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li3 5005 00755 1390 III llIlll 'F UNITED STATES JUDICIAL
awn ruuuL, rruRM ASSISTANCE IN HAITI
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 19, 2000
Serial No. 106-183
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http/www.house.gov/inteationaLrelations
Available via the World Wide Web: http'/www.house.gov/internationalirelations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 2001
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina
PAUL E. GILLMOR, Ohio
GEORGE RADANOVICH, California
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
PAT DANNER, Missouri
EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
BRAD SHERMAN, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
JIM DAVIS, Florida
EARL POMEROY, North Dakota
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
BARBARA LEE, California
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
GARON. Chief of Staff
KATHLEEN BERTELSEN MOAZED, Democratic Chief of Staff
CALEB McCARRY, Professional Staff Member
LIBERTY DUNN, Staff Associate
Jess T. Ford, Associate Director, International Relations and Trade Issues,
National Security and International Affairs Division, U.S. General Account-
ing O ffi ce ................................................ .........................................................
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress from New
York and Chairman, Committee on International Relations .....................
Jess T Ford ............................................... .........................................................
GAO ASSESSMENT OF UNITED STATES JUDI-
CIAL AND POLICE REFORM ASSISTANCE IN
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2000
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:09 a.m. in room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman
(Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Chairman GILMAN. The Committee will come to order.
This morning we will hear testimony from the General Account-
ing Office regarding the preliminary results of GAO's review of
United States assistance that we have been providing to Haiti's
On September 19, 1994, President Clinton ordered 20,000 Amer-
ican troops to go to Haiti to restore the democratically elected gov-
ernment of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. These men and
women from our armed forces were directed into harm's way to up-
hold the rule of law. The purpose of this hearing is to examine just
what Haiti's governmental leaders have done since 1994 to further
the rule of law with our assistance.
Between 1995 and 1999, our government has provided $97 mil-
lion in bilateral assistance to Haiti's justice system. Some $65 mil-
lion of that money was directed to training and equipping the Hai-
tian National Police.
Haiti's judicial system has been exceedingly weak and subject to
manipulation. Drug traffickers and persons implicated in political
killings have been enjoying impunity. Opponents of Haiti's current
government have, from time to time, been kept in jail despite judi-
cial orders for their release. Many more Haitians languish behind
bars waiting for trials that may never happen.
United States judicial reform in Haiti has foundered in a sea of
the Haitian Government's indifference. Haiti's leaders simply do
not have the political will to pursue meaningful judicial reform. Ap-
parently they prefer to manipulate the justice system and extract
wealth from their country's state owned monopolies.
The recent election process revealed how completely the Haitian
National Police has been politicized by the ruling Lavalas Family
party. In the run up to the May 21 elections, some 15 persons,
principally from opposition political parties, were murdered. Police
have made no progress in resolving those crimes.
Prior to and after the election, violent street demonstrations
were staged by the governing Lavalas Family party. On a number
of occasions, the police just stood by and failed to protect peaceful
opposition rallies from those pro-government vigilantes.
After the polls closed on election day, police officers were seen
carting away election returns. Immediately following the election,
a large number of opposition politicians were arbitrarily arrested
by the U.S. trained police.
Last year, the Lavalas Family party led protests seeking the
ouster of police director Pierre Denize and State Security Secretary
Robert Manuel. Mr. Manuel was forced to resign and fled Haiti in
October 1999. Subsequently, the HNP's Inspector General, Eucher
Joseph, was forced to quit his post.
Major narcotics traffickers have been operating freely in Haiti.
The Administration has now decertified Haiti with a waiver for 2
consecutive years. Drug corruption of Haitian officials is a serious
problem that needs to be dealt with directly and honestly.
In a rare bit of good news earlier this month, four police officers
implicated in a May 28, 1999 killing of 11 people in a Port-au-
Prince slum were convicted and sentenced to 3 years in prison.
This is an important precedent. Without an independent police In-
spector General and a justice system with integrity, however, this
judgment will likely stand as an isolated exception.
The creation of the Haitian National Police gave us all hope that
Haitians would be able to count on a professional, apolitical police
force to foster a climate of security that would allow the Haitian
economy to recover and to grow. Sadly, the initial work that was
done by the Administration to recruit and train a cadre of com-
petent police officers has been severely undermined.
The Haitian National Police has become a largely ineffective law
enforcement organization. Absent fundamental" changes to reverse
corruption and politization, no amount of United States assistance
is going to be able to restore credibility to the Haitian National Po-
At this time I would like to recognize the Ranking Minority
Member of our Committee, the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Clearly I think everybody who has been watching Haiti is dis-
appointed at the electoral process. The sad fact that our poorest
neighbors in this hemisphere have continued to suffer and be de-
prived of democratic opportunities, free and fair elections and a
better standard of living is something of great frustration.
I think that the Congress has not necessarily been the most help-
ful in forming a Haiti policy. Clearly the failures within Haiti are
the leading cause, but it is clear to me that America and other de-
mocracies in the hemisphere have to continue to make every effort
to establish a civil order, to establish a political process and an
economy that gives more Haitians an opportunity to participate.
So while all of us are frustrated by the continued lack of demo-
cratic progress in Haiti, I do think that Congress needs to play a
more positive role in trying to maintain a commitment to devel-
oping those things that we speak of so often.
You know, we spent a half a century with a large military force
in Germany to make sure that it was not overrun, and I think we
do not need a large military force and billions of dollars to try and
help Haiti, but we do have to have a sustained effort, and hopefully
we will see that in a bipartisan manner.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be very brief
because I am anxious to hear the testimony from these witnesses.
I think it is really important that we put events in Haiti in a his-
torical context. Some of what you stated in your opening remarks
I agree with, some of which I disagree with, but without the benefit
of a historical context I think we do a disservice to those that are
interested in this particular issue.
Prior to 1995, much of what occurred in Haiti was remarkable
in its degree of human rights violations, human rights abuses, and
the reality of an entire population being terrorized. While there is
much to criticize currently in Haiti, whatever is happening in Haiti
today is better than what it was in the 1980's and during the coup
years up to 1994. I think it is important for us to recognize that.
I share the frustration that has been articulated by many. I hap-
pened to be an observer during the elections that occurred on May
21. It was obvious to the observers during the course of that par-
ticular weekend that those elections were essentially valid and le-
It was clear that Fanmi Lavalas had in most districts a signifi-
cant plurality, but, true to Haiti's history, it is a zero-sum game,
unfortunately, when it comes to democracy, and all this interested
or shall I say objective observers criticized the tabulation of those
particular results. There is international unanimity when it comes
to the conclusion that the tabulation of the votes that were counted
in Haiti violated the Haitian electoral law.
I consider that one of the most significant tragedies in the his-
tory of Haiti because for one brief moment there was an oppor-
tunity to change Haitian history, to change the history of a people
that are the most impoverished in this hemisphere and among the
most impoverished in this world. Only if. Only if.
It was close, but victory was snatched away by an attitude, a
zero-sum game, the winner take all mentality that has character-
ized Haitian politics during the course of its 200 year history. How
sad. How sad. To use the football metaphor, we were in the red
zone. We were 2 yards from a touchdown which would have al-
lowed-which I am absolutely convinced would have led to an irref-
utable conclusion by the international community that this election
would have been fair, free, and sure there were some administra-
tive foul ups, but it was fundamentally a fair election.
I think that is truly sad, and unfortunately the leading figures
in Haiti today in terms of Haitian politics failed to exercise the
leadership that was so necessary. It could have happened, but let's
go forward, and I yield back.
I am just informed that the Chairman left, so we will be in recess
until the Chairman returns unless the gentlelady from California
has a statement.
We will be in recess until Chairman Gilman returns. I am told
it will be 2 minutes, so put on your stopwatch, and we will see how
accurate that is.
Chairman GILMAN. The Committee will resume. I regret the
delay. We had some floor business to take care of.
Mr. HILLIARD. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chair-
man, I am very interested in what our panel has to say today, but
I would like to echo what Congressman Delahunt has said about
the historical perspective.
I was elected in 1992 to the U.S. Congress, and at that time
Aristide had been disposed. I was one of those that took part in the
negotiations in trying to get Aristide back to Haiti, and I remember
some of the promises that were made by this country.
One of them that stands out in my mind was one that really
sealed the deal of Aristide returning to Haiti with the commitment
that he would not seek reelection the next term, and that the
United States, I forgot the exact amount of moneys in terms of mil-
lions, would pay that amount of money to rebuild roads and to hire
persons who at that time were unemployed and were a big factor
in the problems that Haiti was experiencing.
That money never came, so the economy was never revived.
Those workers were never employed, so during the final months of
Aristide's Administration the economy never received the injection
that it should have and that we had hoped for to get Haiti back
on the road. Of course, he did not seek reelection.
Since that time, there has been a great deal of problems with
trying to get funds to Haiti, commitments that have been made by
the United States, because of a couple Senators not allowing funds
or legislation to go forward dealing with Haiti.
Haiti has had many problems since then. Some of the problems
are of its own making, but I think that we failed Haiti and we
failed the Haitian people and we failed to seize upon an oppor-
tunity to export democracy to Haiti. No matter what is said by the
panel this morning, there is very little that the United States can
do to reconcile its failings of the past in relationship to not keeping
its commitment to Haiti.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, and I am interested in
hearing what the panelists have to say.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Hilliard.
Do any other Members seek-Ms. Lee.
Ms. LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I wanted to associate myself with Congressman Hilliard's re-
marks, and I also just want to add to that with regard to the judi-
cial reform. It has disappointed Congress and disappointed many
Haitians, but even with all of the difficulties with the elections,
United States withdrawal from the reform process and also the
United States withdrawal from Haiti, I do not think we are really
helping move forward.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this hearing. I look forward to lis-
tening to the panelists to determine really what is going on in
terms of the judicial reform process and what, if anything, we can
do to make it better.
Chairman GILMAN. I thank the gentlelady.
I just want to note that we received a press statement this morn-
ing that the Organization of American States announced yesterday
that it is going to facilitate a dialogue in Haiti among the country's
political forces and civil society. I think that is encouraging.
However, the full and transparent resolution of the actions that
have de-legitimized the May 21 elections is only part of what
should be on the agenda. A new credible and competent electoral
authority is truly needed. Among other steps, real action to reverse
corruption and politization of the Haitian National Police should be
at the top of the agenda.
Let us now proceed with our hearing. On April 8, a group of vio-
lent protesters, some of whom were reportedly returning from the
government organized funeral of slain journalist Jean Pierre
Dominique, ransacked and burned the headquarters of the Confed-
eration for Democratic Unity, KID, an opposition political party
that is led by former Port-au-Prince Mayor Evans Paul.
Opposition leaders, expecting trouble on the day of Mr.
Dominique's funeral, had implored the police chief to provide pro-
tection. When American Embassy officials learned of this attack,
they immediately telephoned the Director General of the Haitian
National Police and asked him to intervene and protect the opposi-
tion. Nevertheless, administration officials confirmed that although
the Haiti National Police were present, they did not move quickly
to intervene to stop this attack on the opposition headquarters
Before proceeding with our panel of witnesses, we will see the
videotape of that incident. Members of the Committee will be able
to see the gates of the opposition headquarters broken down by the
mob. The video shows the police standing idly by.
After the opposition headquarters was already in flames, the
video shows Haitian National Police in riot gear slowly approach-
ing, but not passing beyond the gates in front of the burning build-
ing. Finally, the video shows the police allowing persons running
away from the building to leave the scene of the crime.
I am going to ask Mr. Whittaker if he would display the video.
Chairman GILMAN. We will now proceed with our witness. Mr.
STATEMENT OF JESS T. FORD, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, INTER-
NATIONAL RELATIONS AND TRADE ISSUES, NATIONAL SECU-
RITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION, U.S. GEN-
ERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Mr. FORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Com-
mittee. I am pleased to be here today to discuss the preliminary
results of our review of the United States assistance provided to
the Haitian justice system. I am accompanied today by two of my
colleagues, Ms. Virginia Hughes and Mr. Juan Tapia-Videla, who
led our team in this particular evaluation.
In September 1994, the United States and other countries inter-
vened militarily into Haiti to restore the democratically elected
government that had been overthrown by the Haitian military in
September 1991. Before this intervention, the Haitian military con-
trolled the police and the judicial sector. Military and political cro-
nies dominated these institutions, and the military influenced the
appointments of magistrates and the decisions made by them.
These justice institutions were widely regarded as ineffective and
After the intervention of the United States stepping in to provide
assistance to the Haitian justice system, both the police and the ju-
dicial sector aimed at developing a professional civilian police force,
enhancing the effectiveness of the existing judicial organizations
and improving the Haitian people's access to justice.
This assistance also aimed at supporting a broad reform of the
judicial sector that the Haitian Government intended to pursue
over time. The objectives of this assistance program were con-
sistent with United States justice assistance objectives in other
Latin America countries.
As you know, United States assistance to the judicial sector was
suspended in July 2000 because the United States was not able to
negotiate an agreement with the Haitian Government for con-
tinuing this type of effort. As of September 2000, most of the
United States assistance to the Haitian police has stopped due to
congressional concerns about the events surrounding the May 2000
Haitian parliamentary and local elections.
The U.S. Department of State is currently reassessing several as-
pects of the United States relationship with Haiti based on con-
cerns about how votes were counted in the Haitian May 2000 par-
My statement today is based on work we are currently con-
ducting for this Committee and for the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee. First, I will discuss the results of the United States as-
sistance that has been provided to the Haitian police and the judi-
cial sector and some of the major problems that continue to affect
these justice institutions. Second, I will discuss the primary factors
that have affected the success of this assistance.
Our work is based on meetings with officials with the U.S. De-
partments of State and Justice, the U.S. Agency for International
Development, U.S. Coast Guard and other U.S. agencies. To exam-
ine the results of this assistance, in June 2000 we sent a team into
Haiti to observe firsthand the conditions on the ground and to meet
with government officials, donor officials and others about the situ-
ation in Haiti. We also performed an extensive review of program
documentation over the last 5 years of this effort. We expect to
issue our report sometime in October 2000.
Over the past 6 fiscal years, the United States has provided
about $97 million in assistance to help Haiti establish its first civil-
ian controlled police force and improve aspects of the judicial sec-
tor. About $70 million of the assistance helped Haiti recruit, train,
organize and equip a basic police force, including specialized units
such as an anti-narcotics unit, a special investigation unit and the
Haitian Coast Guard.
During the same period, the United States provided approxi-
mately $27 million in assistance that led to improvements in the
training of magistrates and prosecutors, the management practices
of judicial institutions and access to the Haitian people to the jus-
tice systems. However, despite these achievements, the police force
has not effectively carried out its basic law enforcement respon-
sibilities, and recent events suggest that politization has com-
promised the force according to U.S. and other donor officials.
The judicial sector has also had serious weaknesses, according to
these officials. The sector has not undergone major reform and as
a result lacks independence from the executive branch and has out-
dated legal codes and cumbersome judicial procedures.
Furthermore, the judicial institutions have personnel shortages,
inadequate infrastructure and equipment, vehicles, legal texts and
other types of supplies. They have an ineffective internal oversight
organization that is unable to stem corruption. Overall, these insti-
tutions provide justice services to only a small segment of the popu-
lation because the institutions rely heavily in judicial proceedings
on the use of French, rather than Creole, which is the majority lan-
guage of the population.
A key factor affecting the lack of success of United States assist-
ance has been the Haitian Government's lack of commitment to ad-
dressing the major problems of its police and judicial institutions.
United States assistance to the police has been impeded because
the Haitian Government has not acted to strengthen the police or-
ganization by filling the current vacancy of the Inspector General,
by providing human and physical resources needed to develop an
effective police force, by supporting vigorously police investigations
of serious crimes and to keep the police force out of politics.
United States assistance to the judicial sector has been largely
undercut because the Haitian Government has not followed
through with many of the broad reforms that are needed, has not
assumed responsibility for adopting many of these improvements,
and has not provided the physical and human resources needed to
This concludes my opening statement. I would be happy to an-
swer any questions you may have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ford appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BALLENGER [presiding]. Excuse me. Do you have any addi-
Mr. FORD. That was a summary of my statement.
Mr. BALLENGER. I wonder if a copy was available.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Well, Mr. Chairman, out of respect for yourself
I will defer to the Chair to go first.
Mr. BALLENGER. Well, having come in late to the discussion, the
one question that comes to my mind is are we still committing
money to the operation, this assistance in Haiti? Do we still give
them financial assistance on these matters?
Mr. FORD. My understanding is we are still providing some form
of assistance primarily to the Haitian Coast Guard. The DEA still
has a presence there and is working with the Haitians, but most
of the police assistance and the judicial assistance has been
Mr. BALLENGER. Did you say DEA?
Mr. FORD. Yes. The DEA works on counter narcotics activities,
and they do work with the Haitian counterparts and also with the
Haitian Coast Guard.
Mr. BALLENGER. From what we hear, though, it is not terribly ef-
fective; at least the amount of drugs that seem to be coming
through Haiti are rather substantial amounts, but to your
Mr. FORD. Yes. According to the State Department's most recent
report on drug trafficking activities in Haiti, they indicated there
has been I believe for 1999 the report had a 24 percent increase
in drug trafficking activities in Haiti.
Our conversations at the Embassy clearly indicated that nar-
cotics trafficking is a major problem in Haiti today, and there is a
concern on both the government's part and our Embassy about
where we may be headed in terms of narcotics problems in Haiti.
Mr. BALLENGER. Could you tell me what steps other donors such
as Canada, who we sometimes disagree with, are taking with re-
gard to the assistance of the Haitian National Police and the Haiti
Mr. FORD. Yes. Canada has also been a major donor to the Hai-
tian police over the last 5 years. They have worked in concert with
our agency in terms of developing programs there.
Our understanding is that they also have some concerns regard-
ing the commitment of the Haitian Government to enhancing their
police. We understand that they have an agreement with the Hai-
tians to continue the police academy, which we had been helping
to fund for the last 5 years. We understand that the Canadians
have reached an agreement with the Haitians to maintain the po-
lice academy, so that is a positive sign.
With regard to the other donors, I believe the French have a
small effort in the judicial sector, and UNDP has also supported
some judicial reform activity in Haiti.
Mr. BALLENGER. Does the GAO have any recommendations stem-
ming from this review that you can share with us?
Mr. FORD. We are currently in the process of finalizing our re-
port. We currently believe that, if the U.S. Government determines
that it wants to reinvigorate our program in Haiti with regard to
either the police and/or the judiciary, there ought to be more strict
conditionality applied in terms of the agreement.
We have seen in work we have done in other countries in Latin
America over the years on rule of law activities that unless you
have the political will of the government, it is very difficult to have
any kind of real meaningful major reform with either the police
and/or the judiciary.
Certainly our programs in El Salvador have been generally suc-
cessful because the government there has made a conscious effort
to support the police and to make some judicial reforms.
We are currently thinking in terms of perhaps suggesting that,
if we are going to continue there, we need to have more strict con-
ditions apply to our assistance so that we have an active partner-
ship with the Haitian Government.
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Delahunt.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You know, you refer to this lack of political will, the lack of com-
mitment. I think it is important at least for me to understand the
intent of or the import rather of that particular phrase.
Do you mean that it is a resistance to change or simply inaction
in terms of the necessary changes in the law of a commitment of
resources, because I think that is very important to understand.
Mr. FORD. Yes. Let me see if I can help you out with that. First
of all, as you acknowledged in your opening statement, Haiti is the
poorest country in the western hemisphere. They do have limited
financial resources that they can invoke to many things on the is-
land, including support for police and judicial reform, so we recog-
nize that, and we believe that context needs to be-will be included
in our report.
We also think that the Haitians in some respects have back-
tracked on some initiatives that we think are important and that
we think are a sign that maybe they have not been fully committed
to the effort.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Such as?
Mr. FORD. A fine example would be the Inspector General's of-
fice. The Inspector General that had been there up until May be-
fore he left the country had been involved in investigations which
resulted in 1,100 police officers being released from the force.
There has been no replacement made for the Inspector General,
according to the Embassy officials we talked to on our trip down
there. There are no active investigations underway currently on the
island, so that is a sign to us that perhaps some of the political
commitment that we would like to see on the part of the govern-
ment just is not there at this point in time.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I would just point out again that Haiti is a na-
tion that needs everything simultaneously. I think it is very impor-
tant for the American people to understand that, and from May
until September hopefully that appointment would have been
made, but I would suggest that it is not egregious.
I was disappointed in the fact that Mr. Josef made a decision to
leave as I had confidence in his integrity, and I think, as you indi-
cate, his record speaks for itself. At the same time, I think we have
a certain responsibility to acknowledge, too, that it was the U.S.
Congress that put a hold on so-called MICIUIH funding, which
would have allowed monitoring of exactly the kind of abuses and
allegations that Mr. Josef and the Inspector General's office was re-
Would you agree with that statement? Are you aware of the hold
on the MICIUIH funding?
Mr. FORD. I guess we are not familiar with that specific hold, but
let me comment on a couple of other things. That was one example.
I think there are other examples where the Haitian Government
just has not stepped to the plate in certain areas.
In the area of judicial reform, there has been no movement to
changing their legal codes, and they are still operating with-
Mr. DELAHUNT. Let me interrupt you again, Mr. Ford.
Mr. FORD. Sure.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Again, I do not want to appear to be an apologist
for the Haitian Government because that is not my perspective, but
at the same time you said you are unaware of the hold on the
MICIUIH. Well, I would suggest that it is very important that
GAO put that into its report and to understand that context.
At the same time, the lack of a parliament certainly creates, I
would suggest, an overwhelming impediment to the passage of leg-
islation that we are discussing about that you are indicating is nec-
essary to effect the kind of judicial reform that I think we would
Again, the linchpin of that was the elections that occurred in
May and subsequently in July, and obviously there is a Presi-
dential election, so again I think it is important to put it in that
particular context, but again I have read your preliminary report,
and you refer constantly in there, and I think accurately so, to lack
I also think it is important to understand that we often hear in
Congress the amount of billions-I think it is $2.5 billion-that the
United States has expended in terms of Haiti. I think it is impor-
tant to stress that that $2 billion most of it, was allocated to the
invasion, if you will, of some 20,000 American troops back in 1994
to restore democracy and also the processing of refugees in
Guantanemo so that they could return to their homeland without
fear of being assassinated and murdered and oppressed by the gov-
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Delahunt, I do not know how strict they run
the rules here, but the red light is on.
Mr. DELAHUNT. They are very loose.
Mr. BALLENGER. OK. You can have a little more time then.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I figured because you are such a dear friend, I
figured I could take advantage of you.
In terms of again let me get back to the political level. In your
conversations with DEA, in your conversations with the U.S. Coast
Guard, what have they prescribed to you in terms of their relation-
ships with law enforcement officials relevant to drug investiga-
Do they describe it as a failure to cooperate or simply the fact
that the Haitian National Police and the Haitian Coast Guard are
totally undermanned, totally lack the necessary resources and give
and confer upon the DEA and the Coast Guard wide latitude in our
own efforts to interdict drugs and to deal with the issue of Haiti
and drug trafficking?
Mr. FORD. Well, I can tell you that based on our conversations
with DEA and the law enforcement establishment at the Embassy
that that is one of the positive areas in Haiti; that in fact they do
have a very good relationship with the Haitian Coast Guard. The
problem is they do not have the assets and the resources.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Right. Well, this is the point I am trying to
make, Mr. Ford. In your conversations with the DEA, what do they
describe as the albeit somewhat primitive and close to futile efforts
of the Haitian National Police, the so-called anti-narcotics squad?
It is understaffed. It is undermanned, but it is trying. Is that a fair
I do not want to put words in your mouth, but I know that I have
spoken in Port-au-Prince to our DEA, and that is the information
they give to me.
Mr. FORD. No. I do not disagree with that. They told us that, you
know, they generally have good cooperation with those units, but
they are undermanned. They do not have equipment. They cannot
get out to where the problem is and so their effectiveness is lim-
Mr. DELAHUNT. They do not even in some cases, you know, have
Mr. FORD. Right.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I mean, that is the reality of Haiti. Is there much
to criticize? Yes, but does it translate into what you described as
political will by just simply a total lack of resources and ineptitude
and, unfortunately, elections that did not resolve, at least to the
satisfaction of the international community, many of the issues sur-
rounding democratic institutions in Haiti?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your indulgence.
Mr. BALLENGER. Yes, sir.
Mr. COOKSEY. You are welcome. I will not say you were en-
croaching on my time since you are a good friend.
Mr. Ford, I assume since you are from GAO you are an account-
Mr. FORD. Not by background. I am not an accountant, no.
Mr. COOKSEY. What are you by background and education?
Mr. FORD. My expertise is in the area of international affairs.
Mr. COOKSEY. So you went to college and got a degree in inter-
Mr. FORD. That is right.
Mr. COOKSEY. OK. I was going to ask you some accounting ques-
tions, but I will not. I will ask you some international issues ques-
tions. I will ask you some international issues questions.
The issue here is rule of law, if I am not mistaken, and I am not
a lawyer. In my review of geography, my memory of geography, the
island there is called Hispaniola. Is that not correct?
Mr. FORD. That is correct.
Mr. COOKSEY. And part of that island is Haiti, and the other part
of the island is the Dominican Republic? Is that correct?
Mr. FORD. That is correct.
Mr. COOKSEY. Where do you have the best rule of law, the most
effective rules of law, in Haiti or the Dominican Republic? I know
it is not very good in either place, but which is better? Which is
better of the two?
Mr. FORD. You know, we did not do an assessment on that par-
ticular assignment. However, I will-
Mr. COOKSEY. I can tell you are a politician.
Mr. FORD [continuing]. Tell you that based on work we have done
in the past I would say the Dominican Republic has generally a
Mr. COOKSEY. It is my understanding that they at least deliver
services to the people, electricity, water and so forth. Haiti has
electricity a couple hours a day. What is the explanation for that?
Do you have any, since you have a background in international re-
Mr. FORD. Well, OK. I am not an expert on either of these, but
let me tell you what I know a little bit about. Haiti has not had
a democratic form of government for 200 years prior to I guess you
could say 1991, and then we had to invade there to put President
Aristide back in power, so they do not have a tradition of democ-
racy there. The Dominican Republic does not have much of a tradi-
tion of democracy either.
Different cultures. You know, Haiti, the vast majority of the pop-
ulation speak Creole. You know, the upper class speaks French,
and they do not have a Hispanic society as in the Dominican Re-
public, so you have the different culture, different mind set there.
Both of these countries are developing countries. Both of them
have major problems economically. They have major problems with
poverty. We have aid programs, have developed aid programs in
both countries, or we had up until recently in Haiti at least on the
justice side. You know, they both have some similar characteristics.
Mr. COOKSEY. Have you put an equal amount of money in both
places? Not you and me, but the taxpayers.
Mr. FORD. I do not have the dollar amount for Dominican Repub-
Mr. COOKSEY. Let me go back and review a little bit more geog-
raphy. The Virgin Islands. If my memory is correct, there is an
American Virgin Islands and a British Virgin Islands. Where do
you have the best rule of law there, the British Virgin Islands or
American Virgin Islands?
Mr. FORD. I really cannot answer that. I mean, I know that the
Mr. COOKSEY. Would my friend, Mr. Delahunt, who is an attor-
ney, like to answer that? Who has the best rule of law? What I am
driving at is where is there rule of law and where does it work and
why does it work?
In the BVI, for example, there was a hurricane that went
through there a few years ago. In the American Virgin Islands
there was total chaos. There were people that were down there that
were on vacation, and they were worried about their survival be-
cause there was total chaos in the streets. Where is there the bet-
ter rule of law and why?
He is afraid to answer. He is walking away.
Mr. FORD. I am not in a position to answer that. I can tell you
that the U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. territory and is subject to
U.S. laws with some exceptions, so they are under our system.
I am not familiar with the British Virgin Islands in terms of
what type of system they have.
Mr. COOKSEY. I have been to both places and, you know, things
were fine when I was in both places.
Well, my concern is about the man and woman on the street. As
a physician, and I am not an accountant either, I was trained to
take care, and just as I grew up in my household my parents be-
lieved we should take care of the weakest members of our society.
But in some of these societies the weakest members are the ones
that suffer the most, and the strongest are the politicians, and they
end up using and abusing the system. They use and abuse the peo-
That is true in this country. It is true in the American Virgin Is-
lands and, unfortunately, I am afraid it is true in Haiti, so what
do we do and how do we find a better solution?
I was in Sierra Leone in July. You do not really have time for
me to tell you what I found there. It is the same situation. Inciden-
tally, I met with some of the children there that have committed
murders. I mean, one guy, a 15-year-old, admitted killing 85 peo-
ple. He was a former member of the RUF, and he switched over.
These are kids that are-of course, I am 6'3", and they are about
5'3", but they speak Creole, too, so I am looking for the common
What is the common thread where there is security, where there
is rule of law, and what is the common thread where there is no
security and where there is no rule of law, and how do we use
American taxpayers' dollars to help the weakest members of society
because I do not really care or give a you know what about the po-
litical leaders, and apparently there is some bad political leaders
in all these places.
Do you want to comment on that, or do you disagree? Do you
have a diplomatic international relations response?
Mr. FORD. I certainly would agree with you, sir.
Mr. COOKSEY. It is more fun when you disagree with me.
Mr. FORD. I think that creating a westernized style of justice in
developing countries is an extremely difficult task. It takes years
As I have pointed out earlier in my statement, we have done
some work in some other countries where we have been more suc-
cessful. In our view, we were more successful because there would
seem to be more commitment on the part of the government to sup-
port the effort.
That seems to be a common thread in what we have seen and
what we have done in the past, but it takes years of effort, and
there has to be a commitment to provide that form of justice, par-
ticularly for the mass of the population. They have to feel like their
government will treat them with some form of protection and re-
spect and welfare. If they do not have that, then you do not have
rule of law.
Mr. COOKSEY. My closing comment, Mr. Chairman, is that in all
these places I go and visit I find that the man and woman on the
street generally are kind, gentle, sensitive people that want to put
a roof over their children's head, their family's head, educate their
children, feed and provide for their children.
The problem is bullies, and there are bullies in every one of these
areas that I have talked about. If there is one thing that I hate it
is bullies. I do not care whether they are in Burma or Haiti or the
American Virgin Islands or Sierra Leone or the Congo.
If we are going to start doing something, if we are truly inter-
ested in human rights and truly interested in helping the weakest
members of society, why do we not have the courage as a country
to go in and just take out the bullies with whatever we have to do,
but take out the bullies because they are the ones that are creating
the problems. They are the ones that are killing people, maiming
people, using and abusing them.
Mr. BALLENGER. Ms. Lee. Sorry to keep you waiting.
Ms. LEE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to go back to the video that we saw earlier and just
ask a question with regard to what is your assessment or our gov-
ernment's assessment of why the riot control police did not step in?
What is our analysis of that? Was it they did not want to? They
did not want to use excessive force? They just wanted to see the
destruction occur? Is there an official kind of position on that?
Mr. FORD. I really do not know the answer to that. I can tell you
that one of the things we were told when we were down in Haiti
was that command and control of the police from the-it is a highly
centralized command and control structure and that the police in
the field generally are reacting to problems. They do not normally
do anything unless they are directed by some higher authority to
Now, I do not know in this particular case what the situation is.
We were not privy to what exactly transpired in terms of who de-
cided what they would do. Our understanding is that that was ba-
sically the riot control police, and we do not know what direction
they had at that time.
Ms. LEE. So this was actually the first time you had seen the
Mr. FORD. No. I had seen that video before.
Ms. LEE. Had you?
Mr. FORD. Yes.
Ms. LEE. Let me just ask you just a general question with regard
to the Haitian people. Are they becoming more central? More des-
perate? What has been their response to the current state of af-
fairs, and then what do you see as the ramifications of the total
withdrawal of United States support from Haiti?
Mr. FORD. Again, I can give you some anecdotal responses. I can
say that our team that went to Haiti met with a number of Haitian
officials who are magistrates, judges working at medium to lower
levels of the bureaucracy over there and that many of them had a
deep concern about what was happening in Haiti and that many
of them wanted to do their job, but they felt for a variety of rea-
sons, in some cases threats to their lives, in some cases lack of re-
sources. They just were not able to really do what they thought
they could do to help the country.
Now, that is anecdotal. Whether that represents everybody in
Haiti I cannot really comment on. There have been some polls
taken that we have seen in our research that showed that the Hai-
tian population in general does not have a high regard say for the
police force in general, but there is a clear sense at least from the
people we talked to who were actually on the ground working there
that they want to do it.
They want to do what they were trained to do, but they either
do not have the resources, or they operate under constraints that
do not always exist in this country.
Ms. LEE. So complete U.S. withdrawal of support means fewer
Mr. FORD. Well, currently as I mentioned earlier, we do not have
an active program with the exception of some support we are pro-
viding to the Coast Guard, so we do not have an active program
What is going to happen with the efforts that we paid for earlier
in terms of whether they will be sustained, there are some signs
that they are lost, particularly on the judicial side. There are some
positive things we saw; the magistrate school. Apparently the Hai-
tian Government is still supporting that, although at a lower level.
The police academy. The Canadians are supporting some of that
program, but everything else that we paid for, who knows whether
it will be sustained.
At this point it is not clear whether or not those institutions and
those things we paid for in the past will still be there say a year
Ms. LEE. So do we then have any concern for the sustainment
of these institutions and for some of these reforms to be-
Mr. FORD. Absolutely.
Ms. LEE [continuing]. Institutionalized, and then how do we en-
sure that if we are withdrawing it or if we have withdrawn it?
Mr. FORD. Well, I think again from where we sit, our view is that
when we decide-if we decide to continue or develop a new pro-
gram, we need to have more of a partnership with the Haitian Gov-
ernment to make sure that whatever we end up paying for, that
investment is not lost. I think that that is the critical point.
We are not in a position to say whether or not we ought to have
a new program there or not, but certainly if we do have one we
think that we ought to have a partnership that makes sure that
the investment pays off and is not lost.
Ms. LEE. Well, in many areas of the world we do have those kind
of partnerships, and I do not know why we did not insist on that
with Haiti. Is there a reason, or is there just-
Mr. FORD. I cannot speak for the Administration. I mean, you
will have to ask them that. There is certainly a concern-there is
no doubt about that-that we need to do something in Haiti.
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Houghton.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, ladies
and gentlemen, for being here, Mr. Ford, Ms. Hughes and Mr.
Mr. Ford, all the questions have gone to you. Maybe you want
to try to answer this, or maybe you would like to pass it on. You
know there are certain issues here. One that is probably the most
important is the attitude of the Haitian Government. The second,
obviously, is the effect of the police, and the third is in terms of
the judicial system itself.
I see on the next to the last page here in this Appendix No. 1
on page 12, the aid to administration of the justice program went
from 1993 to 2000, and out of a total of $93 million that $11 mil-
lion or actually let's say roughly $14 million was given to the
former administration, the one called Chechi. What did Chechi ac-
It seems to me in reading over the information that a lot of this
was directed toward the judicial system, and only $11 million out
of this $93 million, or actually you can take a look at the figures
on page 65, was devoted to them. What did they do?
Mr. FORD. In the case of the Chechi program, which operated I
believe from 1996 to 1999, you can almost tell what they did by
reading the captions, but they implemented-
Mr. HOUGHTON. No. I see that.
Mr. FORD [continuing]. A case registration system.
Mr. HOUGHTON. And anybody can read that.
Mr. FORD. Right.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Case registering and-
Mr. FORD. Right.
Mr. HOUGHTON [continuing]. Case monitoring. I mean, what did
Mr. FORD. OK. What they basically did was they tried to get the
judicial system in Haiti, and there are four tiers of it to help them
to develop the basic tools for a justice system where you could
track, for example, its prisoners to make sure that you know where
they are. They monitor what they are doing.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Did they put that in place?
Mr. FORD. Yes, they did.
Mr. HOUGHTON. So all those things they did in terms of edu-
cation, case registering, entering other technical equipment sys-
tems, have been done?
Mr. FORD. Yes.
Mr. HOUGHTON. I see. Did they have a sign off report at the end?
Did they say, you know, you asked us to do this; it has cost us
$11.5 million, here is what we think ought to be done?
Mr. FORD. After this program was over, and this program was
funded by the Department of Justice, they wanted to continue the
Our understanding is that last summer negotiations were under-
way between our government and the Haitian Government to ex-
tend this effort so that the effort would be sustained. What we
were told was that they could not reach agreement on how to move
forward, and as a result of that-
Mr. HOUGHTON. Is it because of conditions down there or negotia-
tions with our funding agencies?
Mr. FORD. I believe it was negotiations with our people and the
Haitian Government and the Minister of Justice.
Mr. HOUGHTON. So that the people down in- Haiti did not want
them to come in and do the things they were suggesting to do?
Mr. FORD. We understand that there were differences in views
about what the direction of the program should be.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Well, you know, this gets to the core question-
you are damned if you do, you are damned if you do not. You are
damned if you pull out. You are damned if you stay.
Of course, the overall umbrella issue is really the attitude of the
Haitian Government. Even if you essentially came back and spe-
cific things, in terms of case registering and court management,
were approved, why would you want to spend more money on this?
Granted, it is needed, but if the attitude of the government is such
that it is the back of your hand.
Mr. FORD. Well, I think that is a fair question. That is our point.
Our point is you need to have an active partner that is going to
sustain the effort, and I think that is what we need to see with re-
gard to any type of program.
Mr. HOUGHTON. So all these things, whether it is police manage-
ment, whether it is training, whether it is the corruption, whether
it is the specifics in terms of the legal program, it all depends upon
the governmental support.
Now, did you make any suggestions in your overview of what we
ought to do in terms of that overall broader issue?
Mr. FORD. Our primary suggestion really is going to be geared
toward establishing a more specific quid pro quo for the type of aid
that we provide. That is basically where we are going.
Mr. HOUGHTON. So if that condition exists and this is not some-
thing you want to get into, if you had your druthers, if you had the
money, would you still go ahead and do some of these things?
Mr. FORD. I think these things are-I think that there is no
doubt in our minds and on the part of the people at the Embassy
that all of these are useful things that ought to be done in Haiti.
I do not think there is any disagreement about whether these
things were beneficial to society there. They would be, but they
need to be maintained and sustained.
Mr. HOUGHTON. So you would go ahead and make sure the proce-
dures from the judicial standpoint were there, that the language
has now been translated to Creole and all those things? You think
that it is still building the base so when the attitude of the govern-
ment changes you will have something to work on? Is that right?
Mr. FORD. I think you have to have-when you say the attitude
of the government, I think you need to have a commitment on the
part of the government's part to support it. If you have that com-
mitment, we can make progress.
Mr. HOUGHTON. How do you explain that to the American peo-
ple? I mean, these are huge dollars. You know, that is a lot of
money. How do you explain that?
Mr. FORD. Well, again, we began these programs. In the first 2
or 3 years the government of Haiti supported the effort, and then
for reasons that are not known to me anyway that level of commit-
ment seems to have dissipated to some extent, so I think, we have
to have an agreement with the government that they are going to
support the efforts.
They did in the beginning, and there was a lot of success. We
trained 6,500 police officers. There were a lot of things that we did
that were useful, but they need to be sustained. The government
has to support them.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Can I just ask one final question, and then I will
Mr. COOKSEY [presiding]. Sure. You can have-
Mr. HOUGHTON. No, no, no. I just want to ask-
Mr. COOKSEY. OK.
Mr. HOUGHTON [continuing]. One more question.
Mr. COOKSEY. We always defer to those of you from the north-
Mr. HOUGHTON. If you were to ask the Canadians, for example,
what are we going to do, what are we going to do together, would
their answer be your answer, or would there be a difference?
Mr. FORD. We talked to the Canadians, and my personal view is
I think they would agree with what we have had to say here. They
want their investment, their assistance, to be effective just like we
do, and I believe that they also feel that there has to be some com-
mitment on the part of the government for their programs to work.
They were in a partnership with us in terms of helping to de-
velop the police, so we had similar ambitions in terms of what we
wanted to achieve.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. COOKSEY. Thank you.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much. I am sorry that I was
not here to listen to your testimony. I was looking through the
As you know, because I am from South Florida what happens in
Haiti has an immediate and profound effect on all of us in our com-
munities, so the reforms and the democracy and the infrastructure
and all the positive changes that we all want to make in Haiti have
a really almost domestic concerns for us in South Florida.
How optimistic are you, based on your GAO assessment of the
assistance that has already gone into Haiti for judicial and police
reform, that things can get turned around; that the funds will be
used in a better way; and that with all of the changes taking place
in Haiti now that they have turned the corner and are on the right
route, because what we hear are nothing but negative news about
the latest developments?
How optimistic or pessimistic are you that our U.S. dollars that
we have funneled over there will have laid the proper groundwork
for a true democracy and true reforms to take place on that trou-
Mr. FORD. Well, all I can do is mirror what we were told by our
U.S. officials down there. There is a deep concern about the direc-
tion of Haiti in terms of the government.
I think you have a Presidential election coming up. Until the po-
litical situation in Haiti is sorted out, it is difficult to determine
where we go from here. I think that is the view of the Administra-
tion at this point.
I think there is a deep concern on everyone's part. I think that
at least the people we have talked to want Haiti to succeed. They
want there to be progress there, but right now everything is kind
of up in the air, frankly.
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Anyone else want to speak to that?
Mr. COOKSEY. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen?
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Cooksey.
Mr. COOKSEY. Can I ask you a question? If my memory is correct,
have we not had some testimony that there is a listening station
in Cuba that can listen to all the conversations in the southeast
United States and maybe a lot of the United States, say our tele-
phone calls, our military transmissions? Is that correct?
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Yes. It is targeted to the United States, and
it deals with mostly economic and military espionage. It is in
Louvdes, Cuba, and there is a minor one more close by as well. It
is a Russian intelligence facility, one of the most sophisticated lis-
tening stations in the world.
Mr. COOKSEY. OK. My question to you then is if there is an enti-
ty like that that listens to our radio transmissions and telephone
transmissions and your telephone transmissions, should there not
be a comparable source of information, and we may not get it from
the Cubans, but I bet there is someone in our government that
could be listed as indeed listening to the phone conversations and
the transmission of the people in Haiti. Would you think that is a
safe assumption, Mr. Ford?
Mr. FORD. I really cannot comment on that, sir. I do not have the
expertise on that question.
Mr. COOKSEY. Well, let's just assume there is. OK. Next question.
If there is a way to listen to what is going on in the Aristide gov-
ernment, the Lavalas Family party, and we learn that some of the
people in that government, in that party that only has one can-
didate for president this November, is involved with the drug trade
should we have some additional concerns in the United States
about how effectively our money is being spent down there, or
should we just ignore it? Should we blow it off? That is an easy
Mr. FORD. Well, yes. If we have evidence that there is something
of that nature going on, obviously we need to take action against
it, but, you know, I do not know anything about that.
Mr. COOKSEY. OK. Do you think that we were justified in taking
Noriega out in Panama when we had evidence that he was involved
in the drug trade?
Mr. FORD. Well, GAO does not have a view on that, sir. I can tell
you that, you know, if we did.
Mr. COOKSEY. You were probably a student in international rela-
tions when that occurred.
Mr. FORD. I have my own views on that, sir, but they do not rep-
resent necessarily GAO's views so it probably would be better for
me not to answer that.
Mr. COOKSEY. Well, the question I am driving at is if we have
intelligence that indicates that people in this government have a
reason, more reason, to hold onto the reins of government other
than just oppressing their people, other than just raping and pil-
laging that country, other than taking our tax dollars and probably
not using them very effectively, the other reason can be that they
are involved in the drug trade.
Would that be reason for us to take action or for the GAO to take
action? Do you think the GAO would have a recommendation or
opinion on that?
Mr. FORD. Well, I think that specific instance I believe is already
covered by law, as I recall. I think there is a provision in the For-
eign Assistance Act that basically requires us to cutoff aid.
Mr. COOKSEY. Good. Let's say we can get information from the
Cubans. We can get it from our intelligence agency. It is my under-
standing there was a report in one of our local newspapers that
documented that the members of the Aristide government are in-
volved in drug trade. Do you think the newspaper is a good source
Mr. FORD. Do I think the newspaper is a good source of informa-
tion? Not necessarily, no.
Mr. COOKSEY. So you think the radio intercepts or some other
type of intelligence activity to get that? Do you think that informa-
tion is out there?
Mr. FORD. I really do not know, sir.
Mr. COOKSEY. What if I told you that that information is out
there and has been provided to the leadership of the Democratic
party and the leadership of the Republican party, and it has been
suppressed or ignored, information that indeed the leadership of
this government is up to their ears in drug trade, and that is prob-
ably one reason they are trying to hang onto power because they
are making money?
This is just a question. I am not making an assertion. I am not
up here with a newspaper, sir. I am just asking the question. It is
a hypothetical question,-
Mr. FORD. OK. Well, let me-
Mr. COOKSEY [continuing]. So you can give me a hypothetical an-
Mr. FORD. Let me say something here, sir. I have a little infor-
mation on this, but I cannot comment on it in an open setting so
let me just say that right now. The information I have available
I cannot talk about in an open setting.
Mr. COOKSEY. OK. Well, I am concerned again about what is
going on down there. I am concerned about the people, and I think
that the Americans truly have a desire to help the people out in
Haiti, but I just do not see any reason that we should continue to
help out the bad guys.
The Chairman is here. Do you have any comments or questions,
Chairman GILMAN [presiding]. I thank the gentleman for taking
on the Chair while I was on the floor on some other legislation.
Has the Administration conditioned its aid to the Haitian judicial
system or the Haitian National Police on any areas? Have the Hai-
tians met any such conditionality if there have been such condi-
Mr. FORD. In terms of the previous programs, the information we
have indicates that we did not have any real formal type of condi-
We did have a-signed an agreement with regard to the narcotics
unit having to do with personnel levels, but that is the only in-
stance we are aware of programmatically of any conditions being
put on the Haitian Government.
Chairman GILMAN. Your opening statement refers to signs of
politization in the police during the recent election process. Can
you specify the incidents that you were referring to?
Mr. FORD. Again based on information provided to us by the Em-
bassy and the State Department, there were some incidents where
the police either were passive in terms of taking action against
demonstrators, and there also are reports that after the election
there were some arrests of opposition leaders on the part of the po-
Chairman GILMAN. Do you have any recommendations of what
we can or should be doing to beef up the police process in Haiti?
Mr. FORD. Again as I noted earlier, we believe that there should
be stronger conditionality put on any future assistance to try to en-
sure that the government of Haiti not only supports the assistance
we provide, but also there will be some semblance of sustainability.
Chairman GILMAN. What sort of conditionality would you sug-
Mr. FORD. Well, again I am not a program person so, you know,
I am not the best person to answer that. I think it is basically an
agreement that if we are going to provide training for the police
and we are going to support the police academy that there be a
quid pro quo on the part of the Haitian Government to support
that effort; if we want to have an Inspector General that that office
be maintained and that they have a credible individual in that of-
fice. Things of that nature I think ought to be included in these
types of agreements.
Chairman GILMAN. Director Ford, have the Canadians curtailed
their assistance to the police?
Mr. FORD. The information we have is that the Canadians have
reduced their overall assistance to Haiti to the police and to the ju-
dicial system. However, they are still supporting the police acad-
emy. They have apparently reached agreement with the Haitian
Government to continue to fund the training academy there, so
there is some ongoing activity.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
By quid pro quo, Mr. Ford, are you suggesting-let me see if I
understand it because we have been discussing sustaining these
programs. I concur. I think what we are seeing is an attrition, first
of all, in the number of police personnel. I think the numbers were
initially 6,500. Now, according to Embassy personnel, it is any-
where between 3,000 and 4,000.
So I think what you are talking about is a commitment that the
necessary funding during the course of the budgetary process of the
Haitian Government reflect a resources commitment to increase
the numbers back to 7,500, along with appropriate training as was
initially done several years ago.
Is that what you are talking about as a quid pro quo?
Mr. FORD. Yes.
Mr. DELAHUNT. A financial commitment-
Mr. FORD. Yes.
Mr. DELAHUNT [continuing]. As well as the training component?
Mr. FORD. Yes. I think there needs to be those two things. I also
think that we should try to get the Haitian Government to also
make some major political reforms. We mentioned earlier the legal
codes. These kinds of things are considered to be essential to have.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Right. As you said, I think you said just several
minutes ago once the political issues are resolved, once there is a
government in place, that is when these particular issues have to
You would acknowledge, presumably, that we have had no gov-
ernment for almost 2 years now, and clearly there is a question as
to the legitimacy of the May election. I find myself more in agree-
ment than in disagreement with the Chairman and others who
have raised the issue, but I think it is important to understand in
the larger context that there is no government.
I think it is important to understand, too, that in the aftermath
of the coup years everything was starting from scratch. You would
Mr. FORD. Yes, we do.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I mean, absolutely from scratch.
I think it was Mr. Cooksey that raised the issue on the videotape
we saw. What conclusions do you reach after observing the video-
Mr. FORD. That tape?
Mr. DELAHUNT. That tape.
Mr. FORD. I am not a police officer. To me, you would expect nor-
mal police to go in and not allow somebody to go in and burn a
house down, so I find that troubling.
Mr. DELAHUNT. Right, but, you know, what I found-let me tell
you what I noticed is that there were five or six police and a crowd
of several hundred. I cannot reach a particular conclusion. I do not
know whether they were waiting for reinforcements. I do not know
whether they felt threatened or intimidated by the crowd. I do not
know their level of training.
A statement was made about rioters exiting the grounds and not
being arrested by the police. I do not have any evidence to indicate
whether those were the rioters or those were the individuals that
were in that residence. They may or may not have been inquired
upon upon exiting. I do not know that. I find it difficult to reach
any particular conclusion.
Again, I think that we have to be careful in reaching conclusions.
The Department of Justice recently was embarrassed because of a
case involving our national security with Dr. Wen Ho Lee when he
was charged with 60 particular indictments after presumably a
professional, thorough investigation and 59 of them were dis-
I would suggest you be very, very careful in reaching conclusions.
Accept the facts and the data. Let's not just draw inferences that
prove to be false and mislead us into drafting or embracing a policy
that maybe does a disservice to American national interests.
I thank the gentleman.
Mr. COOKSEY. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Yes.
Mr. COOKSEY. I would like to ask the people over in the video
area if it would be possible to replay that video as we are having
this discussion and project it maybe on the screen-
Chairman GILMAN. Before we do that-
Mr. COOKSEY [continuing]. And then continue our discussion.
Chairman GILMAN. Before we do that, if you will take just a mo-
ment? I have just a few more questions.
Mr. Ford, with regard to the judicial system, I understand there
is a contracting agency that is supposed to help improve Haiti's ju-
dicial system. Is that correct?
Mr. FORD. I believe there were several different efforts on the
Chairman GILMAN. How much did we expend in trying to im-
prove the judicial system?
Mr. FORD. Well, Congressman Gilman, if you have our report
there and turn to page 12 of the appendix, it has an outline there.
Chairman GILMAN. Just tell us how much it is.
Mr. FORD. It is $26.7 million.
Chairman GILMAN. And what were the accomplishments of that
Mr. FORD. At the beginning there were several accomplishments.
We established the magistrate school, which is still there. It is still
being funded by the Haitian Government. We also provided a sig-
nificant amount of training to prosecutors and other judges. We es-
tablished case registration systems.
Unfortunately, the information we had when we visited Haiti is
that many of those efforts have not been sustained, so the only
thing that appears to be still up and running at this point in time
is the magistrate school.
Chairman GILMAN. Can you give me an assessment then of the
judicial system? Is it effective? Are there problems present?
Mr. FORD. Yes. There are significant problems, which we outline
in our statement.
Again, we need to point out that our assistance was meant to at-
tack certain problems there. It was not going to resolve the overall
judicial problems in Haiti. Some major problems with legal reform
need to be dealt with.
I think the assistance we provided attempted to put in place
more trained judges, more trained prosecutors so that better inves-
tigations could occur and that they could track cases and that type
of thing. It is the first step of what needs to be done. A lot more
needs to be done in Haiti.
Chairman GILMAN. So has any of that been adopted? Has there
been any success at all in our initiatives of trying to improve the
Mr. FORD. Well, the people that got trained are still there. Some
of them are still there. I mean, as I mentioned earlier, anecdotally
many of them want to do their job better, but they face a lot of re-
straints. A lot of them do not have the supplies. They do not have
It is a very difficult environment for them to operate there, but
those people are still there, and they still have the school in place.
They are still training some magistrates, so there are some things
that are still happening.
Chairman GILMAN. You earlier mentioned a provision in the For-
eign Assistance Act that prohibits U.S. assistance to persons cor-
rupted by narcotics trafficking. Could you spell out what provision
Mr. FORD. I am told that that is Section 487 and 481 of the For-
eign Assistance Act.
Chairman GILMAN. Has our government invoked that provision
Mr. FORD. One of those provisions is the drug certification provi-
sion, which has been waived the last 2 years by the President.
The other provision, on section 487, I am not familiar as to
whether or not that has ever been applied. We do not think it has,
but I am not positive on that.
Chairman GILMAN. All right. At this time we will comply with
the request by Dr. Cooksey, and I will ask our assistants to replay
the video we played earlier that showed the attack on the
Mr. COOKSEY. Do you feel having an independent and strong ju-
diciary-do you feel that having a strong judiciary would do more
to solve these problems and bring about rule of law than anything
Mr. DELAHUNT. I think that it is absolutely critical. I think that
the problem that the Haitian Government has to deal with is budg-
et priorities and limited resources.
I mean, when we talk about what happens within the judiciary,
do not visualize a picture where computers are available because
the problem is one of are pencils and paper available. I mean, this
is a society that is best described as primitive, lacking in any re-
sources. Is there corruption? Sure, there is corruption. Are there
overwhelming problems? Yes.
Like I mentioned in my opening remarks, I am profoundly dis-
appointed with what occurred in the aftermath of the May election
in terms of the tabulation because I believe there was an historic
opportunity to transform the direction that this nation could take
into the new millennium.
I really, genuinely believe that, and the leadership of Haiti failed
to meet this historic responsibility, an historic responsibility.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Delahunt.
One last question, Mr. Ford, and then I will turn to Dr. Cooksey.
What were the circumstances surrounding the departure of the
Inspector General of the Haitian National Police, the deciding fac-
tor on why the Inspector General left the Haitian National Police?
Mr. FORD. Well, I can only tell you what we were told by the peo-
ple at the Embassy. I think in late 1999 the Secretary of State for
Public Safety, Mr. Manuel, left his position, and we were told that
he had been threatened.
Chairman GILMAN. Who threatened him?
Mr. FORD. That I do not know. He had received threats is what
we were told. We were also told that a similar situation may have
led to the IG resigning.
Chairman GILMAN. Dr. Cooksey.
Mr. COOKSEY. Mr. Delahunt, our colleague, who I really like and
I think is one of the real gentlemen on your side, Congressman
Conyers, had asked me earlier this year to go down to the elec-
tions, and I agreed to go. Then I got the message we were not going
because indeed the elections were going to be on the up and up.
Do you think that we should consider going down for the next
Mr. DELAHUNT. Well, I did go down with Mr. Conyers, and, as
I have indicated to colleagues privately, I, along with Mr. Conyers,
had an opportunity to visit some 19 voting areas.
What we saw was remarkable, particularly for Haiti. There was
incredible enthusiasm. The turnout was approximately 60 percent.
The police were there acting appropriately and professionally. Peo-
ple were excited. There were foul ups, administrative delays. Peo-
ple were not being paid, but by and large we felt very positive
about the elections themselves.
That sentiment was echoed by observers from all over the world,
from Canada, from the Organization of American States. The prob-
lem occurred in the aftermath of the election.
Let me just make a footnote at this point. It was clear to me that
Fanmi Lavalas would have secured a plurality in almost all of the
Senatorial districts. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the elec-
tion-we were there for the counting of the ballots, by the way, and
again it was done I believe in a fair and appropriate way. It was
in the aftermath of the election that the government I think inap-
propriately and illegally tabulated those ballots in a way that se-
cured a majority rather than a plurality for Fanmi Lavalas.
My point about going almost to the point where it could be con-
sidered a historical watershed in Haitian history was lost, but as
we look forward we are going to deal with this particular govern-
ment. I would not opine as to whether we should attend the elec-
tion in November, which is for the executive, which is the election
for president, but I would point out, and I think we have to reflect
I know that you and I and Chairman Gilman support approxi-
mately $3 billion, in excess of $3 billion of foreign assistance every
year to Egypt. The Egyptian Parliament is controlled by the party
of President Mubarak with 97 percent.
Now, there has been over the course of time considerable debate
as to whether elections in Egypt are fair and free, and people
whom I know you and I both respect would indicate that no, they
are not free and fair, so I think that we have to be careful in sin-
gling out a particular country and beginning the process of dis-
engagement that I think would have negative implications for the
national interest of the United States.
Mr. COOKSEY. One followup question. This is a rhetorical ques-
tion/comment. Do you think the attendance at this hearing of the
entire International Relations Committee is a reflection of the in-
terest in Haiti? I am afraid to hear an answer.
Chairman GILMAN. Well, let me respond. Today is a very busy
day with Members on the floor, Members in other areas, so I do
not think it is a fair indication because there is a great deal of in-
terest in Haiti's future. A number of us have joined together from
time to time to go to Haiti to try to assess what is there.
Mr. Delahunt and yourself are indications of some of the people
taking the time, but there are a number of Members who have ex-
pressed a strong desire to see Haiti find a way to pull itself up by
One last question. Mr. Delahunt raised the question about the
police not detaining anyone, but is it not a rule pretty much among
police that you detain potential witnesses, even possible defendants
leaving the scene of an attack, to get some information? Here we
see no one being interrogated or questioned. They are running
away from the scene of the fire.
Mr. Delahunt, you may want to comment.
Mr. DELAHUNT. I do not know if you are directing that question
to Mr. Ford.
Chairman GILMAN. Well, I am asking both Mr. Ford and your-
self. What should be the role with regard to police in that kind of
Mr. DELAHUNT. Well, I think the first priority, of course, would
be the personal safety of the police officers involved.
Chairman GILMAN. Again, I did not see anyone attacking any of
Mr. DELAHUNT. No. I understand, but, of course, we also saw
that police were far outnumbered by those that were rioting. Clear-
ly the situation was chaotic.
I am sure-I have absolutely no doubt-that the police were con-
cerned about their personal safety. I also have no doubt that their
training is inadequate, and I also have no doubt that they probably
were very, very scared about what was occurring.
They were aware that some of those rioters-we had heard gun-
shots. Now, we do not know where those gunshots came from, but
given the numbers that I saw I cannot reach a conclusion. I just
simply cannot reach any fair conclusion.
You know, I think reasonable people can draw inferences that
contradict each other, but I do not think we have hard evidence
here that we can reach proper conclusions.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Ford, do you want to comment on the ac-
tion by the police under these circumstances?
Mr. FORD. Again, my colleague, who is a former police officer,
has told me that basic police practice would be to stop and inter-
view people in a situation like that.
Again, we are not privy to the entire circumstances of what was
shown on that video, so, we do not know overall whether or not the
police were told not to do anything or whatever.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Ford, let me interrupt you a moment.
Was there a full investigation of the destruction of the police head-
quarters by the police? Does anyone know that?
Mr. FORD. To our knowledge, there was not.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Ford, the president of the Electoral
Council in Haiti was forced to leave Haiti in fear of his life in con-
ditions similar to the Inspector General leaving. He had stated that
when it was made clear to him what could happen if he did not
make the improper report on the election, he asked for asylum in
an Embassy and to protect him as he left the country.
Can you tell us? Have you talked to him, or have you reviewed
that situation at all?
Mr. FORD. Mr. Chairman, we did not talk to that individual, so
we do not have any information about that particular incident.
Chairman GILMAN. Did you look into the question of why he left
Haiti under protection by the Embassy?
Mr. FORD. In his case, no.
Chairman GILMAN. All right. If there are no other questions, I
want to thank our panelists for being here today and for helping
us to shed some light on the situation. We hope that as a result
of your review we can help make a better life for those in Haiti who
are struggling to find a way.
Thank you very much. The Committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:08 p.m. the Committee was adjourned.]
SEPTEMBER 19, 2000
Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman
Full Committee Hearing
September 19,2000, 10:00 a.m., 2172 Rayburn House Office Building
"GAO Assessment of U.S. Judicial and Police Reform Assistance in Haiti"
The Committee will come to order.
This morning, we will hear testimony from the General Accounting Office regarding the
preliminary results of the GAO's review of U.S. assistance provided to Haiti's justice system.
On September 19, 1994, President Clinton ordered 20,000 American troops to go to Haiti
to restore the democratically elected government of President Jean Bertrand Aristide. These men
and women from our Armed Forces were directed into harms' way to uphold the rule of law.
The purpose of this hearing is to examine what Haiti's government and leaders have done
since 1994 to further the rule of law with our assistance.
Between 1995 and 1999, the United States government provided $97 million in bilateral
assistance to Haiti's justice system. Some $65 million of this money was directed to training and
equipping the Haitian National Police.
Haiti's judicial system is exceedingly weak and subject to manipulation. Drug traffickers
and persons implicated in political killings enjoy impunity. Opponents of Haiti's current
government have, from time to time, been kept in jail despite judicial orders for their release.
Many more Haitians languish behind bars waiting for trials that will probably never happen.
U.S. judicial reform efforts in Haiti have foundered in a sea of the Haitian government's
indifference. Haiti's leaders simply do not have the political will to pursue meaningful judicial
reform. Apparently, they prefer to manipulate the justice system and extract wealth from the
country's state-owned monopolies.
The recent election process revealed how completely the Haitian National Police has been
politicized by the ruling Lavalas Family party. In the run up to the May 21 elections, some 15
persons, principally from opposition political parties, were murdered. The police have made no
progress in resolving these crimes.
Prior to and after the election, violent street demonstrations were staged by the governing
Lavalas Family party. On a number of occasions, the police stood by and failed to protect
peaceful opposition rallies from these pro-government vigilantes. After the polls closed on
Election Day, police officers were seen carting away election materials. Immediately following
the election, a large number of opposition politicians were arbitrarily arrested by the U.S.-trained
Last year, the Lavalas Family party led protests seeking the ouster of Police Director
General Pierre Denize and State Security Secretary Robert Manuel. Mr. Manuel was forced to
resign and fled Haiti in October 1999. Subsequently, the HNP's inspector general, Eucher
Joseph, was forced to quit his post.
Major narcotics traffickers operate freely in Haiti. The administration has now decertified
Haiti for two consecutive years. Drug corruption of Haitian officials is a serious problem that
needs to be dealt with directly and honestly.
In a rare bit of good news, earlier this month, four police officers implicated in the May
28, 1999 killing of 11 people in a Port-au-Prince slum were convicted and sentenced to three
years in prison. This an important precedent. Without an independent police inspector general
and a justice system with integrity, however, this judgement will likely stand as an isolated
The creation of the Haitian National Police gave us all hope that Haitians would be able
to count on a professional, apolitical police force to foster a climate'of security that would allow
the Haitian economy to recover and grow. Sadly, the initial work that was done by the
administration to recruit and train a cadre of competent police officers has been severely
undermined. The Haitian National Police has become a largely ineffective law enforcement
organization. Absent fundamental changes to reverse corruption and politicization, no amount of
U.S. assistance will restore credibility to the Haitian National Police.
For Release on Delivery
10:00 a.m., EDT
September 19, 2000
United States General Accounting Office
Before the Committee on International Relations, House of
Lack of Haitian
Success of U.S. Aid to
Statement of Jess T. Ford, Associate Director, International Relations and
Trade Issues, National Security and International Affairs Division
G A O
Accountability Integrity Reliability
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I am pleased to be here today to discuss the preliminary results of our review of U.S.
assistance provided to Haiti's justice system.
In September 1994, the United States and other countries intervened militarily in Haiti to
restore the democratically elected government that had been overthrown by the Haitian
military in September 1991. Before this intervention, the Haitian military controlled the
police and the judicial sector. Military and political cronyism dominated these
institutions, and the military influenced the appointments of magistrates and the
decisions made by them. These justice institutions were widely regarded as ineffective
After the intervention, the United States stepped in to provide assistance to the Haitian
justice system both the police and the judicial sector aimed at developing a
professional civilian police force, enhancing the effectiveness of existing judicial
organizations, and improving the Haitian people's access to justice. This assistance also
aimed at supporting a broader reform of the judicial sector that the Haitian government
intended to pursue over time. The objectives of this assistance program were consistent
with U.S. justice assistance objectives in other countries in Latin America'
As you know, U.S. assistance to the judicial sector was suspended in July 2000, because
the United States was not able to negotiate an agreement with the Haitian government
for continuing these assistance efforts. As of September 2000, most of the U.S.
assistance to the Haitian police has stopped, due to congressional concerns related to
events surrounding the May 2000 Haitian parliamentary and local elections. The U.S.
Department of State is currently reassessing several aspects of the U.S. relationship with
Haiti, based on concerns about how votes were counted in Haiti's May 2000
parliamentary and local elections.
My statement today is based on work we are currently concluding for your committee
and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. First, I will discuss the results of the U.S.
assistance provided to the Haitian police and judicial sector and the major problems that
continue to affect these justice institutions. Second, I will discuss the primary factors
that have affected the success of the assistance.
Our work is based on meetings with officials of the U.S. Departments of State and
Justice, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Coast Guard,
and other U.S. agencies. To examine the results of assistance provided, in June 2000, we
went to Haiti, where we met with officials of the Haitian government, other donor
countries (Canada and France), the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations, and
'See Foreign Assistance: Rule of Law Funding Worldwide for Fiscal Years 1993-98
(GAO/NSIAD-99-158, June 30, 1999); Foreign Assistance: U.S. Rule of Law Assistance to
Five Latin American Countries (GAO/NSIAD-99-195, Aug. 4, 1999); and Foreign
Assistance: Status of Rule of Law Program Coordination(GAO/NSIAD-00-8R, Oct. 13,
GAO/T-NSIAD-00-257 Foreign Assistance
U.S. contractors. We also performed an extensive review of program documents. We
expect to issue our report in October 2000.
Over the last 6 fiscal years, the United States provided about $97 million in assistance to
help Haiti establish its first civilian-controlled police force and improve aspects of its
judicial sector, which includes various judicial institutions, procedures, and legal codes.
About $70 million in U.S. assistance helped Haiti recruit, train, organize, and equip a
basic police force, including specialized units, such as an antinarcotics unit, a special
investigative unit, and the Haitian Coast Guard. During the same period, the United
States provided about $27 million in assistance that led to improvements in training
magistrates and prosecutors, management practices of judicial institutions, and in the
access of the Haitian people to justice services. However, despite these achievements,
the police force has not effectively carried out its basic law enforcement responsibilities,
and recent events suggest that politicization has compromised the force, according to
U.S. and other donor officials. The judicial sector also has serious weaknesses, according
to U.S. and other donor officials. The sector has not undergone a major reform and, as a
result, lacks independence from the executive branch and has outdated legal codes and
cumbersome judicial proceedings. Further, the judicial institutions have personnel
shortages; inadequate infrastructure and equipment, such as shortages of vehicles and
legal texts; and an ineffective internal oversight organization unable to stem corruption.
Overall, these institutions provides justice services to only a small segment of the
population, because the institutions rely heavily in judicial proceedings on the use of
French rather than Creole-the language of the majority of the population.
The key factor affecting the lack of success of U.S. assistance has been the Haitian
government's lack of commitment to addressing the major problems of its police and
judicial institutions. U.S. assistance to the police has been impeded because the Haitian
government has not acted, for example, to (1) strengthen the police organization by
filling currently vacant key leadership positions, such as the Inspector General; (2)
provide the human and physical resources needed to develop an effective police force;
(3) support vigorously police investigations of serious crimes; and (4) keep the police
force out of politics. U.S. assistance to the judicial sector has been largely undercut
because the Haitian government has not, for instance, (1) followed through on
implementing the broad reforms needed to address its major problems, (2) assumed
responsibility for adopting many of the improvements made possible by U.S. assistance,
and (3) provided the physical and human resources needed to operate effectively.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and two organizations within
the Department of Justice's Criminal Division-the International Criminal Investigative
and Training Assistance Program and the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development,
Assistance, and Training-implemented the majority of assistance provided to the Haitian
police and judicial sector. The Department of State has overall responsibility for
coordinating this assistance. It also funds training programs implemented by U.S. law
GAO/T-NSIAD-00-257 Foreign Assistance
enforcement agencies and, immediately after Haiti's return to democracy in 1994, carried
out some training programs, mainly in support of the Presidential Palace Guard, which
protects the Haitian President.
Several other U.S. agencies have also been involved in supporting the Haitian police. For
example, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Defense played key roles in
helping to build the Haitian Coast Guard-a main component of the Haitian National
Police. Also, the Drug Enforcement Administration helped to support the police's
antinarcotics unit. In addition, the U.S. Customs Service helped to train Haitian customs
and police officers on countersmuggling techniques.
U.S. ASSISTANCE HELPED IMPROVE THE POLICE AND
JUDICIAL SECTOR. BUT MAJOR SHORTCOMINGS PERSIST
U.S. assistance to Haiti's justice sector totaled about $97 million since fiscal year 1995,
with about $70 million going to help build a civilian-controlled police force and about $27
million going to improve certain aspects of Haiti's judicial system, such as case
registration and tracking systems. Appendix I provides a breakdown of U.S. assistance
to the Haitian police and justice sectors.
U.S. Assistance Heloed Build a New Haitian Police Force
U.S. assistance was intended to help Haiti create and strengthen a civilian-controlled
police force that would be professional and respect the rights of the population. The
assistance was used to recruit, train, organize, and equip a new police force and was
administered under the Department of Justice's International Criminal Investigative
Training and Assistance Program.
The U.S. assistance helped Haiti
* recruit an interim police force of about 4,000 police officers and U.N. police monitors
to work with this force;
* establish and equip a new civilian-controlled police organization and several
specialized units, such as an investigative division and its antinarcotics and forensics
units, the special investigative unit,' the crowd control unit, the special weapons and
tactics unit,' and the Haitian Coast Guard;
* create a police academy and recruit and train a new police force of about 6,500 police
* train police officers for the specialized units;
* develop managerial and supervisory skills at all levels of the police force; and
* establish an Inspector General's office for monitoring the police force.
2 This unit has focused on investigating high profile crimes, including extrajudicial
killings. The U.S. assistance's long-term goal is to help integrate this unit into the
mainstream judicial police.
3 The special weapons and tactics unit responds to crises in the Port-au-Prince area. This
unit receives orders directly from the Director General of the police.
GAO/T-NSIAD-00-257 Foreign Assistance
Other U.S. agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration, and the U.S. Customs Service, provided some assistance. For example,
the U.S. Coast Guard provided over $4.6 million to help organize, train, and equip the
Haitian Coast Guard. This assistance helped Haiti establish one Coast Guard base in
Port-au-Prince, refurbish three vessels, maintain equipment, and develop capabilities for
dealing with drug smuggling and illegal migration, for example.
Major Weaknesses Persist in the Police Force
Despite some initial achievements made possible by U.S. assistance, the current Haitian
police force has major deficiencies and is considered by many U.S. and other donor
officials as a largely ineffective law enforcement body. According to these officials, the
police force suffers from organizational weaknesses, shortages of personnel and training,
shortages of vehicles and equipment, and limited investigative capabilities. Over the past
year, particularly, U.S. and other donor officials have expressed concern over the Haitian
police's crippled internal oversight organization, continued corruption, and increased
signs of politicization related to recent Haitian elections.
Starting in late 1994, the United States helped Haiti organize its police force so as to have
the major components of a modern civilian police organization. However, the current
organization of the Haitian police is weak, according to U.S. and other donor officials.
For example, several key police units are not fully operational, such as the Maritime, Air,
Border, Migration, and Forest Police Directorate. Also, a few individuals manage the
police organization in a highly centralized manner, delegating little authority from
headquarters to the field and within the police institutions in the field. As a result, the
police force in the field shows little initiative, tending to be reactive rather than actively
patrolling the community. Furthermore, the police force has not yet developed a strong
esprit de corps and discipline. During our visits to several police units, we saw that many
lower ranking police officers did not show much respect for high-ranking officers and
were milling around police facilities, reading newspapers, or watching soccer games on
Initially, the United States sought to help Haiti recruit and train police officers, and by
1998 the police force had reached a peak of about 6,500 officers. However, shortages of
personnel plague the current police force. According to U.S. and other donor officials,
the current police force is estimated to range between 3,500 and 4,500 police officers.
Compared with a country like El Salvador, with 19,000 police officers serving about 6
million people, Haiti with its approximately 8 million people has a relatively small
police force. In addition, the Haitian police has a shortage of qualified commanders and
According to U.S. officials, there has been serious attrition in police ranks, partly as a
result of the police's failure to provide professional opportunities, to implement a work
schedule better than the current schedule of 12 hours a day 6 days a week, and to
provide work opportunities in locations near the officers' families. U.S. officials noted
that police officers have also left the force to join the growing private security industry,
GAO/r-NSIAD-00-257 Foreign Assistance
which offers fewer risks and better pay and working conditions. Also, more than 1,100
police officers were dismissed from the force since 1995, as a result of the police
Inspector General's investigations into police misconduct. In addition, the police's
failure to recruit new officers regularly has exacerbated the attrition of the police force.
Initially, the United States placed great emphasis on training the new force and setting up
the police academy to continue such training. However, most of the current police force
has received only basic training. For instance, police officers attend an initial 6-month
training course at the academy, but they receive very little or no follow-on training unless
they are assigned to a specialized unit. Although officers in the specialized units receive
more training, they still have limited technical capabilities to prevent or investigate
crimes. Most police officers do not get regular qualification training in firearms use, and,
as a result, many officers are not qualified to use their weapons and cannot properly
maintain their firearms, according to U.S. officials.
U.S. assistance helped Haiti equip its police force by supplying police vehicles,
communications systems, and other equipment and supplies. However, the Haitian
police force still faces severe shortages of all these items. For instance, during our visits
to Saint-Marc and Jacmel, we noticed that the police stations had few vehicles,
communications equipment, and other police equipment to service the large populations
and territories under their jurisdictions. Moreover, U.S. officials told us that the special
weapons and tactics unit could not train with its issued weapons because it did not have
enough ammunition. According to U.S. officials, the effectiveness of Haitian Coast
Guard is seriously constrained by its lack of bases, personnel, and equipment,
particularly in the southern part of the country where the main cocaine trafficking routes
are located. As a result, this unit has a limited capability to stop vessels suspected of
carrying illegal cargo and emigrants.
The United States sought to help Haiti improve the investigative capabilities of its police
force by providing training, technical assistance, and donations of equipment. However,
the current force has made little progress in improving its investigative capabilities. For
instance, U.S. officials indicated that the judicial police does not have enough trained
officers to investigate crime-its primary mission-and the antinarcotics unit is too
small to carry out major drug investigations. The antinarcotics unit also has limited
investigative capabilities; it was until recently without a leader for months; and it
consists of only 28 officers. According to an assistance agreement between the United
States and Haiti, this unit was to have had about 75 officers.
Recent Problems Raise Particular Concerns About the Haitian Police
Over the past year, several problems have arisen with the Haitian police force that have
raised particular concern for U.S. and other donor officials. These concerns relate to (1)
the weakened position of the police Inspector General's unit, (2) the inability of the
police to deal with the growing drug-trafficking threat, and (3) the signs of politicization
of the police force during this past year's extended election period.
In 1995, the United States helped Haiti establish an oversight structure to monitor the
conduct of its police. However, over the past year the police oversight structure has
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been crippled by the unexpected departures of the Secretary of State for Public Security
and the Inspector General of the police, according to U.S., Haitian, and other donor
officials. These two positions are key to ensuring the internal accountability of the
police force. The U.S. Department of State noted that groups reportedly associated with
former President Aristide's political party mounted a public campaign calling for the
resignation of the Secretary of State for Public Security. On October 7, 1999, the
Secretary resigned from his position, which remains vacant, and left the country.
According to US. officials, the Inspector General-who was conducting investigations
into human rights violations, narcotrafficking, corruption, and other offenses allegedly
committed by police officers-unexpectedly left the force in April 2000 and has not been
permanently replaced. According to U.S. and Haitian officials, the Inspector General's
investigations had led to the dismissal of over 1,100 police officers for misconduct. As
reported by the Department of State, at least 58 police officers were in prison as of
September 1999 on a variety of charges. The Department noted that the police more
often simply discharged officers caught committing flagrant abuses, rather than initiating
legal proceedings against them. Since the departure of the Inspector General,
investigations of police misconduct have dramatically decreased, opening the door to
increased corruption within the force, according to U.S. and Haitian officials.
The United States also helped establish the antinarcotics unit and the Haitian Coast
Guard to address the growing drug trafficking problem. U.S. estimates indicate that the
percentage of cocaine coming into the United States through Haiti increased from 10 to
14 percent from 1998 to 1999. However, the Haitian police has been generally ineffective
in countering the growing drug threat, due to the limited capabilities and resources of its
antinarcotics unit and Coast Guard. As a result, the police has conducted few major
drug-related investigations successfully. Moreover, the Haitian police does not have the
resources to stop airdrops of cocaine loads to waiting land vehicles or maritime vessels.
The United States sought to help Haiti establish a professional and impartial police force.
However, events over the past year have raised serious concerns about the impartiality
of the force. In addition to concerns over the weakened role of the police oversight
structure, as noted earlier, U.S. and other donor officials have serious concerns over the
partisan role played by the police during the May 2000 parliamentary and local elections.
During the extended election period, for example, the police on occasion failed to
protect legal demonstrations by the opposition. According to U.S. officials, the police
also arrested some opposition candidates after the elections and failed to successfully
investigate major killings, including political assassinations, committed before the
Assistance Helped Improve Certain Aspects of the Judicial Sector
From fiscal years 1993 through 2000, the United States provided about $27 million to
support Haiti's judicial system. The aid was intended to help Haiti improve the
effectiveness of existing judicial organizations and enhance the access of the population
to justice. It also was intended to help Haiti develop and implement a broad reform of
the judicial sector that would enhance its independence, modernize criminal codes, and
restructure judicial organizations and processes.
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USAID, its contractors, and the Department of Justice's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial
Development, Assistance and Training provided most of this assistance under the USAID
Administration of Justice Program. The bulk of the assistance, about $23 million, funded
(1) administrative enhancements for judicial institutions, such as case registration and
tracking systems; (2) judge and prosecutor training; and (3) the establishment and
operation of the magistrate school. The remaining assistance, $4 million, funded legal
assistance and education as a means of improving the access of the population to justice.
Serious Problems Remain in the Judicial Sector
Despite U.S. assistance, the Haitian judicial sector continues to exhibit major
shortcomings. This sector has not undergone a major reform, and, as a result, it has
outdated legal codes and cumbersome judicial proceedings. Also, it has inadequate
infrastructure and shortages of personnel and equipment, and limited investigative
capabilities. Furthermore, it suffers from corruption and a lack of effective internal
oversight, and it serves only a small portion of the population.
Despite the constitutional mandate for an independent judicial sector, the executive
branch, through the Ministry of Justice, continues to control the judicial sector, including
the judicial budget and judicial appointments, training, evaluation, and removal. The
lack of independence compromises the impartiality of the judicial sector, according to
U.S., Haitian, and other donor officials. For instance, the Haitian government has not
vigorously supported investigations and prosecutions of major crimes, including drug
trafficking, major killings, and political violence. Investigations and prosecutions have
moved slowly and produced very limited results, according to U.S. officials.
The judicial system is characterized by outdated legal codes and complex, time-
consuming procedures. In criminal cases, many people are put behind bars in preventive
detention. Some judicial institutions have large case backlogs, and criminal courts hold
few jury trials every year. During our visits to judicial facilities in Port-au-Prince and
Jacmel, judicial officials emphasized the urgent need for developing and implementing a
comprehensive reform of the judicial sector to modernize legal codes and streamline
The judicial sector receives only 11.5 percent of the Ministry of Justice budget, and as a
consequence, the sector has serious personnel shortages and inadequate infrastructure.
For example, during our visits to judicial institutions in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel,
Haitian officials emphasized that their institutions did not have enough personnel to
conduct business adequately, given the size of the populations and territories they had to
serve. We also found that prosecutors' offices, justice of the peace courts, and other
courts had very basic infrastructure. One of the courts that we visited had no doors,
windows, bathrooms, running water, or electricity. The courts also had serious supply
shortages, including vehicles, legal texts, telephones, and office supplies. Haitian officials
noted that the dire conditions of judicial facilities such as this one projected a bad image
' Juries are convened only for serious criminal offenses, such as murders.
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and did not inspire respect for their institutions, seriously undermining the people's
confidence in the judicial sector.
The judicial sector also has limited capabilities to investigate and prosecute cases.
Judicial officials have received little professional training; have minimum resources to
conduct investigations, prosecutions, and trials; have received limited support from
specialized units, such as the judicial police and forensics unit; and do not have many
incentives to solve major crimes. In addition, some judicial officials stated that, because
they have little personal protection, they fear for their personal safety when dealing with
high-profile cases, such as drug trafficking and political assassinations.
In addition, the judicial sector suffers from corruption and lacks adequate oversight to
monitor the behavior of judicial officials. For instance, U.S. officials noted that the
cumbersome and lengthy judicial proceedings create opportunities for corruption among
judicial officials willing to accept bribes in return for advancing cases in their offices-
Also, according to these officials, the Ministry of Justice has a judicial inspection unit
that has limited capabilities and has done little to address corruption and other major
problems of the judicial sector. Despite efforts to enhance this unit, it remains largely
ineffective, according to U.S. officials.
The judicial sector continues to provide only limited access to justice for the majority of
the Haitian population. For example, by not having a public defender's office, by not
systematically providing legal assistance to the population, and by conducting most of its
business through written procedures in French, the judicial sector remains unavailable
to the majority of the population, which is poor and illiterate and speaks only Creole.
KEY FACTOR AFFECTING SUCCESS OF U.S. ASSISTANCE IS THE HAITIAN
GOVERNMENT'S LACK OF COMMITMENT TO STRENGTHENING JUSTICE
The primary factor affecting the success of U.S. assistance has been the Haitian
government's lack of clear commitment to supporting the police and judicial sector and
dealing with the main problems affecting these institutions.
The Haitian Government Lacks Strong
Commitment to Strengthening the Police Force
U.S. assistance to the police has been undermined because the Haitian government-after
showing a strong initial commitment to establishing a civilian-controlled police force-
failed to (1) strengthen the organizational capabilities of the force, (2) support
investigations of police corruption and serious crimes, and (3) keep the police out of
politics, particularly during the past election year.
The Haitian government's failure to strengthen the organizational capabilities of the
police has hindered U.S. efforts to improve the capabilities of the force, according to U.S.
officials. Although the Haitian government has allocated the bulk of the Ministry of
Justice budget to the police and prisons-about 83 percent of the 1996-97 budget-the
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government has weakened the police by not filling key leadership positions, such as the
Inspector General and the head of the antinarcotics unit, and by not strengthening key
units. For instance, since the unexpected departure of the Inspector General, his office
has stopped vigorously investigating police misbehavior, including corruption. Also,
some key police units, such as the antinarcotics unit, have limited capabilities because
the government has not provided needed resources and personnel. According to the
Department of State, the Haitian government failed to increase the size of the
antinarcotics unit, as had been agreed to by the U.S. and Haitian governments.
U.S. assistance to improve the investigative capabilities of the police has been
constrained by the failure of the Haitian government to support investigations of police
corruption and serious crimes, including drug-related crimes and political assassinations.
In March 2000, the State Department reported that the Haitian government had failed to
investigate drug-related corruption involving police officers. The State Department also
reported that little progress had been made in bringing to justice persons responsible for
major killings, such as political killings, in Haiti. U.S. officials are concerned about the
Haitian government's lack of support for the police's special investigations unit, which is
responsible for investigating major killings. This unit's human resources have declined
by about 80 percent since 1997.
U.S. assistance to the Haitian police has also been undermined by the Haitian
government's failure to keep the police out of politics during this past election year. The
force's inaction during several violent campaign incidents and its arrests of several
political candidates seriously compromised the perception of police impartiality.
Haitian Government Lacks Strong Commitment
to Improving the Judicial Sector
U.S. assistance to the judicial sector has been undercut because the Haitian government,
after initially supporting the assistance effort, failed to follow through in implementing
broad reform of the judicial sector, adopt and institutionalize many of the improvements
made possible by the assistance, provide the resources needed to operate the sector
adequately, build an oversight capability to monitor the sector, and vigorously support
the prosecution of major crimes.
The Haitian government did not follow through in implementing a broad reform of its
legal codes and judicial organization and processes some of the measures that donors
consider key to addressing the main problems of the judicial sector. The Haitian
government has taken some steps since 1995 that may eventually lead to the
implementation of a broad reform of the judicial sector. These steps include enacting
judicial reform-related legislation in 1998, increasing judicial salaries, and pursuing
further reform plans, such as expanding the use of Creole in judicial proceedings.
However, none of these steps has moved significantly toward addressing the main
shortcomings of the judicial sector.
Many improvements to the judicial sector made possible by the U.S. assistance have not
been institutionalized because the Haitian government did not adopt and fund them.
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Although the Haitian government assumed responsibility for most of the funding for the
magistrate school that was created with U.S. and other donor support, the government
did not assume ownership of the improvements, such as case registration and tracking
systems, made possible by U.S. assistance in the justice of the peace courts and
prosecutors' offices. As a result, according to U.S. officials, after USAID stopped its
assistance to the justice of the peace courts, the improvements made by this assistance
The Haitian government has not provided the resources needed to operate judicial
institutions. During our visits to judicial institutions in Port-au-Prince, Saint-Marc, and
Jacmel, we saw that the judicial institutions were overwhelmed by the lack of personnel
and equipment and by their poor physical conditions.
The improvements to the judicial sector made possible by U.S. assistance have also been
limited because the Haitian government has not put in place an effective oversight
capability to monitor the judicial sector. The Ministry of Justice has a judicial inspection
unit that has limited capabilities and physical and human resources to deal with the
problems of the sector, such as judicial corruption.
The Haitian government's failure to vigorously support investigations and prosecutions
of serious crimes, such as drug-related crimes and political assassinations, has hindered
the improvements in the prosecutorial capabilities of the judicial sector made possible
by the U.S. assistance. According to U.S., other donor, and Haitian officials, prosecutors
and investigating magistrates do not have an incentive to investigate and prosecute
major criminal cases and, if they do investigate, they do it with the knowledge that they
are risking their personal security.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, this concludes my prepared remarks. I
would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.
Contact and Acknowledgments
For future contacts regarding this testimony, please call Jess T. Ford at (202) 512-4128.
Individuals making key contributions to this testimony included Virginia Hughes, Juan
Tapia-Videla, David Bernet, Lee Kaukas, Richard Seldin, Steve lannucci, Douglas Ferry,
and Rona Mendelsohn.
U.S. ASSISTANCE TO THE HAITIAN
POLICE AND JUSTICE SECTOR. FISCAL YEARS 1995-2000
Table 1 shows U.S. assistance to the Haitian police force.
Table 1: International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program Assistance to
the Haitian Police, Fiscal Years 1995-1999
Police training and
donations of equipment $34,402,963
Construction of police
U.S. embassy support
and program expenses 2,477,990
Staff salaries and
Staff travel expenses 967,604
Antinarcotics training 347,029
Program audits 221,738
Source: International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program.
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Table 2 shows the overall assistance provided to Haiti's judicial system under the USAID
Administration of Justice Program.
Table 2: USAID Administration of Justice Program Assistance to Haitian Judicial Sector,
Fiscal Years 1993-2000
Dollars in millions
Organization and activity Amount
Direct aid to Ministry of Justice 2.4
Other technical and equipment assistance 0.8
USAID management 2.0
Audit of Checchi 0.2
RONCO Consulting Corporation 2.8
Interim Administration of Justice Program
Checchi & Company Consultants, Inc. 11.5
Legal assistance and education 4.0
Case registration and court management 3.2
Judicial mentoring 1.8
Other technical and equipment assistance 2.5
Department of Justice's Office of Overseas
Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training 7.6
Magistrate school 2.1
Case tracking system 0.5
Model jurisdiction program and related assistance 4.4
Source: GAO analysis of USAID data.
USAID provided $2.4 million in direct aid and $0.8 million in technical and equipment
assistance to the Haitian Ministry of Justice in fiscal years 1993-2000 and incurred $2.2
million in management costs for its Administration of Justice Program.
RONCO provided $2.8 million in aid from June 1995 to July 1996. This contractor
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APPENDIX I APPENDIX I
primarily focused on refurbishing, equipping, and providing administrative and logistical
support to the magistrate school established in 1995.
Checchi provided $11.5 million in assistance August 1995 to August 1999. Under its
contract with USAID, Checchi focused its efforts on three activities: legal assistance and
education, case tracking and court management, and judicial mentoring.
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