American Politicians Call for Investigations into Government Actions in Haiti

Two active American Polticians, from the House of Representatives, Andy Levin and Barbara Lee, 104 elected US representatives on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, requesting that he examine the violation and the human rights violation by the Haitian government and the police amid the ongoing demonstrations organized out in Haiti.

“We ask you to help careful and free examinations concerning claims of defilement at the base of the present emergency and human rights infringement, including extrajudicial executions,” he said. The initiators of this letter bearing the mark of 104 bipartisan individuals altogether of the United States House of Representatives.

here is the full letter in its entirety from house.gov page https://andylevin.house.gov/sites/andylevin.house.gov/files/LevinLee-Haiti%20ltr%2003-2019.pdf

“The Honorable Mike Pompeo Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW

Washington, D.C., 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write to express our serious concerns regarding ongoing civil unrest in Haiti.We appreciate the legitimate frustrations of the Haitian people, whose democratic aspirations have been repeatedly thwarted. We urge you to support dialogue aimed at resolving the country’s escalating crisis and ensuring that upcoming elections are transparent and inclusive.

We take note of the President and Prime Minister’s calls for dialogue and hope that all efforts are made by the government to ensure a broad participation among stakeholders.

In addition, we urge you to support thorough and independent investigations into both the corruption allegations that sparked the current crisis and the human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, that have reportedly taken place.

27 people killed in Haiti during the 2 weeks protests

As you are aware, recent anti-corruption protests demanding President Jovenel MoIse’s resignation have resulted in violence. On February 27, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) noted that 26 people have been killed and 77 injured since February 7. On February 14, the State Department issued a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Advisory for Haiti and ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their families.

We are deeply saddened by these events and offer our condolences to the victims and their families. We condemn acts of violence by all actors and are troubled by the economic damage incurred during this period — yet another devastating blow to Haiti’s development.

In light of recent events and approaching elections in Haiti, we respectfully ask the Department to provide the following updates:

We urge the Department to support accountability efforts around the Petrocaribe case and request a report detailing U.S. support for Haiti’s independent anticorruption institutions, as well as the results of any investigations into corruption involving Haitian government officials. We support the Haitian people’s calls for government accountability, especially as it relates to the reported misappropriation of nearly $2 billion in low-interest loans provided through Venezuela’s Petrocaribe initiative. Though both a Haitian Senate

No one held accountable for Haiti corruptions

I “Concerned about Worsening Violence and Search”, in Haiti, IACHR Unveils Plans for a Rapid and Integrated Response Coordination Unit to Monitor the Situation.” Organization of American States. February 27, 2019. investigation and independent Court of Auditors report implicated numerous public officials – including officials in the current administration – in wrongdoing involving Petrocaribe funds, no one has been held accountable.

haiti-corruptions-money
haiti-corruptions-money

We request a briefing regarding reports of violence against those exercising their democratic rights. We are especially concerned by recent reports of a massacre involving Haitian security agents and government officials, which resulted in up to 60 deaths, as recognized by Human Rights Watch.’- We understand that the United Nations (UN) Justice Support Mission in Haiti is investigating this incident and ask that you provide Congress with a briefing on the progress of that investigation to date, as well as a report on the conclusions of the investigation.

We ask that you communicate to our partners in Haitian law enforcement, and the UN mission, the importance of rigorous investigations into allegations of abuses and justice for victims of state violence. Reports of excessive use of force and gross human rights violations perpetrated by Haitian National Police officers are deeply troubling. The U.S. has provided Haiti with $150 million in direct security assistance over the last decade and has long supported UN efforts aimed at strengthening and professionalizing the Haitian National Police. We also ask that you provide Congress with a report on Leahy Law compliance regarding police units, including units involved in narcotics control.

We ask that you work with partners in the country to impress upon the Haitian government the importance of inviting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to visit the country and investigate acts of political violence, including the mass killing in La Saline. We are concerned that the current Haitian administration failed to renew the mandate of UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Independent Expert on Haiti, a position that has monitored the conditions in the country since 1995.

We call on the Department to ensure that U.S. electoral support for Haiti involves broad outreach to Haitian civil society and promotes inclusion and empowerment. U.S. support should foster a democratic environment that allows for the full participation of Haitian voters. The U.S. has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in electoral assistance to Haiti and, with other international bodies, has observed all recent elections. Nonetheless, voter turnout has consistently fallen for more than a decade.”

104 American Politicians from the lower chamber signed the letter

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