Originally: Haitian Police Chief Resigns, Drops Out of Sight
[From the RadioVision 2000 “Info Vision” newscast, 1130 GMT 23 June 03]
[Announcer] The main news today is the resignation of the director general of the Haitian National Police [PNH], Jean-Robert Faveur. We received the news yesterday. The four-page resignation letter, which was addressed to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was written on 21 June. The letter reads as follows:
To President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, president of the Republic. Your Excellency, for the reasons that are cited below, I am now presenting you my resignation as interim director general of the PNH.
Mr. President, on Friday, 6 June 2003, in the company of Secretary of State for Public Security Jean Gerard Dubreuil, in the company of former Director General Jean-Claude Jean-Baptiste, you held a meeting with me in your office at the National Palace to give me instructions concerning my new position as PNH interim director general. I was caught off guard when you started talking about your authority over the management of the PNH. You then told me that I had to consult with Jean Gerard Dubreuil and Jean-Claude Jean-Baptiste before making any decision if I did not want to end up like Nesly Lucien. You also told me that all nominations and transfers of departmental directors as well as all assignments in the metropolitan areas depend on you and you alone. You also told me that I should bear in mind what happened to former Director of the Judicial Police Jeannot Francois when he was promoted without your consent and that he was later demoted. Since then I knew that I was in a very bad position. I was not thinking then what I was going to do in that situation. But I did not imagine that the pressure was going to start right before I even took office. And after that, my installation took place in a room of the director general’s office that was far too small under the command of the secretary of state for public security.
On that same day, Friday 6 June, former Director General Jean-Baptiste was busy signing many promotion and transfer letters. And after he left, Mario (Syclair) came and showed me the letters that I had to correct because there were some errors in them. I then had to add my name to them before sending them out.
I was really surprised to see that Jean-Baptiste appointed an Agent-2, Germain Saint-Fleur, Police ID-95060402437, as divisional police superintendent assigned to the Croix-des-Bouquets police station. Of course, the human resources director did not dare cite Article 60 of the law in executing that illegal order. That article, which was cited and violated by my two predecessors, goes like this: The career of the various police officers consists of grades organized into a hierarchy in an ascending manner without discontinuity within three levels. In each level, promotions will be made on the basis of seniority and competence. A high-ranking police candidate should pass an internal exam that is determined by internal regulations. The grades are presented according to the law of 28 December 1994 on the creation of the PNH, which was published in Le Monitor No. 103 of that year.
I was in the office of the secretary of state for judicial affairs and public security to tell him that I could not sign that letter. And that if that policeman took a test before I occupied this position then he should be promoted to the position of police superintendent instead of divisional superintendent. The secretary of state then retorted that “it is the president’s order. You can change the form but the end result should be the same.” However, for some other documents, it is the dates that I had to modify because they came out with the date of my installation.
On 9 June, I was really surprised and amazed to receive a letter from the central and general services administrative director. That letter was signed by the secretary of state for judicial affairs, Dubreuil, without my signature. That letter specified that the director general’s office transmits the signatures of the persons authorized to sign PNH checks. The authorized persons were Jean-Robert Estere, central and general services administrative director; Patrick Valcin, who is the central and general services administrative and logistics director. The interim director general of the PNH was automatically left out of the administration. He did not have the right to exert any control over PNH accounts. And the worst thing is that he had to authorize all that.
Once again, that fact was contested before the secretary of state for judicial affairs and public security who replied, “I have no choice because that was decided by the president.” Former PNH Director General Jean-Baptiste told me the same thing, without mentioning the president’s name, when he announced on 4 June that he chose me to be his cabinet chief. I was just shattered in the presence of the secretary of state. I was holding a copy of Article 23.7 of the law on the creation of the PNH stipulating as follows the duties of the director general: “He will supervise and control the functioning of all expenses or outflow of funds, and prepare together with the administrative direction the pilot study of the yearly budget.” In light of that article, I then told him that I could not sign the document because it was illegal. He replied by saying that he understood my situation and that I had to forget about that law. I said, what am I going to say to the parliament or the CSCCA [Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation] if they have to question me some day about a disbursement of funds that are not regularly used? He said that I would not be held responsible because I would not be responsible for signing checks or for the disbursement of funds. I said, “in that case it is not necessary to add my signature to the letters that he had already signed.” He replied that I had to do it, besides the administration is blocked.
He went on to say that the president said that I [Faveur] would be responsible for the professionalization of the PNH while Dubreuil and the other two people authorized to sign checks would take care of the administration. So, before leaving the meeting, I told him that he would have to explain what he means by professionalization of the PNH.
I was feeling stunned and sick. So, I stayed out of the office for a few hours. Some people even encouraged me to forget about things because my life as well as the lives of my family was at stake. That day, in the afternoon, I signed the letter as well as several other lists of transfers and appointments that the executive branch got me to sign while trying to find a way to get out of that puppet position.
I did not have more authority than an Agent-1 policeman assigned to the National Palace had when you imposed me in your cabinet, and imposed on me some men that came right from the National Palace to be appointed departmental director of the PNH. Meanwhile, Article 45 of the law on the creation of the PNH stipulates that “the departmental direction is headed by a divisional police superintendent who is the departmental director of the PNH. He should be appointed by the director general after consultation with the High Council of the Haitian National Police [CSPNH].” You have thus removed from me all operational and financial control of the PNH.
It has been two weeks of moral and physical suffering and two weeks of resistance that I have spent at the head of the PNH. I do not want to stay one more day. I heard, refuted, and kindly sent to the secretary of state for public security a former senator of the central department, who is a member of your private cabinet, and Deputy Levy Joseph. Those two men came to me with a list of names of armed men who are allegedly keeping the peace in the Plateau Central area. The names of those people were submitted to me so that they could be integrated into the PNH. That initiative was aimed at legalizing the actions of those men.
Mr. President, if you paid attention to what I was saying, you probably noticed that I have been making sacrifices for a long time so that I could safeguard the values that are now missing in the country, such as honor, integrity, dignity, and character. Today, I have chosen the road of exile instead of letting myself be corrupted and enslaved.
Mr. President, the situation is not good at all within the PNH, and poverty is killing the country. I had thought that with my presence at the head of the PNH you would see a beginning of the solution to the crisis, but, unfortunately, you do not care about that. Those people who are making money around you are afraid to tell you that things are bad out there. I am glad that I did not betray the confidence that the people, the policemen, the large majority, the international community, and some of your partners placed in me.
I seize the occasion to tell the prime minister, the finance minister, the secretary of state for public security, parliament, the international community, national policemen, and the Haitian people that the documents attached to this letter prove the bad faith of our leaders and the permanent danger that my family and I were facing. All that explained my silence. I am leaving now but I will always be willing to serve my country in an honest manner without having internal dangers above me because of my character and my way of doing things. I have saved my life, my trust, and my dignity. [end of letter]
Faveur sent copies of the letter to the parliament, the prime minister, the justice minister, the finance minister, the secretary of state for public security, the CSCCA, and the press.
According to rumors, Faveur took refuge in an embassy, has already left the country, and is now in Miami. He apparently traveled via the Dominican Republic. It should be pointed out that since his appointment as director general of the police, Faveur never slept at home because of fear. He stayed in a big hotel in the Petion-Ville area. [end]
[Description of Source: Port-au-Prince Radio Vision 2000 in French — Independent, centrist commercial radio station]