Monday, 7 March 2011

More on Gran Ravine and Martissant.. The 2005 HNP Report on Lame Ti Manchet and the Involvement of Officers Within HNP Ranks






I am posting here a report that was put together by Haiti's National Police (HNP) on the involvement of some of its officers with Lame Ti Manchèt (the Little Machete Army) during the time of the Latortue interim government in Haiti. 

This report, put together by HNP officials, sheds some little light on one attack that was part of a much wider campaign of continual violent joint-paramilitary/police operations conducted throughout much of 2004 and part of 2005 (as a good deal of film evidence and testimonials by witnesses and victims attest). During this time period, following the 2004 coup, an unelected "interim" government worked with sectors of Haiti's elite and security force to crackdown on communities where support for ousted elected government remained strong in the slums of Port-au-Prince. This resulted in the killing, wounding, firing from jobs, imprisonment, and exile of thousands. Numerous studies provided detail on this campaign of violence but focused mainly on what happened in Bel Air and Cité Soleil (Lawyers Guild, Harvard study, University of Miami Study, Lancet, etc).



In Martissant and Gran Ravine, the communities where Lame Ti Manchèt was active, the most thorough human rights investigations were conducted by AUMOHD. Once AUMOHD and other human rights groups began to mount a campaign against the violence in the area, the HNP (and MINUSTAH) were increasingly pressured to reign in the Lame Ti Manchèt crew.

Rudy Kernizan, a leader of Lame Ti Manchèt , was said to have committed suicide when he was surrounded by a PNH squad that was finally sent in to arrest him. Some have said the PNH murdered him. Most of the Lame Ti Manchèt have either died/were killed but some are in jail. Mrs. Kernizan escaped to the DR as I understand it. Below is a police report, ordered by Mario Andresol just after he took charge of the PNH, although Judge Paul Peres let everyone in the police go. Some believed that Andresol was not honest in backing the report, while others said it was the corrupt (and pro-coup) judiciary that let these people off. Below is Tom Luce's translation of the report:




Investigative Report: Involvement of the Haitian National Police at St. Bernadette(Martissant) Park August 20, 2005 (Monday, November 6, 2005)

OBJECTIVE
Involvement of the Haitian National Police at St. Bernadette(Martissant)Park, August 20, 2005

Source: Complaint from the Inspector General's Office


I- The Facts

On Saturday, August 20, 2005, in carrying out legitimate orders some personnel from different units of the Haitian National Police under the Central Administration of the Administrative Police and the Administration of the Department of the West conducted an operation at Martissant intended to question suspected bandits sought after by the police. Some individuals armed with machetes, sticks, and firearms took advantage of the presence of the police to undertake some revenge which ended in the death of a dozen people.


II- The Investigation

1. Following up on some information received from his informants operating in the Martissant zone, the Director of the Department of the West, Division Chief, Carlo LOCHARD, decided to go forward with an operation at St. Bernadette Park located in the said zone where there was taking place as in every year at the same time, a soccer championship.

2. The objective of this operation was to go into the center of said park, to identify, thanks to the presence of informants, the bandits being sought after and to proceed to question them. In fact the information which the Director of the Department of the West had was that a group of individuals were regularly present (whose names were WILGUENS, SASSON, WIDMAILLE, SARDOU) and very involved in different cases of theft, homicide and kidnapping committed in the metropolitan area.

3. The operation was set for Saturday, August 20, 2005 and the Director of the Department of the West organized a briefing with those taking part with their respective teams, the division inspector Jean Michel GASPARD, Agent IV Jean Floran MATHIEU and Agent III Médard BLANCHARD, respectively identified under their code names, DDO-14, DDO-12 and DDO-13. This briefing centered on the plan prepared for the event.

4. After the briefing the Director of the Department of the West contacted by telephone the Central Director of the Administrative Police, Inspector General Renan ETIENNE, to request the reinforcement of specialized units of the Haitian National Police. The Central Director asked him to make contact with the commandants of the units in question while he, from his end, was going to pass on appropriate instructions.

5. On the day set for the operation the units involved (patrols DD0-12, DDO-13 and DDO-14) gathered in the courtyard of the director's office of the Department of the West for last adjustments. At this meeting there were police officers from SWAT Team 3 and the police inspector, Roody PETION, the man in charge of unit MO-13 from the Corps of Intervention and Maintenance of Order. After having received the last instructions from the man in charge of the operation (police officer Jean Floran MATHIEU), the police officers present went on their way to St. Bernadette Park.

6. The teams deployed were formed as follows:

Patrol DD)-12: officers Jean Floran MATHIEU, Niclès DESTIN, Termy HORAT (driver of a Nissan vechile Patrol 1-0676;
Patrol DDO-13: officers Michelet FILS-AIME, Nackel LOUIS, Médard BLANCHARD (driver of the Nissan vehicle Patrol 074;
Patrol DDO-14: officers Grévy LINDOR, Jean Fednel LAFALAISE, Stevenson CLERSAINT, Jean Michel GASPARD (driver of the Toyota Tundra vehicle 1-0837;
Patrol SWAT-3: officers Djuly JEAN_BAPTISTE, Robinson FORTUNATE, Lucksonne JANVIER;
Patrol MO-14: Officers Roody PETION (driver of the vehicle), Jean Avla LAFLEUR, Guilner LINDOR, Gaudy SALOMON, Edgard PASCAL

7. In the course of the trip the patrol of the sub-station of Portail Léogane (composed of officers Pierre Jocelyn LETELIER, Gaby DUCLAIR and Réginald CIVIL, who used a DAIHATSU TERIOS plate number 1-0614) joined the other units and upon arriving at the grounds the drivers received the order to stay at the steering wheels of their vehicles while the deployment was put in place in the following manner:

Group for entering: patrol MO-14 (officers Gaudy SALOMON, Guilner LINDOR, Jean Avia LAFLEUR, Edgard PASCAL) and patrol SWAT-3 (officers Lucksonne JANVIER, Djuly JEAN-BAPTISTE, Robinson FORTUNAT), under the command of the one in charge of the operation, officer A-IV Jean Floran MATHIEU.

Control of the entrance to St. Bernadette Park: patrol DDO-14 (officers Grévy LINDOR, Stevenson CLERSAINT, Jean Fednel LAFALAISE) under the command of the Division Inspector Jean Michel GASPARD.

Control of the intersection of Boulevard Jean Jacques DESSALIINES-Martissant 1: patrol DDO-13 (officers Médard BLANCHARD, Michelet FILS-AIME and Nackell LOUIS).

Control of Prompt St. (behind St. Bernadette Park): patrol Portail Léogane (officers Gaby DUCLAIR, Reginald CIVIL, Pierre Jocelyn LETELIER)

8. Once the deployment was in place the group charged with entering went to the field where the first half-time of the match was finishing. The man named Reginald MICHEL, one of the informants of the Director of the Department of the West for the zone accompanied them to identify the bandits who had to be questioned. The officers opened the main gate and went in to the applause of the crowd, estimated at more than seven thousand people, who believed the officers were there to provided security for the sports event.

9. Officer Jean Floran MATHIEU went to the MC of St. Bernadette Park through whom he ordered the crowd to lie down while the other officers who accompanied him closed the gate at the entry. At that moment a shot rang out which, along with the clanging shut of the gate and the order given by the officer in charge for the crowd to lie down, provoked a panic among those attending the game who rushed toward the exit.

10. Noticing that it was impossible to leave St. Bernadette Park by the main gate, most of the spectators of the game tried to climb the walls surrounding the field while shots were produced in an exchange between the police and the bandits who were trying to cover their flight and to avoid an eventual arraignment.

11. The shots made inside St. Bernadette Park and the garage next to a school classroom "Republic of Peru" resulted in the death of two people: a presumed bandit who exchanged shots with the officers in the group entering the field and the man so-called Réginald MICHEL, beaten by the bandits who identified him as an informant. No mention was made concerning the weapon which the presumed bandit used who was killed in the exchange with the police.

12. At that moment a group of individuals armed with machetes, sticks and firearms took control of the interior of St. Bernadette Park. This group of individuals, known by the name of " Army of Little Machetes" took advantage of the presence of the police to commit attacks of all sorts on the people who were trying to flee.

13. These individuals chased the frightened spectators, mainly those who in their opinion were bandits or who were connected with them and took advantage of the fact that the police did not intervene to stop their actions, killing a certain number of people among whom were: Nesdou FEVRY, Francky HERNE, Denis JEAN-MARIE, Erinel ALCIDAS, Grégory ODICE, Yvens MELISSE and another individual not identified; the names Enock LAPLANTE, Christome DORCE, Jean Milfort PETIT-HOMME and Patrick BAPTISTE were given as those wounded by machete by these individuals.

14. The one in charge of the operation, noting the inability of the police to take control of the situation, requested reinforcements directly by radio and from the Center of Informatiion and Operations (CRO); three patrols were send to the site of the operation:

-Patrol Side Guards: officers Lycon FRANÇOIS, Anderson CHARLOT, Jean René ESPERANCE, Clébert DORLUS;
-Patrol of the Brigade of the Port-au-Prince station: officers Mégène PIERRE, Ronel JEAN, Hielson ANTOINE, Jerôme DESCOMES
-Patrol of the sub-station of Marché Salomon: officers Camélo FRANÇOIS, Harold POPO, Osnel PREVILOR, Dieuriel SAINT-LOUIS

15. These patrols then came to the Martissant zone and took their respective positions:
-in front of the sub station of Martissant on request of the officers stationed at this post;
-at the entry of the fifth avenue Bolosse near the St. Bernadette passageway;
-at the National gas station situated in front of St. Bernadette church.

16. These patrols did not take part in the intervention, being satisfied to control their respective positions until rain put an end to the operation.

17. The officers who had gone into the park, toward the end of the operation, made a tour in the zone situated behind St. Bernadette Park; this permitted them to discover the bodies of two other persons likely killed by machete by members of the small group called "Army of the little Machete". The one in charge of the operation called the ambulance service from the University Hospital of the State of Haiti to transport the bodies.

18. Next, on Sunday, August 21, 2005 some members of the different units of the Haitian National Police carried out, according to the instructions of the General Director of the Administrative Police, a search operation in the zone called Grand-Ravine during which some automatic weapon loaders, ammunition of different caliber and some combat clothes were confiscated.

19. During this operation a Nissan vehicle, "Pathfinder", colored red, found without a license plate was taken and driven to the Headquarters of the Traffic and Road Police.

20. At this time once more members of the little group named "Army of the Little Machete" took advantage of the presence of the police to get involved: no loss of human life was reported but several houses considered the property of bandits were burned.


III- Conclusions of the Investigation

A- The Planning and Execution of the operation of August 20, 2005

1. The operation of Saturday, August 20, 2005 led by the Haitian National Police had been decided upon with the aim of proceeding to question certain presumed bandits whose presence had been pointed out inside St. Bernadette Park.

2. This operation decided upon as a result of information received by the Director of the Department of the West from his informants presents some weaknesses in both its preparation and its execution. In fact:

-No familiarity with the grounds had been obtained; the possibility of an important increase in the number of spectators of the soccer game had not been taken into account which set in motion an inadequate action;
- the identification of the bandits to be questioned was not detailed for the officers participating in the operation but was left in charge of the informants;
- the briefing carried out by officer Jean Floran MATHIEU, responsible for the operation, was not clear; the mission of the different units involved in this mission which had different methods of operating with regard to their specific missions was not made precise;
-the entire group involved in the operation was placed under the command of an officer of Grade A-IV which constitutes a major handicap for the conduct of this operation, the one in charge had neither the capacity nor the necessary rank for an operation of this extent;
-no planning had been done by the Director of the Department of the West in view of answering in an immediate way to an eventual demand for reinforcement given by the people involved in the operation;
- the chief of Port-au-Prince in whose jurisdiction the operation took place had not been informed of its taking place, nor were the officers of the sub-station of Martissant;
-the hearings of the different people in charge did not allow obtaining the motivation for the operation on August 21, 2005 at Grand Ravine

B- The behavior of the officers engaged in the operation.

1. The police who participated in the operation carried out by the Haitian National Police at St. Bernadette Park, particularly those who occupied the soccer field and its principal entrance are responsible to different degrees for the process that led to the events that followed this intervention:

-after having carried out the entrance they ordered the crowd to lie down even though there was no sign, real or apparent, of hostility on their part;
- they locked the principal gate to the field cutting off therefore any orderly exit by the spectators;
-the police responded in an uncontrolled manner to the shots of the bandits and did so without ascertaining the source of these shots thereby increasing the panic reaction of the crowd and consequently increasing the risk of the number of victims;
-the members of the small group called "Army of the Little Machete" carried out their assault, armed with machetes, sticks and firearms, without the police reacting to stop these attacks, but on the contrary with the police openly collaborating or at least passively complicit;
-no measures were taken by the police with a view to bringing assistance to the spectators at the sports event who clearly were in danger.

The combined actions committed by these police entail:
- an illegal act (point 2-03, Punishment Scale, RDG);
- an error against the good name of the police (point 2-21);
- a very serious professional error (point 5-01)
- a violation of articles 7 and 9 of the Code of Ethics of the Haitian National Police;
- a violation of the General Order 003, relative to the use of force.

In addition, in the framework of the investigation pursued by the Inspector General of the Haitian National Police into the events of August 20 at Martissant, the police who participated in the intervention:

-have denied having used their weapons;
- were unaware of the presence and intervention of the individual members of the small group named "Army of the Little Machete";
- deliberately kept silent about the number of dead bodies resulting from this intervention, which constitutes a falsification (point 2-64, Ethics Code: to make a false deposition in an investigation).

C- Action of the Director of the Department of the West with regard to the events of August 20, 2005

1. The division chief, Carlo LOCHARD, Director of the Department of the West, has admitted being the organizer of the operation of August 20, 2005 at St. Bernadette Park for the reasons cited above. However even though he had received the report of police officer Jean Floran MATHIEU, the one responsible for the operation, and having been fully informed of the events that took place subsequent to the so-called intervention, has failed to

-pursue an inquiry into the circumstances which were crucial in these serious events;
-submit a timely report on the specifics to his superiors (General Director of the Haitian National Police, Chief Inspector General)

which constitutes:
-an infraction of orders (points 4-11 and 4-15, Code of Punishments)
-a professional error (point 5-02)

In addition, by making the decision to put back into active service Division Inspector Jean Michel GASPARD-- the same one who, under an investigation undertaken by the Central Administration of the Judiciary Police, was the object of a report of abandoning his post made by of the one in charge of the sub-station of Port-au-Prince (CAFETERIA)- without reporting this to the General Director of the Haitian National Police who had the prerogative, the Division Chief, Carlo LOCHARD betrayed the confidence of his superior (point 2-66, Code of Punishments)

D- The case of the Central Director of the Administrative Police

The Inspector General, Renan ETIENNE, Central Director of the Administrative police admitted in his hearing to having been informed of the intervention by the Director of the Department of the West who had asked him to put at his disposal two patrols of specialized units of the Haitian National Police, namely one from the Corps of Intervention and Maintenance of Order, and the other from the intervention group of the Haitian National Police to which he had responded positively. Nonetheless all the while knowing of the events that took place in the course of the so-called intervention, he failed to:

- undertake an inquiry into the circumstances which were crucial to these serious events
- submit a timely and detailed report to his superiors (Director General of the Haitian National Police, Chief Inspector General)

He also admitted that on Sunday, August 21, 2005 in spite of the grave incidents of the evening before he passed instructions to the commander of the Group of Intervention of the Haitian National Police to the effect that a team of this unit would intervene in the zone of Grand Ravine. This intervention also resulted in important material destruction and no inquiry was made by the Central Director with regard to these events.

Moreover although the Central Director had received a correspondence from the Commander of the GIPNH covering the report of the one in charge of the team which had acted on August 21, 2005 at Grand Ravine, no transmission of said report was made to the Director General of the Haitian National Police, which constitutes:

-an infraction of orders (point 4-11 and 4-15, Code of Punishments)
- a professional error (point 5-02)

E- Members of the small group named "Army of the Little Machete"

1. The information collected in the framework of the inquiry pursued by the office of the Inspector General is that the members of this little group are bandits who had been on a rampage in the zone and who had been chased out after February 2004. They had fled to different places of the metropolitan zone (notably to Bertin, commune of Carrefour) all the while operating in the zone of Bicentenaire under cover as refrigeration technicians.

2. Among those who committed the attacks at St. Bernadette Park and at Grand Ravine there have been identified:

- Frantz LARAME (alias "Gérald Gwo Lombril"), escapee from the National Penitentiary in January 2004
-Jean Yves GEORGES (alis "Brown"), escapee from the National Penitentiary in January 2004;
- Valdimir PADEAU (alias "KIMO") (tried unsuccessfully to gain admission to the Haitian National Police in 2004);
-Guito SAINT-FORT (tried unsuccessfully to gain admission to the Haitian National Police in 2004
- Jean Denis FAUSTIN
-Carlo BERNADEL (alias "CHOUPITE")
- Steve DIEUSIBON (alias "RODNEY")
-Steevenson GEFFRARD (alis "TIAS AKEEM")
-Luckson LOUIS (alias "Girafe")
-Roland TOUSSAINT (the brother-in-law of officer Roody PETION)
-Evens so called (alias "TETE CHANKRE")
-Eddy so called (base La Foi)
-Sweet so called (committed a murder in the Dominican Republic and then escaped from prison to return to Haiti)
-Kikki so called
- Eliphète, so called
- Abdias, so called

IV- Recommendations on the measures to be taken

Consequently the office of the Inspector General of the Haitian National Police recommends:

1. The dismissal of Inspector General Renan ETIENNE, 11-PP-o1557.
2. The dismissal of Division Chief Carlo LOCHARD, 11-PP-02322.
3. The cancellation of the contract between the Haitian National Police and the officers:

-Jean Michel GASPARD, 11-PP-0734, Division Inspector
-Roody PETION, 95-08-07-04205, Police Inspector
-Jean Floran MATHIEU, 99-12-03-05558, A-4
-Guilner LINDOR, 03-14-05-06264, A-1
- Jean Avla LAFLEUR, 03-14-02-05929, A-1
-Gaudy SALOMON, 03-14-03-06123, A-1
-Edgard PASCAL, 03-14-10-06707, A-1
-Lucksonne JANVIER, 11-PP-0o2483, A-2, (DAP)
-Djuly JEAN-BAPTISTE, 02-13-04-05778, A-1
-Robinson FORTUNATE, 95-06-009-02792, A-4
-Nackel LOUIS, 11-PP-0183, A-3
-Stevenson CLERSAINT, 11-PP-0606, A-2

4. A suspension of 60 days with loss of salary for the officers:
-Médard BLANCHARD, 95-04-17-01221, A-3
-Termy HORAT, 99-12-06-05639, A-2
-Michelet FILS-AIME, 03-14-08-06499, A-1
- Jean Fednel LAFALAISE, 04-15-01-06920, A-1
-Niclès DESTIN, 03-14-04-06158, A-1
- Grévy LINDOR, 11-PP-0993, A-3

5. The transmission of the case to the Government Prosecutor
6. The transmission of the case to the Central Director of the Judiciary Police for the pursuit of the inquiry particularly into the matter of the members of the little group named "Army of the Little Machete", identified by the victims.

7. The establishment of a uniform procedure for the conduct of operations in which units under different central administrations will be brought to work together.

Dr. Gessy Cameau Coicou, MD, Inspector General In Chief, MPH

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