Haiti Drugs, Thugs, and the CIA

SYNOPSIS: More than 4,000 civilians in Haiti have been killed since the 1991 bloody military coup that ousted duly-elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide. But few Americans are aware of our secret involvement in Haitian politics.

Some of the high military officials involved in the coup have been on the CIA's payroll from "the mid-1980s at least until the 1991 coup." Further, the CIA "tried to intervene in Haiti's election with a covert action program that would have undercut the political strength" of Aristide. The aborted attempt to influence the 1988 election was authorized by then-President Ronald Reagan and the National Security Council. The program was blocked by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in a rare move.

Next, a confidential Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) report revealed that Haiti is "a major transshipment point for cocaine traffickers" who are funneling drugs from Colombia and the Dominican Republic into the United States .

According to Patrick Elie, who was Aristide's anti-drug czar, Haitian police chief Lt. Col. Michel Francois is at the center of the drug trade. Francois' "attaches" reportedly have been responsible for a large number of murders and violence since the coup. Elie said he was constantly rebuffed by the CIA when he tried to alert it to the military's drug trafficking. Elie also reported how the CIA-created Haitian National Intelligence Service (NIS)- supposedly created to combat drugs-was actually involved with narcotics trafficking, and "functioned as a political intimidation and assassination squad."

On October 17, 1994, Time magazine revealed that Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, head of the FRAPH, a brutal gang of Haitian thugs known for murder, torture, and beatings, was on the payroll of both the CIA and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. The New York Times reported (12/3/95) that Constant himself had confirmed he was a paid agent of the CIA. An American force of 20,000 threw out the Haitian military junta in September 1994 and paved the way for the return of Aristide in October. While the American force is long gone, U.N. peacekeepers, paid for by the United States, remain in Haiti (Christian Science Monitor, 9/4/96). Ironically, investigative reporter Allan Nairn revealed the "U.S. military intelligence and the CIA are still, to this day, continuing their secret work with the repressive paramilitary organization known as FRAPH" (The Nation, 1/8/96).


See also:
Thirst For Justice:
A Decade of Impunity in Haiti

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"Transformation is only valid if it is carried out with the people, not for them. Liberation is like a childbirth, and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person: no longer either oppressor or oppressed, but a person in the process of achieving freedom. It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors."

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