HAITI DRUG :As Guy Philippe admits guilt in court, the Haitian oligarchy fears its demise

 

 

 

HAITI DRUG :As Guy Philippe admits guilt in court, the Haitian oligarchy fears its demise

 

In Haiti, the word “Manzanares” which is the name of a drug vessel caught at Terminal Varreux’s Port-au-Prince private port a few years back, is synonymous to travesty of justice.  “Everyone in the system knows the investigation surrounding this drug shipment is a joke” says a local source who further adds “for most part, the little guys were jailed while the true culprits are said to remain uninvestigated.”

As of now, apart from minimum wage security guards and one low level neighborhood thug named Tiketan, all the key players to this operation remain unbothered by the local, or even the international justice system.  “Our fear is that Tiketan will be killed while in jail” said a source who insists that Tiketan was only a stevedore who took a small amount of the drug cargo for his own benefit, but was never in the trafficking structure.

The Manzanares is a vessel that was seized in April of 2015 at the Mevs port of Terminal Varreux in the commune of Cité Soleil, by BLTS (Haitian equivalent of the DEA) in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Agency of the United States DEA.  The vessel was coming from Columbia and sailing with a Panamanian flag.   I not only had an important quantity of marijuana but also carried Heroin which was not usual up to that time.

During the Iraq war, the United States deployed most of its intelligence resources to the Middle East, even re-allocating Carribbean based staff to that part of the world.  During this period, it failed to recognize that the Columbian cartels, amongst others, would take this opportunity to reinforce its platform in the Caribbean, geographically ideal to control North American markets.  Lessened resources allowed for the drug trafficking sector to re-establish its stronghold on countries like Haiti and the Dominican Republic, both efficient transshipment points to the United States.

Haiti’s weak legal system also provided additional perks as it ensured that anyone collaborating in illicit trades when caught, could still be protected from the law; irrespective of the DEA’s effort to obtain extradition.  This loop hole that ensured protection for various culprits has however recently suffered a blow with the high profile arrest of Guy Philippe, Senator elect of Haiti, who was not only extradited to the United States’s a few months ago, but who subsequently pleaded guilty to laundering and trafficking charges.

“After the arrest of Guy Philippe, who had been a fugitive in Haiti for at least 5 years, the message is becoming clear to most Haitians.  While the US government might be slow to react, it is not giving up on bringing the narco-world down on its knees” said a source that spoke to Omega staff under condition of anonymity.  This new state of affairs is quite worrisome to many Haitian business people who felt above the law, not only for narcotics but for an overall lose implementation of the law.

Marc Antoine Acra who allegedly was condemned in the Manzanares trial, complacently escaped to the Dominican Republic where surprisingly friendly Haitian officials the likes of president Jovenel Moise, members of his cabinet visit him regularly.    He is likely appealing the judgement but as of now remains at bay.  The Mevs  who so far were able to allegedly remove their mother and their sister from the company ownership registrar, no longer seem to be so self-assured.  While they made arrangements to have their name removed from the Manzanares court records, the investigative judge could not entirely remove that of Bernhard Mevs (the youngest of the family) and of Alan Rozier (their very active head of the Terminal Varreux security team).  While the judge might have conveniently found them “not guilty” after hearing them, the United States Embassy nevertheless removed their visa in an embarrassing twist during which they had both sought to travel to the United States.  (  Marc Antoine Acra) )

“Haitian judges may decide to grant free passes in their courts” says a local lawyer, “but their subjective decision rendering will no longer protect anyone from the new republican administration; just as the Haitian system could not protect Guy Philippe from the DEA’s diligence”.

Well informed sources also told Omega that while Alan Rozier attempted to fight the cancelation of his through his lawyer Berto Dorce, information arose that worsened his dossier.  Not only is Berto Dorce also the lawyer of Bernhard Mevs, but he was jailed for having participating in a cover up for a cocaine trafficking matter.  Documents show that he was condemned as it depicts him having shared part of the loot with other officials.

As to Bernhard Mevs, he has sought, with the help of his family . to hire powerful Washington lobbying firms, his only hope to make the case for his innocence.  Following close ties to the Clintons,and the Mevs are now discovering that their alleged  illegal activities represent one area where neither party will intervene in their favor.  Additionally, “their vicious attacks against their 87 year old mother does not seat well with anyone in the community” stated a longtime family friend who believes that the patriarch of the family wanted his wife and daughter to remain on the companies’ boards to enact his business values.

Omega staff writers are furthering the investigation and will provide daily updates on this story that is made ever more relevant with Senator elect Guy Philippe, after years of taunting the American governments, almost feeling invincible ass he hid in the southern mountains of Haiti, is finally in the hands of the American justice system and due in court next month for trial.

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