doc. 9 rev. 1
September 1988
Original: English





c.       The Election-Day Aftermath

          135.          In reaction to the election day massacre, the U.S. Government, Haiti's largest aid donor, cancelled approximately 60 million dollars of proposed economic aid for 1988 as well as a small amount of proposed military aid.  An additional 34 million dollars of economic assistance, which is distributed by private voluntary organizations and non-governmental organizations, was not affected since it is not channeled through the Haitian government.


          136.          Following the cancellation of the elections there were reports of continued violent abductions by death squads in some areas of Port-au-Prince.  A woman from Carrefour Feuilles claimed that 46 prisoners, arrested in a sweep of her neighborhood, had been executed while in detention.  The 46 were suspected of having participated in the self-defense vigilante groups.


          137.          On December 4, 1987 seven of Haiti's nine Catholic bishops condemned as "atrocities" the violent crimes that led to the cancellation of Haiti's elections.  The Bishops stated that Haiti is "for the first time" facing a campaign of "cleverly organized terror," and they accused Namphy's forces of abetting the burning of polling stations and ballots.  They also rejected as "unjust" and "unconstitutional" the Government's abolition of the Provisional Electoral Council.


          138.          The corpse of a Haitian whose skull had been shattered by bullets was left on a sidewalk behind the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, apparently as a warning to the Bishops.


          139.          Despite evidence that the Haitian army was involved in the violence that forced the cancellation of the presidential elections, the United States, Canada, the organization of American States and CARICOM looked to the Haitian military, the Government in power, to get the elections back on track, and to take the necessary measures to ensure that the electoral process would have credibility with the Haitian people.


          140.          In an interview given to the French newspaper Libération, Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy accused the CEP, the Church, and foreign countries for the troubles Haiti experienced and justified the role of the Army.54   Lt. Gen. Namphy denounced the Catholic Church's monopoly of education "which has rendered the Haitians "illiterate" and denounced the Church's interest in politics when they should be spreading the gospel.  "I am Catholic," he stated, "but I no longer respect priests".


          141.          When asked about the foreign countries, without mentioning names, Lt. Gen. Namphy stated that "the foreign countries financed the CEP's elections and that the CEP would fool the Americans by having a Leftist candidate win".


          142.          Regarding the killings at the Argentine School on the ruelle Vaillant which had been imputed to the neo-Duvalierists, Lt. Gen. Namphy replied that the CEP, the politicians, the Church and the vigilance brigades all contributed to putting a part of the country on the shelf, and when these people reacted everyone acted stunned and blamed the Army.  Echoing Rev. Sylvio Claude, lt. Gen. Namphy asked:  Who profits from the crime?  But replied that the Army did not get involved "because they didn't even know who was shooting at whom".


          143.          Lt. Gen. Namphy placed the blame for the failure of the elections on its civilian organizers, whom the Army refused to protect from attack, and he has excused the violence of November 29, 1987, as a justifiable reaction to a Leftist or a communist threat.  No foreign diplomats, including the Americans, reportedly shared the view that such a threat existed.55 


                144.          Mr. Philippe Jules, a member of the CEP, has responded to these charges.56  He stated that: 


                   I wish to formally deny the charges of those persons who say that the CEP refused to collaborate with the authorities.  In a letter dated may 21 addressed to the CNG, the members requested a meeting in order to discuss "the budget, the manner of collaborating with the organs of the State and the available electoral material".  This gesture was repeated several times, but it was necessary to await the appearance of the decree of June 19th and the political crisis created by it, for the CNG to invite the CEP to sit at a table.


                   After having obtained the derogation of the decree following three days of negotiations and at the cost of the loss of many lives (135 wounded, 21 dead) the CEP retired, pursuant to the Constitution, in order to follow its mission collegially and independently.  The letters to the Ministers of the Interior, Justice, Finance, National Education, the Armed forces and the CNG are a manifestation of the CEP's will to collaborate as regards its constitutional prerogatives.


                   The allegations regarding the invitation to foreign intervention in the affairs of the country are without basis, given that the assistance of friendly governments to the electoral process was channeled through the Haitian Government, be it assistance from the OAS, Canada, the US, China, Venezuela or France.  As regards the journalists and observers invited to cover the elections, these invitations were in conformity with the international norms and conventions subscribed to by the Haitian Government.


                   The dissolution of the CEP is only a new violation of our fundamental charter.  But the Haitian people must once again bend beneath the yoke of force, of institutionalized terrorism and arbitrariness.  Can free, fair and democratic elections take place without the disarming of the duvalierists, the macoutes, certain high ranking retired officials who form the death squads and sow terror and desolation under the cover of the olive green uniform or disguised as cagoulards?"57


d.       The Meeting of the OAS Permanent Council on December 7, 1987


          145.          The Organization of American States tentatively scheduled an emergency meeting of its Permanent Council for Friday, December 4, 1987, to consider the recent events in Haiti but postponed this meeting, after the Haitian Government offered to send Col. Herard Abraham, the Haitian Foreign Minister, to Washington on Monday, December 7, 1987.


          146.          The Permanent Council met on December 7, 1987.  Col. Herard Abraham's speech before the Permanent Council placed the responsibility for the election day tragedy on the CEP, and his speech set forth the following criticism of the CEP:



1.       that the CEP had "systematically and arbitrarily" excluded certain candidates from the elections, thereby having committed serious violations of the Constitution and the electoral law which the CEP itself had drawn up;


2.       the CEP had failed in the technical and material organization of the elections - many polling stations had not received their ballots or other required electoral material;


3.       the decision of the CEP to declare partial elections was a fragrant violation of the electoral law, furthermore massive fraud was denounced in some areas;


4.       the CEP placed in peril the unity and sovereignty of the nation by its involvement with foreigners.



          147.          During the 1987 OAS General Assembly in Washington, D.C., Mr. Reynold Leroy, the Chargé d'Affairs of the Haitian Government before the OAS, invited the OAS to send observers to the November 29 elections.  Two Colombian nationals were appointed by the OAS, Dr. Jaime Castro, a former Minister of the Interior and Justice and Dr. José Antonio Gómez, a parliamentarian.  On the Thursday prior to the Sunday elections the Haitian Government cancelled the arrangements stating that it was up to the CEP to cover the expenses of their transportation, hotel and security.  The OAS, of course, has no relations with the CEP and the travel arrangements had to be cancelled.


          148.          At the Permanent Council meeting on December 7th, Col. Abraham announced that an independent Commission of Inquiry would be established to investigate the acts of violence that had occurred on November 29, 1987.


          149.          The Permanent Council approved a resolution which reaffirmed the OAS' longstanding principle of non-intervention and, notwithstanding the Army's complicity in the Election day violence, it called upon the CNG to organize a new round of elections.  Resolution No. 489 "Solidarity with the People of Haiti" states in its operative part:


1.       To deplore the acts of violence and disorder, and especially the loss of life that has taken place in Haiti.


2.       To express its conviction that it is necessary to resume the democratic process, and to urge the National Council of Government of Haiti to adopt all necessary measurements so that the people of Haiti may express their will through free elections, without pressure or interference of any type.


3.       To express its solidarity with the people of Haiti and to reiterate its confidence that they will realize their legitimate aspirations for peace, freedom, and democracy.


4.       To reaffirm that states have the fundamental duty to abstain from intervening, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state, in accordance with Article 18 of the Charter.


5.       To authorize the Secretary General, in accordance with the terms of Resolution CP/RES. 441 (644/86), to provide to the Haitian people the fullest possible assistance of a humanitarian nature. 


          150.          The military Government of Haiti, it should be noted, was in accord with this Resolution.






a.       The CNG's New Electoral Calendar


          151.          Following the December 7, 1987 OAS called on the Haitian military to organize new elections, a nationwide 8-hour general strike was called to protest the C.N.G's takeover of the electoral process and to demand that the military government return control of the electoral process to the constitutional CEP.  In response, it was reported that truckloads of Army troops patrolled the streets with automatic rifles during the strike.  Journalists noted that the high-profile military presence contrasted sharply with the Election-day weekend when anti-election gunmen were permitted to cruise through the streets shooting voters and journalists with the few troops in sight ignoring or aiding the assaults.


          152.          On December 10, 1987, the CNG published the new political calendar:


          December 11, 1987 - new members of the CEP to be appointed;

          December 12, 1987 - new CEP to be sworn in;

          December 18, 1987 - new electoral decree to be published;

          December 23, 1987 - decree calling the citizenry to elections;

          January 17, 1988    - municipal, legislative and presidential elections

                                       to be held;

          February 1, 1988    - the members of the legislature are to take


          February 7, 1988    - the president-elect will take his oath of office



          153.          On December 11, 1987 the CNG announced the names of nine, largely unknown, new members of the CEP in spite of the fact that seven of the nine organizations, set forth in the Constitution, refused to designate new members, thereby affirming and supporting the composition of the existing CEP.  The CNG, in open defiance of the Constitution, named its own puppet Council.


          154.          The four leading presidential candidates, Marc Bazin, Gérard Gourgue, Louis Dejoie II, and Sylvio Claude in a joint communiqué announced that they would not participate in a new election conducted under the auspices of the military government.  The communiqué criticized the continued unconstitutional actions of the military government in publishing an electoral calendar even before the formation of a Provisional Electoral Council.  The four political parties called upon the CNG to resign immediately and announced that they had began talks to come up with an alternative government.



          155.          On December 12, 1987, the nine members of the new CEP were sworn in.  The original CEP members stated that they were being made scapegoats for the failure of the elections and that their names had been put on a death list.  They were still in hiding or had fled the country.  Mr. Louis Dejoie II stated that there existed a death list circulating in Haiti with 152 names on it, including his own.58


          156.          On December 17, 1987, the CNG promulgated the new Electoral Law of the new CEP.  The law bars independent observers from the polling stations but not soldiers and permits the authorities to monitor every voter's ballot.


          157.          The Electoral law provides for penalties of up to two years in prison and $200 in fines for anyone who urges people to abstain "mistakenly" from voting.  This measure clearly targeted the opposition which was calling for a massive boycott of the January 17, 1988 elections.  The law also provides for fines of up to $200 and 25-day prison sentences for "unjustified" challenges to a candidate's qualifications.  This measure appears designed to prevent challenges against Duvalierist candidates.  The new law also takes away the "independence" of the CEP by making its decisions subject to judicial review by the military government's hand-picked Supreme Court.


          158.          The Electoral Law requires further that candidates print and distribute their own ballots, and on election day the voters present the ballots to the president of the precinct house.  He inspects the ballots to ensure that only one slip for each office is presented, thereby allowing election and government officials to monitor each voter's choice before the voter is allowed to go into the polling booth to fold the ballot.


          159.          By mid-December the Armed Forces had arrested more than 50 Haitians suspected of participating in vigilance brigades that arose to protect the elections against anti-election violence.  No arrests had been reported in connection with the massacres on Election day or the other acts of violence which had been occurring during this period.  The CNG's Investigative Committee had not yet issued its report on the events of November 29, 1987.



b.       The Boycott of the United Opposition Parties


          160.          On December 17, 1987, the four leading presidential candidates, who had united to form a Committee of Democratic Agreement (Comité d'Entente Democratique, "CED") to boycott the CNG's January 17, 1988 elections, issued a joint statement declaring that the CNG no longer had the moral or political authority to organize free elections.  It termed the November 29th decree dismissing the nine members of the CEP, an attempt at a coup d'etat against the people's sovereignty.  It charged that the CNG's electoral calendar, which gives the date on which the Electoral Law is to be published, constitutes an unconstitutional interference with the CEP's autonomy.


          161.          The political parties charged that all the acts which took place during November, including the massacre of voters at the polls, were carried out by macoute assassins supported by a macoute sector of the Army.  The CNG has made no attempt to arrest the persons responsible for the crimes despite the fact that their identity is known.


          162.          The political parties also charged that the CNG's guarantees of November 25th and 27th regarding security for the elections falsely led the people to believe that the Army would protect them.  In fact, the politicians claimed, the recruiting of former macoutes into key units of the Armed Forces is a flagrant betrayal of the promises made by the CNG and is of such a nature as to destroy the honor of the Haitian military, and that the events of November 29 consequently gave the impression that the population had been subjected to a veritable ambush.


          163.          In light of the political parties lack of trust in the CNG, they called upon the CNG to resign and proposed a formula for the formation of a new civilian-military government.  This proposed government would be a five-member CNG "composed of prominent figures struggling for democracy who are known for their spirit of independence, professional competence and experience".  The five members would include three civilians and two military men who would have the confidence of the population to form a government of national unity.  This CNG would have a dual task.  First, to form a CEP charged with resuming the electoral proceedings in line with the democratic aspirations expressed by the Haitian people, and second, to ensure the dispatch of the State's current business until a freely-elected president is sworn in.


          164.          On December 21, 1987, a public memorial mass organized primarily by the Haitian Christian Democratic Party was held for the victims of the Election Day violence.  The 90-minute mass was attended by some 800 people.  Reportedly, about 25 mourners marched from the Cathedral, after the mass, carrying three cardboard coffins draped in black flags when they were attacked by gunmen in police and army uniforms who started firing at the mourners.  One person was killed and four were wounded.


          165.          The Episcopal Conference issued a declaration on December 24, 1987 which called for a dialogue to resolve the current crisis.  The Committee for Democratic Agreement (CED)  called on the people to stay at home from 6 p.m. Christmas Eve until 6 a.m. Christmas Day and asked them to engage in noisemaking at midnight for 15 minutes.  In Cap-Haitian no midnight masses were held anywhere.  In Jacmel no midnight mass was held but the church youth, priests and others, reportedly prayed for Haiti from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.  At 11:30 p.m. all the doors of the church were closed in order to avoid clashes with troops who reportedly patrolled throughout Jacmel.




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54.          Liberation, December 15, 1987 reprinted in Le Nouvelliste, December 18, 1987.

55.          See, Lindsey Gruson:  "New Council for Haiti vote Sworn In" in The New York Times, December 13, 1987 regarding Namphy's statement that "The voting had to be stopped to prevent the victory of left-of-center candidates and a Communist takeover of this impoverished nation of 6 million people."  Also, see:  Joseph Treaster:  "Haiti's Leader Puts his Faith in the Army" The New York Times, December 5, 1987.  Also see,:  Lindsey Gruson"  "Haitian General has Backing in Hometown", New York Times, December 5, 1987 who states that:


                   Lt. General Namphy, according to close associates, feels organizers mismanaged the election and tried to rig it.  The General, friends said, argues that the country would have been in danger of falling under communist control if the voting had been allowed to proceed.  That view is sharply disputed by foreign diplomats and independent observers who monitored preparations for the elections.  They say that there is no convincing evidence of a communist threat and that the General is either paranoid or trying to create a scapegoat. 


Also, see:  Joseph Treaster:  "Haitians, Benumbed by Strife, Fear Rise of New dictatorship", New York Times, December 14, 1987, who states that: 


                   Perhaps the most staggering blow for many Haitians was the discovery on election day that the thugs in civilian clothes and the soldiers were working together.  Previously, many Haitians had preferred to believe that the thugs in civilian clothes were somehow beyond the control of the army.  They held out the hope that at least in the worst of times the soldiers would do their duty and shield them.  But too many people saw the soldiers shooing at polling places.  Some Haitians say they suspect that, judging from the weapons they carried and some of their mannerisms, some of the gunmen in civilian clothes may actually have been soldiers. 


          56.          "Pour l'histoire, Philippe Jules Précise," Port-au-Prince, November 30, 1987.  Unpublished.  In the files of the IACHR.

          57.          Cagoulards were forerunners of the Tonton Macoutes, they derive their name from the French word "cagoule" or hood which they wore over their heads.

          58.          Treaster:  "Haitians, Benumbed" supra, see, footnote 35.  The Commission has received copies of a purported death list, most recently dated May 25, 1988.