HomeNewsBriefSenator-elect in Haiti One of DEA's Most Wanted
BRIEF

Senator-elect in Haiti One of DEA's Most Wanted

CARIBBEAN / 7 DEC 2016 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL AND STEVEN DUDLEY EN

A Haitian sought by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for drug trafficking and money laundering was elected senator in his home country, an illustration of the perverse disconnect between the law and its lawmakers in that island nation.

The preliminary results of the senate election in Haiti's Grand Anse province held on November 20, indicate that Guy Philippe won a six-year term in the legislative body, reported The Guardian and other news outlets.

The British newspaper noted that Philippe, a former police officer who speaks four languages and participated in the 2004 coup against then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has not only been accused of extrajudicial killings by Human Rights Watch, but also holds an outstanding arrest warrant from the US government for conspiracy to import cocaine and money laundering. He also appears on the Miami Division DEA's most wanted list.

On top of these US accusations of drug-related activities, Philippe is reportedly facing a Haitian arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in a deadly May 2016 attack against the Les Cayes police station. One of the apprehended assailants claimed Philippe had organized the assault.

InSight Crime Analysis

Haiti has long been a hub for drug trafficking and drug traffickers. The criminals' relationship with power, however, is normally less visible and obvious than Philippe's has long been.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

Philippe organized a rebel faction in 2004, in the runaway province of Gonaives, as multiple groups worked to overthrow then President Aristide. After Aristide was ushered from the country in what some observers and the former president himself called a United States coup d'etat, Philippe tried to position himself to take power. He ran for president in 2006, but lost badly.

Then he was isolated politically. His enemies pounced. In 2007, the DEA and Haitian authorities tried and failed to capture him, forcing him to move back to his home town, Pestel, according to a New York Times report.  

By 2016, he had repositioned himself as a power broker, reportedly issuing threats about another rebellion. Instead, he ran for senate and won. His Facebook page showed a picture of a glowing Philippe alongside a picture of the official results with a message.

"My fellow citizens," he wrote, "Together, we will go and live with a belief in the homeland." 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 27 JUN 2013

Mexico’s president has sent new reforms to Congress aimed at cracking down on money laundering, but the measures’ potential…

AUC / 28 OCT 2021

Accused paramilitary drug lord Guillermo León Acevedo, alias "Memo Fantasma," will remain in a high-security Colombian prison, where he has…

CACHIROS / 7 OCT 2015

The United States has unsealed an indictment for money laundering against four Honduran nationals, including Jaime Rosenthal Oliva, a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…