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Revolutionary Front for Haitian Advancement and Progress (FRAPH)
Front Révolutionnaire pour L'Avancement et le Progress Haitien (FRAPH)

The Front Pour L'Avancement et le Progress Haitien (FRAPH) was was a quasi-governmental paramilitary group which supported the FADH. U.S. reaction to the 1991 coup was slow and tentative. This was evident when the USS Harlan County was turned away at a dock in Port-au-Prince. U.S. embassy personnel waiting at the dock were surprised when the ship decided not to dock as a result of the small group of lightly armed FRAPH members shouting at the ship. The drunken Haitians, in essence a mob being goaded and paid by the FRAPH, were chanting "Remember Somalia!"

Operation Restore Democracy was launched in September 1994 to intervene, by force if necessary, to restore Haiti to constitutional rule withthe return of the presidency to Aristide. Initial policy was for U.S. forces to work with the Haitian Armed Forces (FADH). This changed shortly thereafter to disarming the FADH as well as the FRAPH. During the later stages of the intervention, U.S. policy changed once again, this time to treat the FRAPH as the "loyal opposition party" to the Lávalas party. Treatment of the FRAPH as an opposition party to the Lávalas lessened U.S. support within Haiti. Also, this equal recognition of the FRAPH and the Lavalas was not in keeping withthe humanitarian aspects of the operation, since the FRAPH were well known for their atrocities.

Until 1990, Louis Jodel Chamblain was a sergeant in the Haitian Armed Forces, and a member of its elite Corps des Léopards. He is alleged to have headed a death squad under President-for-Life Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who fled the country for exile in 1986. In 1993 he co-founded the paramilitary organization FRAPH (Front pour l'Avancement et le Progrès d'Haïti, Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti), whose acronym is phonetically identical to the French/Creole word for "hit." He served as its "Coordinator," the number two leadership position behind Secretary-General Emmanuel "Toto" Constant. The other two members of its central committee were Alphonse Lahens, a prominent Duvalierist, and Mireille Durocher-Bertin, a lawyer who was murdered in 1995 (HRW 27 Feb 2004, Williams 29 Feb 2004). Chamblain was in direct control of FRAPH death squads that operated during the period of "de facto" military rule from 1990 to 1994. He fled to the Dominican Republic in 1994 after U.S. forces restored democratic rule. On September 17, 1995, a Haitian court convicted Chamblain "in absentia" of taking part in the September 1993 assassination of Antoine Izméry, a Port-au-Prince businessman who favored restoring democratic rule under then-exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. On November 16, 2000, another Haitian court convicted Chamblain of "voluntary, premeditated homicide" in connection with the April 1994 massacre of men, women, and children in the Gonaïves slum neighborhood of Raboteau. He also had a role in the assassination of Justice Minister Guy Malary, who was machine-gunned to death with his bodyguard and driver in October 1993. According to a 1993 CIA Intelligence Memorandum obtained by the Center for Constitutional Rights through the Freedom of Information Act, "FRAPH members Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel Constant, and Gabriel Douzable met with an unidentified military officer on the morning of 14 October to discuss plans to kill Malary"

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Page last modified: 02-08-2011 16:44:42 ZULU