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Context of '(Late January 2002): Deputy Exposes Rice Import Scandal in Haiti'

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Lavalas Family (LF) deputy Nahoum Marcellus exposes a scandal involving the duty-free import of 70,000 metric tons of rice by Lavalas senators and representatives. They used the cover of a fake cooperative reportedly founded by FL Senator Mirlande Liberus (an Aristide Foundation director), Paul Preslet (a former Aristide Foundation director, current head of the National Bank of Credit), and Jonas Petit, the FL’s official spokesman. Charles Souffrant, head of the peasant organization Kozepe, denounces the scheme which undermines the production of local rice and hurts Haiti’s rice growers. The Haitian treasury lost some 117 million gourdes in customs duties and tax revenues as a result of the ploy. [Haiti Progres, 2/6/2002]

Entity Tags: Paul Preslet, Nahoum Marcellus, Charles Souffrant, Mirlande Libérus, Jonas Petit

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Haiti-Progres, a Haitian newspaper published in the United States, reports that President Aristide’s Lavalas party is engulfed in financial scandals which are wreaking havoc on the economy. The most serious scandal so far is the duty-free import of 70,000 metric tons of rice by Lavalas senators and representatives, who used the cover of a fake cooperative (see (Late January 2002)). [Haiti Progres, 2/6/2002]

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

In Haiti, the Lavalas party holds a conference and agrees not to select a member for the provisional electoral council, citing widespread human rights violations against its members. The party agrees that it will not select a representative until interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue signs an agreement stating that his government will protect Lavalas members, halt illegal arrests and disarm paramilitary rebels and thugs. “After the brutal interruption of the democratic process in Haiti, the Lavalas Family party cannot name a representative under such conditions,” Jonas Petit, a spokesman for Lavalas explains. “We won’t do so until the government puts an end to the killing, persecutions, illegal arrests, and destruction of personal property of our members and supporters.” Latortue, though saying he agrees in principle to the request, says he will not sign any agreement until Lavalas has selected a representative for the council. [Reuters, 5/3/2004; Associated Press, 5/4/2004; Z Magazine, 5/5/2004]

Entity Tags: Jonas Petit, Gerard Latortue

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

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