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Haiti Background: Guy Philippe

by haiti news
The feared Haitian army, disbanded by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is making a comeback. We take an in-depth look at the paramilitary leader who now claims to be in control of the Haitian police and military: Guy Philippe, a former Haitian police chief who was trained by US Special Forces in Ecuador in the early 1990s.
For many Haitians, it is like a real life nightmare is once again becoming a reality. The feared Haitian army, disbanded by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is making a comeback. And what is particularly disturbing to veteran Haiti observers and human rights organizations is the man who now claims to be in control of the Haitian police and military.
He says the man he most admires is former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. He praises the former dictator as the man who "made Chile what it is.'" Next to Pinochet, his second greatest hero is Ronald Reagan. The man is paramilitary leader Guy Philippe, a former Haitian police chief who was trained by US Special Forces in Ecuador in the early 1990s.

The Haitian government and the private US security firm hired in 1998 by Haiti to protect the president accuse Philippe of master-minding a deadly attack on the Police Academy in July 2001 and of an attempted coup in December 2001. When he is discussed in the corporate media, he is almost always referred to simply as a rebel leader, a former police chief.

But human rights groups paint a different picture.

Human Rights Watch reported Friday that during Philippe's term as police chief of the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas from 1997 to 1999, international monitors "learned that dozens of suspected gang members were summarily executed, mainly by police under the command of Inspector Berthony Bazile, Philippe's deputy."

Yesterday, Philippe and his paramilitaries retook control of the former Haitian Army headquarters across from the National palace. Philippe declared to the international press that he himself is now in control of 90% of Haiti's armed forces. In an address on Haitian Radio, Philippe declared, "The country is in my hands." He summoned 20 police commanders to meet with him yesterday and warned that if they failed to appear he would arrest them.

Also yesterday, Philippe announced he would arrest Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who is a top official of Aristide's Lavalas party. Democracy Now! heard from sources in Haiti that Neptune's home was burned and looted and that he was being pursued by armed gangs. People close to Neptune told us he fears for his life. Local radio reported that Neptune was evacuated from his office by helicopter as Guy Philippe led a mob in a march to the office. Meanwhile, there are reports of regular execution-style killings on the Haitian seaside.

More Text and Audio:

Guy Philippe is a former member of the FAD'H (Haitian Army). During the 1991-94 military regime, he and a number of other officers received training from the US Special Forces in Equador, and when the FAD'H was dissolved by Aristide in early 1995, Philippe was incorporated into the new National Police Force. He served as police chief in the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas and in the second city, Cap-Haitien, before he fled Haiti in October 2000 when Haitian authorities discovered him plotting what they described as a coup, together with a clique of other police chiefs. Since that time, the Haitian government has accused Philippe of master-minding deadly attacks on the Haitian Police Academy and the National Palace in July and December 2001, as well as hit-and-run raids against police stations on Haiti's Central Plateau over last two years.

Guy Philippe, former police chief of Cap-Hatien and Duvalier death squad leader in the 1980s, was named l'Arbonite's chief of armed forces. Philippe fled Haiti in 2002 to the Dominican Republic after it was discovered that he was plotting a coup. Philippe returned to Haiti with former death squad leader Louis Jodel Chamblain, and had up to 50 armed supporters with him. Jean Pierre Baptiste, who calls himself General Tatoune, lead the march into the city. He was one of the leaders of the uprising that overthrew Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier in 1986. Under the military regime of the early 1990's, he joined the paramilitary outfit FRAPH (Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti) and was serving life in prison in Gonaves for his role in a 1994 massacre. A close associate of Chamblain, Emmanueal 'Toto' Constant, who lead the coup against Aristide in 1991, has admitted CIA financing for the movement. It has also been claimed that these paramilitaries received "some form" of training while in the Dominican Republic. These paramilitary thugs now control most of Haiti's north, and the rebels are today threatening an attempt to take Port-au-Prince.
§Guy Philippe
by beeb
Mr Philippe, 36, says he has a law degree from Ecuador and studied medicine in Mexico for a year.

His critics allege a questionable human rights record and point to rumoured involvement with military dictator Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc") Duvalier's regime in the 1980s.

In 1990, Mr Aristide was first elected president, but within a year had been overthrown in a coup and was exiled to the United States.

Mr Philippe, who was by then in the army, escaped to Ecuador, where he allegedly received training from US Special Forces as part of the US campaign to reinstate Mr Aristide.

He returned to Haiti in 1994, after Mr Aristide had been restored to power. In 1995 - fearing another coup attempt - Mr Aristide disbanded the army.

Mr Philippe was incorporated into the new National Police Force, eventually serving as police chief in Cap-Haitien.

Coup 'plots'

Under Rene Preval, the new president elected in 1995, Mr Philippe helped hunt down members of the ousted military junta - including former members of the now-disbanded army, with some of whom he now claims a common cause.

But Mr Philippe's career in the police came to an abrupt end in 2000, when the authorities accused him of plotting a coup with other police chiefs.

He fled - first to Ecuador, then to the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

In December 2001, when armed men tried to seize the presidential National Palace, a year after disputed elections returned Mr Aristide to office for a second term, authorities accused Mr Philippe of masterminding the operation.

But extradition negotiations failed, and Mr Philippe remained at large.

While in the Dominican Republic, Mr Philippe's reputed taste for luxury hotels fuelled speculation he was involved in drugs trafficking - a charge that he vehemently denied in a recent interview.
§more info
by more info
A family man and a fan of Bush

Sibylla Brodzinsky
Friday February 27, 2004
The Guardian

The rebel leader Guy Philippe is a former army officer who admires President George Bush.
Mr Philippe, the son of coffee farmers who turns 36 on Sunday, trained at a military academy in Ecuador after Mr Aristide disbanded the army, where he received instruction from French troops and the US secret service.
When he returned to Haiti the president named him assistant police chief in Cap Haitien, the city where rebels under his command now hold sway.
After being accused of plotting a coup in 2000, Mr Philippe fled into exile in the Dominican Republic, which shares an island with Haiti. Mr Aristide also accused him of being a drug trafficker, a charge the rebel leader denies.
He likes Mr Bush because: "I like tough guys, guys who protect their country."
The soldier-turned-rebel with an easy smile paints himself as a family man and says when his rebellion is over he would like to go back to his father's coffee farm and lead a tranquil life.
He met his wife, an American, in Ecuador. He refuses to reveal if they have any children.,3604,1157248,00.html

Guy Philippe, 35. Trained in the United States and Ecuador, he was a senior security official under President Rene Preval, a civilian elected in 1995

Another figure to recently reemerge is Guy Philippe, a former Haitian police chief who fled Haiti in October 2000 after authorities discovered him plotting a coup with a group of other police chiefs. All of the men were trained in Ecuador by US Special Forces during the 1991-1994 coup. Since that time, the Haitian government has accused Philippe of master-minding deadly attacks on the Police Academy and the National Palace in July and December 2001, as well as hit-and-run raids against police stations on Haiti's Central Plateau over the following two years.

Rebel leader Guy Philippe told The Associated Press on Tuesday he wants to restore the army but does not want another military dictatorship.
"Guy Philippe can put up to 400 so-called "soldiers" in the field - or in Port-au-Prince, whenever he wants to," Macklin said. "He has the capabilities, its just a matter of time before he does it. His henchmen are paid by drug traffickers . . . they have always been on the Colombian Cartel's payroll. They have the capability to topple the government, no matter what you hear."
§Info From Previous Coup Attempt
Guy Philippe
Richardson revealed that at the meeting in Santo Domingo, former Cap-Haitien police chief, Guy Philippe, "told us that former Colonel Guy François would organise a backup for us in Haiti." But when the group began the attack, no backup force materialised, he said. His account appears to confirm Haitian police officials' claim to have intercepted radio transmissions in which the attackers identified their leader as Philippe.

Philippe, who is also an ex-soldier who had been assigned to the police force that replaced the army, sought refuge in Dominican Republic in October 2000 along with seven others accused of plotting a coup. (Details of the October 2000 plot appeared in the weekly newspaper, Haiti Progres, at that time. Apparently, Philippe, Nau, and other former police chiefs who had been fired from the force, together with former soldiers and civilians, had two meetings at the private residence of a US military attaché in Haiti, a certain Major Douyon, on October 8 and October 11 2000. Also present or at least expected, according to an unconfirmed report by Radio Kiskeya on October 24 2000, was the US chargé d'affaires, Leslie Alexander. When the Haitian government found out about the meetings, Philippe, Nau and six other police chiefs fled to the Dominican Republic, where they applied for political asylum.)

Philippe later moved to Ecuador, but he flew back to Dominican Republic two weeks before last Monday's assault, Dominican officials said. After the attack, he returned to Ecuador, where on Thursday he was being held by immigration police in Quito while he appealed a government decision to deport him to Panama, the country from which his flight had arrived. Haitian government officials have asked Ecuador to extradite him. Philippe, who had phoned Radio Carnival in Miami from the Dominican Republic to deny involvement, meanwhile told reporters in Quito, "How am I going to mobilise troops? By remote control?"
§Haiti: Different Coup, Same Paramilitary Leaders
by Democracy Now
Many of the men leading the armed insurrection in Haiti right now are well known to veteran Haiti observers and, for that matter, the US intelligence agencies that worked closely with the paramilitary death squads which terrorized Haiti in the early 1990s. People like Louis Jodel Chamblain, the former number 2 man in FRAPH, Guy Philippe, a former police chief who was trained by US Special forces in Ecuador and Jean Tatun, another leader of FRAPH.
In an hour-long interview with the Washington Post, published today Guy Philippe vowed a bloody assault on Port-au-Prince "very soon" if Aristide refuses to leave office. Philippe and Chamblain told the paper that Aristide's departure and his replacement by an interim leader who would call new elections was the only possible peaceful solution to their three-week-old insurgency. Chamblain said "Aristide has two choices: prison or execution by firing squad."

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§man he most admires is former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet
by Pinochet and Guy Philippe
Guy Philippe (4.00 / 1) (#2)
by Andrew Grice on Sun Feb 29th, 2004 at 05:09:42 PM EST
(User Info)
Susanna Nesmith wrote a puffish piece on "rebel" leader Guy Philippe for Knight Ridder. He loves old movies and such. Strange, but she doesn't bother to mention how Philippe was alleged to be involved in an earlier coup attempt. But there is an interesting line if anyone still has doubt over what kind of people these "rebels" are:

"He said the man he most admires, however, is former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who was known for concentrating, not separating, power. "Pinochet made Chile what it is." No. 2 on his list is former U.S. President Ronald Reagan."
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by another pic
National Revolutionary Front chief commander Guy Philippe (R) walks around his hotel in Cape Haitien, Haiti, February 25, 2004. Philippe vowed to walk into the capital of Port Au Prince along with his troops in less than 10 days. (Carlos Villalon/Reuters)
by Guy Phillippe Was Trained By US
: Events of recent days can leave no doubt: the administration in Washington has done everything possible to topple a democratically elected government on the Caribbean island of Haiti, including economic embargo and support for a few hundred, well-armed, paramilitary death squads who have taken some of the country’s major cities.

Their boss, Guy Phillippe, today told reporters that he is following Washington’s lead.

“I heard the United States asked our men to stop their advance to Port-au-Prince. It’s on the news on the Net,” said Phillippe, according to a report by the British Press Association. “If they ask us, it’s because they have a better option, option for peace, and we always give peace a chance here, so we’ll wait to see for one or two days,” he said. “We will keep on sending troops but we won’t attack Port-au-Prince until we understand what the US means.”

So there you have it. The leader of this anti-democracy band of violent thugs has spoken: He will do what Washington says.

Everything that happens next over the coming hours and days will be the direct result of signals sent by the government in Washington… just as all that has happened so far has been. It’s just that, today, the leader of the anti-democracy paramilitaries admitted it in public.
by Guy Phillipe, US Trained Warlord
Rebel leader Guy Philippe reads the news on the Internet at the Hotel Mont Joli in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, Wednesday.
Guy Philippe arrêté en République Dominicaine
Posté le 28 décembre 2001

L'ancien commissaire Guy Philippe a été arrêté vendredi dans la région de Cibao, en République Dominicaine, a rapporté le journal " Listin Diario "

Monsieur Guy Philippe, qui a pénétré irrégulièrement le territoire dominicain, en dépit de l'interdiction édictée par le gouvernement de ce pays, a été arrêté vendredi dans la région de Cibao, a rapporté le journal " Listin Diario ".

L'ancien commissaire de police, instigateur présumé du coup d'état fomenté contre le Président Jean Bertrand Aristide, le lundi 17 décembre dernier, vivait en exil temporaire en Equateur. Le gouvernement équatorien avait décidé d'expulser Guy Philippe en République Dominicaine après lui avoir retiré à la fois son visa et son permis d'investisseur privé. Cette décision était intervenue suite à l'accusation portée par le gouvernement haïtien contre l'ancien militaire. Monsieur Philippe avait été contraint de quitter Haïti l'année dernière, après qu'une première tentative de renversement menée contre l'ancien Président René Garcia Préval, lui ait été imputée.


La police nationale avait déjà indiqué l'arrestation d'un citoyen américain en relation avec cette affaire. Cette information a été confirmée par Gina Saati, sa sœur, vice-président de la firme One World établie à Miami, son lieu de résidence. Monsieur Antoine Saati, âgé de 47 ans, directeur de cette compagnie, est la quatrième personne interpellée pour être interrogée dans le cadre de ce coup d'état manqué. Trois autres suspects, Pierre Richardson, Guy André François et le gardien de la maison où, selon la police, les assaillants avaient veillé avant l'attaque, étaient déjà en détention. Jean Dady Siméon, porte-parole de la PNH, a rapporté que la police aurait arrêté plusieurs personnes impliquées dans cette émeute, sans en indiquer le nombre.
by pic
Rebel commander Wilfort Ferdinand, also known by the nickname Ti-Wil, greets leader Guy Philippe, right, with an affectionate pat as he arrives with a group of rebel troops in Cap Haitien, Haiti, Saturday. (AP /Pablo Aneli).
The Forces Armées d'Haïti (FAD'H) was demobilised by Aristide in early 1995. The following snips were pulled together by the Haiti Support Group to suggest that there may be moves to reinstate it.
Haitian Uprising Unites Onetime Enemies by Michael Norton, Associated Press, February 10, 2004 - ...Wilfort Ferdinand, 27, is the rebel-appointed police chief of Gonaives, where his militia on Thursday led an uprising that has spread to nearly a dozen cities and towns and threatens Aristide's presidency...His ragtag militia is getting some unexpected help from former soldiers of an army that Aristide disbanded in 1995, four years after soldiers ousted him and he was restored to power. At least 50 of the ex-soldiers, heavily armed and dressed in old fatigues, have been operating for a year outside Gonaives in what the government calls an "armed wing of the opposition." They have killed at least 30 people in attacks on government officials and towns. It is unclear how many are in Gonaives and what role they play in the insurrection, but a rebel leader told The Associated Press "they have come to lend us a helping hand." The military, which has staged some 30 coups, traditionally supported an elite that for decades subjugated the poor majority among Haiti's 8 million people.

Two Haitian Towns Retaken by Michael Christie, February 10, 2004 (Reuters) ...As the revolt spread through several other towns, leaving dozens dead, the rebellion was joined by other anti-Aristide gangs, and former supporters tired of endless poverty and what they see as the government's broken promises. Former soldiers from the disbanded army are also thought to be involved.

Rebels attack cops sent to Gonaives by Michael Ottey, The Miami Herald, 9 February 2004 - ...Rebel forces in Gonaïves are preparing for new attempts to re-take the town on the part of police forces. "We are willing to fight and die if necessary," said Ralph D'Aout, a 32-year-old tailor from the Raboteau slum in Gonaïves. "It's a battle that we're up against, but it's one we will win." During the fighting, D'Aout crouched, surrounded by other men equipped with two-way radios and assault rifles. D'Aout was clearly in charge, as he called over armed men and boys and whispered orders. As his men exchanged fire with Aristide's police force (on Saturday), D'Aout told The Miami Herald he was commanding Force 86, led by Jean Tatoune. Tatoune was convicted of involvement in the 1994 slayings of Aristide supporters in what became known as the Raboteau massacre and was one of more than 150 inmates who escaped from the Gonaives prison in 2002.

At Least 42 Killed in Haitian Uprising by Ian James, St Marc, Feb 9 2004 (AP) ...The rebels are led by several factions, including former Aristide supporters, former soldiers who helped oust Aristide in a 1991 coup and civilians frustrated by deepening poverty.

Radio Metropole report (translated from French), 9 February 2004- Ex-army colonel, Himmler Rébu, has told Radio Metropole that Aristide has no choice but to resign after losing control of towns in different parts of the country. Rébu said the police had received insufficient training to deal with the situation they face in Gonaïves. He called on police officers to defect rather than take actions to the detriment of the wider population.

Extract from a Reuters report 17 August, 2001: "In all countries, the military has a role - ensuring stability in the country," said Himmler Rebu, former commander of a special unit that tried in 1989 to overthrow President Prosper Avril..."Haiti needs a military. The real security of the country is the army", Rebu said in a recent interview with Reuters at the children's sports camp he runs....]

Police move to retake Haitian city from rebels by Michael Norton, Gonaives, Feb 7 2004 (AP) ...Some gunmen wore the camouflage pants of Haiti's disbanded army, which Aristide eliminated in 1995....The army ousted Aristide in 1991 during his first term. He was restored in a 1994 U.S. invasion and then disbanded the army. Former soldiers have been blamed for a series of attacks in the past year that killed at least 25 people in the Central Plateau, east of Gonaives.

Haiti in turmoil by Jane Regan, Sun Sentinel, February 7, 2004, Gonaives - ...Among the dead was a police officer who killed himself, said an emergency room doctor at the city's La Providence Hospital. At least two other men were lynched at the police station. Members of the front said former Haitian soldiers helped them carry out their Thursday assault. After attackers pounded the police headquarters with automatic weapons fire, police ran away, witnesses said.

Nation on the Brink of Civil War - Haiti’s Virtual Government by Jean Jean-Pierre, The Village Voice, March 28, 2001 - ...The (Democratic) Convergence, an incongruous bevy of some 15 parties whose paltry membership is largely composed of the upper middle class, chose Gérard Gourgue, an educator and jurist, as its president. In November 1987, Gourgue, now 75, ran for president in elections that were aborted by the military when they and their paramilitary gangs murdered dozens of people at a polling place in Port-au-Prince. Strangely, one of the first promises made by Gourgue was to restore the army, which was disbanded by Aristide in 1995, one year after he was returned to power by U.S. troops. So it is no coincidence that hundreds of former army officers took to the streets three weeks ago to demand the reinstatement of that dreaded institution.
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