The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson, is expected to fly to Port Au Prince, Haiti today, amid rising protests against World Bank and IMF imposed austerity measures and the continued occupation on Haiti by 2000 US and UN troops. Richardson is expected to pressure the Haitian president to stick to policies laid out by Washington, and appoint a new, pro-business Prime Minister.
When President Clinton ordered more than 20,000 troops into Haiti in September of 1994, he told a nationwide TV audience that the US had to move into Haiti to stop human rights abuses and end the three-year military coup that overthrew elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Still, almost three years later, not one major figure has been arrested and tried for a crime committed during the military dictatorship, which claimed an estimated 5,000 lives. The United States has actively blocked any attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice. This includes allowing some of the worst human rights abusers to live and work here in the United States.
Today on Democracy Now!, the whereabouts of Emmanuel Constant, the head of the Hatian Government’s death squad, and the deal he struck with the US Government to stay here.
• Catherine Ornstein, an investigative reporter based in New York city. She has investigated human rights abuses for the United Nations and the Hatian government, and has been reporting on Haiti for the last seven years.
• Nick Burns, US State department spokesperson
• Michael Ratner, an attourney with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. He is a representative in a law suit against Constant.