Former Haiti PM lacks credentials for UN job in Africa

April 3, 2008
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Conakry 2007
Police and military massacre peaceful protesters in Guinea on February 12, 2007. Watch the Radio KanKan video
PNH massacre February 28, 2005
Under the Latortue regime, Haitian police massacred peaceful protesters on February 28, 2005 as the UN stood by and watched. Watch HIP trailer  -  Read story

Former Haiti PM lacks credentials for UN job in Africa

On March 20, 2008, the United Nations announced that Gerard Latortue, the former PM of Haiti, was appointed to go to Guinea to conduct a social and political dialogue that will lead ultimately to national elections.

Many in Haiti question the credentials of Latortue to broker a settlement in Guinea given his lack of democratic credentials and involvement in mass human rights abuses in Haiti.


In January 2007, in response to deteriorating living standards in Guinea caused by wholesale corruption by officials of the administration of President Lansana Conté, unions called a national strike. Massive numbers of Guineans demonstrated in the streets throughout Guinea and were met with brutal violence by Guinean police and military; on several occasions the police and military opened fire on crowds of unarmed demonstrators. While a final tally is not available, close to 1,000 marchers were killed and hundreds injured according to estimates on the ground.

Through a plan worked out in mediation between the government and the unions, a Prime Minister was appointed in March 2007, to oversee a dialogue by which the concerns of the people of Guinea would be reviewed and an investigation into the state-sponsored violence during the national strike would be pursued.

After a few months, it became apparent that the new Prime Minister of Guinea, Lansana Kouyate had lost the confidence of the people of Guinea and neither their concerns about living conditions nor the violence against the demonstrators would be addressed.

It was Lansana Kouyate who pushed the UN for Haiti’s former PM, Gerard Latortue, to broker a dialogue between so-called sectors of ‘civil society’ that would lead to new elections.

Lack of democratic credentials

There is absolutely nothing to indicate in Latortue’s history that he is qualified to speak of democracy or broker democracy. Latortue became prime minister of Haiti through an extra-constitutional process where the U.S., France and Canada selected a so-called seven member Counsel of the Wise following the ouster of Jean Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004. Nothing in Haiti’s constitution allows for such an appointment. He was never elected by the Haitian people nor voted upon by Haiti’s parliament to govern. He was forced into office by virtue of foreign largess to lead Haiti during his term as prime minister.

Colin Powell and Gerard Latortue

Illustration from "Haiti: Colin Powell's Crime in Progress" Issue 117 -December 7, 2004 ©Black Commentator - Cartoonist: 29
used by permission

Human Rights Violations

Upon being selected for the office of prime minister, Latortue led a regime from 2004-2006 that was responsible for the killing and imprisonment of thousands of Haitians. Following the massacre of unarmed demonstrators in Haiti on Sept. 30, 2004, Latortue stated, "We shot them, some of the them fell, others were injured, others ran away." This was merely an introduction and the tip of the iceberg, as thousands of Haitians would ultimately fall prey to false incarceration and death under Latortues’s tenure as prime minister of Haiti. US Congresswoman Maxine Waters summed up his role best when she wrote;

“There have been over 1,000 killings in Haiti since Gerard Latortue took office. Lavalas members have been found shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs. There are reports of Lavalas members being placed in a container and drowned at sea. Many Aristide-supporters are in hiding. Delegations from Amnesty International, the National Lawyers Guild and Let Haiti Live have documented the repression and killing of Lavalas party members.

"Gerard Latortue is a shameful Boca Raton buffoon -- incapable of independent leadership. He is but a misguided tool being used to prop up an illegitimate government until the Haitian business elite with the support of Roger Noriega, France and Canada can install their own leaders with a controlled election and a pretense of democracy.”

Haiti’s positive image

The relentless campaign waged by the UN, religious missionary groups and the ‘international community’ to portray Haiti in a positive light has become almost comical. Despite indicators that most Haitians cannot afford to eat they continue to pay for and get positive press that runs contrary to the reality. Most Haitians cannot eat more than one meal a day while unemployment continues to run more than 80%. The UN and other international organizations continue to fail to report on current actual statistics of poverty, malnutrition and life expectancy in Haiti. A large part of which can be directly attributed to the history of Latortue’s tenure as the unelected prime minister of Haiti.

Many Haitians and their supporters question whether Latortue can be expected to provide any more positive results in negotiations in Guinea, an African country that is not his own. They make it clear his track record in Haiti speaks for itself.


©2008 Haiti Information Project - All Rights Reserved

The Haiti Information Project (HIP) is a non-profit alternative news service providing coverage and analysis of breaking developments in Haiti.

Winner of the CENSORED 2008 REAL NEWS AWARD for Outstanding Investigative Journalism


See Also:

Lavalas movement in Haiti will not quit Mar 9

Brazilian military’s experience comes full circle in Haiti Feb 20

Haiti: The transformation of diplomacy
or a new Manifest Destiny?
Feb 28

Haiti's wealthy prosper while the poor decline

Pentagon's troubling role in Haiti Jan 12

Human rights defender forced into hiding in Haiti Dec 27