13 August 2005


The National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) has observed that, since

its installation, the transitional government of Haiti has been

encouraging impunity in many forms within the country.

The question of Justice appears to mean nothing for the current leaders as

high profile criminals and lawbreakers, one way or another, are going

free, circulating in the streets without concern while their victims

continue to cry out for justice.

It has become apparent to RNDDH that for some time now, the Court of

Appeals of Port-au-Prince has been taking pleasure in liquidating several

big cases without any legal provisions as in the murder cases of Jean

Dominique and Jean Claude Louissaint, and of Father Jean Marie Vincent.

Take the case of Louis Jodel Chamblain, second in command of the

paramiliary group FRAPH (the Front for the Advancement and Progress of

Haiti).  His name is well-known by all for his implication in various

crimes committed in the country, such as: the murder of Antoine Izmery in

1993, the Cité Soleil Massacre in 1993, and the Raboteau Massacre in

Gonaïves in 1994.

People have not forgotten the kinds of acts that FRAPH ­ the organisation

that Chamblain led ­ committed during the coup d?état years from 1991 ­

1994, including summary executions, the rape of women, forcing children to

rape their own mothers, theft, burning down homes, brutal murders and

assaults, discarding and leaving for dead leaving for dead the bodies of

those they had tortured.  Arlette Belance is living proof of the latter as

she was tortured, cut up and left for dead in Titayen by members of FRAPH.

After having returned to Haiti to assist in the armed movement against

former President Aristide, Chamblain turned himself into Haitian

authorities on 22 April 2004

In August 2004, in a farce of a judgment in the murder trial of Antoine

Izmery, Louis Jodel Chamblain was exonerated.

In May 2005, the Supreme Court threw out the 2000 ruling in the Raboteau

trial citing incorrect usage of procedures. It was clear that the Supreme

Court ruling did not include those who had been judged in absentia.

Chamblain had been tried and sentenced in absentia for his implication in

the Raboteau killings.  Yet, in May 2005, the Public Prosecutor and the

Chief Justice of the Court of First Instance of Gonaïves decided to

authorize Chamblain?s release, without any legal grounds.  Official

release papers were issued on 27 July 2005 and Chamblain was released from

a prison in Port-au-Prince on 11 August 2005.

Chamblain?s name has also been cited in the Cité Soleil Massacre in 1993,

during which several people lost their lives, not to mention hundreds of

families were left homeless as a result of the fires.  Despite his

implication in the massacre, Chamblain has never responded in a court of

law to these accusations against him.   And yet today, he is a free man.

Fourteen (14) years after the coup d?état against then President Aristide

in 1991, RNDDH remarks that several of those implicated in crimes

committed during the three (3) years that followed continue to benefit

from blatant impunity.

RNDDH considers it the right of all Haitians to obtain justice, this

includes the victims of the La Scierie Massacre, the families of Jean

Dominique-Jean Claude Louissant and of Father Jean Pierre Louis.  It

includes Viola Robert who continues to seek justice for her three (3)

slain sons, and the families of Mireille Durocher Bertin, Fernande Jean

and the Cléonor Souverain family in the Central Plateau.  The list goes


RNDDH believes that if Haiti is to establish a society based on the law,

the fight against impunity is one that must be fought and it must be won.

For RNDDH, last week?s release of Louis Jodel Chamblain is a slap in the

faces of the victims of the Raboteau killings, the victims of Cité Soleil,

and all the victims of the 1991-1994 coup d?état years.

RNDDH believes that serious consideration must be made concerning the

reform of the judiciary in Gonaïves.  RNDDH strongly encourages the

Minister of Justice to take every measure necessary to provide the Court

of First Instance in Gonaïves with appropriate and adequate resources

needed to organize and hold a re-trial, without a jury, in the Raboteau

Massacre case as required by the law.