From left: Amb. Lawrence A. Pezzullo, Amb. Ernest H. Preeg, Pierre Esperance. During visit of Haiti Democracy Project delegation.


The National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH, formerly National Coalition for Haitian Rights, NCHR) asks the interim government to reject the demand made by a group of U.S. Democratic congressmen to dismiss Justice Minister Bernard Gousse. According to RNDDH, this is flagrant interference by this group of ten congressmen in the country’s internal affairs. RNDDH official Pierre Esperance explains as follows:

Pierre Esperance: We strongly condemn the statement made by a group of U.S. congressmen within the framework of the La Scierie massacre case. RNDDH is offended by the initiative of these U.S. congressmen because they do not respect the independence of other nations. This undertaking shows how the concerned U.S. congressmen do not have any respect for the Haitian people when they ask their foreign minister to dismiss the Haitian justice minister because, according to them, Justice Minister Gousse is responsible for the detention of former Lavalas Prime Minister Yvon Neptune.

RNDDH finds the demand made by this group of U.S. congressmen shocking when they affirm that these two Lavalas officials are in prison in the context of political persecution. Meanwhile, these two men, Neptune and Jocelerme Privert, are in fact in jail for the alleged involvement in the La Scierie massacre.

And yet, what we have observed is that there are more former Lavalas officials in prison in Miami for involvement in drug trafficking than there are in Port-au-Prince. For instance, there are the former president of the General Assembly of parliament, Fourel Celestin, former Police Director Jean Nesly Lucien, former National Palace Security Chief Oriel Jean, former head of the Research and Investigation Brigade (BRI) Rudy Therassan, former head of the BLTS (Office To Control Drug Trafficking) Evans Brillant, former Chief of the Airport Police (Ronald Celestin), and so on.

So, the question we want to ask is this: if when a former Lavalas official is in prison for involvement in criminal acts and these congressmen describe it as political persecution, why is it then that these same U.S. congressmen do not say that their own government is persecuting Lavalas officials too? Because there are more former Lavalas officials in prison in Miami than in Haiti. So, why do these people not ask their government to dismiss their own attorney general?

For this reason, RNDDH is asking the interim president of the Republic and the prime minister not to take into consideration the request made by these U.S. congressmen because it is not in accordance with the truth, nor does it respect the rights of the Haitian State.