Guns and Butter for Haiti
January 25, 2005
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Guns and Butter for Haiti

CNN removed the article — "Haiti rebel leader says he won't disarm" — from its original location we include it here under "fair use" as a reference for the above linked column.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- A rebel leader who helped oust President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has returned to Haiti after more than a month in a Florida detention center and ...

... says he and fellow rebels will not disarm.

Butteur Metayer, a 34-year-old legal U.S. resident alien, was detained by Customs and Border Protection agents on November 28 after he arrived at Miami International Airport from Haiti. He was deported on Saturday.

Immigration officials have not released details on the case, but Metayer told family members he was held because he overstayed his visit to Haiti. He told his cousin, Jacques Magene, that agents said Metayer had been out of the United States for about six months and 14 days -- two weeks longer than allowed by law.

Metayer led a gang known as the Cannibal Army, which turned on Aristide after gang leader Amiot Metayer, Butteur's brother, was assassinated in 2003. Butteur Metayer had accused the government of silencing his brother to prevent him from giving damaging information about Aristide, who has denied any involvement with the gang.

Aristide left the country for exile in Africa on February 29.

In a radio interview aired Monday, Metayer said he and fellow former rebels, now called the Front for National Resistance, will continue patrolling northwestern Gonaives to counter a rise in gang violence since Aristide's ouster.

"Now I'm back and we'll provide security for Gonaives to get rid of the thieves," he told local broadcaster Radio Provincale. "We're not going to take up arms (to fight), but we're not going to set them aside either."

Some 500 Argentine soldiers are in Gonaives as part of a 7,400-member U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti to help stabilize the country in the wake of the uprising and devastating floods in September.

Haiti's U.S.-backed interim government has called on all armed factions to disarm, saying only Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers will be recognized as legitimate law enforcers.

Still, armed rebels, many of them ex-soldiers from Haiti's demobilized military, patrol parts of the country, unchecked by police or peacekeepers.

Metayer is one of several ex-Cannibal Army leaders to have problems with the law in recent months.

Wilfort Ferdinand, or "Ti Wil," whom fellow rebels appointed Gonaives' police chief during the uprising, has been in hiding since officials issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the shooting death of a 6-year-old girl.


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To download the 2.2M PDF of Tom Griffin's CSHR report click this link