emmanuel
Constant, the Bishop of GonaYves, and Mr. Paul Latortue, an economist who
works with the rice farmers in the Artibonite region. The Commission also
met with Mr. Hilton Benoit, the Commissaire du Gouvernement and with other
individuals regarding the human rights situation in Gona�ves, and, in
particular, as regards the so-called "rice war" and the problems affecting
the youth of the town Anse-Rouge.

39. In Cap Haitien, the Commission met with Father Yvon Joseph, the
Chairman of the MISYON ALFA Board of Directors and head of the Haitian
Conference of the Religious. It also met with other persons whose names,
as well as those of others in Haiti, must remain confidential because
their testimony was presented in the form of information regarding
specific human rights complaints.

Complaints received

40. The Commission, in its press release, announced that it would
receive information from any one in Haiti who wished to present
information to it, on Thursday afternoon, January 22, 1987, from 3 to 6
p.m. In fact much of the information received on that day and during the
Commission's visit was in the form of complaints, which have been
processed pursuant to the Commission's Regulations.

- 11 -

Preliminary Findings

41. On January 23, 1987, the President of the Commission, Mr. Luis
Adolfo Siles Salinas, and the members of the Commission, held a press
conference at the Villa Creole Hotel. This conference was attended by
many members of the Haitian and the international press, and at that time,
the President made the following statement concerning the preliminary
findings of the Commission. This statement was distributed to the press
in English, French and in Creole. The text is as follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:

As you know, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
of the Organization of American States has been in Haiti, in
plenary, since Monday, January 19th. Our visit, which had been
originally planned last year, at the invitation of the Duvalier
government, had to be indefinitely postponed, as a result of the
dramatic and, indeed, revolutionary events which culminated on
February 7, 1986. The present Government, the National Council
of Government (CNG), renewed the invitation to the Commission,
resulting in the present intense, four-day program of activities.

During this time we have had the opportunity of meeting
with an extremely representative cross-section of Haitian
society, including His Excellency, the President of the National
Council of Government, Lieutenant General Henri Namphy and
Colonel Williams Regala, as well as the Minister of Foreign
Relations, Colonel Herard Abraham and the Minister of Justice,
Mr. Jacques St. Fleur. The Commission also held meetings with
the members of the Constituent Assembly and the Consultative

The Commission also met with representatives of those
organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of human
rights, with political leaders, with members of the press, trade
unions, and leaders of the private sector, as well as
representatives of religious institutions.

In addition to our meetings in the capital, Port-au-Prince,
the Commission formed working groups in order to visit,
simultaneously, the provincial centers, Cap Haitien and
Gonalves. Another group visited the principal detention centers
in Port-au-Prince: Fort Dimanche and the National
Penitentiary. There, after important dialogue with the
Government, we were able to meet with prisoners in total privacy
and to inform ourselves as regards the conditions and
circumstances of detention of those prisoners.

- 12 -

Let us make it plain that after four short days in Haiti,
the Commission does not presume to offer a definitive judgment
concerning the situation of the observance of human rights in
this country. The Commission will meet again in Washington,
D.C. during the coming month of March and at that time will
consider the information, documents and testimony which it has
received during its visit in loco in Haiti, and it hopes to
return to Haiti this year to follow up on this process.

Nevertheless, we members of the Commission felt it
incumbent upon us, as our visit comes to a close, to state
publicly what have been the preliminary impressions derived from
the many and varied representations which have been made to us
and from the observations which we have personally made during
the course of this visit.

First of all, it is unquestionable that the events of
February 7, 1986, represent an historic moment in the history of
Haiti. The overthrow of the Duvalier dictatorship occurred on
that day due to the united action of the Haitian people. With
exemplary courage, employing peaceful methods and supported by
the grassroots organizations of the country, the people of Haiti
were able, on that day, to put an end to the Duvalier dynasty
for-life. The international community provided support as
well. The Commission is heartened to learn that its 1979 Report
on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti, and its subsequent
Annual Reports, which have updated the human rights situation
each year, have helped to raise the consciousness of the peoples
of the Americas as to the human rights situation in Haiti; and
at the same time the Commission is disheartened to learn that
persons have suffered reprisals at the hands of the Duvalier
government for their collaboration in the human rights
struggle. The Commission has requested and received guarantees
from the CNG that no reprisals will be taken against persons
collaborating with the Commission and that the Commission is
free to meet with whomever it wishes, wherever, and in private,
without fear of reprisals befalling, those persons who testify
before the Commission.

The Commission has observed changes in the situation of
human rights in Haiti as compared with previous analyses of the
situation, and these changes must be attributed to the historic
events of February 7. The most striking development is the
improvement in the right to freedom of expression. Your
presence here today, as well as our presence here today,
combined with the open and frank self-analysis of the Haitian
political, economic and social scene which we have witnessed in
all the media since our arrival, represent an outstanding
achievement of the Haitian people. The process which has been

- 13 -

begun by the CNG, involving an electoral timetable leading to
the installation of democratic institutions by February 1988, is
a process which offers to the Haitian people, and to the
international community in general, hope for the future. The
voiceless have, at last, found their own voice.

At the same time, the Commission has been made aware of a
fundamental anxiety on the part of many sectors of Haitian
society as regards the solidity of the process which is now in
train. It has been represented to us, time and time again, that
there exists a real danger that the process may be derailed due
to certain fundamental weaknesses and contradictions which have
their origin in the history of the repression and the
dictatorship so well known to all.

The Commission is concerned, specifically, with the extent
to which fundamental human rights, violated systematically in
the past, are under attack in the present and have not been
redressed as regards the past. We refer to the right of every
one to be free from the danger of arbitrary arrest and
disappearance, the right to due process of law, the right to a
fair trial and the right to liberty and to be free from
mistreatment while in detention. Essential, as well, for the
spirit of justice is the "deduvalierization" of the new order.
From the information which has been supplied to us, the
Commission has learned that fundamental human rights continue to
be violated, especially the minimum rights granted to persons in
detention. The mistreatment of prisoners and of detainees, who
cannot be termed "prisoners" because deprived of the guarantees
of a fair trial, is an abominable practice which must be quickly
and definitively eliminated.

In compliance with its mandate, the Commission will
continue to closely monitor the human rights situation in Haiti,
and hopes to count on the continued cooperation of the Haitian
Government and all sectors of the population in the realization
of this work.

The Commission wishes to emphasize that it has received the
complete collaboration of both the Government and the people of
Haiti in carrying out its important task, and it wishes to thank
both the Government and the Haitian people, as well as the
organs of the press, for their invaluable cooperation during
this visit.

42. During the 69th Session of the Commission, the issue of Haiti
was included again on its agenda. The members of the Commission were in
agreement that the purpose of the January 1987 mission to Haiti had been

- 14 -

to observe the human rights situation in Haiti and, thereby, to contribute
to the process of democratization. It was decided to postpone the
preparation of a special report until after the November 1987 elections in
light of the fact that the CNG appeared to be facilitating the transition
to democracy. The Commission would, however, include a chapter on Haiti
in its Annual Report.

43. Several members of the Commission urged that a Note be sent to
the Government of Haiti indicating its concerns regarding the human rights
situation in that country, which it had observed during its on-site
visit. As a consequence, the following Note was sent by the new President
of the Commission, Prof. Gilda M.C.M. Russomano, to the Haitian Foreign

March 27, 1987


In the name of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights I wish to thank your Excellency's Government for
providing all the necessary facilities and cooperation to the
Commission during its recent mission to Haiti which took place
from January 20 to January 23, 1987. In light of the fact that
the Commission is presently in Washington, conducting its 69th
regular session, we wish to communicate the following concerns
at this time.

The Commission is in the process of evaluating the
testimony and documentation presented to it during its visit in
light of the provisions of the American Convention on Human
Rights, to which Haiti is a State party. In this context, the
Commission wishes to express its concerns in two areas: the
situation of human rights, especially as regards detainees, and
reflections concerning the democratization process.

As regards the situation of human rights, the Commission
wishes to recall to the attention of your Excellency's
Government the obligations assumed as regards fundamental
rights, in particular as regards the right to life (Art. 4), the
right to personal integrity (Art. 5), the right to personal
liberty (Art. 7), the right to judicial guarantees (Art. 8), the
right to honor and dignity (Art. 11) and the right to judicial
protection (Art. 25).

The Commission is concerned, specifically, with the extent
to which fundamental human rights, violated systematically in
the past, are under attack in the present and have not been
redressed as regards the past. We refer to the right of every

- 15 -

one to be free from the danger of arbitrary arrest and
disappearance, the right to due process of law, the right to a
fair trial and the right to liberty and freedom from
mistreatment while in detention. The complaints received by the
Commission as regards the "disappearances" of Charlot Jacquelin
and Vladimir David have regrettably been dismissed by the
governmental authorities who have failed to initiate serious
inquiries as regards the fate of these two individuals. The
Commission recommends that the Government of Haiti instruct the
responsible authorities to undertake a credible investigation in
each of these two cases.

The Commission considers essential for the establishment of
a climate of justice the separation of powers of the military
and police forces. The Commission considers favorable the
provisions of the new Constitution in this regard. The
complaints received by the Commission concerning members of the
armed forces in relation to the population, in general, involve
manifestations of a lack of respect for the people, arrogance
towards them, and abuse of authority which, in some cases, has
led to spontaneous acts of violence, especially during otherwise
peaceful political or human rights demonstrations.

From the information presented to the Commission we have
learned that fundamental human rights continue to be violated,
especially the minimum rights granted to persons in detention.
The mistreatment of prisoners and detainees is an abominable
practice which must be quickly and definitely eliminated. The
testimony received from detainees in Fort Dimanche and the
National Penitentiary confirms that detention commences with a
beating, sometimes to the point of requiring medical attention,
that detainees do not receive such medical attention, that, in
general, they receive food once a day or not at all, most
detainees suffer severe weight loss, they receive no visits,
have no access to counsel, are not brought before a judge, and
except on very rare occasions, they do not leave their cells.
The case of Jean Gibson Narcisse, whom the Commission
interviewed in Fort Dimanche, is of particular concern to the
Commission and we wish to receive a full report as to the
medical and legal attention he has received. The Commission
recommends further that the Government maintain a central
registry of the names of detainees and the places where they are

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is especially
concerned about the case of Mr. Nicolas Estiverne who was
expelled from Haiti on January 13, 1987. The Commission has
requested the Haitian Government to provide it with the reasons
for which Mr. Estiverne is not permitted to return to Haiti.

- 16 -

As regards the process of democratization currently in
process in Haiti, the Commission derives its responsibility in
this area from the guarantee of political rights in the American
Convention (Art. 23).

The Commission wishes to note its satisfaction as regards
the process of transition to a democratic government which is
the mandate of the National Council of Government since its
assumption of power on February 7, 1986.

The Commission wishes to congratulate the Haitian people
and, in particular, the Constituent Assembly for having
fulfilled its mandate in approving a draft Constitution. The
Commission trusts that the referendum scheduled for March 29,
1987 will give the Haitian people an opportunity to express its
political w-ill as regards this important document.

The Commission will continue to closely monitor the
democratization process in Haiti and seeks the consent of your
Excellency's Government in order to send Ms. Christina Cerna, a
member of the Commission's Secretariat to Haiti in May in order
to update the Commission at its next meeting, scheduled to be
held in Washington, D.C., in June.

The Commission wishes to note that it looks forward to
continued cooperation from the Government of Haiti as regards
the promotion and protection of human rights and has confidence
that a transition to democratic rule will be achieved by means
of free elections this November.

Please, accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my
highest consideration.

Sincerely yours,

(s) Gilda Russomano

His Excellency
Col. Herard Abraham
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

The Emerging Crisis

44. Having; taken a decision at the 69th Session not to prepare a
Special Report on the human rights situation in Haiti in light of the

- 17 -

progress being made towards democratization, the Commission, nonetheless,
intended to continue to monitor developments closely. Mr. Siles in his
January 23, 1987 press conference in Haiti, and Ms. Russomano in her March
27th letter to the Foreign Minister, both indicated that the Commission
would send a member of its Secretariat to Haiti in order to update the
Commission on the ensuing developments.

45. Ms. Cerna visited Haiti for this purpose during June 1-3, 1987.
The two major events which had occurred in Haiti since the Commission's
visit were the referendum on the new Haitian Constitution of March 29,
1987, and the provision in the Constitution for the creation of a
Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). Pursuant to the new Constitution,
the Provisional Electoral Council, and not the CNG, would have the
responsibility for organizing the upcoming elections.

46. During its 70th Session (June 22-Jdly 1, 1987) the Commission
reviewed the events of the preceding months and the deteriorating
situation of human rights. The CNG and the CEP were locked in a
constitutional conflict regarding control of the upcoming elections and,
in June, the CATH labor federation called for a general strike demanding
the ouster of the CNG. The Commission decided once again to express its
concern regarding these developments to the Government of Haiti. By means
of a cable dated July 1, 1987 to the Haitian Foreign Minister, Prof. Gilda
Russomano, the President of the Commission, expressed the following:





- 18 -







47. During the Commission's 71st Session (14 September - 24
September 1987) the Commission decided to express its satisfaction to the
Government of Haiti regarding the resolution of the constitutional crisis,
yet indicated its concern about the continuing human rights violations.
In a letter dated September 24, 1987, to the Haitian Foreign Minister, the
Commission stated the following:

- 19 -

September 24, 1987


In the name of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights, and on the occasion of the Commission's 71st period of
sessions, I have the honor to address Your Excellency in order
to communicate the concerns of the Commission as regards recent
events in Haiti as they affect the human rights situation and
the process of democratization.

As in my communication of July 1, 1987 to Your Excellency
following the Commission's 70th period of sessions, the
Commission wishes to recall to the Government of Haiti the
obligations assumed as a State party to the American Convention
on Human Rights, particularly as concerns the right to life
(Article 4), the right to the integrity of the person (Article
5), the right to personal liberty (Article 7), the right to due
process (Article 8), the right to associate freely (Article 16)
and the right to participate in government (Article 23).

The Commission is particularly concerned about recent
attacks against the Catholic Church, in particular the assault
on August 23 by a group of 40 to 50 unidentified men, armed with
automatic weapons, handguns, machetes and stones against the
Revs. Antoine Adrien, William Smarth, Jean-Marie Vincent,
Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Rev. Joseph Berg.

These Catholic priests have been among Haiti's most visible
and articulate human rights defenders, and the Commission calls
upon the Haitian Government to protect these priests and the
human rights bodies in Haiti from intimidation and attacks which
impede their functioning freely.

As concerns the democratization process, the Commission
notes that the Haitian Government has now recognized the
constitutionally established independence and authority of the
Provisional Electoral Council as regards the organization and
carrying out of the upcoming elections. This is a very positive
sign and it is the first step to guaranteeing that the elections
take place.

Given the generalized climate of violence in Haiti at the
present, it will not be easy for the Haitian people to
participate in free and fair elections. Consequently, the
Commission calls upon the National Governing Council to restrain
its security forces and to provide a climate of order for the
elections to take place with the full participation of the
Haitian people in this historic process.

- 20 -

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights takes this
occasion to renew to the Government of Haiti its hopes for
continued cooperation in the promotion and protection of human
rights in this hemisphere. The Commission trusts that the
Haitian people will celebrate free and fair elections in
November which will result in a democratic government assuming
power on February 7, 1988.

Please, accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my
highest consideration.

David J. Padilla
Assistant Executive Secretary

48. The Commission reiterated its concern regarding the possibility
of elections taking place in light of the generalized climate of violence
in its 1986-1987 Annual Report. In relevant part, this Report to the OAS
General Assembly stated:

The concern expressed by the President of the Commission
during the Commission's on site visit regarding the
democratization process has been subsequently confirmed by
recent events. At that time, the President stated that he
feared that the democratization process might be derailed due to
fundamental weaknesses and contradictions which had their origin
in the history of the repression and the dictatorship. The task
which is before the Haitian people and the Provisional Electoral
Council is how to bring the electoral process back on track.
Given the generalized climate of violence in Haiti since August
1987, it will not be easy to re-establish a climate of normality
which will permit the holding of elections. For that reason,
and recognizing that power is in the hands of the National
Council of Government, the Commission calls on the C.N.G. to
take all the necessary measures in order to facilitate the
Provisional Electoral Council's task of organizing and carrying
out the elections so that the Haitian people can elect a
democratic government which will be ready to assume power on
February 7, 1988.

Derailment of the Democratization Process

49. On November 29, 1987, the massacre of voters on election-day and
the CNG's decision to disband the Provisional Electoral Council put an end
to the democratization process which, ostensibly, had begun on February 7,
1986, with the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier from power and from Haiti.

- 21 -

50. The OAS Permanent Council scheduled an emergency meeting for
Friday, December 4, 1987, to consider the recent events in Haiti. The
meeting was postponed until Monday, December 7, 1987, in light of the
Haitian Government's offer to send Col. Herard Abraham, the Haitian
Foreign Minister, to attend the Washington meeting.

51. During the few days prior to the December 7, 1987 Permanent
Council meeting, the OAS and the Commission received hundreds of telegrams
calling upon the inter-American system "to rescue the Haitian people" and
to intervene in order to facilitate the holding of new elections in Haiti
under OAS auspices.

52. The OAS Permanent Council met on December 7, 1987. Col.
Abraham's speech to the assembled OAS Ambassadors placed the
responsibility for the failure of the elections on the CEP. The Permanent
Council approved a resolution which emphasized the Charter-based principle
of non-intervention and called upon the CNG to adopt all the necessary
measures to assure that free elections be held.

53. Having recovered control of the electoral process as a
consequence of the dissolution of the CEP, the military Government of
Haiti designated the new members of the Electoral Council and issued its
own electoral law, the provisions of which did not protect the secrecy of
the ballot and facilitated governmental monitoring of each elector's vote.

c. The elections of January 17, 1988

54. On January 17, 1988 new elections were held in Haiti, under the
control of the CNG, and in contravention of various provisions of the
Haitian Constitution. Mr. Leslie Manigat was proclaimed by the CNG to
have "won" these elections, in spite of what was estimated to be a 90%
abstention on the part of the Haitian electorate.

55. During the Commission's 72nd Session it considered the recent
events in Haiti and took the decision to prepare a report on the human
rights situation in that country. In its press release, dated March 25,
1988, the Commission stated that:

The Commission has decided to prepare a report on the human
rights situation in Haiti, and it trusts that the Government
will invite it to carry out an on-site observation of the
current status of human rights in Haiti.

Invitation of the Government of Leslie Manigat to the Commission

56. By note dated April 26, 1988, Mr. Gerard Latortue, the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Worship of the Haitian

- 22 -

Government invited the Commission to visit Haiti at a mutually convenient
date to be set during the month of July 1988.

57. The Commission held an extraordinary meeting, its 73rd Session,
in Washington, D.C., beginning May 9, 1988. At that time the members of
the Subcommission who were to travel to Haiti - Ms. Elsa D. Kelly, Mr.
Oliver H. Jackman and Mr. Patrick L. Robinson - agreed on the dates July
4-6, 1988 as the dates for the mission. These dates were suggested to the
Haitian Government in a note signed by Mr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, the
President of the Commission, dated May 10, 1988.

58. On June 7, 1988, Mr. Gerard Latortue, at the OAS Permanent
Council confirmed the dates for the Commission's visit with the
Commission's Executive Secretary, Mr. Edmundo Vargas Carreno. In
addition, he conveyed the Government's enthusiasm for the Commission's
visit and emphasized the open-door policy of the Manigat Government.

d. The Coup d'Etat of June 20, 1988

59. Ms. Cerna was to travel on June 20, 1988 to Haiti to make the
necessary arrangements for the Commission's visit. During the night of
June 19-20 the Haitian military seized power and ousted President
Manigat. In light of the fact that the Government, which had invited the
Commission to carry out its on-site, was no longer in power, the
Commission cancelled its visit. The Permanent Council met on June 29,
1988 to consider the recent events which had occurred in Haiti (supra).

e. The Attack on the St. Jean Bosco Church

60. On September 11, 1988 gunmen burst into St. Jean Bosco Church
and attacked the parishioners. Thirteen people were killed and
approximately eighty were injured. The Commission was meeting in
Washington, D.C. at the time and issued the following press communique:

During the recent on-site visit to Haiti of the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights the Commission
requested of the military government and received assurances
that the pertinent guarantees be granted, and no reprisals be
taken, against those persons or groups who provide the
Commission with information, pursuant to Article 59(a) of the
Commission's Regulations.

The Commission is horrified to learn of the attack on
September 11, 1988 by men armed with guns and machetes against
the parishioners in the Church of St. Jean Bosco where Rev.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was giving Sunday morning mass. Father

- 23 -

Aristide, an outspoken opponent of the military regime, informed
the Commission during its visit, that he had been the subject of
three previous attempts on his life and was constantly receiving
death threats. The information presented to the Commission
indicates that the police stood by as the attacks resulted in
the killing of five parishioners, the injury of 70 others, and
the complete destruction by fire of St. Jean Bosco Church.

In light of the fact that there is a military compound very
near to the Church the Commission can only conclude that this
attack was carried out with, at a minimum, the acquiescence of
the government, and in flagrant violation of Haiti's
international obligations in human rights and the most elemental
norms of decency.

Washington, D.C. September 12, 1988

61. On September 16, 1988 the military government protested the
Commission's communique, in particular, "the terms in the Communiqu6 in
which the Commission appears to want to place the responsibility for these
incidents on the Haitian authorities."

f. The Ouster of Lt. Gen. Namphy

62. On September 17, 1988 a coup led by non-commissioned officers
ousted Lt. Gen. Namphy and replaced him with Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril.
These lower ranking officers were reportedly outraged at the attack on the
parishioners in St. Jean Bosco Church. On September 22, 1988 the
Commission received the following note from the Government of Haiti:

The Permanent Mission of the Government of Haiti to the
Organization of American States presents its compliments to the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has the honor to
bring to its attention that:

In light of the massacre recently perpetrated against the
St. Jean Bosco Church, the destruction by fire of churches, the
attacks on human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular
on freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of
assembly, freedom of association;

Determined to save the nation from the anarchy and chaos
which endanger the unity of the Haitian family;

- 24 -

The Armed Forces of Haiti have promoted Lt. Gen. PROSPER
AVRIL to the Highest Office of the State.

In his message to the Nation, the Chief of State gave
assurances that his Government will respect the humna rights and
fundamental freedoms of the Haitian people at all times and
without exception.

Aware of the political crisis which is affecting the
country, he commits himself to continuing the democratization
process, without which the quest for peace, justice and progress
would be doomed to fail.

The Permanent Mission of the Government of Haiti takes this
occasion to renew the assurance of its highest consideration to
the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Washington, D.C. September 22, 1988

63. The Commission trusts that this commitment will be realized in
the interest of the Haitian people who have for so long looked to the Army
to help them in vindicating and safeguarding their rights and who, until
now, have been, many times, betrayed in that confidence.



General Considerations

1. On September 17, 1988 a group of non-commissioned officers
ousted Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy from the presidency and replaced him with Lt.
Gen. Prosper Avril. Since these events have just occurred it is not
possible to evaluate their impact at this time nor to predict how the
situation will evolve. It should be noted, however, that these officers
have called for the restoration of the 1987 Constitution, which must be
amended, but they insist that Article 291 be maintained. This chapter
discusses the significance of the 1987 Constitution.


2. On June 20, 1988, Lt. Gen. Namphy announced to the Haitian
people that the military had seized power because the President of the
Republic, Leslie Manigat, had violated the Constitution by striking a blow
at the Army in order to turn it "into a docile instrument of his personal
power".' Lt. Gen. Namphy abolished the Legislature and abrogated this
same Constitution when he seized power. He governed by decree.

3. Lt. Gen. Namphy has stated that the Haitian people are not ready
for elections and that only the Army can bring about democracy.2 In the
opinion of Lt. Gen. Namphy political solutions would take shape along the
way, as normalization occurs.

4. On July 8, 1988, Lt. General Namphy announced that a new
constitution would be drafted which "must be strong and effective enough
to direct the nation and ensure its future regardless of the
circumstances. This was to have been the objective of the 1987
Constitution. Unfortunately, drawn up and ratified in an atmosphere of
passion and emotionalism, this Constitution strayed too far from our
traditions".3 No timetable was offered by the military as to when this
new constitution would be presented.

5. Rev. Sylvio Claude, one of the leading opposition political
figures, rejected Lt. Gen. Namphy's legal power to abolish the
Constitution of 1987 and called for new elections to be held, pursuant to
Article 149 of that Constitution, which provides:

Should the Office of the President of the Republic become
vacant for any reason, the President of the Supreme Court of the
Republic, or in his absence, the Vice President of that Court,
or in his absence, the judge with the highest seniority and so

- 26 -

on by order of seniority, shall be invested temporarily with the
duties of the President of the Republic by the National Assembly
duly convened by the Prime Minister. The election of a new
President for a new five (5) year term shall be held at least
forty-five (45) and no more than ninety (90) days after the
vacancy occurs, pursuant to the Constitution and the Electoral

6. As the Commission stated in its 1985-1986 Annual Report
concerning the CNG:

The Commission concludes that the National Governing
Council, at least for the moment, has managed to quell the
on-going protest demonstrations that have plagued this
Government since it assumed power having now announced the
long-awaited timetable for transition to a democratically
elected government. Underlying problems remain, however, in
that the Council's acts have no juridical basis. The Council
proposes to function as a government for a two year period
without the creation of the other branches of government. It
proposes to pass laws without an independent judiciary. Unless
the transition process is democratized and allows greater
participation of the general populace, it is foreseeable that
such protests will resume.

7. In its meeting with Brig. Gen. H6rard Abraham, Minister of
Foreign Affairs, on August 29, 1988, the Commission's delegates asked the
Foreign Minister for the reasons behind the coup d'etat. Brig. Gen.
Abraham stated that the Manigat Government had been attacking the
stability of the country's institutions by attempting to undermine the
authority of the Commander-in-Chief of the Haitian Armed Forces. Pursuant
to the 1987 Constitution the president is only the "nominal" head of the
Armed Forces whereas President Manigat was trying to make changes in the
Army behind Lt. Gen. Namphy's back. In addition, President Manigat
attempted to remove Lt. Gen. Namphy, who pursuant to the 1987 Constitution
was to have remained in his position for a three-year term. President
Manigat "violated the Constitution", and therefore, stated the Foreign
Minister, he was ousted in order to prevent the establishment of a
civilian dictatorship. In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs
underlined the fact that President Manigat's ouster was met with total
indifference in Haiti, "if anything", he said, the "people were glad."

8. In the opinion of the Foreign Minister, when the people approved
the Constitution they really were only voting on Article 291 (the
provision of the Constitution which disqualified Duvalierists from running
for public office for a period of ten years). He stated that they were
"misled" and that the military government would "improve" the Constitution.

- 27

9. As regards a timetable for these changes, which the Minister
predicted "will be opposed by some", he informed the Commission that the
new Constitution will be ready "very soon". The timetable for a return to
democracy, he said, depends on various factors, such as the establishment
of the chambers of a legislature, the setting up of an electoral council,
the registration of voters and the like. The Foreign Minister insisted,
however, that the military government is a democratic government, albeit a
de facto government, and that it "is not a dictatorship". The problem for
the country, he said, has been "foreign interference", and added that
there are plans to change the Concordat with the Vatican because there has
been undue interference by the Church. The Church, which since the Pope's
visit to Haiti has been in the forefront of the movement for a change in
the status quo, has in recent months been the target of repeated attacks
by the members of the military regime. As for the abrogation of the
Constitution at the present time, the Foreign Minister stated that "only
foreigners are concerned about this," and that in his opinion "Haitians
are already free and enjoy human rights".

10. In the view of the Minister of Justice, Brig. Gen. Fritz
Antoine, with whom the delegation also met on August 29, 1988, the fact
that the Constitution is not in force does not matter since "it is only a
framework". The laws, such as in the Criminal Code and the Criminal
Procedure Code, are still in force. The military Government rules by
decree when it deem it necessary to legislate. The Minister of Justice
added that since the Constitution had been revoked, the police is now
under the Ministry of the Interior instead of under the Ministry of
Justice, as stipulated in the Constitution, but this was not achieved by a
decree. In addition, he stated that a decree was passed abolishing the
death penalty. The death penalty had also been abolished by the 1987

11. The structure of the democratic state which was intact during
the Government of Leslie Manigat, with whatever flaws, was abolished, and
what replaced it was a military government which termed itself
"democratic". Col. Jean-Claude Paul, Commander of the Dessalines
barracks, in an extensive discussion with the delegation on September 1,
1988, informed the Commission that the military "are democrats" who "love
and defend" the Haitian people.

12. It is true that there were no public demonstrations following
the ouster of President Manigat and that his removal was greeted with
total indifference by the Haitian population. There were also no
demonstrations in favor of the 1987 Constitution, which the military coup
effectively suspended. It does not follow, however, that the Haitian
people welcomed the new era of law by military fiat. To understand the
importance of the 1987 Constitution in the Haitian political process
during the past almost three years since the departure of
President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier, this chapter sets forth an
analysis of the 1987 Constitution which, as the expression of the national

- 28 -

sovereignty, embodies the aspirations of the Haitian people. The 1987
Constitution, which Brig. Gen. Abraham said was identified in the minds of
many Haitians with Article 291, is inherently anti-Duvalierist. In the
opinion of the Commission the 1987 Constitution cannot be understood
without a description of the almost three decades of Duvalierist
constitutions which preceded it.

13. The Duvalierist Constitutions accomodated, in their various
forms, twenty-nine years of authoritarian rule by the Duvalier family,
which began in 1957 and ended in 1986, and constituted the last remaining
hereditary dictatorship in the Americas since the fall of the Somozas in


a. The Power of the Executive under the
Duvalier Constitutions

14. Franqois Duvalier, or "Papa Doc" as he was known, came to power
as the result of having "won" an election on September 22, 1957; he was
installed as President on October 22, 1957 and remained in power until his
death in April 1971. Jean-Claude, Frangois Duvalier's then nineteen-year
old son, who came to be known as "Baby Doc", was named by his father as
successor, and due to the symbolism the family attached to the number 22,
Jean-Claude assumed power officially on April 22, 1971, and remained in
power until his departure from Haiti on February 7, 1986.

15. The first Constitution promulgated by the Duvalier dynasty dates
from December 19, 1957. Article 87 of the 1957 Constitution provides that
the presidential term be for a period of six years and that this term
begin and end on May 15. Title XV of that Constitution explicitly
provides that "The mandate of the current President of the Republic
(Frangois Duvalier), elected September 22, 1957 will end on May 15, 1963."

16. Haitian history reveals that previous heads of state had been
overthrown when it became apparent, as the end of their constitutional
term approached, that they did not intend to relinquish power. Frangois
Duvalier did not wait for the end of his six-year term in 1963 to make an
unprecedented move.

17. On the occasion of the 1961 legislative elections, ballots were
printed in the usual manner. At the top of each one were the words
"Frangois Duvalier, President de la Republique," but there had been no
prior modification that an election for the presidency was being held.
(Section II of the 1957 Constitution sets forth the procedure to be
followed for presidential elections). It was estimated that only
government employees voted, but the government announced that 1,320,748
ballots had been cast. Frangois Duvalier's announcement that he had been
elected to another six-year term came as a complete surprise.

- 29 -

18. In 1964 Frangois Duvalier devised a means of dispensing once and
for all with elections. Claiming that he was responding to popular
demand, he encouraged the legislature to adopt a new constitution, which
it did on May 25, 1964, declaring him to be "President-for-Life".
(Section II of the 1964 Constitution still provided for presidential
elections, presumably to be held after the death of Frangois Duvalier, but
did not set forth the detailed procedures that existed in the 1957

19. The Haitian title "President-for-Life" did not originate with
Franqois Duvalier. It was first introduced in the 1807 Constitution which
made Henri Christophe Haiti's first President-for-Life.s The
institution of a presidency-for-life appeared for the last time in the
Constitution of 1846. After this no chief executive attempted to rule as
president-for-life until Article 196 of the 1964 Constitution was
promulgated, stating:

The legislative chamber constituted by the elections of
April 30, 1961 shall exercise the legislative power until the
second Monday of April 1967, the date of expiration of the term
of office of the deputies now in office.

In these circumstances, Dr. Frangois Duvalier, supreme
chief of the Haitian nation, having developed, for the first
time since 1804, a national spirit through a radical change in
the political, economic, social, cultural and religious
situation in Haiti, is elected president-for-life in order to
ensure the accomplishments and permanence of the Duvalier
Revolution under the standard of national unity.

20. The 1964 Constitution declares Franqois Duvalier "President-
for-Life," "the unquestioned leader of the Revolution," "the Apostle of
National Unity," the "Worthy Heir of the Founders of the Haitian Nation"
and the "Restorer of the Fatherland".6

21. Upon the death of Frangois Duvalier in April 1971, his title of
President-for-Life devolved upon his nineteen-year old son Jean Claude.
This succession was legalized by the promulgation of the 1970 and 1971
amendments to the 1964 Constitution (especially Articles 91 and 100) which
lowered the minimum-age requirements for the presidency from 40 to 18
years of age and empowered Frangois Duvalier to designate his own
successor. Pursuant to Article 104, Jean-Claude's term was also destined
to be for life. Article 104 states:

The successor designate shall hold the office of the
president of the State under the authority of Article 99 of the
constitution instituting, in accordance with the will of the
sovereign people, the office of president for life, and pursuant
to the provisions of the said Article 99.

- 30 -

Analogous provisions were included in the 1983 Constitution, which named
Jean-Claude Duvalier President-for-Life and gave him the right to
designate his successor, who, in turn, was to become President-for-Life
after "ratification" by the people. Article 107 provides:

The President-for-Life of the Republic, citizen Jean-Claude
DUVALIER, is empowered to designate as his successor any citizen
who fulfills the conditions established in Article 102 of the
present Constitution.

This designation will be made by proclamation of the
President-for-Life, who by order (arrete) will convoke general
meetings of the people to vote for the ratification of his
choice of the designated successor.

22. The requisites for being declared the designated successor
were set forth in Article 102, which states:

To be elected (sic) President of the Republic, it shall be

1. To be a native-born Haitian and never to have renounced
Haitian nationality;
2. To have attained 18 years of age;
3. To enjoy civil and political rights;
4. To be domiciled in Haiti;
5. To have been discharged of any liability if the candidate
has been handling public funds.

23. In summary, constitutions promulgated by both Franqois and.
Jean-Claude Duvalier institutionalized hereditary rule in Haiti.
Political power was exclusively in the hands of the President-for-Life and
the Constitution served to legitimize the tight control the President
exercised over the Executive branch, the Legislature, the Judiciary, the
Armed Forces, and virtually every other institution in Haiti.

b. The Political Organization
of the Duvalier State

24. The 1983 (amended) constitution declared Haiti to be an
"indivisible, sovereign, independent democratic and social republic."8
Articles 58, 59 and 60 of the Constitution provided that sovereignty rests
with the people and that the people delegate the exercise of that
sovereignty to the executive, legislative and judicial powers, each of
which is independent of the other two branches.

- 31 -

The Executive Branch

25. The 1985 amendments to the 1983 Constitution provided that the
executive power be exercised by two organs: by the President of the
Republic and by the Government. The Government is subordinated to the
Chief of State, who is the President, and who exercises "supreme

26. Among the functions of the Chief of State, the head of
government is vested with the responsibility of "directing national policy
in accordance with the expressed will of the people".10

27. The President's control over the Executive branch was
established by Article 113 of the 1983 (amended) Constitution, which

The President of the Republic names the Prime Minister, the
Ministers and the Secretaries of State. He receives the
individual or collective resignations of members of the
government that may be created by order for entire governmental
bodies or individually. He convokes and presides over the
Cabinet whose manner of operation is determined by law. He
names and dismisses the civil and military functionaries of the
state according to the conditions and manner provided for by the
general statute of public functions and other laws."

28. "Secretaries of State" and other cabinet members, however
influential and powerful they might appear, were subject to period
re-shuffling. This re-shuffling was yet another means by which the
Duvaliers assured that no one would gain sufficient power to destabilize
the status quo, and it was a means by which the class which supported the
President was appeased. There were at least ten cabinet overhauls since
the 1979 IACHR Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti was
written until the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier - in November 1979, April
1980, February 1982, May 1982, July 1982, September 1982, January 1983,
November 1984, September 1985, November 1985 and December 1985.12

29. Article 116 of the 1983 (amended) Constitution gave President-
for-Life Duvalier the sole power to determine when "the institutions of
the Republic and the regular functioning of public powers enshrined in the
Constitution and the laws are seriously threatened" at which time he was
authorized to take all exceptional measures dictated by the circumstances
"to guarantee the continuance of the nation, the security of the State,
the public peace, etc." There were no checks on this exercise of absolute
power, no review mechanism according to the Courts or the Legislature, and
no standards or guidelines for determining what is a threat to the State
or limits on the measures the President might take. Article 116 basically
rendered Article 119, on the declaration of a state of siege, irrelevant,

- 32 -

since, pursuant to Article 119, the Legislative Chamber was called upon to
approve the declaration of the state of siege. Article 116, however,
empowered the President alone to take whatever measures he determined
necessary to maintain himself in power.

The Legislative Branch

30. The legislative power was exercised by a single body called the
Chambre Legislative (Legislative Chamber). This unicameral legislature
had 59 deputies who were elected for six year terms.13 Article 68
provided that to be elected a deputy one must own property in the area
which one seeks to represent or exercise a profession or run a business.
Powers granted to the legislature included: to make laws on its own
initiative or the initiative of the Executive; to monitor respect for the
Constitution and the laws; and to annually vote the national budget.

31. An additional set of powers were granted to the members of the
Legislative Chamber when they met as a National Assembly.14 These
powers were: to give prior approval to the President's decisions to
declare war or to negotiate peace; to revise the Constitution in whole or
in part or to vote a new Constitution; to sanction treaties, conventions,
international agreements; and, to sit as the High Court of Justice
pursuant to the conditions set forth in the present Constitution.

32. Meetings of the Legislative Chamber and of the National Assembly
were public unless a minimum of five members requested that the meeting be
closed to the public.15 Members of the Legislative Chamber were
constitutionally entitled to immunity from the date on which they took the
oath of office until the expiration of their mandate.16

33. In theory, the Legislative Chamber was to initiate legislation
to be sent to the Chief Executive for approval and promulgation. In
practice, however, all legislative initiative was concentrated in the
Presidency. Under the Duvaliers, the Legislative Chamber never proposed
legislation, it only ratified Presidential initiatives and decrees.

34. Legislative elections were held under the Presidency of
Jean-Claude Duvalier but opposition parties were outlawed and independent
candidates barred from the country, arrested and harassed into withdrawing
from the race prior to elections. As a result, all those who "won"
elections and served as deputies in the Legislature had links to the
Executive. Consequently, the Legislature served only to rubber-stamp
approval to laws the President chose to enact.

35. The Legislature convened annually on the second Monday in April
and the session lasted three months. If necessary, the session was
extended one or two months by the Executive or by the Legislative branch.
The President might adjourn the Legislature for a period not more than one

- 33 -

month or for less than fifteen days and there could not be more than two
adjournments in a single session.

36. In addition, the Constitution empowered the President to
dissolve the Legislative Chamber in cases of "serious conflict between the
Legislative Power and the Government".18 The decree dissolving the
Legislature shall, at the same time, provide for the holding of new
elections. During the absence of a Legislature, resulting from the decree
of dissolution, the President was empowered to provide for the needs of
the public services.

37. Adoption of the 1983 Constitution resulted in the dissolution of
the Legislature and paved the way for elections of hand-picked
candidates on February 12, 1984. Similarly, the June 6, 1985 amendments
to the 1983 Constitution, were to dissolve the then existing Legislature
in 1986 to pave the way for a new Legislature to be put in place as a
result of the elections scheduled for 1987.20 Periodic removal of
legislators, despite their ostensible six-year terms, was yet an
additional means by which the Duvaliers assured their unchecked control
over the Haitian State.

38. During the nine months of the year when the Legislature was not
in session, the President was granted "full powers" (Pleins Pouvoirs)
under Article 216 of the 1983 Constitution which enabled the President to
govern by decree for a period of eight months, during which time, as the
IACHR stated in its Annual Report (1981-1982), "the people are deprived of
constitutional guarantees and the most elemental human rights." Article
216 provided:

The Chief of the Executive branch, the Chief of State,
during the interval between legislative sessions, is vested with
full powers to make decrees having the force of law in order to
ensure the safety and integrity of the national territory and
the sovereignty of the State, the consolidation of order and
peace, the maintenance of the economic and financial stability
of the nation, the increase in the well-being of the rural and
urban populations and the defense of the general interests of
the Republic.

39. Previously, this power had been conferred on the President by
Legislative Decree passed at the end of each annual legislative session.
These decrees effectively suspended the individual rights granted in
Articles 17, 18, 20, 21, 31, 48, 11, 122(2) and 125(2) of the 1964
Constitution (as amended in 1971). In effect, as noted by the Commission
in its Annual Report (1983-1984), by promulgating Article 216 in the 1983
Constitution, Haiti institutionalized a "virtual state of emergency in
which citizens have no other guarantees than those which the Executive
grants them".

- 34 -

The Judicial Branch

40. The judicial power was exercised by a high court called the Cour
de Cassation, the Courts of Appeal, lower courts (Tribunaux de premiere
instance) and justice of the peace courts (Tribunaux de Paix). The
Constitution, in Article 147, et seq., contemplated the creation of a High
Court of Justice for treason, which was in fact the Legislature, sitting
as the National Assembly, acting as a High Court of Justice, empowered to
impeach the President for treason or any crime committed in the discharge
of his functions.

41. Theoretically, the President could not direct the decisions of
the courts, but his influence was very great since he personally appointed
the presidents, vice presidents and judges of all the courts in the
country. 2 In fact, however, the Judicial branch was not independent of
the Executive branch, since Article 136 of the 1983 Constitution named the
President "guarantor of the independence of the judicial power."

42. The judges of the Cour de Cassation and the Courts of Appeal
were appointed for a term of ten years, and those of the civil courts, for
seven years.3 The term of office began when the judge took his oath
and, once appointed, he was not subject to removal by the Executive branch
for any cause whatsoever.24

43. Pursuant to Article 133 of the 1983 (amended) Constitution
special courts could be created by law to deal with specific questions. A
presidential decree dated November 22, 1984 created a section of the Civil
Court at Port-au-Prince to be known as the "Court of State Security"
(Tribunal de Saret6 de l'Etat) with jurisdiction over the entire national
territory. It was to have "competence over all crimes and offenses
against the internal and external security of the State and over
violations which by circumstances of purpose or of motives are considered
of a political nature." The broadly-defined jurisdiction of this
tribunal, however, was rarely invoked.

d. Rights and Guarantees under the
Duvalier Constitution (1983)

44. On the surface, the Haitian Constitution appeared to establish a
democratic republic with the necessary checks and balances provided by a
separation of governmental powers to prevent abuse of power. Upon closer
examination, however, the Constitution set up a highly personalized,
authoritarian system with absolute powers vested in the Chief Executive.

45. The 1983 Constitution, as amended, consisted of a preamble and
fourteen titles containing 225 articles and was approved by the
Legislature in less than eight hours. Twenty nine of these articles were
amended by Haiti's unicameral Legislature, by unanimous vote on June 6,
1985, as recommended by President Jean-Claude Duvalier.

- 35 -

46. Of the fourteen titles of the Constitution, Title II deals with
individual rights and is termed "The Rights and Duties of Haitians and
Aliens." The 1983 Haitian Constitution declared all Haitians to be equal
before the lawzs but certain advantages were conferred on Haitiens
d'origine. A Haitian "of origin" was defined as a person born of at least
one Haitian parent; born in Haiti or abroad, or a person born of foreign
parents, in Haiti, provided that the person was of the black race.
One had to be a Haitian of origin, to be President or deputy in the
Legislative Chamber. The Prime Minister need not be a Haitian of origin.
Ministers must, however, be Haitian citizens, although not all were.27

47. The Constitution set forth civil and political rights,28
individual rights and guarantees, 29 and duties of citizens.30
Individual liberties were guaranteed and no one could be pursued, arrested
or detained except in cases expressly set forth by law. No one could be
arrested or detained except pursuant to a written warrant issued by a
competent official.31 No one could be kept under arrest for more than
forty-eight hours unless he had been brought before a judge who was called
to rule upon the legality thereof, and the judge had confirmed the arrest
by a decision setting forth the reasons.32

48. The Constitution of 1964 (as amended in 1971) prohibited torture
or other illtreatment of the detainee, but no such comparable
provision was included in the 1983 Constitution.

49. House searches and seizures of papers were prohibited except by
virtue of law and in accordance with legally prescribed procedures.3
The law could not be applied retroactively except in criminal matters and
then only to benefit the accused.3s No penalty could be established,
except by law, or imposed except in the cases provided for by law (nulla
poena sine lege).6 No one could be obliged, in criminal matters, to
testify against himself.

50. The right to own property was guaranteed, but expropriation for
a public or social purpose could be effected. Compensation was recognized
by the State for cases of expropriation for public utility and regulated
by law.37

51. The right to work and the right of the worker to a just wage,
job training, health protection, social security and the welfare of his
family were guaranteed insofar as the country's economic situation
allowed. All workers had the right to protect their interests through
trade union activities, and to engage in collective bargaining.38

52. The death penalty could not be imposed for any political offense
except for the crime of treason, which was defined as taking up arms
against the Republic of Haiti, joining avowed enemies of Haiti or giving
them aid and comfort.39

- 36 -

53. Everyone was guaranteed the right to express his opinion on any
matter and by any means. The expression of thought, whatever form it
took, was not subjected to prior censorship except in the case of a
declared war. Abuses of the right of freedom of speech were to be defined
and punished by law. However, a jury was to be used in criminal
trials and for political offenses committed through the press or by some
other means.

54. Freedom of religion and belief was guaranteed. The right to
profess one's religion or belief was established subject to the provision
that the exercise did not disturb public order.42

55. The right to peaceful assembly was guaranteed without prior
authorization, in conformity with the law governing the exercise of this

56. Haitians were guaranteed the right to associate and to form
political parties, unions and cooperatives. This right was not to be
subject to any preventive measure. No one could be compelled to join an
association or a political party. The law regulated the conditions for
the functioning of these groups and was to promote their formation.

57. Correspondence was inviolable; however, private letters and
documents could be intercepted by the authorities for the sole purpose of
gathering evidence to be used in court and pursuant to a judicial

e. Mechanisms established to protect individual
rights under the Duvalier State

58. The 1983 (amended) Constitution provided that the law could not
add to nor derogate from the Constitution: the letter of the Constitution
would always prevail.4

59. The President, before taking office, took an oath to "observe
and enforce the Constitution, and to respect and ensure that the rights of
the Haitian people are respected."46 (This provision was somewhat
anachronistic since the President-for-Life did not "take office.") The
President was responsible for the enforcement of the Constitution, but he
could never suspend or interpret it, nor fail to enforce it.47

60. The Court of Cassation was empowered to rule on the
constitutionality of the laws when litigation was referred to it, and such
cases which sought judicial review of the constitutionality of laws, were
not to be subject to any requirement of deposit, penalty or fee.48 In
cases involving political offenses, or the press, the court session was to
be public.49
be public.

- 37

f. Restrictions placed on the enjoyment of human rights
by government practice under the Duvalier regime

61. The vast majority of the individual rights guaranteed by the
Duvalier Constitutions were not respected in practice.

62. Government forces, in particular, the Volunteers for National
Security (the VSN, more commonly known as the Tonton Macoutes), were
routinely identified as the persons responsible for the harassment,
persecution, kidnapping (since these "arrests" were conducted without the
benefit of judicial warrant), torture and killing of a large class of
individuals--aspiring political leaders, journalists, labor organizers,
youth organizers, lawyers and human rights activists--who attempted to
exercise their human rights. Harassment and extorsion practices by the
VSN, especially in the rural areas, was a pervasive and continuous
interference with the exercise of human rights.

63. The Duvalier administration appeared to have introduced certain
predictable cycles in its manner of governing. At the beginning of the
cycle the Government promised a "liberalization or democratization" of the
regime, permitting the functioning of political parties, the holding of
elections, an amnesty for political offenders and greater freedom of the
press.5 When the exercise of such rights began to gain momentum and
governmental policies and conditions were placed under scrutiny and
criticized, major crackdowns involving sweeping arrests, torture and
killing began to occur. The individuals arrested would be either expelled
from the country or subject to long term illegal and often brutal
detention, with torture used to extract "confessions". The climate of
terror resulting from such a crackdown brought about the abrupt end of the
"liberalization or democratization" period until the next cycle was
initiated. 5

g. The Departure of Duvalier and the Transition
to the National Governing Council (CNG)

64. These predictable cycles came to an abrupt end on February 7,
1986, when Jean-Claude Duvalier fled Haitian in the middle of the night on
a United States Air Force plane which had been placed at his disposal.
The Haitian people, who on February 7, 1986, were celebrating their
"liberation" or Second Independence Day, did not strutinize too closely
the 6-man civilian-military junta that was installed to replace Duvalier.
Jean-Claude Duvalier had left behind a videocassette tape which was played
on television, following his departure, stating that he had personally
chosen his successors. Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, however, head of the 6-man
National Governing Council (CNG), in his first speech to the Haitian
people on February 7, 1986, announced that he had "seized the reins of
power."5s Both versions appear incredible because the composition of
the CNG included an important leader of the opposition to Duvalier, the

- 38 -

head of the Haitian League for Human Rights, Mr. Gerard Gourgue, who would
not have been selected to form part of a new government by either
Jean-Claude Duvalier or Lt. Gen. Namphy unless other influences played a
role. Consequently, one can only speculate as to why the forces which
installed the CNG in power on February 7, 1986 did not place Mr. Gourgue
at the head of this new government to demonstrate the importance of
civilian control over the military in this transition process.

65. The CNG took power on February 7, 1986 and on February 10, 1986,
installed its Cabinet. On February 26, 1986, it presented a list of its
achievements after 18 days in power. This list sought to portray the CNG
as a provisional government which would vindicate the demands of the
Haitian people and work to install democracy in Haiti. The CNG stated
that in a period of 18 days it had:

1. Freed all political prisoners;
2. Re-established absolute freedom of the press;
3. Dissolved and disarmed the VSN;
4. Set aside the Constitution of 1983 (as amended);
5. Dissolved the Legislature;
6. Seized and nationalized the goods, furnishings and real
estate of the ex-President Jean-Claude Duvalier;
7. Re-established the blue and red Haitian flag. (Under the
Duvaliers the Haitian flag had been changed to red and

66. In fact it did do most of the things that it claimed to have
done, with the exception of disarming the Macoutes.

67. On February 25, 1986, Lt. Gen. Namphy set forth the outlines of
the CNG's political program. He announced that a consultative body would
be formed, which would elect, by secret ballot, the members of a
constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution. The CNG would govern by
decree and would issue decrees regarding the press, and the organization
of political parties. The new Constitution would set forth provisions
regarding elections.

68. The Consultative Council, however, did not elect the members of
the Constituent Assembly. Elections for 41 of the 61 seats on the
Constitutional Assembly were held throughout Haiti on October 19, 1986.
The CNG designated the other 20 members directly. The Ministry of
Information informed the public that 9.2% of the Haitian electorate
participated in the October elections, whereas other sources reported a
voter turnout of between 1% and 5%.

69. As mentioned in the Commission's 1986-1987 Annual Report the
Constituent Assembly had "originally been viewed with skepticism but as it
demonstrated its seriousness and responsiveness to its mandate, it won

- 39

popular support." Consequently, on March 29, 1987, the Haitian
Constitution was submitted to a referendum, and 45.4% of the 2.8 million
eligible Haitian voters cast their votes in favor of the new
Constitution. The high voter turnout dramatically surpassed the 10%
participation predicted.


70. The agenda for a new Haiti is set forth in the legal blueprint
known as the Constitution of 1987. According to Le Moniteur, the official
government newspaper, 1,271,334 votes were cast on March 29, 1987 which
represented 45.4% of the 2.8 million eligible voters. Of these, 1,268,980
voted in favor of the Constitution, a 99.8% approval rate. The
Constitution attracted such a significant response from the population
because it embodied a repudiation of the Duvaliers and the twenty-nine
years of dictatorship.

a. Disqualification of Duvalierists
for Public Office

71. It appears that the new Constitution's most popular provision is
Article 291 which concerns the disqualification of Duvalierists for public
office for a period of ten years. This provision sought to define a clear
line of demarcation between the Duvalierist past and the desired
non-Duvalierist present. Article 291 states:

For ten (10) years following publication of this
Constitution, and without prejudice to any criminal action or
civil suit for damages, none of the following may be candidates
for any public office:

a) Any person well known for having been by his excess zeal
one of the architects of the dictatorship and of its
maintenance during the last twenty-nine years;

b) Any accountant of public funds during the years of the
dictatorship concerning whom there is presumptive evidence
of unjustified gain;

c) Any person denounced by public outcry for having inflicted
torture on political prisoners in connection with arrests
and investigations or for having committed political

b. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)

72. A second unusual characteristic of the 1987 Constitution is
Article 289 which provides for the establishment of a Provisional

- 40 -

Electoral Council. This Provisional Electoral Council became virtually a
parallel government to the CNG insofar as it was given control over the
electoral process, a function previously within the self-proclaimed
mandate of the CNG.

73. Article 289 provides that the CEP be comprised of members
representing different social sectors, of which the CNG represents only
one of nine parts:

Awaiting the establishment of the Permanent Electoral
Council provided for in this Constitution, the National Council
of Government shall set up a Provisional Electoral Council of
nine (9) members, charged with drawin up and enforcing the
Electoral Law to govern the next elections, who shall be
designated as follows:

1) One by the Executive Branch, who is not an official;
2) One by the Episcopal Conference;
3) One by the Advisory Council;
4) One by the Supreme Court;
5) One by agencies defending human rights, who may
not be a candidate in the elections;
6) One by the Council of the University;
7) One by the Protestant religions;
8) One by the National Council of Cooperatives

74. In addition, the Constitution, in Article 292, empowers the CEP
with determining which candidates are Duvalierists and, as such, are to be
disqualified as candidates for public office.

c. The Power of the Executive under
the 1987 Constitution

75. Under the Duvalier regimes, the Executive, transformed into
President-for-Life, had been all-powerful. Consequently, the drafters of
the 1987 Constitution sought to prevent such a recurrent abuse of power
and vested the powers of the Executive in the President of the Republic,
who is the Head of State and the Government, which is headed by a Prime
Minister. 4

76. The President, under the 1987 Constitution, is to be elected by
direct, universal suffrage by an absolute majority of votes. If that
majority is not obtained, a runoff is to be held between the two leading

77. The presidential term is for a period of five years and this
term is to begin and end on February 7 following the date of the
elections.56 Presidential elections are to be held on the last Sunday

- 41 -

of November in the fifth year of the President's term.57 An individual
may serve no more than two terms and the terms may not be
consecutive.s8 The CNG scheduled elections for November 29, 1987,
however, these elections were cancelled.

78. The duties of the Haitian President include the selection of the
Prime Minister from among the members of the majority party in
Parliament.s The President's choice must be ratified by the
Parliament. The President is empowered to declare war,60 and with the
consent of the Senate, he appoints the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed
Forces.. The President is the nominal head of the Armed Forces.62
If the office of the Presidency becomes vacant the President of the
Supreme Court is invested by the National Assembly, convened by the Prime

79. Pursuant to Article 135 of the Constitution, to be elected
President of Haiti, a candidate must.

a) Be a Haitian by origin and never have renounced Haitian
b) Have attained thirty-five (35) years of age by election day;
c) Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been
sentenced to punishment involving death, personal restraint
or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights for a crime
of ordinary law;
d) Be the owner in Haiti of at least one real property and
have his habitual residence in the country;
e) Have resided in the country for five (5) consecutive years
before the date of the elections;
f) Have been relieved of any liability (avoir requ decharge)
if he has been handling public funds.

80. The Prime Minister is the head of Government and conducts the
policy of the nation.64 To be appointed Prime Minister, a candidate

1) Be a Haitian by origin and never have renounced Haitian
2) Have attained thirty (30) years of age;
3) Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been
sentenced to punishment involving death, personal restraint
or penal servitude or the loss of civil rights;
4) Owen real property in Haiti and practice a profession there;
5) Have resided in the country for five (5) consecutive years;
6) Have been relieved of any liability (avoir requ decharge)
if he has been handling public funds.

- 42 -

81. The Prime Minister chooses the members of the Cabinet with the
approval of the President, and a vote of confidence of both Houses of
Parliament.6s In concert with the President, the Prime Minister is
responsible for national defense, and enforcement of the laws.

82. In summary, whereas the Duvalier constitutions institutionalized
hereditary rule, the 1987 Constitution attempts to diminish the power of
the Executive by creating the positions of President and Prime Minister,
prevents consecutive re-election and institutionalizes a democratic form
of government by providing for an effective separation of powers.


83. The 1987 Constitution declared Haiti to be "an indivisible,
sovereign, independent, cooperatist, free, democratic and social
republic. 8 This provision adds the notion of "cooperatist" to the
formulation of the 1983 (amended) Constitution. As in the earlier
Constitution, the structure of the political organization is that of the
traditional democratic state. Articles 58, 59 and 60 provide that
sovereignty is vested in all citizens and that all citizens delegate the
exercise of that sovereignty to the three branches of government: the
executive, legislative and judicial. Each branch is independent of the
other two, and none may go beyond the bounds set for them by the
Constitution and by the law.

The Executive Branch

84. The 1987 Constitution (like the 1985 amendments to the 1983
Constitution), provides that the executive power is to be exercised by the
President of the Republic and by the Government.

85. Under the Duvalier Constitution, the President named the Prime
Minister, but Jean-Claude Duvalier, as President, was also the Head of the
Government. The Prime Minister was a figure without power. Under the
1987 Constitution the Prime Minister, not the President, is mandated by
the Constitution to conduct the policy of the nation.69

86. Cabinet members, pursuant to the 1987 Constitution, are chosen
by the Prime Minister with the approval of the President.. During the
two-year period of the interim military government the CNG shuffled the
cabinet four times.

87. Checks are placed on the abuse of power by the Executive branch
by the High Court of Justice, which has the authority to try the following
persons, including the President and the Prime Minister, for certain

- 43 -

a) The President of the Republic for the crime of high treason
or any other crime or offense committed in the discharge of
his duties;

b) The Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Secretaries of
State for crimes of high treason and embezzlement or abuse
of power or any other crimes or offenses committed in the
discharge of their duties;

c) Members of the Permanent Electoral Council and the Superior
Court of Auditors and the Court of Administrative Disputes
for serious offenses committed in the discharge of their

d) Supreme Court justices and officers of the Public
Prosecutor's Office before the Court of Cassation;

e) The Protector of Citizens (Protecteur du citoyen).

88. In addition, a Conciliation Commission was established under the
1987 Constitution which is to settle disputes between the Executive Branch
and the Legislative and the two Houses of Legislature. The precise
functions of this Commission were to be regulated by the law.73

The Legislative Branch

89. The Duvalier Constitution provided for a unicameral legislature
which was dominated and manipulated by the Executive. The 1987
Constitution provided for a bicameral Legislature comprising a House of
Deputies and a Senate.

90. Pursuant to the 1987 Constitution to be elected a member of the
House of Deputies,7s a person must:

1) Be a Haitian by origin and have never renounced his

2) Have attained twenty-five (25) years of age;

3) Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been
sentenced to death, personal restraint or penal servitude
or the loss of civil rights for any crime of ordinary law;

4) Have resided at least two (2) consecutive years prior to
the date of the elections in the electoral district he is
to represent;

5) Own at least one real property in the district and practice
a profession or trade;

- 44 -

6) Have been relieved, if need be, of any liability (avoir
requ decharge) as a manager of public funds.

A deputy is elected for a 4 year term and may be reelected.

91. Pursuant to the 1987 Constitution, to be elected a member of the
Senate76 a person must:

1) Be a Haitian by origin and never have renounced his
2) Have attained thirty (30) years of age;
3) Enjoy civil and political rights and never have been
sentenced to death, personal restraint or penal servitude
or the loss of civil rights for a crime of ordinary law;
4) Have resided in the Department he will represent, at least
four (4) consecutive years prior to the date of the
5) Own at least one (1) real property in the Department and
practice a profession or trade there;
6) Have been relieved, if need be, of any liability (avoir
requ d6charge) as a manager of public funds.

92. A Senator is elected for a 6 year term and may be reelected. In
addition, pursuant to Article 291 of the 1987 Constitution, the most
important prerequisite is that a candidate for the Senate or House of
Deputies not have had ties to the Duvalier regimes, as such ties would
disqualify him for public office.

93. The 1987 Constitution provides that the House of Deputies and
the Senate, meeting together, comprise the National Assembly. The
legislative session commences with the meeting of the National Assembly.
The first legislative session of the House of Deputies runs from the
second Monday of January to the second Monday of May and the second
session runs from the second Monday of June to the second Monday of
September.77 The Senate is permanently in session. In no case may
the House of Deputies or the Senate be dissolved or adjourned.7
Pursuant to the Duvalierist Constitution the President was
constitutionally empowered to dissolve the Legislature in cases of
conflict between the Executive and the Legislative branches. The 1987
Constitution provides for a Conciliation Commission to settle disputes
between these two branches of Government.

94. The functions of the Legislature reflect those of the previous
Constitution as regards the power to make laws.80 As in the previous
Constitution laws can be initiated by either House of the Legislature or
by the Executive. 81 Similarly, additional powers are granted to the
Legislature when it meets as a National Assembly, such as to receive the

- 45 -

constitutional oath of the President, to ratify the decision to declare
war, to approve or reject treaties and to amend the Constitution.82

95. Meetings of the National Assembly are public unless a minimum of
five members request that they be held in closed session. Members of
the Legislature are inviolable (immune from lawsuits) from the date on
which they take their oath of office until the expiration of their

96. As a result of the elections of January 17, 1988, according to
ex-President-for-Life Jean Claude Duvalier, 60% of the persons elected to
serve in the Haitian Legislature during the Manigat government were
Duvalierists.as In the opinion of many Haitians with whom the
Commission spoke during its August 1988 visit, the January 1988 elections
were unconstitutional, in light of the fact the Article 291 bars
Duvalierists from standing for public office for a period of ten years.

The Judicial Branch

97. The Judicial power under the 1987 Constitution is vested in the
high court known as the Cour de Cassation, the Courts of Appeal, Courts of
First Instance, Justice of the Peace Courts and Special Courts.8 In
addition, as mentioned above, the Constitution contemplates a High Court
of Justice, which is the Senate sitting as a tribunal to consider
political cases such as the impeachment of the President for treason.

98. Judges of the Cour de Cassation and the Courts of Appeal are
appointed for a term of ten years. Judges of the Courts of First Instance
are appointed for seven-year terms.87 Judges of the Cour de Cassation
are appointed by the President, from a list of at least three per seat,
submitted by the Senate.88 The judges of the Cour de Cassation, the
Courts of Appeal and the Courts of First Instance may not be removed from

99. As regards political offenses, the Constitution does provide for
the creation of special courts, the jurisdiction of which, however, must
be determined by law.90 The Court of State Security (Tribunal de Suret6
de 1'Etat), created by the Duvalier regime, has been abolished.91 The
Constitution further provides that sentences may not be delivered in
closed sessions in cases involving political offenses or the press.92

a. Rights and Guarantees under
the 1987 Constitution

100. The 1987 Constitution consists of a Preamble and fifteen titles
containing 298 articles. Of the fifteen titles of the Constitution, Title
III deals with individual rights and is entitled "Basic Rights and Duties
of the Citizen" and Title IV deals with "Aliens".

- 46 -

101. The 1987 Constitution declares all Haitians to be equal before
the law93 but as in the Duvalier constitutions, certain benefits are
conferred on Haitiens d'origine. A Haitian "of origin" is defined as a
person born of at least one Haitian parent, who (i.e., the parent) was
born Haitian, and who never renounced Haitian nationality. The racial
provision in the Duvalier constitutions, granting a black person, born in
Haiti, but of foreign parents, Haitien d'origine status, has not been
incorporated into the 1987 Constitution.

102. Pursuant to the 1987 Constitution, the President, the Prime
Minister, the Deputies and the Senators must all be Haitians "of origin".

103. The 1987 Constitution provides that any Haitian who has adopted
a foreign nationality during the twenty-nine years of the Duvalier regime,
may recuperate her or his nationality, if, within two years of the
publication of the Constitution, s/he makes a declaration to the Minister
of Justice, for that purpose.94 This provision however, does not appear
to entitle the individual making this declaration to the recovery of his
Haitien d'origine status.

104. The 1987 Constitution sets forth the basic rights of citizens as
well as their duties.

105. The age of majority is defined as 18 years95 at which the
exercise of political and civil rights commences.96 The death penalty
is abolished for all crimes.97

106. Individual liberty is guaranteed and no one may be prosecuted,
arrested or detained unless pursuant to law. No one may be detained
without a warrant unless caught in the act of committing a crime,99 and
no arrest warrant may be carried out between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.100 No
one may be kept under arrest for more than 48 hours unless he has been
brought before a judge who has been called to rule upon the legality
thereof, and the judge has confirmed the arrest by a well-founded
decision.101 Torture, or any form of coercion is prohibited by the 1987
Constitutioni�2 and the detainee may only be interrogated in the
presence of his attorney or a witness of choice.103

107. Violators of the constitutional provisions on individual liberty
are subject to law suits and the government officials responsible for such
acts are directly liable under civil and administrative criminal laws.104

108. Freedom of expression is guaranteed and all offenses involving
the press and abuses of the right of expression come under the criminal

109. Freedom of association as well as the freedom not to join an
association are guaranteed. In addition, the police must be informed, in
advance, of public assemblies or demonstrations.106

- 47

110. The right to education is guaranteed and primary school is
compulsory "under penalties to be prescribed by law."'07 In a nation
with, at least, a 70% rate of illiteracy, one can only surmise what sort
of penalties will be imposed. Higher education, i.e. post-primary school,
is "open to all", it is not compulsory.'08 It is not specified in the
Constitution whether primary school is considered to comprise six or
twelve years.

111. The right to work is guaranteed. The State guarantees workers
equal working conditions, regardless of sex, and workers are entitled to a
fair wage, to rest, to a paid annual vacation and to an annual
bonus.i09 The right to strike is recognized and may be limited by
law.' o

112. Private property is recognized and protected. Although
nationalization and confiscation are prohibited, land reform is
contemplated as an exception to this blanket prohibition.''I The
landowner is also constitutionally obliged to protect the land against
erosion, and failure to do so would make him subject to criminal
penalties.112 The process of erosion of the Haitian arable lands has
systematically destroyed the country's agricultural capacity and this
constitutional provision attempts to deal with this deteriorating problem.

113. Personal security is constitutionally guaranteed and no Haitian
may be deported or expelled "for any reason". In addition, no one may be
deprived of his legal capacity or his nationality for political
reasons. Unlike the Duvalier era, Haitians no longer require a visa
to leave or return to Haiti.i'4 No search and seizure may be conducted
except pursuant to law'is and correspondence and other forms of
communication are inviolable. Communication may only be limited pursuant
to judicial order.116

114. Persons in detention are to be held separately from persons
serving sentence 17 and prisons must be run "in accordance with
standards reflecting respect for human dignity according to the law on the

115. In addition, in recognition of the fact that both Creole and
French are the official languages of Haiti,i19 all laws, decrees,
treaties, etc., except "information concerning national security" must be
published by the State in both languages.'z�

b. Mechanisms established to protect individual
rights under the 1987 Constitution

116. Approximately one million Haitians fled from Haiti during the
Duvalier regimes.121 Many fled involuntarily to escape political
repression whereas others fled voluntarily to seek a better life

- 48 -

elsewhere. The 1987 Constitution takes into consideration the situation
of these voluntary and involuntary expatriates in its various articles.

117. The Constitution provides that any Haitian who was the victim of
the confiscation of his property during the Duvalier period may "recover
his property before a court of competent jurisdiction."122 In addition,
death sentences, detention, imprisonment or the loss of civil rights
during this period "shall constitute no impediment to the exercise of
civil and political rights."'23

118. In addition, all laws and decrees "arbitrarily limiting the
basic rights and liberties of citizens," are repealed,'24 in particular:

a) The decree law of September 5, 11935 on superstitious

b) The law of August 2, 1977 establishing the Court of State
Security (Tribunal de la Siret6 de l'Etat);

c) The law of July 28, 1975 placing the lands of the
Artibonite Valley in a special status; and

d) The law of April 29, 1969 condemning all imported doctrines.

119. Further, all international treaties, once ratified, become part
of the legislation of Haiti and abrogate any laws in conflict with
them."z5 This provision is extremely important for the purposes of this
Report, in light of the fact that Haiti has ratified the American
Convention on Human Rights, and pursuant to this Constitutional provision,
the Convention is incorporated into Haiti's domestic legislation.

120. The 1987 Constitution creates the position of Ombudsman, or the
"Office of Citizen Protection," which is established to protect all
individuals against any form of abuse by the Government.126 The office
is to be directed by a person chosen by consensus among the President, the
President of the Senate and the President of the House of Deputies, for a
seven year term.127 His intervention, on behalf of any complainant (it
need not be a citizen of Haiti) is without charge. 128

121. Other constitutional provisions designed to protect individual
rights include the limitations and safeguards imposed on the Government as
regards the declaration of a state of siege, and the separation of the
Army and the Police.

122. A state of siege may only be declared in the event of civil war
or foreign invasion.iz9 Consequently, it may not be declared to silence
dissent or in the case of riots or demonstrations. The declaration of the
state of siege must be made by an act of the President, countersigned by

- 49 -

the Prime Minister, and "by all of the Ministers", and contain an
immediate convocation of the National Assembly to decide on the
measure. The state of siege is lifted if it is not renewed every
fifteen days by a vote of the National Assembly,131 and the National
Assembly is required to remain in session for the entire duration of the
state of siege.*32

123. As regards the Armed Forces and the Police, the Constitution
does not contemplate any other armed corps. In fact, it explicitly states
that "No other armed corps may exist in the national territory,"133
which refers to the dissolution of the notorious Volunteers of National
Security (Volontaires de Securit6 Nationale), popularly known as the
"Tontons Macoutes."

124. The duties of the Armed Forces are to defend the State from
external aggression, but they may be called upon to assist in disaster
relief, in development work, or, "Upon the well founded request of the
Executive, they may lend assistance to the police when the latter are
unable to handle a situation."134

125. Military service is compulsory for all Haitians who have
attained the age of eighteen.13 Haitians have the right to bear arms
for use in self-defense, but only following expressed authorization from
the Chief of Police,136 and possession of a firearm must be reported to
the police.137

126. The Police Force operates under the Ministry of Justice138 and
it is established "to investigate violations, offenses and crimes
committed, in order to discover and arrest the perpetrators of them."'39

127. In addition, the 1987 Constitution establishes that members of
the Armed Forces and the Police are subject to "civil and penal liability
in the manner and under the conditions stipulated by the Constitution and
by law."140


128. Haiti is a member of the United Nations and the Organization of
American States, the Charters of which set forth respect for human rights.

129. On September 27, 1977, Haiti deposited its instrument of
accession to the American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San Jose).
The American Convention entered into force on July 18, 1978, and as a
result Haiti is legally obligated to observe the rights and freedoms set
forth in that Convention, and to guarantee to all persons within its
jurisdiction the free and full exercise of their rights, without

- 50 -

discrimination for reasons of race, color, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national origin or social position, economic
situation, birth or any other social condition.

130. Article 276-2 of the 1987 Haitian Constitution (supra) provides
that ratified treaties become part of the domestic legislation of
Haiti.141 Lt. Gen. Namphy in his first speech upon assuming power
stated that all international treaties, agreements and accords would
continue to be respected.

131. The American Convention on Human Rights (1969) is the only
general human rights instrument to which Haiti is a party.142 Haiti is
a party, however, to the following issue-specific international human
rights instruments concerning the prevention of discrimination: the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (1965), the International Convention on the Suppression and
Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1978), the ILO Convention (No. 100)
concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal
Value (1951), and the ILO Convention (No. 111) concerning Discrimination
in Respect of Employment and Occupation (1958).

132. Haiti is also a party to specific human rights conventions which
concern the following issues: the Convention on the Prevention and
Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), the Supplementary Convention
on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and
Practices Similar to Slavery (1956), the Convention for the Suppression of
Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others
(1949), the ILO Convention (No. 29) concerning Forced Labor (1930), the
ILO Convention (No. 105) concerning the Abolition of Forced Labor (1957),
the OAS Convention on Asylum (1928), the OAS Convention on Political
Asylum (1933), the OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum (1954) and the OAS
Convention on Territorial Asylum (1954).

133. Haiti is a party to specific human rights instruments which
relate to the protection of particular groups: ILO Convention (No. 87)
concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize
(1948), ILO Convention (No. 98) concerning the Application of the
Principles of the Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively (1949), the
UN Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1952), the Inter-American
Convention on the Granting of Political Rights to Women (1948) and the
four Geneva Conventions (1949, 1950).


During the two-year transition period of the CNG, headed by Lt. Gen.
Namphy, the most significant step towards democracy was taken on March 29,
1987, as the Haitian people expressed their sovereign will and

- 51 -

overwhelmingly approved the 1987 Constitution. This expression of the
national sovereignty is the standard against which any Haitian
government's legitimacy will have to be measured. A military coup d'etat
and the summary deportation of the head of state cannot be legitimized by
the destruction of the nation's fundamental charter or by unsupportable
claims, made under the threat of the use of force, that one is acting in
the name of democracy and human rights.

It should be noted that the 1987 Constitution deprived the military
of control over elections and subordinated the military to civilian rule,
as is the case in all democratic constitutions in the world. Logically, a
military government undermines the institutionalization of a democratic
state, and having deported the President, suppressed the legislature and
abrogated the Constitution, it can only claim to be acting in the name of
"democracy", in an Orwellian reversal of meaning, where words signify the
opposite of their accepted connotations.

The information set forth in this chapter leads to the inescapable
conclusion that a system of representative democracy must be established
in Haiti and the rule of law must be restored for fundamental human rights
to be guaranteed.




1. The constituent and human rights instruments devised by the
inter-American system require that the political organization of the
member States be based on the effective exercise of representative

2. The Charter of the Organization of American States has
explicitly defined democracy to be the only acceptable form of political
organization of the Member States in order for the aims of the
Organization to be realized:

Article 3(d):

The solidarity of the American States and the high aims
which are sought through it require the political organization
of those States on the basis of the effective exercise of
representative democracy.

3. The Preamble of the OAS Charter also posits regional solidarity
based on the consolidation of democratic forms of government. The
Preamble states:

Confident that the true significance of American solidarity
and good neighborliness can only mean the consolidation on this
continent, within the framework of democratic institutions, of a
system of individual liberty and social justice based on respect
for the essential rights of man;

4. For its part, the Commission has maintained that within the
alternative forms of government recognized under different constitutions,
the framework of a democratic regime must be the fundamental structure to
allow for the full exercise of human rights.

5. Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights sets forth
the political rights guaranteed by this Convention: the right to take part
in public affairs, the right to vote and to be elected, and the right to
have access to public service.

- 54 -

6. The Declaration of Santiago of 1959, adopted by the Fifth
Meeting of Consultation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, expressed the
aspiration of the peoples of the Americas to live under democratic
institutions "free from all intervention and all totalitarian
influence."3 This historic document declared that the "existence of
anti-democratic regimes constitutes a violation of the principles on which
the Organization of American States is founded, and a danger to united and
peaceful relationships in the hemisphere".

7. In order to contribute "to the eradication of forms of
dictatorship, despotism or tyranny" the Meeting of Consultation
established certain "principles and attributes of the democratic system in
the hemisphere" which would assist in a determination as to whether a
certain government was democratic or not. These principles and attributes
are the following:

1. The principle of the rule of law should be assured by the
separation of powers, and by the control of the legality of
governmental acts by competent organs of the state.

2. The governments of the American republics should be the
result of free elections.

3. Perpetuation in power, or the exercise of power without a
fixed term and with the manifest intent of perpetuation, is
incompatible with the effective exercise of democracy.

4. The governments of the American states should maintain a
system of freedom for the individual and of social justice based
on respect for fundamental human rights.

5. The human rights incorporated into the legislation of the
American states should be protected by effective judicial

6. The systematic use of political proscription is contrary to
American democratic order.

7. Freedom of the press, radio, and television, and, in
general, freedom of information and expression, are essential
conditions for the existence of a democratic regime.

8. The American states, in order to strengthen democratic
institutions, should cooperate among themselves within the
limits of their resources and the framework of their laws so as
to strengthen and develop their economic structure, and achieve
just and humane living conditions for their peoples.

- 55 -

8. In application of these principles, the OAS General Assembly, in
its consideration of the reports presented to it by the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, has repeatedly, in its resolutions, reiterated:

To those governments that have not yet reinstated the
democratic form of government that it is urgently necessary to
implement the pertinent institutional machinery to restore such
a system in the shortest possible space of time, through free
and open elections, by secret ballot, since democracy is the
best possible guarantee for the full exercise of human rights
and is a firm support for solidarity between the states of the

9. In addition, the OAS General Assembly, at its Sixteenth Regular
Session, held in Guatemala from November 11-15, 1986, adopted a resolution
on Human Rights and Democracy,5 which states in its operative part:



1. To reaffirm the inalienable right of all the peoples of the
Americas freely to determine their political, economic and
social system without outside interference, through a genuine
democratic process and within a framework of social justice in
which all sectors of the population will enjoy the guarantees
necessary to participate freely and effectively through the
exercise of universal suffrage.

2. To urge the governments of the Americas whose societies
have problems that call for reconciliation and national unity to
undertake or continue a genuine dialogue, pursuant to their
respective legislation, with all political and social sectors
until they reach a political solution that will put an end to
conflicts and contribute decisively to improving the human
rights situation and to strengthening the representative and
pluralist democratic system.

10. In the experience of the political organs of the OAS,
difficulties, at times, have arisen regarding the determination as to
whether a certain matter is reserved to the internal jurisdiction of a
State. Some states have taken the position that certain international
obligations need not be complied with, arguing that these matters fall
within the exclusive domestic jurisdiction of the State.

- 56 -

11. These difficulties motivate the Commission to consider the
question of whether the principle of non-intervention, the cornerstone of
the OAS Charter, is a bar to international examination of certain matters
considered by some to be within the exclusive domestic jurisdiction of the
State. In the Commission's view, as a matter of law, this is not the case
where action is taken pursuant to a treaty to which the concerned State is
a party.

12. Consequently, an issue dealing with human rights is no longer
specifically reserved to the domestic jurisdiction of the State once the
State has become a party to a human rights treaty which deals with that
issue. To invoke the argument that international examination of an action
which was taken by a state with respect to its own citizens is barred by
the principle of non-intervention is to reject the international
obligations assumed by the state when it became a party to the human
rights instrument.

13. The issue of the use of force to support international law must
be considered under the terms of Article 2(4) of the United Nations
Charter and this a separate question which the Commission will not examine
at this time.

14. Pursuant to Article 23 of the American Convention, the
Commission now considers the problem of political rights as they have
evolved in Haiti. The previous chapter examined efforts by the Duvalier
family to maintain itself in power indefinitely by periodic manipulation
of the Haitian Constitution. This chapter analyzes the emergence of
demands for political rights during the waning years of Jean-Claude
Duvalier's administration; the provisions of the 1987 Constitution as
regards political rights; other decrees affecting the exercise of
political rights; the creation and functioning of the Provisional
Electoral Council (CEP); the elections of November 29, 1987; the
dissolution of the CEP and the new elections of January 17, 1988; the
installation of the Government of President Leslie Manigat on February 7,
1988, the coup d'etat on June 20, 1988 headed by Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy,
and the coup within the coup of September 17, 1988 which resulted in the
installation of the current President, Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril.

a. The political situation in 1985

15. By 1985 President Jean-Claude Duvalier's Presidency-for-Life had
become the single dominant political issue in Haiti. As early as April
19, 1985 three "political leaders" issued a declaration demanding, inter
alia, "that the Constitution of August 27, 1983 be amended and the
Presidency-for-Life abolished."6

16. President Duvalier's reply was his April 22, 1985 speech in
which he announced the fact that he had taken "the irrevocable decision to

- 57 -

modernize the Haitian political system" by progressively putting in place
the institutional structures which correspond to the norms of liberal
democracy and "respect the particular characteristics of the Haitian

17. The widespread disillusion with, and criticism of, the
constitutional amendments which were approved by the Legislative Chamber
on June 6, and the political parties law on June 9, led one political
figure, Hubert De Ronceray, to launch his attack on the

18. De Ronceray stated that the political parties law could be
summarized in three points:

1. One can organize a political party but one does not have
the right to organize an opposition party to the Government
of Jean-Claude Duvalier.

2. No political party can aspire to take power by democratic
and constitutional means. The only elective offices are
those of deputies (Congressmen), mayors and rural

3. A political party has no financial, ideological, doctrinal
or political autonomy. It depends exclusively on the
decisions of the Minister of Interior and National Defense
which at any time can order the suspension of its

19. The result, stated de Ronceray, was that "the raison d'etre and
the purpose of a political party were denied and refused. One dressed
with other words a one party dictatorship."8

20. De Ronceray, by letter dated June 5, 1985 to the Minister of
Interior and National Defense requested authorization to organize "in the
name of the Haitian youth" a peaceful march, without arms, towards the
National Palace for the purpose of calling for the abolition of the
Presidency-for-Life, and for the organization of presidential elections by
direct suffrage.

21. At 4:00 p.m. on June 17, 1985 the Haitian Government issued a
communique prohibiting the demonstration and deployed 5,000 troops
throughout Port-au-Prince to ensure that the demonstration not take
place. The Haitian Government's communique9 prohibiting the march
stated in relevant part:

- 58 -

The Government is obliged to refuse the requested
authorization and has decided to prohibit said march for the
following reasons:

1. violation of the constitutional order
2. violation of public order ("l'ordre public")
3. violation of police laws on public meetings
4. call for foreign involvement in the political life
of the State

The demonstration, which was to be held in front of the National Palace,
would have been the first such challenge to the "Presidency-for-Life".

b. The Referendum of July 22, 1985

22. The political criticism leveled against President Duvalier's
constitutional amendments and the law on political parties motivated
Duvalier on June 27, 1985 to call a national referendum. The Haitian
people were asked to:

Please express your views through this Referendum on both
the amendments to the existing Constitution of 1983 and on the
new law regulating the functioning of political parties. The
most significant of these changes include:

A. A Presidency-for-Life including the right to designate a

B. The creation of the post of Prime Minister.

C. An increase in legislative influence over the government.

D. An official encouraging of the development of political

Do you agree with this new political system?

23. The "political leaders", which had increased to five by this
time, on July 1, 1985 united to produce a historic joint communique
demanding that the July 22 vote become a national referendum on one


24. The opposition leaders threatened to boycott if the Government
ignored their demands.

- 59 -

25. The Government claimed that 99.98% of the population had voted
in favor of the political changes. The Government had sought to disarm
the "opposition", but, in fact, by announcing 2,375.011 YES votes and 448
NO votes in a nation of approximately 2,600,000 eligible voters, in a
climate of what has been described as one of "massive apathy and
abstention" by foreign observers, the Government belied its own
"triumph". i According to one foreign observers:

Throughout the morning, packed buses were seen bringing
people to vote at City Hall and taking them away. Some
journalists followed one bus and said it stopped at three other
polling places and waited while the passengers voted. (...)
Voters were not required to give their names or show any kind of
identification and no list was kept of who voted.

26. The very fact of seeking public legitimacy for a de facto rule
which had existed in Haiti for over two decades, placed the issue of
legitimacy in the public arena. Mr. Jean-Marie Chanoine, Minister of
State for the Presidency, Information and Public Relations, stated on
television, following the turnout of the referendum, that the opposition
had two choices: either to leave the country or to support the Haitian

c. Increasing demands for President Duvalier to step down

27. In spite of the formal and informal impediments to effective
political opposition in Haiti, such opposition continued to mobilize
throughout 1985 having created the issue that alone was able to unify it:
the ouster of Duvalier. Gregoire Eugene became the first candidate to
present his party's view of a new society in a book published July 22,
1985.13 His views inter alia called for an elected presidency, for a
seven year term, without possibility of re-election.

28. On August 23, 1985, 117 former ministers, Congressmen, military
figures and supporters of President Duvalier formed a political party
based on "Jean-Claudisme". This party was named the National Progressive
Party, and its "leaders" requested on September 5, 1985 its registration.

29. On September 2, 1985, a letter signed by 381 youths invited the
5 opposition leaders to travel to the provinces and meet with the
population of L6ogane, Petit Goave, Miragoane, Aquin, Cavaillon, Cayes and
Marigot in order to carry on a dialogue about the problems of Haiti. Mr.
Hubert de Ronceray, Rev. Sylvio Claude and Mr. Alexandre Lerouge responded
that they would be favorably inclined to travel during the second week of

- 60 -

30. In fact, when Mr. Hubert de Ronceray, embarked on his "tour" he,
his. wife and three other members of his group, when they reached Petit
Goave, were placed under what the police termed "protective custody"
effectively preventing him from speaking to his supporters. The following
week he was again prevented from meeting his supporters as he attempted to
travel to Jacmel.

d. Mr. Gregoire Eugene's Defection

31. Following the arrest of Mr. Hubert de Ronceray as he attempted
to travel to the provinces, Mr. Frangois Guillaume the newly appointed
Minister of Interior and National Defense, informed Gregoire Eugene, by
letter dated September 17, 1985, that if he wished to carry out political
activities he should carry out the formalities required by the political
parties law. Mr. Eugene responded, by letter dated September 25, 1985,
that his attachment to "political pluralism, democratic convictions, his
legalist vocation and his religious respect for the Constitution"
prohibited him from complying with the formalities imposed by the
political parties' law.14

32. Notwithstanding the above, on November 7, 1985, Mr. Gr4goire
Eugene sought to register his party with the Ministry of the Interior.
One of the reasons given for his change of mind was that, once having
requested registration, Mr. Eugene could proceed to travel to the
provinces and recruit members for his party.is

e. Gonalves

33. Gonaives, the fourth largest city in Haiti is known as the "City
of Independence" because it was there that Jean-Jacques Dessalines
proclaimed independence from France on January 1, 1804 signaling the end
to the independence struggle and the beginning of Haiti's future as the
second independent nation in the Americas after the U.S. Gonalves became
the scene for two days of spontaneous student demonstrations which
resulted in the deaths, on November 28, 1985, of three secondary school

34. As described by one foreign journalist:'6

On that day 1,000 to 2,000 residents of the Raboteau
shanty-town surged into the streets shouting anti-government
slogans and wielding small, crude signs proclaiming "Down with
Misery", "Down with Dictatorship", "Down with the Constitution"
and "Long live the Army" - the latter an apparent call on the
Haitian military to move against Duvalier.

The next day, November 28, students demonstrated outside a
church-run Gonaives high school. Soldiers, apparently at an

- 61 -

officer's command, opened fire on the youths. Two died from
bullet wounds and a third reportedly was killed from blows with
rifle butts. A fourth youth reportedly died elsewhere under
unclear circumstances. That death has not been confirmed.

News of the Gonaives shootings, broadcast almost
immediately by Radio Soleil, incensed other communities and
within 24 to 48 hours solidarity demonstrations erupted in
Petit-Goave, Jeremie, Jacmel and Les Cayes - all along Haiti's
southern peninsula.

On December 4, police raided the home of prominent Haitian
opposition leader Hubert de Ronceray, a native of Petit-Goave
and a former Duvalier government social affairs minister.

De Ronceray was arrested on charges of having subversive
documents, but foreign diplomats believe the real reason may
have been fear that he was planning a demonstration in
Port-au-Prince. His wife, Marie Michelle, said police officers
were looking for arms.17

35. The Government in an official communique lamented the deaths in
Gonaives and placed the responsibility for the demonstrations on
"professional agitators".18 Opposition and church leaders criticized
what they termed the "overreaction" of the Government and the resultant
deaths, and demonstrations, mostly organized by secondary school students,
continued throughout the country during the following weeks. On January
28, 1986, on the second day of rioting, the events of Gonaives repeated
themselves, as three persons, including two children were killed and more
than 30 persons wounded as security forces opened fire during one of the
largest demonstrations against President Duvalier.19

36. On February 7, 1986 Jean-Claude Duvalier's Government collapsed
as he departed into exile.

LEGAL SYSTEM (1986-1987)

37. Article 31 of Haiti's 1987 Constitution specifically authorizes
the formation of political parties. Political parties are expressly
allowed to function provided that they respect "the principles of national
and democratic sovereignty."z0 The law is "to determine the conditions
for their recognition and operation, and the advantages and privileges
reserved to them.'21

- 62 -

a. Background to the Law Regulating the
Organization of Political Parties

38. Lt. General Henri Namphy, who assumed power on February 7, 1986,
informed the Haitian people on that date that the Army had intervened
because the country was "on the verge of an abyss," threatened both by an
"attack on the integrity of the nation and by the terrible spectre of a
civil war." 22 On February 10, 1986, Lt. Gen. Namphy promised
constitutional elections which would permit first the election of a
legislature resulting from free elections and then presidential elections
by direct universal suffrage.2

39. As early as February 1986 several Haitian politicians declared
themselves candidates in any future presidential election, in spite of the
fact that no law had yet been decreed regulating the formation of
political parties. By early March, more than 20 politicians, most of them
with an extensive Duvalierist background, had announced their candidacies
for the presidency of Haiti, although the CNG had not yet announced a date
for the elections.24 In addition there existed no legal infrastructure.

40. The legal system, such as it was, was a hold-over from the
Duvalier era, and there was no legislature to pass laws which could be
considered to reflect the will of the people. All power was in the hands
of the CNG which unilaterally determined its mandate and enlarged it, from
the original intent of simply leading the country to elections, to
maintaining itself in power for two years and arrogating to itself the
authority to determine how the constitution would be drafted as well as
all other aspects of national and international affairs.

41. In early June 1986, five consecutive days of riots throughout
Haiti brought the country, in Lt. Gen. Namphy's words, to the "verge of
anarchy" and to "almost a civil war."2 5 The demonstrators were
demanding that the CNG remove one of its members, Col. Williams Regala,
and also Finance Minister, Leslie Delatour, and Deputy Information
Minister, Aubelin Jolicoeur. In an attempt to quell the unrest, on June
8, 1986, Lt. Gen. Namphy announced that he would turn over power to a
"freely elected" government on the second anniversary of Duvalier's
departure - February 7, 1988.

42. The electoral timetable set by Lt. Gen. Namphy is the
following: 26


June 1986: Decree creating the Council for the
Organization of the rural areas.

- 63 -

July 1986:

September 1986:

October 1986:

January 1987:

February 1987:

March 1987:

May 1987:

July 1987:

September 1987:

November 1987:

January 1988:

February 7, 1988:

43. On July 30, 1986
political parties.

Decree creating an independent body
charged to receive views and opinions of
all citizens.

Decree concerning the organization of
political parties and the press.

Decree creating a Constituent Assembly
for the writing of a new constitution.

Members of this constituent body will be
elected by the people in every
geographical department.
Members of the Constituent Assembly work
on the new constitution.

The Constitution is voted and proclaimed.

The Constitution is ratified by a

Decree concerning the elections.

Campaign for the election of Mayors as
well as members of the Council for the
administration of rural areas.

Elected Mayors and Members of the
Council for the administration of rural
areas are sworn in.

Legislative and presidential elections

The President and Members of the
Legislative Chamber are elected.

The power of the Legislative corps is

The elected President is sworn in.

the CNG issued a decree on the formation of

b. The Decree Regulating the Organization of Political Parties27

44. Pursuant to this decree, to be a founding member of a Haitian
political party the following requirements, set forth in Article 5, had to
be met:

- 64 -

1. To be a Haitian, by origin, and never to have renounced
one's nationality;
2. To be at least 18 years of age;
3. To exercise civil and political rights;
4.- To reside and have one's domicile in Haiti.

Nationalized Haitians were not considered Haitians "by origin" and,
therefore, were not permitted to establish political parties.

45. To establish a political party one had to register it within 30
days of formation with the Ministry of Justice. A document establishing
the formation of the party is to be presented, which contains the names of
at least 20 founding members. The party organizers are also required by
this decree to provide information regarding the goals and ideology of the
party, a detailed statute which is required to set out in some detail how
the party will function and other information regarding the party's
official representatives and headquarters.

46. The Ministry of Justice is required to respond to the request
for registration within 30 days of the submission of these documents. If
the decision is favorable, the Minister will inform the Official
Representative that the party is authorized to function "provisionally."
It then may disseminate its ideology and recruit members. If the request
is denied, reasons must be specified by the Justice Minister, but the
decree does not specify what kinds of political parties may not be formed.

47. In order to achieve "legal recognition" the provisionally formed
party must return to the Ministry of Justice, within 6 months, with
evidence that the party has a membership of at least 5,000 persons. The
Ministry of Justice must then decide on the question of legal recognition
within 30 days. If the decision is in the negative the party organizers
may appeal the decision to the courts.

48. A legally established party is obliged to publish its program
and the names of its organizers and leaders in a daily paper and may
present candidates for public office pursuant to the Electoral Law which
was scheduled to be decreed in March 1987. The candidates are entitled to
a total of 2 hours of free television and radio time to be divided into
5-15 minute political commercials through the campaign. The law also
limits the amount of money the political parties are allowed to receive
from any political or international source.

49. The first elections following Jean-Claude Duvalier's departure
were held on October 19, 1986. The vote was to elect 41 members of a 61
member Constituent Assembly, one for each district, but very few people
participated. Twenty other members of the Constituent Assembly were
appointed directly by the CNG.

- 65 -

50. On October 30, 1986 former followers of Duvalier announced the
establishment of a political party to be known as the Party for National
Reconciliation (PREN). Riots erupted as a reaction to the announcement of
the formation of this party which continued for several days, in early
November, throughout Haiti, and once again culminated in demands for the
ouster of the CNG. Lt. Gen. Namphy, in light of the size of these
demonstrations, which were estimated at about 50,000 people, addressed the
nation on radio and television from the National Palace and for the first
time repudiated Duvalierism. He announced that the CNG sought to put an
end to the "arbitrary and repressive practices of the past," and to
eliminate "once and for all the terrible spectre of Macoutism."28
Regarding a possible political return of the Duvalierists, Lt. Gen. Namphy
stated that the CNG and the Army would not permit the "return to the
country of the totalitarian and bloody plague."29 Consequently, the
neo-Duvalierist party, in view of the heated climate, decided to dissolve
shortly after it had been established, on November 12, 1986.30

51. During the Commission's on-site visit in January 1987, it
received complaints from political leaders that the CNG had not consulted
the political parties or the public regarding the terms of this decree.
The leaders of the opposition movement to Duvalier charged that the CNG's
attempt to govern by decree, even prior to the adoption of the
Constitution, rendered it (the CNG) an authoritarian government with
dictatorial tendencies. Due to the unwillingness of many political
leaders to subject the formation and membership of their parties to
governmental scrutiny, few parties have complied with the requisites of
this law.

52. In light of the work on the preparation of the 1987 Constitution
the political parties law was soon overshadowed and, eventually ignored.
Political parties continued to be established, and according to the U.S.
based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, which
played a role in sponsoring seminars for Haitian politicians on
"institution-building" and "party-building in a traditional democracy," in
the 21 months following Jean-Claude Duvalier's departure, until the
November 29, 1987 elections, "more than 70" political parties had

c. Background to the Creation of the
Provisional Electoral Council

53. Ironically, Jean-Claude Duvalier wanted to see himself as the
founder of political democracy in Haiti. On September 22, 1979, he

I would like to present myself before the tribunal of
history as he who founded, in an irreversible manner, democracy
in Haiti.

- 66 -

Indeed, the Haitian people considered his departure the beginning of the
democratization process.

54. Jean-Claude Duvalier claimed that political liberalization and
democratization had become established patterns of his policies. It is
evident that Jean-Claude Duvalier considered "democratization" to be
something other than what is commonly understood by this term. In a rare
interview given in 1983, he stated:

In the coming four months (February 1984), honest and open
parliamentary elections will be held throughout the nine
geographical departments of the country. But we cannot have
democracy like France or the United States. If we did have such
a system, we would have a very catastrophic situation, because
illiteracy touches around 80% of our people. The people can
easily be influenced in one way or the other. We need a
democracy that accords with our personality as a people and with
our history and economic reality.

55. On September 22, 1983, then President-for-Life Jean-Claude
Duvalier, in an address on the 26th Anniversary of "Duvalierism" announced
that "totally free, honest and impartial" legislative elections would be
held in Haiti. The legislative elections were held on February 12, 1984.
Of the 309 candidates who ran to fill the 59 seats of the Chambre
Legislative, no opposition (i.e., non-Duvalierist) candidates were allowed
to participate.

56. For example, Rev. Sylvio Claude was detained on October 9, 1983
with members of his party and held incommunicado for the sixth time in
five years. Rev. Claude's detention followed the announcement that his
5-year old party intended to participate in the 1984 elections. The price
for political participation under President-for-Life Jean-Claude
Duvalier's "democratization" period is best described in Rev. Sylvio
Claude's own words:

On January 27, 1984, it will have been five years since the
day I declared my candidacy for the elections of February 11,
1979. It will have been five years since I began to openly
participate in the difficult and dangerous struggle to win
freedom for all Haitians, regardless of their social condition,
their political views, or their ideology. I have dedicated
myself completely to this struggle, risking my own life and my
family's, so that Haitians might be freed from oppression and so
that true democracy may be established once and for all.

- 67 -

Since that time, I have believed that the best course of
action to make that dream a reality would be to create a
political organization in opposition to the ruling regime. Its
ranks were to be composed of all nationalists, Haitian democrats
both within and outside the country. I founded such an
organization on October 5, 1978 so as to create a monolithic
block for a determined and effective fight against the powerful
Duvalier regime. Despite the strong efforts of the regime to
squelch it, the party has held firm. Nevertheless, we have
encountered so much apathy and lack of understanding among
members of the traditional Haitian opposition that I could
easily have become discouraged, had I not always been convinced
that the Almighty had chosen me to carry out this difficult and
sensitive task.

Despite the problems, from the beginning of this struggle
my family and I, in addition to some members of the Party, have
devoted ourselves to the cause completely, so as to win the
trust of each and every individual and to prove the seriousness
and the sincerity of our commitment. I think that everyone is
aware of the dangers to which we are exposed. Personally, my
life has been threatened - first because I have dared to oppose
this totalitarian regime which does not tolerate any opposition,
be it legal or illegal, and to reject all the attempts to
corrupt me, to recruit me as they have so many others, even
those in the ranks of the opposition itself; and second, and
more important, because I have refused to leave the country. I
need not mention how many times members of the PDCH, members of
my family, and I have been arrested during these five years, or
the torture and abuse that accompanied these arrests.
Nevertheless, I must tell you about the arrest of October 9,
1983, which I consider to be the most brutal of all my arrests.

On September 9, when a convoy of about ten vehicles
arrived, driven by agents of the political police, their
intention was not to arrest me but to end my life under the
cover of night. They intended to put an end, once and for all,
to the "Sylvio Claude phenomenon," to cite the exact words of
Colonel Albert Pierre who, as he said, came personally for this
purpose. There was a prize on my head, and a small fortune had
been set aside for whoever would report my whereabouts.
Fortunately, my Protector was looking after me. A militiaman
had reported to the sergeant at Bon Repos - a small community
some twenty kilometers from the capital - that I could be found
on my small farm, where I have been raising goats for the past
six years. But the Almighty intervened, and did not allow the
sergeant to alert his commanding officer.

Accompanied by four VSN (Volontaires de la Securit6
Nationale, commonly known as Tontons Macoutes of Bon Repos, the

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sergeant placed me under arrest on Sunday, October 9, 1983, at
about 9:00 a.m. With my two wrists bound behind my back, I
suffered bitterly from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The all-powerful
Duvalier henchman, Colonel Albert Pierre, who had been notified
by phone of my arrest, came quickly to the Bon Repos police
station to take me into his custody. He reprimanded the
sergeant for not having informed him of my presence in this out
of the way place, where, he said, he would have had an ideal
opportunity to put an end to what he called the "Sylvio Claude

Then, to conceal the arrest from the public, he gagged me
with an orange and a piece of cloth and hid my face by putting a
sack over it, carefully tying the sack to my pelvis. He threw
me into the trunk of a car, just as if I were a bundle, and
closed the trunk securely. After an intentional detour, I was
taken to Croix-des-Bouquets (about twelve kilometers from
Port-au-Prince). After passing about four hours in a small
prison, kept bound as I was when I left the Bon Repos station, I
shrewdly devised a strategy to prevent the beating that the
torturers were planning for me. I led them to believe that they
thought they could accomplish a dream they had had for five
years: banishing me from Haiti. I easily persuaded them to take
me to the Casernes Dessalines. There, at about 9:00 p.m., I was
informed of the Government's definitive decision: "If you want
to live, you must leave the country. This is your last chance;
otherwise, you will not get out alive." There is no need to
describe the panic that seized me, after having suffered
terribly for twelve hours. Instead of better conditions, I was
faced with a choice to which I had to answer at all costs.

I pretended to agree to the proposal of these men, who said
that they were in a great hurry. I informed them that I had
intended to go to the United States and that, therefore, a visa
request had been sent to the American Embassy on my behalf. It
was then that the conditions of my imprisonment improved.

Fourteen days later, on Thursday, October 13, I was
face-to-face with the political attach and Consul of the
American Embassy, who were there to convince me to leave Haiti.
I had to be an absolute strategist to thwart their plans even
temporarily. The political attach, having understood me very
well and being a good diplomat, quickly invoked American law.
He told Colonel Albert Pierre and Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel
Orcel that he would contact the State Department to find out if
I qualified for a visa. Fifteen days later the Colonel, more
determined than ever, summoned me to inform me that he had
received no answer from the State Department, and that the
Government could wait no longer. He told me also that the

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Ambassadors of France and of West Germany had expressed their
desire to see me.

I was told that I had to choose one of these two countries
to go to. After a few moments of indecision and reflection, I
demanded to see the West German Ambassador with my wife and my
daughter Jocelyne. I would not yield when he tried to convince
me that it was not necessary for my family to see the Ambassador
with me.

On November 4, the West German Ambassador came to see me.
He was accompanied by the Interior Secretary, Mr. Roger
Lafontant, but not by my wife and my daughter. I made it clear
to the Ambassador that the decision I was about to make was of
utmost importance, and would affect the life of all members of
my family. Because of that, the decision would have to be made
with my wife and my daughter Jocelyne. The Ambassador
acquiesced. Finally, the day of decision arrived, the day when
I came within a hair's breadth of death. It was on Monday, the
14th November. I met with Colonel Albert Pierre, Lieutenant
Colonel Emmanuel Orcel, the Ambassador of Germany, and my wife
and daughter. The Ambassador asked me, "Mr. Claude, what can I
do for you?" I responded:

"Mr. Ambassador, before explaining to you my tragic
decision, I must bring to your attention the fact that I did not
personally, on my own initiative, ask to see you. Since having
been brought to the Casernes Dessalines, I learned that both you
and the French Ambassador wanted to see me. So I am only
responding to your invitation. I had planned to travel to the
United States to learn English when I was supposedly a free
man. When I arrived here after my arrest on October 9, I was
presented with a choice, a 'take it or leave it' situation. The
choice was the following: 'Either you leave, or you will not get
out of here alive. This is your last chance.'

"Since all men want to live, as life is sweet - unless it
happens to be the day God has decided you are to leave this
earth, in which case such a decision must be accepted, whether
we like it or not... Faced with such a choice, Mr. Ambassador,
you will understand why I chose to leave, under the one
condition that I would be released first so as to arrange my
affairs before leaving. That was my decision and it still

When I originally made the decision to travel, I was not
forced to do so. No, I am forced to leave, with the threat of
losing my life if I stay here. If the latter is God's will, so
be it. If it is impossible for me to regain the freedom I lost

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more than three years ago - although I have been pardoned by the
Head of State - may God's will be done, because when a man's
soul is called he cannot escape divine will, no matter where he
may go.

Mr. Ambassador, I thank you for your efforts to help me
regain my freedom. I beg you also to thank your Government for
the efforts it has made to free me. Unfortunately, this freedom
has so far been denied to me. Moreover, the worst is yet to

Immediately after my declaration and after the departure of
the Ambassador, I was taken to the torture room while my wife
and daughter, under heavy pressure, were detained. They were
held for five hours. Under orders from Colonel Albert Pierre,
who was present, two torturers hoisted me up (in Creole: "djake"
a common form of torture in Haitian prisons, where the prisoner
is hauled up to be beaten to a pulp) and began a beating that
ended only when I lost consciousness. During the night, I
fainted again, and the guard on duty had difficulty finding a
doctor. He thought that I was dying. On December 24, still in
pain, I was taken to my home under heavy guard. The house was
guarded by three soldiers posted in front, so that I could not
leave the premises. I learned that the Haitian Government had
assured the American Government that I would be freed so that I
could participate in the legislative elections to be held on
February 12, 1984.33

57. In spite of the Haitian Government's reported assurances to the
U.S. Embassy, Rev. Sylvio Claude was not permitted to participate in the
February 1984 "elections".

58. Following his release, Rev. Sylvio Claude was kept under
surveillance. His house was watched by three policemen: one in uniform
and two in plainclothes. When he went anywhere, such as to Church, he was
accompanied by an officer.

59. Mr. Gregoire Eugene, head of the (at that time) only other
opposition political party, had been expelled from Haiti on December 2,
1980. He was not permitted to return to Haiti until February 22, 1984,
under an amnesty declared by President Duvalier, subsequent to the

60. The only candidate of the 309 who participated in the legislative
"elections" who did not belong to Jean-Claude Duvalier's party was Mr.
Serge Beaulieu. The Government arrested the poll-watchers of Mr. Serge
Beaulieu,34 and he was defeated. After the "elections" Mr. Beaulieu was

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61. In summation, "elections" under the Duvalierists, and even under
the so-called democratization and liberalization period of Jean-Claude
Duvalier, signified elections under circumstances in which no opposition
political party was allowed to participate. The few mavericks who
attempted to form political parties and attempted to declare themselves
candidates in these "open and free" elections were harassed, detained,
subject to torture or, in some cases, summarily deported.

62. During the Commission's 1987 on-site visit, one political leader
informed the Commission that Haiti's numerous political leaders and
candidates for the presidency reflected a phenomenon which was common to
countries emerging from a long period of dictatorship. Multiple political
parties were formed in the Dominican Republic after the departure of
Trujillo, and similarly in Portugal ater Salazar's departure and, of
course, in Spain after Franco.

63. The people are content, this politician insisted, they want to
assert themselves, take initiatives but there are many crazies as well,
who don't understand anything, at the beginning. In the second stage, the
formation of political parties and ideologies begins to occur. And in the
third stage, three or four major currents emerge and it is at this time
that democracy takes root. This political leader hoped that the same
thing would happen in Haiti. He stated that the political parties in
January 1987 were in the second stage, that is, that they were being
formed and attempting to reach agreements among themselves. Ten political
parties had reached agreement and signed a text calling on the CNG to form
an independent electoral council.

64. The political parties called for the creation of an independent
body to run the elections because they wanted the elections to be removed
from the control of the Duvalierists who, for almost thirty years, had
determined their outcome.

d. The Creation of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP)

65. The 1987 Constitution provides for the creation of a Permanent
Electoral Council to organize and control, "with complete independence,"
all electoral procedures throughout Haiti."6 The nine members of the
Permanent Electoral Council are to be designated as follows: (1) 3 by the
Executive Branch; (2) 3 by the Supreme Court, and (3) 3 by the National
Assembly.37 In light of the fact that these institutions did not yet
exist, the 1987 Constitution provided for a "Provisional Electoral
Council" (CEP) of nine members who were to be designated by nine entities
representing nine sectors of Haitian society (see p. 55 supra).38

66. The draft Constitution contained a provision for the creation of
a Provisional Electoral Commission, but the March 29, 1987 referendum on
the Constitution was organized, as were the October 19, 1986 elections, by
the Ministry of the Interior, which, it was charged, remained under the

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control of persons closely associated with Jean-Claude Duvalier. The
Provisional Electoral Council was created following the referendum which
approved the Constitution.

67. On May 21, 1987 the members of the Provisional Electoral Council
(CEP), were sworn in and officially assumed their functions. The
following nine persons were designated members of the CEP: Me. Napoleon
Eugene; M. Ernst Verdieu; M. Carlo Dupiton; Me. Pierre Labissiere; M.
Emmanuel Ambroise; Dr. Charles Poisset Romain; Dr. Ernst Mirville; Rev.
Sem Marseille and M. Philippe Jules.

68. On May 13, 1987 the CNG purported to issue a decree creating the
CEP, an attempt which was repudiated by the CEP as soon as its members
were installed and assumed their functions. By letter dated May 21, 1987,
the members of the CEP criticized the CNG's decree of May 13th and
reaffirmed the CEP's autonomy and independence. It surprised some
observers that the member of the CEP designated by the CNG, and the member
designated by the University4 , who was also considered a government
loyalist, also signed the letter affirming the CEP's autonomy, and
therefore the CEP was able to take decisions by consensus. As had been
the case with the Constituent Assembly, the Provisional Electoral Council
assumed, from its very beginning, an esprit de corps as a result of its
empowerment by the Constitution and the popular support of the population.

69. In its May 21, 1987 letter to the CNG, the CEP affirmed that it
had been created by the 1987 Constitution, and not by the decree of the
CNG. Since the decree violated the spirit and the letter of the
Constitution, the CEP considered it unconstitutional and recommended that
it be repealed. The CEP reaffirmed that it was mandated by the
Constitution to prepare the Electoral Law and not merely the draft of an
Electoral Law. In its view, the document to be submitted to the CNG was
to be the law which was not to be modified by the CNG, and which was to be
submitted to the CNG solely for the formal act of promulgation.

70. Further, the Provisional Electoral Council stated that it alone
was mandated by the Constitution to take a decision as regards the
qualifications of an electoral candidate and that its decisions were final
and not subject to judicial review. Underscoring its constitutional
supremacy in electoral matters, the Provisional Electoral Council stated
that it, alone, was authorized to draw up its internal regulations and its
method of voting since the Constitution declares it to be an independent
institution. Therefore, the decree of the CNG, which provides that
two-thirds of the members must vote in favor in order for the CEP to take
a decision, and states that decisions of the Provisional Electoral Council
are appealable to a court, would deprive the CEP of its autonomous
status. The CNG's decree, in the opinion of the Provisional Electoral
Council, would place the Electoral Council at the level of a lower court
in the hierarchy of the judicial branch of government which is not in
conformity with the Constitution. This provision is particularly

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significant in light of Article 291 of the Constitution concerning the
qualification or disqualification of former Duvalierists. According to
the Provisional Electoral Council, the CEP alone is empowered to determine
who fulfills the requirements for candidacy for elections to public office.

71. On May 22, 1987, the members of the Provisional Electoral
Council made public this letter to the CNG; and on May 30, 1987, the first
half of the CEP's Electoral Law was published in the press to stimulate
debate and suggestions from the public. The Electoral Law was submitted
by the Electoral Council to the Ministry of Justice on Friday, June 5,

72. On June 15, 1987, the members of the Provisional Electoral
Council called a press conference to express their concern regarding the
silence on the part of the CNG concerning the promulgation of the
Electoral Law submitted to the Minister of Justice on June 5, 1987, and to
announce that in view of the delay the elections planned for July could
not be carried out. The dispute over the control of the elections was
well on its way to assuming crisis proportions.

73. On June 19, 1987, the Centrale autonome des travailleurs
haltiens (CATH) called a strike for June 22 and 23. The proposed CATH
strike had no immediate connection with the electoral crisis, however,
that same day the CNG published its own Electoral Law and announced that
municipal elections would be held on August 23. These acts undermined the
independence of the CEP.

74. On June 22, 1987, the transport sector completely supported CATH
in its call for a strike and Port-au-Prince was virtually paralyzed. By
decree dated June 23, the CNG dissolved CATH, destroyed its headquarters
and arrested three of its leaders. The political parties and social
organizations united in repudiation of the CNG's action and the CNG was
called upon to repeal its electoral decree.

75. On June 29 and 30, 1987, the Coordination Committee of the Group
of 57, a coalition of grassroots organizations, called a strike for the
abrogation of the CNG's decree and the dissolution of CATH. Four people
were killed and at least two dozen others injured in Cite Soleil in
clashes between the Army and anti-Government demonstrators. This second
general strike again virtually paralyzed Port-au-Prince. The CNG's
Electoral Law was criticized by opponents of the regime for placing
supervision of the elections in the hands of the Ministry of the Interior,
which had been in charge of the October elections and the March
referendum, and it relegated the CEP to the position of a "filing" office
for the results of the municipal elections and the upcoming presidential
and legislative elections in November.

76. The political and popular organizations joined forces against
the CNG which they charged with acting as a dictatorship. The President

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of the CNG, Lt. Gen. Namphy, sought to allay those fears and in a
televised speech he renewed his pledge to lead Haiti to democratic
elections. Since Lt. Gen. Namphy did not restore the independence of the
CEP, the opposition political leaders called for a renewal of the strikes
and the focus shifted from the independence of the CEP to the larger issue
of the ouster of the CNG.

77. On July 1, 1987, Port-au-Prince reportedly looked like a
battlefield after two days of a general strike marked by violent clashes
between soldiers and demonstrators that resulted in the death of 10
persons, 57 injured and numerous arrests. The demonstrators demanded an
end to the CNG. On July 1, 1987, the strike was suspended and the people
stocked up on supplies. The next day the strike resumed, demonstrators
burned barricades in the streets, the city of Port-au-Prince was again
paralyzed and the violence continued to escalate with numerous dead and

78. As a consequence of these events, on July 2, 1987, the CNG
annulled its decree whereby it had tried to seize control of the electoral
process, and Information Minister Jacques Lorthe, who had taken a hard
line position, was forced to resign. Two people were reported shot and
killed by soldiers in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, however, the clashes
throughout the country were said to be less severe than during the first
two days of the strike. Following the CNG's restoration of control to the
Electoral Council, the CEP immediately announced that it would begin
drafting a new program for conducting elections.

79. Mr. Jean-Claude Bajeux, a leader of the Group of 57, stated on
July 3, 1987, that the CNG should reorganize itself or resign. He said
that the only solution would be a reorganized CNG consisting of two
civilian and one military members but, as it stood, it was unacceptably
dominated by the armed forces. Mr. Bajeux stated that protests would
continue until Lt. Gen. Namphy and Gen. Williams Regala resign. In fact,
the demonstrations did continue in Port-au-Prince, until soldiers shot
straight into the crowds and killed seven demonstrators.

80. On July 4, 1987, the Provisional Electoral Council announced
that it would suspend negotiations with the CNG due to the "barbaric acts"
attributed to the army during the five days of demonstrations. The
suspension of negotiations between the CEP and the CNG further isolated
the CNG as political, labor and civic organizations called for a strike to
force the members of the CNG to resign.

81. On July 8, 1987 Haitians returned to work at the end of an 8 day
anti-government strike. Soldiers had killed approximately 22 persons and
wounded 135. The representatives of the Group of 57, who had organized
the strike, called a press conference in which they decreed on July 9,
1987 a day of mourning for those who had been killed.

- 75 -

82. On July 12, 1987, the Coordination Committee of the Group of 57
again proposed a "people's alternative" to the CNG, suggesting a
replacement of the current members with representatives of the "democratic
sectors" and a member of the Army's general staff. The Coordination
Committee stated that Monday and Tuesday, July 13 and 14, would be the
days to organize the second phase of the battle against the CNG. The
Committee called on the people who represented the CNG - the prefects,
magistrates, commissioners, information agents, members of the
Administrative Councils, - to resign and to come over to the side of the

83. Against this background of political and social upheaval, the
Provisional Electoral Council on July 14 published its Electoral Decree
and set November 29 as the date for the presidential elections. The CEP's
decree provides, in Article 88-2, for "Vigilance Brigades", the role of
which is to remain neutral and to maintain order, to prevent the coercion
of voters and to assist voters in finding their respective polling places.

84. On July 15, 1987, Haiti was again totally paralyzed by a new
general strike called by the Group of 57 which continued to demand the
resignation of the Government headed by Lt. Gen. Namphy. Bishop Romelus
of Jeremie joined the strike, took up the slogan Rache Manyok (lit.
"uproot the manioc and move on") and openly called on Namphy to resign.

85. On July 24, 1987, the CNG, in an attempt to stop 4 weeks of
violent anti-government protests and demonstrations, issued a decree
requiring that demonstrators obtain a 72-hour prior authorization to hold
a demonstration and that the organizers of the strikes be identified.

86. Following the massacre of approximately 300 peasants in the
locality of Jean Rabel, the Group of 57 again called upon its members to
demonstrate against the Tontons Macoutes and the CNG.

87. After weeks of strikes which attempted to bring down the CNG,
the Government finally promulgated the CEP's Electoral Law on August 10,
1987, and promised the CEP the finances required in its budget. November
29 was set as the date for the presidential and legislative elections, but
no date was set for municipal and communal elections.

e. The Continuing Struggle between the CNG and the CEP
for Control of the November 29, 1987 Elections

88. As mentioned in the Commission's 1986-1987 Annual Report, acts
of violence during the latter half of 1987 became routine daily

89. By mid-October death squads and vigilante killers were operating
with impunity on a nightly basis and speculation was rife that the army

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would use the violence as a pretext to cancel the elections. Bodies of
persons who had been killed were left on the streets to serve as a warning
to others. In the face of this growing violence the members of the CEP
publicly called upon the military government to provide security so that
the elections could take place. The CNG replied that it would do
something about the violence if the CEP could identify those responsible.
In a letter of October 16, 1987 the CNG claimed that administrative
assistance would violate the spirit of neutrality expected of the

90. In mid-October the Duvalierists again declared themselves in the
race for the presidency. On October 13, 1987, former Duvalier Finance
Minister, Clovis Desinor, and former Interior Minister and Chief of Staff,
Claude Raymond, declared their candidacies for the presidency; they stated
that the CEP questionnaire regarding a candidate's Duvalierist past was
unjust and could lead to "civil war", "an outcome for which only the CEP
would be responsible." The CNG, in spite of the express constitutional
mandate of the CEP, ruled that all Duvalierists intending to run for the
presidency be given a "discharge," a kind of amnesty, for any financial
irregularities during their time of service to the Duvalier regimes.

91. On November 2, 1987 the CEP, pursuant to Article 291 of the
Constitution, determined that twelve former associates of the Duvaliers
were ineligible to run, among the 12 candidacies rejected were several
former ministers under the Duvalier regime - Messrs. Clovis Desinor, Herve
Boyer, Edouard Francisque - and two former Army chiefs of staff: retired
Generals Jean Baptiste Hilaire and Claude Raymond.4

92. That same night, in retaliation, twelve armed men blocked off
Rue Pavee at the former offices of the Minoterie d'Haiti where the
headquarters of the CEP were located, they fired rounds of ammunition in
the air to scare any bystanders, chiseled through heavy metal shutters to
enter the premises and set fire to the building, destroying the
headquarters and most of its records. According to reports, on the "first
floor of the downtown council headquarters, fire consumed thousands of
posters calling on Haitians to vote in the November 29 elections, copies
of the election law, books, banners and leaflets."42 This act of arson
occurred within a few hundred yards of the police headquarters, yet the
police conducted no investigation.

93. Another fire occurred in the intersection between Rue des
Casernes and Grand Rue at the "Continental Trading Company", a store
belonging to Mr. Emmanuel Ambroise, a member of the CEP. In addition, the
headquarters of Rev. Sylvio Claude's Haitian Christian Democratic Party
(PDCG) were riddled by bullets fired by armed commandos. Rev. Claude
stated that there was no loss of life, but much damage was done since all
the windows were shattered.

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94. Mr. Jean Robert Sabalat, the Director of the Departamental
Electoral Office (BED) for the Department of the West, informed Col. Carl
Nicolas that on November 2, a group of unidentified individuals fired on
the BED/West's Office at Delmas 30, A. They wounded the night watchman,
Andre Clemard, and damaged the building's main facade. Mr. Sabalat
requested Col. Nicolas to order security measures for the BED/West office
and for the Communal Electoral Office (BECs).

95. Mr. Emmanuel Ambroise's home in Morne Hecules, Petionville, was
attacked and destroyed by fire. Pursuant to reports, three unidentified
individuals arrived in a jeep without license plates and tried to set fire
to the CEP jeep parked in the yard of Mr. Emmanuel Ambroise's house. They
then tried to break into the house but the people of Morne Hercules
mobilized to stop them. Witnesses tried to call the police, the army
barracks, and the Leopards and they were reportedly laughed at.

96. The "Imprimerie Natal" one of the three printing shops that was
handling CEP orders for ballots, posters and other electoral materials was
set ablaze destroying tons of ballot paper, voter registration cards, and
voter education leaflets, and during the following days regional electoral
offices around the country were attacked with machinegun fire.

97. The CEP announced on November 3, 1987, that the municipal
elections and the elections for Administrative Councils for the Communal
Sections (CASEC) would be postponed until December 20, 1987 due to
administrative difficulties and the climate of fear. Rev. Alain Rocourt,
Chairman of the Methodist Church and the treasurer of the CEP stated that
"We've written two letters to the National Governing Council asking for
police security, since we have been receiving daily death threats. We've
received no response."

98. The headquarters of the presidential candidates Sylvio Claude,
Marc Bazin, Gregoire Eugene and Leslie Manigat were reportedly sprayed
with gunfire. On November 12, 1987, Mr. Louis Dejoie's headquarter's in
St. Marc were set ablaze and the St. Marc offices of the candidates Marc
Bazin, Leslie Manigat and Frangois Latortue were ransacked.

99. The CNG released a communique promising an investigation of the
circumstances which resulted in the fire at the CEP headquarters. The
investigating committee was to be composed of Col. Morton Gousse, Lt. Col.
Rene Mompoint and Ms. Anacita Duperval of the Ministry of Interior and
National Defense. To the present, August 1988, no report has yet been

100. Mr. Clovis Desinor was the first candidate to react to the
rejection of his candidacy. Mr. Desinor stated that the CEP's decision
constituted a flagrant violation of the Electoral Law of August 10, 1987
in that Article 62 of the law requires that the committee of the BEC or
the BED will invite the contested candidate to come into the office to

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defend himself and to come up with proof to contradict the decision within
48 hours. Mr. Desinor stated that he never was allowed to defend himself
and that he was notified of the decision over the air. He demanded that
the CEP inform him of the criteria used to judge his case, "especially
since the decision was dictated by a foreign power and this constitutes
meddling in the internal affairs of the country."43

101. On November 6, 1987, Lt. Gen. Namphy proclaimed himself
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for a period of three years,
pursuant to new military regulations which reorganized the Haitian Armed
Forces. The Haitian Constitution provides that the President is the
nominal head of the Armed Forces (Art. 143) and his only authority over
the Army is his power to name a Commander-in-Chief (Art. 141). Lt. Gen.
Namphy's self-appointment as Commander-in-Chief effectively preempted the
future President from appointing his own choice as Commander-in-Chief. On
November 12, 1987, Brigadier General Williams Regala was promoted to
Major-General in the Haitian Armed Forces and Assistant
Commander-in-Chief. In addition, it was reported that the Haitian Army
had grown from 6,500 to 10,000 men in 18 months.

102. Also on November 6, 1987, the Ambassadors from France, West
Germany, the U.S. and Canada, in a written statement, reaffirmed their
support for the electoral process and called upon the CNG to provide
protection to the CEP. In response, the French Restaurant La Cascade in
Petionville was burned down as was a U.S. factory under construction in

103. On November 9, 1987, the OAS Secretary General, Joao Clemente
Baena Soares, expressed by letter to Lt. Gen. Namphy the serious concern
of the OAS Member States regarding the "regrettable events" occurring in
Haiti which might endanger the electoral process.

104. By November 8, 1987, the date voter registration closed, and in
spite of the climate of violence, the CEP with the assistance of 30,000
volunteers had managed to register 2,246,000 voters, estimated at 73% of
the electorate.

105. Two weeks before the elections the papers documented the daily
toll of assassinations, disappearances and kidnapping. Le Nouvelliste on
November 13, 1987, described the day's toll just prior to the elections as

1. On the Mgr. Guilloux Street in Port-au-Prince a man was
killed at 6 a.m.

2. On the Remparts Street a young boy was found dead bathed in
his own blood the day before yesterday.

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3. On certain radio stations in the capital mothers and
fathers report the disappearance of a family member.

4. The last disappeared is named Samuel Noel, 20 years; he
left his home Friday November 6 and has not been seen since.

5. A curfew seems to have taken effect in Port-au-Prince as of
10 p.m. The streets are deserted.

6. The members of the Departmental and Communal Electoral
Bureaux (BED) (BEC) are subject to attacks even in their
own private residences. The offices of the political
parties have been sacked, pillaged and burned.

7. Even the jeeps used by the BED have not been saved from

8. In Saint Marc it is reported that every night bursts of
gunfire are heard.

106. On November 13, 1987, the CNG, in its first offer of logistical
support, announced that the public schools would be made available to be
used as polling places, but it refused to provide government trucks, jeeps
or helicopters, or to facilitate transportation of voting materials. Some
efforts on the part of the CNG to provide security to presidential
candidates were also noted, as for example, when Mr. Gerard Gourgue
visited the locality of Jeremie, he was escorted by several soldiers.

107. Six days before the elections, on November 23, the Marche
Salomon, one of Port-au-Prince's largest open air markets, was burned down
during a twelve-hour rampage that killed at least two persons and left
more than 30 injured. Reportedly, while uniformed soldiers and police
stayed in their barracks, armed bands roamed through the streets for about
two hours before dawn firing volleys into the air in a half-dozen areas of
Port-au-Prince. It was also reported that the assailants shouted "Long
live the Army" and "Down with the CEP" These slogans appeared in red
letters all over Port-au-Prince the following day.

108. On November 24, 1987, the body of an unidentified man was dumped
in front of the home of the presidential candidate Gerard Gourgue.

109. In Gonaives, November 24, 1987 was considered "a dark night" due
to the violence that occurred during the night. The shooting reportedly
began at 1:00 a.m. with a blackout in two or three neighborhoods. The
first target attacked was the BED office located a few meters from the
Toussaint Louverture Barracks. Some 35 bullets were fired at the BED.

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110. The second target, at approximately 1:45 a.m. was the residence
of BED President, Luciano Pharaon, on rue Fabre Geffrard, where 18 bullets
were fired. Bullets pierced the walls and entered the house as well as
shattering the windows of his residence. Shooting continued all over town
during the night.

111. On November 24, 1987, Dr. Ernst Mirville, addressed the Haitian
people on Radio Soleil, in the name of the CEP:

In organizing these elections, pursuant to the Constitution
of 1987, the CEP and the Haitian people encountered many
difficulties because a small number of people have reached an
understanding among themselves to prevent the people from going
and voting and choosing its leaders democratically. Here are
some of the problems we have encountered. We need soldiers to
guard all CEP offices. We need trucks to take materials out
into the provinces. To this day, we have not received them. We
asked for helicopters to help carry the ballots to places where
the roads are very bad. We have not been given them. The CEP
has been wanting to address the population over national
television for a while now. The national television station
didn't give us a chance to do so. Today, 24 November, they told
us they could receive us but that we had to pay them more than
$2.080 for 1 hour of air time. We didn't think we would have to
pay anything at all since the television station belongs to the
Haitian people and the elections are the people's business.

We have a problem of transportation. We need trucks and
other vehicles and we need guards for them, in order to get the
ballots to the provinces. We need security for the polling
stations. A group of people with weapons are setting fires and
attacking the electoral offices and killing people in them.

We are asking the people to help us solve these problems.
The people in Carrefour Feuilles and in Lamentin 54 have risen
up to prevent disorder. This is a beautiful example. We ask
everyone to tell us what he can do and to get together with the
CEP everywhere.44

112. The anti-election violence subsided as neighborhood defense
groups began to be formed to ensure that the elections would take place.
On November 25, 1987, vigilante groups lynched four men suspected of
anti-election terrorism.

113. On November 26, 1987, three days before the elections, the Army
was brought out and eight dead bodies were found on the streets as a
result of the nightly clashes. The Army, which had remained in its

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barracks as the anti-election terror campaign spread fear throughout
Haiti, began to patrol the streets after the neighborhood defense groups
took over the security function and lynched four people, two of whom were
identified as plainclothes police officers.

114. General Regala issued a communique on November 25, 1987,
ordering the vigilance brigades to disband. He reminded the citizenry
that the Haitian Armed Forces had direct and exclusive responsibility for
maintaining order and that no group or association that attempted to set
itself up as a substitute to the Armed Forces would be tolerated. He
criticized the vigilance brigades for sowing confusion and thereby making
the task of the security forces more difficult. In conclusion, Gen.
Regala's communique called upon the population to remain calm and not to
undertake any action which might obstruct, rather than facilitate, keeping

115. On November 28, 1987, Gen. Regala suspended all firearm permits
issued to date except for those in the hands of the Haitian Armed Forces,
"to whom the law and the Constitution have entrusted the sacred mission of
ensuring the integrity of the national territory and the security of lives
and property", according to the communique issued.4

116. Having failed to receive governmental assistance to transport
the voting materials, the CEP rented two helicopters in Miami to assist in
the distribution of ballots to remote regions in Haiti. Gen. Regala
refused to grant flight permits to the CEP's helicopters citing security
reasons. In addition, despite an explicit request, the Army refused to
intervene when, for a second day, a group of approximately 15 armed men
blocked election vehicles at Freycineau, which was attempting to deliver
ballots to the northern region of Haiti. As a consequence the CEP was
forced to postpone the elections in five towns to which ballots had not
been delivered. The military government also refused to allow the CEP to
explain election procedures on the radio, in spite of the fact that it
allocated television time to the barred Duvalierist candidates who
continued their campaigns and used the television time to assail the CEP.


a. The Failure of the Army to Maintain Security

117. Despite the communique of CNG member Maj. Gen. Williams Regala
that keeping order is the "direct and exclusive" responsibility of the
Haitian Armed Forces, what were supposed to be the first free elections in
thirty years had to be called off because of the rampage of paramilitary
forces, who, according to the official toll, had killed 34 persons and
wounded 75, although unofficial reports were significantly higher.

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118. The Army failed to deploy any of its troops to ensure order, and
the process of the derailment of the elections began approximately at one
o'clock during the night of November 28-29, as bands of gunmen roamed the
streets by car, shooting at random, and setting fire to three precinct
electoral offices and a gas station. Reportedly, one giant blaze lit the
sky in Port-au-Prince for almost an hour.

119. That night, a hand grenade ripped open the facade of Radio
Haiti-Inter and a spray of bullets shattered the windows at Radio Antilles
International. According to witnesses, 16 men in army uniforms destroyed
the transmitter of Radio Soleil, the Roman Catholic radio station. Also,
the home of Rev. Alain Rocourt, the head of the Methodist Church in Haiti
and the CEP treasurer, was attacked by two jeep loads of soldiers who
tossed 7-9 hand grenades into the house and whose machinegun fire resulted
in 200 UZI shells being found the next morning around the house. The
attack began at approximately 3:30 in the morning and lasted approximately
20 minutes while members of the Rocourt family hid inside in terror.
Witnesses testified that they saw twenty to thirty uniformed soldiers, and
when the family attempted to phone for help they found that the phone was
dead, not from lines having been cut, but rather service had been cut off
by the telephone company, evidence that the attack had been well planned

120. Four churches were attacked, including the Cathedral, and in the
Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church several dozen people, who were
attending mass, were assaulted and beaten by gunmen. The Church courtyard
had been designated a polling place.

121. The shootings intensified after the polls opened at 6 a.m. Six
thousand polling stations were scheduled to accommodate 500 voters each.
At the Argentine School on the ruelle Vaillant in downtown Port-au-Prince,
about 100 voters were in line waiting to vote when they were attacked by a
mob of 50-60 men with rifles and machetes who, according to the New York
Times, "rushed the panicked voters" "hacking with machetes and firing guns
indiscriminately into the frenzied crowd".46 Fifteen people were killed
immediately. The voters fled into the school where several "were
dismembered with machetes or shot to death". The killers, according to
witnesses, moved from classroom to classroom, killing their victims. Many
were shot huddled together and others lay sprawled in pools of blood.

122. When journalists arrived they reported finding the courtyard
awash with blood and 10 mutilated bodies piled in a corner. According to
one journalist present, "a grey jeep carrying helmeted Army soldiers drove
up to the door and the troops opened fire again into the polling place

123. At another polling place, also in a school, Dominican cameraman
Carlos Grullon was shot in the abdomen at close range, reportedly by

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soldiers, and died a few hours later. His colleagues and other witnesses
testified that he stood with his hands raised, shouting that he was a
journalist. A uniformed soldier reportedly shot him three times. British
journalist Geoffrey Smith was shot in the leg and Swiss journalist Graba
Thuller was wounded in the back.

124. Also, reportedly "target of deliberate attack from gunmen, some
in Army uniform, was a U.S. television news team, three members of which
were seriously wounded - a Haitian, a Mexican and a Salvadoran - and while
they lay bleeding after being shot at point blank range, the gunmen
returned and stripped them of their valuables, including their camera
equipment, and shot the Haitian again".

125. It was reported that at least 34 persons were killed, although
the Roman Catholic Primate of St. Lucia, Archbishop Kelvin Felix, present
as an election observer, reported that the actual number might be as high
as 200.

126. Despite the violence, many people succeeded in voting before the
CEP called off the elections. Observers reported that the role of the
Army varied in different parts of the country: "in Jacmel soldiers
protected polling stations whereas in Port-au-Prince military units
passsively or actively sided with the killer squads and roads to the north
were blocked by military units, preventing delivery of ballot papers and
other election material." In Gonaives, Haiti's third largest city, almost
no one was permitted to make it to the polls: uniformed soldiers
reportedly drove through the streets shooting at residents and driving
them back into their homes.

127. On the day of the elections, CEP members, Ernst Mirville
(President), Rev. Alain Rocourt and Emmanuel Ambroise were forced into
hiding. Another member, Pierre Labissiere left the country. He has since
returned and is now head of the Haitian Bar Association. Mr. Mirville has
described members of the CEP as "walking dead men." The electoral council
blamed the violence on the government. The CEP postponed the
elections while thousands of Haitians were still waiting to vote. Their
message to the Haitian people was expressed in the following communique:

In spite of the determined will of the people of different
social classes who have overwhelmingly participated in the
presidential legislative elections scheduled for Sunday,
November 29, the CEP has decided to postpone the elections to a
later date applicable to the whole national territory. This
action is motivated by the numerous acts of disturbances of all
kinds perpetrated by criminals who visibly seem to be assured of
immunity. The CEP asks the public not to continue to expose
themselves to the barbarous Duvalierist acts and to remain
within their homes, all the while jealously guarding their

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election cards, which are the principal weapon in the fight for
democracy. The CEP emphasizes, to national as well as
international opinion, that it was unable to obtain from the
competent authorities the general security conditions demanded
and indispensable for honest and free elections to take place.
The CEP sympathizes with the wounded, and extends its
condolences to the relatives of the voters who were killed in a
cowardly manner.so

b. The Dissolution of the Provisional Electoral Council

128. Although the CEP had only postponed the elections as a result of
the rampage of violence, the CNG at 3 p.m. that same day dissolved the
independent Electoral Council accusing it of having set itself up as a
"supreme power" and inviting foreign powers to meddle "in the country's
domestic affairs". Lt. Gen. Namphy announced that the CNG would organize
another round of balloting and, as scheduled, would inaugurate a president
by February 7, 1988.

129. Hundreds of foreign journalists and representatives of
governments and civic and human rights group were in Haiti to observe the
elections. News of the election day massacre was broadcast and chronicled
around the world.

130. The members of the CEP refused to accept Lt. Gen. Namphy's order
to disband and from their clandestine redoubts the CEP members issued a
communique which called the Government's action "illegal" and
"unconstitutional" and stated that any election organized without them
would be "null and void". It was reported in the press that "a decree
calling for the dissolution of the Electoral Council was prepared at the
National Palace five days before the election".51

131. Rev. Sylvio Claude, one of the leading presidential candidates,
in a cable addressed to the OAS and to the UN dated December 2, 1987,
stated that he had obtained 90% of the votes cast during the two and a
half hours of the elections, before they were "brutally suspended by the
hideous carnage perpetrated by the CNG's arms against the Haitian
people."sz Rev. Claude called this a "usurpation" of his party's
victory and an attack on the nascent Haitian democracy:

Who profits from this crime against the Haitian nation?
The CNG, the Duvalierists, the criminals who are guaranteed
impunity by the CNG. Certain small groups of people, certain
candidates rejected by the Haitian people want the CNG, guilty
of criminal negligence, to reorganize the elections which failed
because of their bad faith. We know very well that in Haiti the
Armed Forces have too often falsified the election results in

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order to name the candidate or candidates of their choice. The
CNG had the radio stations blown up to impede the dissemination
of the news... even yesterday the Armed Forces troops in
vehicles of Henri Namphy and Williams Regala arrested and killed
peaceful citizens, men and children, at Portail Leogane,
Carrefour-Feuilles, Savanne-Pistache.

132. Rev. Claude, fearing a "provisional CNG for life" called upon
the international community to aid the Haitian people, "who are without
arms and who are menaced by their own Government." He called upon the
United Nations and the OAS to "exercise the greatest pressure on the CNG
in order that the three members of the CNG cede their positions to a new
National Governing Council, with all deliberate speed." In addition, he
called for "a multinational force to protect the Haitian people against
the CNG, and the Duvalierists and to guarantee free and fair elections in
Haiti, until the time the new government democratically elected by the
Haitian people, takes its oath of office."

133. Rev. Claude stated that "a neighbor who passes and sees a
father, without faith, an outlaw, deliberately killing his wife and
children, has the right to intervene to save the life of the human beings
in peril. The Haitian people intervened in the battle of Savannah in
order to aid the U.S. in its struggle for independence. Today all the
nations of the world, such as the U.S., France, Canada, together with
Israel, pursue the Nazi criminals for the crime of genocide. Haitians
fought on the side of Simon Bolivar for the liberation of Venezuela. Why
do the democratic nations fail to assist the Haitian people in ridding
themselves of the CNG and the Duvalierists?"

134. Lt. Gen. Namphy blamed the failure of the elections on the CEP,
charging that it had overextended itself, violated the Constitution and
invited foreign powers to interfere in internal Haitian affairs. This
reference to the meddling of foreign powers echoed Mr. Desinor's attack on
the CEP (supra para. 46). Most of the population, however, blamed the
Tontons Macoutes for the violence, and reportedly several well-known
macoutes had come out of hiding and were again walking around
Port-au-Prince in broad daylight. A Haitian journalist was quoted as
observing that "[T]he return of the Tontons Macoutes is total."

c. The Election-day Aftermath

135. In reaction to the election day massacre, the U.S. Government,
Haiti's largest aid donor, cancelled approximately 60 million dollars of
proposed economic aid for 1988 as well as a small amount of proposed
military aid. An additional 34 million dollars of economic assistance,
which is distributed by private voluntary organizations and
non-governmental organizations, was not affected since it is not channeled
through the Haitian government.

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136. Following the cancellation of the elections there were reports
of continued violent abductions by death squads in some areas of
Port-au-Prince. A woman from Carrefour Feuilles claimed that 46
prisoners, arrested in a sweep of her neighborhood, had been executed
while in detention. The 46 were suspected of having participated in the
self-defense vigilante groups.

137. On December 4, 1987 seven of Haiti's nine Catholic bishops
condemned as "atrocities" the violent crimes that led to the cancellation
of Haiti's elections. The Bishops stated that Haiti is "for the first
time" facing a campaign of "cleverly organized terror," and they accused
Namphy's forces of abetting the burning of polling stations and ballots.
They also rejected as "unjust" and "unconstitutional" the Government's
abolition of the Provisional Electoral Council.

138. The corpse of a Haitian whose skull had been shattered by
bullets was left on a sidewalk behind the Port-au-Prince Cathedral,
apparently as a warning to the Bishops.

139. Despite evidence that the Haitian army was involved in the
violence that forced the cancellation of the presidential elections, the
United States, Canada, the Organization of American States and CARICOM
looked to the Haitian military, the Government in power, to get the
elections back on track, and to take the necessary measures to ensure that
the electoral process would have credibility with the Haitian people.

140. In an interview given to the French newspaper Liberation, Lt.
Gen. Henri Namphy accused the CEP, the Church, and foreign countries for
the troubles Haiti experienced and justified the role of the Army.54
Lt. Gen. Namphy denounced the Catholic Church's monopoly of education
"which has rendered the Haitians "illiterate" and denounced the Church's
interest in politics when they should be spreading the gospel. "I am
Catholic," he stated, "but I no longer respect priests."

141. When asked about the foreign countries, without mentioning
names, Lt. Gen. Namphy stated that "the foreign countries financed the
CEP's elections and that the CEP would fool the Americans by having a
Leftist candidate win."

142. Regarding the killings at the Argentine School on the ruelle
Vaillant which had been imputed to the neo-Duvalierists, Lt. Gen. Namphy
replied that the CEP, the politicians, the Church and the vigilance
brigades all contributed to putting a part of the country on the shelf,
and when these people reacted everyone acted stunned and blamed the Army.
Echoing Rev. Sylvio Claude, Lt. Gen. Namphy asked: Who profits from the
crime? But replied that the Army did not get involved "because they
didn't even know who was shooting at whom."

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143. Lt. Gen. Namphy placed the blame for the failure of the
elections on its civilian organizers, whom the Army refused to protect
from attack, and he has excused the violence of November 29, 1987, as a
justifiable reaction to a Leftist or a Communist threat. No foreign
diplomats, including the Americans, reportedly shared the view that such a
threat existed.55

144. Mr. Philippe Jules, a member of the CEP, has responded to these
charges.56 He stated that:

I wish to formally deny the charges of those persons who
say that the CEP refused to collaborate with the authorities.
In a letter dated May 21 addressed to the CNG, the members
requested a meeting in order to discuss "the budget, the manner
of collaborating with the organs of the State and the available
electoral material." This gesture was repeated several times,
but it was necessary to await the appearance of the decree of
June 19th and the political crisis created by it, for the CNG to
invite the CEP to sit at a table.

After having obtained the derogation of the decree
following three days of negotiations and at the cost of the loss
of many lives (135 wounded, 21 dead) the CEP retired, pursuant
to the Constitution, in order to follow its mission colegially
and independently. The letters to the Ministers of the
Interior, Justice, Finance, National Education, the Armed Forces
and the CNG are a manifestation of the CEP's will to collaborate
as regards its constitutional prerogatives.

The allegations regarding the invitation to foreign
intervention in the affairs of the country are without basis,
given that the assistance of friendly governments to the
electoral process was channeled through the Haitian Government,
be it assistance from the OAS, Canada, the US, China, Venezuela
or France. As regards the journalists and observers invited to
cover the elections, these invitations were in conformity with
the international norms and conventions subscribed to by the
Haitian Government.

The dissolution of the CEP is only a new violation of our
fundamental charter. But the Haitian people must once again
bend beneath the yoke of force, of institutionalized terrorism
and arbitrariness. Can free, fair and democratic elections take
place without the disarming of the duvalierists, the macoutes,
certain high ranking retired officials who form the death squads
and sow terror and desolation under the cover of the olive green
uniform or disguised as cagoulards?"57

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d. The Meeting of the OAS Permanent Council on December 7, 1987

145. The Organization of American States tentatively scheduled an
emergency meeting of its Permanent Council for Friday, December 4, 1987,
to consider the recent events in Haiti but postponed this meeting, after
the Haitian Government offered to send Col. Herard Abraham, the Haitian
Foreign Minister, to Washington on Monday, December 7, 1987.

146. The Permanent Council met on December 7, 1987. Col. Herard
Abraham's speech before the Permanent Council placed the responsibility
for the election day tragedy on the CEP, and his speech set forth the
following criticism of the CEP:

1. that the CEP had "systematically and arbitrarily" excluded
certain candidates from the elections, thereby having
committed serious violations of the Constitution and the
electoral law which the CEP itself had drawn up;

2. the CEP had failed in the technical and material
organization of the elections - many polling stations had
not received their ballots or other required electoral

3. the decision of the CEP to declare partial elections was a
fragrant violation of the electoral law, furthermore
massive fraud was denounced in some areas;

4. the CEP placed in peril the unity and sovereignty of the
nation by its involvement with foreigners.

147. During the 1987 OAS General Assembly in Washington, D.C., Mr.
Reynold Leroy, the Charge d'Affairs of the Haitian Government before the
OAS, invited the OAS to send observers to the November 29 elections. Two
Colombian nationals were appointed by the OAS, Dr. Jaime Castro, a former
Minister of the Interior and Justice and Dr. Jos6 Antonio Gomez, a
parliamentarian. On the Thursday prior to the Sunday elections the
Haitian Government cancelled the arrangements stating that it was up to
the CEP to cover the expenses of their transportation, hotel and
security. The OAS, of course, has no relations with the CEP and the
travel arrangements had to be cancelled.

148. At the Permanent Council meeting on December 7th, Col. Abraham
announced that an independent Commission of Inquiry would be established
to investigate the acts of violence that had occurred on November 29, 1987.

149. The Permanent Council approved a resolution which reaffirmed the
OAS' longstanding principle of non-intervention and, notwithstanding the

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Army's complicity in the Election day violence, it called upon the CNG to
organize a new round of elections. Resolution No. 489 "Solidarity with
the People of Haiti" states in its operative part:

1. To deplore the acts of violence and disorder, and
especially the loss of life that has taken place in Haiti.

2. To express its conviction that it is necessary to resume
the democratic process, and to urge the National Council of
Government of Haiti to adopt all necessary measures so that
the people of Haiti may express their will through free
elections, without pressure or interference of any type.

3. To express its solidarity with the people of Haiti and to
reiterate its confidence that they will realize their
legitimate aspirations for peace, freedom, and democracy.

4. To reaffirm that states have the fundamental duty to
abstain from intervening, directly or indirectly, for any
reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any
other state, in accordance with Article 18 of the Charter.

5. To authorize the Secretary General, in accordance with the
terms of Resolution CP/RES. 441 (644/86), to provide to the
Haitian people the fullest possible assistance of a
humanitarian nature.

150. The military Government of Haiti, it should be noted, was in
accord with this Resolution.


a. The CNG's New Electoral Calendar

151. Following the December 7, 1987 OAS call on the Haitian military
to organize new elections, a nationwide 8-hour general strike was called
to protest the C.N.G's takeover of the electoral process and to demand
that the military government return control of the electoral process to
the constitutional CEP. In response, it was reported that truckloads of
Army troops patrolled the streets with automatic rifles during the
strike. Journalists noted that the high-profile military presence
contrasted sharply with the Election-day weekend when anti-election gunmen
were permitted to cruise through the streets shooting voters and
journalists with the few troops in sight ignoring or aiding the assaults.

152. On December 10, 1987, the CNG published the new political

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December 11, 1987 - new members of the CEP to be appointed;
December 12, 1987 - new CEP to be sworn in;
December 18, 1987 - new electoral decree to be published;
December 23, 1987 - decree calling the citizenry to elections;
January 17, 1988 - municipal, legislative and presidential
elections to be held;
February 1, 1988 - the members of the legislature are to take
February 7, 1988 - the president-elect will take his oath of

153. On December 11, 1987 the CNG announced the names of nine,
largely unknown, new members of the CEP in spite of the fact that seven of
the nine organizations, set forth in the Constitution, refused to
designate new members, thereby affirming and supporting the composition of
the existing CEP. The CNG, in open defiance of the Constitution, named
its own puppet Council.

154. The four leading presidential candidates, Marc Bazin, Gerard
Gourgue, Louis Dejoie II, and Sylvio Claude in a joint communique
announced that they would not participate in a new election conducted
under the auspices of the military government. The communique criticized
the continued unconstitutional actions of the military government in
publishing an electoral calendar even before the formation of a
Provisional Electoral Council. The four political parties called upon the
CNG to resign immediately and announced that they had began talks to come
up with an alternative government.

155. On December 12, 1987, the nine members of the new CEP were sworn
in. The original CEP members stated that they were being made scapegoats
for the failure of the elections and that their names had been put on a
death list. They were still in hiding or had fled the country. Mr. Louis
Dejoie II stated that there existed a death list circulating in Haiti with
152 names on it, including his own.s8

156. On December 17, 1987, the CNG promulgated the new Electoral Law
of the new CEP. The law bars independent observers from the polling
stations but not soldiers and permits the authorities to monitor every
voter's ballot.

157. The Electoral Law provides for penalties of up to two years in
prison and $200 in fines for anyone who urges people to abstain
"mistakenly" from voting. This measure clearly targeted the opposition
which was calling for a massive boycott of the January 17, 1988

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elections. The law also provides for fines of up to $200 and 25-day
prison sentences for "unjustified" challenges to a candidate's
qualifications. This measure appears designed to prevent challenges
against Duvalierist candidates. The new law also takes away the
"independence" of the CEP by making its decisions subject to judicial
review by the military government's hand-picked Supreme Court.

158. The Electoral Law requires further that candidates print and
distribute their own ballots, and on election day the voters present the
ballots to the president of the precinct house. He inspects the ballots
to ensure that only one slip for each office is presented, thereby
allowing election and government officials to monitor each voter's choice
before the voter is allowed to go into the polling booth to fold the

159. By mid-December the Armed Forces had arrested more than 50
Haitians suspected of participating in vigilance brigades that arose to
protect the elections against anti-election violence. No arrests had been
reported in connection with the massacres on Election day or the other
acts of violence which had been occurring during this period. The CNG's
Investigative Committee had not yet issued its report on the events of
November 29, 1987.

b. The Boycott of the United Opposition Parties

160. On December 17, 1987, the four leading presidential candidates,
who had united to form a Committee of Democratic Agreement (Comite
d'Entente Democratique, "CED") to boycott the CNG's January 17, 1988
elections, issued a joint statement declaring that the CNG no longer had
the moral or political authority to organize free elections. It termed
the November 29th decree dismissing the nine members of the CEP, an
attempt at a coup d'etat against the people's sovereignty. It charged
that the CNG's electoral calendar, which gives the date on which the
Electoral Law is to be published, constitutes an unconstitutional
interference with the CEP's autonomy.

161. The political parties charged that all the acts which took place
during November, including the massacre of voters at the polls, were
carried out by macoute assassins supported by a macoute sector of the
Army. The CNG has made no attempt to arrest the persons responsible for
the crimes despite the fact that their identity is known.

162. The political parties also charged that the CNG's guarantees of
November 25th and 27th regarding security for the elections falsely led
the people to believe that the Army would protect them. In fact, the
politicians claimed, the recruiting of former macoutes into key units of
the Armed Forces is a flagrant betrayal of the promises made by the CNG
and is of such a nature as to destroy the honor of the Haitian military,

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