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Rebels take hostages, trade them for leader

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 9:50 pm
by admin

Rebels take hostages, trade them for leader

BY NANCY SAN MARTIN

Miami Herald


Haitian rebels kidnapped 13 Dominicans visiting a border city and traded them for an alleged rebel leader detained in the Dominican Republic, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

The incident happened over the weekend in the Haitian city of Ouanaminthe, across from the Dominican Republic's northwestern border town of Dajabón, said Caciano Lora, governor of the Dominican province that includes Dajabón.

Lora told The Herald that rebels also kidnapped two Dominicans last month to obtain the release of another rebel leader at the height of a revolt that helped force former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to resign and leave Haiti on Feb. 29.

''We complied with the demand because the lives of Dominicans were at risk,'' he said in a telephone interview.
``We were told they would assassinate them if we didn't release their leader. We can't allow them to kill Dominicans over there.''

The weekend exchange involved a Haitian rebel arrested in Dajabón on Friday in connection with the shooting deaths of two Dominican soldiers while on patrol along the border Feb. 14.

RETALIATION

Rebels in Ouanaminthe retaliated with the abduction of 10 Dominican men and three women who were visiting the local market.

Within hours, the rebels demanded and won the release of John Robert, alias ``Ovep.''

The negotiations with the rebels were done by cellphone and supervised by Lora, a Dominican army general and a regional prosecutor, Lora said. Efforts to reach law-enforcement officials for comment were unsuccessful Tuesday.

The exchange, which occurred early Saturday on the bridge connecting the two nations that share the island of Hispaniola, was widely criticized in the Dominican Republic.

''We are talking about an armed gan
g that is boasting of its strengths, that crosses the border when it wants to and causes provocations, probably seeking to cause frictions that we Dominicans should avoid,'' said an editorial Tuesday in the Periodico Hoy newspaper, published in the capital city of Santo Domingo.

''We have negotiated with an illegitimate group that will not think twice before committing other provocative acts on the frontier, now that their ego has been fed with the success of having achieved the exchange,'' the newspapers stated. ``We hope we are not sorry.''

Two Dominican ranchers kidnapped last month also were exchanged for another Haitian rebel leader who was in Dominican custody at the time, Lora also confirmed.

''This is a new phenomenon,'' he said. ``We are in a constant state of concern. We'd like the U.S. forces to get to Ouanaminthe because, right now, there is no one of authority to talk to over there.

``The rebels have de facto control.''

PEACEKEEPERS


The U.S.-led multinational peacekeeping force in Haiti now totals more than 2,700 troops, but it has yet to deploy outside the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.


Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:37 am
by Jonas
The dominicans are reaping what they sowed.

Where did these ""rebels"" come from. Where did they get those shiny M16s and M40s machine guns?

They are acting with such bravado because they know they have the protection of the biggest bullies on the block.

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:58 am
by admin
I know what you mean, but things can degenerate quickly when you play with matches or as they say in Haiti "dife ak gazolin".

Knowing the history of "Rivière Massacre"... I would like to avoid another 1937.

In the words of a literary giant who knows how to succintly sum up important events in the history of the Americas:

[quote]
From Galeano's Century of the Wind

1937: Dajabón
Procedure Against the Black Menace

The condemned are Haitian blacks who work in the Dominican Republic. This military exorcism, planned to the last detail by General Trujillo, lasts a day and a half. In the sugar region, the soldiers shut up Haitian day-laborers in corrals--herds of men, women, and children--and finish them off then and there with machetes; or bind their hands and feet and drive them at bayonet point into the sea.

Trujillo, who powders
his face several times a day, wants the Dominican Republic white.

1937: Washington
Two weeks later, the government of Haiti conveys to the government of the Dominican Republic its concern about the recent events at the border. The government of the Dominican Republic promises an exhaustive investigation.

In the name of continental security, the government of the United States proposes to President Trujillo that he pay an indemnity to avoid possible friction in the zone. After prolonged negotiation Trujillo recognizes the death of eighteen thousand Haitians on Dominican territory. According to him, the figure of twenty-five thousand victims, put forward by some sources, reflects the intention to manipulate the events dishonestly. Trujillo agrees to pay the government of Haiti, by way of indemnity, $522,000, or twenty-nine dollars for every officially recognized death.

The White House congratulates itself on an agreement reached within the framework of established inter-American treat
ies and procedures. Secretary of State Cordell Hull declares in Washington that President Trujillo is one of the greatest men in Central America and in most of South America.

The indemnity duly paid in cash, the presidents of the Dominican Republic and Haiti embrace each other at the border.

[/quote]