1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter, the "Commission"), in the exercise of its jurisdiction established in the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, the "American Convention") and other pertinent instruments, has continued to monitor developments in the human rights situation in Haiti (the "Haitian State" or the "State"). Haiti is being included in this section of the Annual Report because in 1998 the situation in the country met the criterion established by the Commission; namely, the existence of short-term or structural situations in countries that have democratically-elected governments, but which, for a variety of reasons, are facing situations that seriously affect the enjoyment and exercise of the rights enshrined in the American Convention or the American Declaration.
2. In view of the fact that the Government of Haiti invited the Commission to conduct an in loco1 visit to the country to observe the general human rights situation, and that this visit will take place during the course of this year, this report will cover topics which, in the view of the Commission, are the most relevant to the exercise of human rights, which will be investigated by the Commission in depth during its upcoming in loco visit. As a result, this report will not contain conclusions or recommendations. These will be provided in the General Report on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti, which the Commission will prepare after this visit.
3. The Government of René Préval, which took office on February 7, 1996, after wining free and competitive elections, has, for the past two years, been facing a serious institutional crisis, which is affecting the rule of law, paralyzing fundamental institutions, jeopardizing the continued existence of the fledgling Haitian democracy, and creating a general climate that is affecting the protection and defense of human rights.
4. The current crisis is directly linked to the impasse involving legislative elections to renew the term of one-third of the Senate (9 Senators)2 which took place on April 6, 1997. The irregularities noted during the first round of the elections were reported by the political parties and by the parliamentary majority, which questioned the impartiality and competence of the Provisional Electoral Council, and called on President Préval to dissolve this body. As a result of these questions that were raised, the second electoral round was suspended, a move that prevented the appointment of one part of the legislature.
5. Disagreement within the coalition government of the Lavalas party (in November 1996, the new party of former President Aristide called Fanmi Lavalas was formed), linked to political issues and political and economic positions, which led to the break-up of the movement, was exacerbated by the impasse stemming from the 1997 elections, thereby transforming the political crisis into an open confrontation between the Legislature and the Executive.
6. In June 1997, then Prime Minister Rosny Smarth, whose social and economic policies had been harshly attacked by his former Lavalas allies, resigned, citing his disagreement with the defective electoral process, among other things. In October of that year, the Prime Minister, certain that the President was not willing to replace him, abandoned his provisional duties, as did half of his Cabinet. From that time on, the country has been run by the President and a cabinet of eight members, instead of the ten required by the Constitution.
7. The efforts of the President to appoint a Prime Minister were thwarted on different occasions, as has been noted, because of the opposition of the Organization of People in Struggle (OPL) (new name of the Lavalas political party), which made its support for this appointment contingent on the adoption of a resolution on the electoral crisis calling for the dissolution of the Provisional Electoral Council, the establishment of a transparent provisional electoral body, and the cancellation of the first round of the partial legislative elections (one-third of the Senate).3 Since June 1997, the efforts of President René Préval have been blocked by the Parliament, which, on three occasions, refused to approve the appointment of his candidates for the position of Prime Minister: Eric Pierre and Hervé Denis (the latters candidacy was submitted on two successive occasions). The third candidate, Jacques Edouard Alexis, the current Minister of Education, was approved by the Parliament in 1998, under conditions that were challenged by the political parties, such as the fact that he had not been relieved of his duties as Minister of National Education.4 After approval by Parliament, the new Prime Minister was supposed to form his cabinet and appear, separately, before the two chambers of Parliament in order to obtain a vote of confidence based on his statement on general policy. However, this essential formality did not take place, and as a result, Mr. Alexis was not confirmed in the position of Prime Minister.5
8. In 1998, the stability of the political institutions that sustain the democratic process was permanently weakened, as was the already fragile authority of the State. As was reported to the Commission, Parliament blocked economic reform by not approving the pertinent draft laws. However, it was pointed out that the President was assuming greater responsibilities in the absence of a Prime Minister, following the practice of the traditional presidential system. The Electoral Council had not been replaced because of deep-seated political differences over whether or not this entity should be a permanent or temporary one. There was broad political consensus for this entity to be provisional in nature, while the Fanmi Lavalas party6 and the territorial assemblies wanted a permanent council. Doubts were expressed in some quarters regarding whether the parties really wanted to reach an agreement on the matter.7
9. In this general context, the tense political situation and the reduced authority of the Government have affected the functioning and strengthening of all state institutions, factors that are critical to maintaining law, order, and respect for human rights. The future of legislative institutions is clouded by uncertainty. The 1995 electoral law provided for the renewal of the terms of the chambers of Congress in 1999, by means of general elections that were supposed to take place in November 1998 to replace the lawmakers whose terms were expiring in January. These elections failed to materialize because of the absence of an Electoral Council needed for them to be held.
10. The conflict between lawmakers and President Préval worsened because of disagreement regarding the date ending the term of the lawmakers. The Electoral Law stipulated that this term would end on January 11, 1999 (date agreed upon by lawmakers at the time of the elections). However, the representatives and one-third of the Senate challenged the validity and constitutionality of the Electoral Law, basing their contentions on the fact that the Constitution provided for four-year terms from their swearing-in date, and since they had been sworn in October 1995, their term was supposed to expire in October 1999.
11. Despite the relative calm existing in the country, the political tension was heightened by the announcement made by President René Préval that he would not extend the terms of the deputies and senators, which had expired on January 11, 1999, pursuant to the 1995 Electoral Law. Therefore, after this date in January, the terms of the members of the Chamber of Deputies and one-third of the Senate would be considered to have expired.
12. Parliament filed an appeal with the Court of Cassation regarding the constitutionality of the 1995 Electoral Decree, which was used by President Préval as the basis for declaring, on January 11, 1999, that the terms of the majority of lawmakers had expired. On February 12, 1999, the Court of Cassation referred the appeal to the Office of the Public Prosecutor seeking its opinion. On February 19, this government office concluded that the referral of the appeal to the Court had been improper, since, under the Constitution, a matter cannot be referred to this Court directly by one of the parties. Subsequently, on February 24, 1999, the Court of Cassation declared the appeal filed by Parliament inadmissible.
13. The conflict of authority between the Parliament and President went beyond the institutional sphere and was also reflected in two general strikes held in Haiti at the end of January 1999. On January 22, the opposition political parties called for a work stoppage in support of Parliament and to protest the presidential decision to end the term of the majority of lawmakers. Three days later, the Presidents parties called for another strike to protest the attitude of the lawmakers who wanted to extend their terms. The social climate worsened with a serious act of violence: on the same day that the strike against the President was called, unknown assailants attempted to kill Mrs. Marie-Claude Préval, the sister and private secretary of the President. Mrs. Préval was very seriously injured and the person accompanying her was killed. The perpetrators have not been identified.
14. In late January 1999, the Haitian Government announced the start of discussions between President Préval and several civil and political sectors with a view to the formation of an Electoral Council prior to February 2, 1999. However, the deadline set for the appointment of a new Electoral Council passed and no decision was made. The situation was viewed by the opposition as an attempt on the part of the executive to govern the country without a Parliament and without holding elections to appoint new members of the legislature.
15. In addition to the attempt on the life of Marie-Claude Préval was the murder of Senator Yvon Toussaint of the Organization of People in Struggle on March 2, as a result of which the OPL decided to call off the multisectoral dialogue sponsored by the Government. A well known human rights leader, Pierre Esperance, Head of the Office of the National Haitian Coalition for Human Rights in Port-au-Prince, was attacked and seriously wounded.
16. On March 8, 1999, President Préval and the leaders of the five parties that comprise the "concerted action space," signed an agreement called a "Resolution to end the crisis." This agreement makes provisions for the establishment of a non-partisan Provisional Electoral Council, comprised of nine members. This Council will call legislative elections and will ensure the neutrality of the government, police, and other institutions during the electoral process.
17. Moreover, the agreement stipulates that President Préval will review, in concert with the President of the Senate and the Supreme Court, the most important matters regulating the functioning of the public authorities. It should be pointed out that one of the main opposition parties, the OPL, also belonging to this concerted action group, refused to sign the agreement.
18. At the time it was adopting this report, the Commission was informed of the establishment, on March 15, 1999, of a new Provisional Electoral Council and the assumption of office of the new Prime Minister. Dr. Jacques Edouard Alexis took office as Prime Minister of the Government of Haiti on March 26, 1999. Dr. Alexis is also in charge of the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Administrative Divisions. The new cabinet is composed of the following ministers: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Mr. Fritz Longchamps; Minister of Justice and Public Safety, Mr. Camille Leblanc; Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Fred Joseph; Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Gérard Germain; Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Francois Sevrin; Minister of Planning and External Cooperation, Mr. Anthony Dessources; Minister of Public Works, Transportation, and Communications, Mr. Max Alcé; Minister of Public Health, Mrs. Michaelle Amédée Gédéon; Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Mrs. Mathilde Flambert; Minister for the Status of Women and Womens Rights, Mrs. Nonie Mathieu; Minister of National Education and Youth and Sports, Mr. Paul Antoine Bien-Aimé; Ministers of Haitians Living Abroad, Mr. Jean Généus, Mr. Jean-Robert Vaval, and Mr. Yves Cadet; Secretary of State and Public Safety, Mr. Robert Manuel; Secretary of State, Youth, and Sports, Mr. Evans Lescouflair; Secretary of State for Tourism, Mrs. Marise Penette; Secretary of State for the Population, Mr. Jean André; and Secretary of State for Labor, Mr. Ronald Joseph.
19. In 1998, the socio-economic situation in Haiti continued to deteriorate, and was marked by several limitations and structural defects that had a negative effect on the exercise by the people of their socio-economic rights and affected the building and strengthening of a democratic order based on the rule of law.
20. The 20 months of institutional and political crisis have adversely affected the potential for development of a society already sharply characterized by poverty, the marginalization of broad sectors of the society, and deficiency in the basic infrastructure of services. Economic activity was seriously affected by the political instability and the uncertainty clouding the future of institutions. The lack of confidence affected the level of local and foreign investment. Moreover, expected multilateral and bilateral financial flows were suspended.8 The paralyzation of Parliament, its inability to pass bills to facilitate the movement of capital, and the failure to approve the annual budget further exacerbated the situation.
21. Inflation made the cost of living higher, driving up prices of the basic and widely consumed goods, and causing further erosion of the local currency, the gourde. This led to a feeling of insecurity among the poorest sectors of Haitian society and large segments of the middle class. These socio-economic problems have exacerbated social inequalities, reflected in an almost widespread feeling of dissatisfaction and underlying but ever-present social tension.
22. In fact, in 1998, the Haitian economy was marked by profound stagnation. With a tightly controlled budget and high inflation, the population continued to live under harsh conditions, particularly in the rural areas. The suspension of foreign aid payments, largely because of the failure of Parliament to approve economic reform laws and to approve loan agreements, led to a considerable decline in productive activities. Low income and high rates of unemployment contributed to an increase in activities in the informal sector. Against that backdrop, mention should be made of how important foreign remittances from Haitians living abroad have become to the survival of large sectors of Haitian society; something that has significantly contributed to mitigating, to some extent, the negative effects of the economic decline.
23. The Haitian economy was also hit by a severe drought that affected most areas of agricultural production. Budgetary restrictions reduced demand, and political instability and social tensions dampened the expectations of investors. This was further complicated by the low level of foreign aid payments linked to the fact that Parliament had not approved economic and institutional reforms. Domestic production was also affected by structural inefficiencies related to very low levels of investment, low utilization of operating capacity, and structural restrictions related to the provision of basic services.9
24. Public investment also fell to very low levels as a result of the suspension of foreign aid payments. The dearth of public and private investment not only affected the execution of major public works that were aimed at generating short-term employment and income, but also contributed to undermining efficiency and the potential of the Haitian economy for long-term growth. This was due in large measure to the persistence of political instability, which prevented the execution of public sector investment programs, which were to be financed mainly through international donors.10
25. Haiti remains one of the poorest countries in the Hemisphere and has the lowest health and education indices. Less than 60 percent of the population receives medical care and the illiteracy rate is approximately 50 percent.11
26. One source of concern for the Commission is the situation regarding the administration of justice. In fact, one of the problems identified in the human rights situation in Haiti is the deficient functioning of the Judiciary.
27. On numerous occasions, the CIDH has underscored how important the effective functioning of the Judiciary is to the rule of law and the enjoyment of human rights. The existence of a professional, independent, and effective Judiciary is essential to overcoming impunity. The Commission recognizes the efforts made by the Government to take actions aimed at improving the administration of justice, in particular, the actions aimed at alleviating the protracted nature of pretrial detention, which the Government has addressed by establishing a consultative Commission to deal with the slow pace of justice. However, this Commission has produced few results.12
28. Despite the human, technical, and financial resources that the international community has provided with a view to developing the functioning of the judicial sector in the past four years, the judicial system continues to be plagued by chronic problems such as the lack of well-trained and dedicated judicial personnel, a shortage of economic and logistical resources, delays in legal proceedings, systematic violations of due process, archaic laws, and a lack of ministerial supervision. Some heavily populated cities do not have a civil court or a jail. The records of many courts are not in order, which prevents review of progress made with legal cases.13
29. One of the efforts being made in the judicial branch is seen in the School of Judges, from which the first 60 judges graduated in 1998, who were properly trained and officially selected on the basis of their qualifications. Another positive development has been the appointment of an Ombudsman and a National Criminal Unit responsible for providing assistance in human rights trials. Another effort has involved implementation of the constitutional stipulation that a detainee must be brought before a Judge within 48 hours. However, observance of this procedure is usually a formality when it does not involve a decision on the legality of an arrest.
30. Based on the information submitted to the Commission, of 3,740 detainees in jails in Haiti, 85% have not been charged and only 15% have been convicted. This situation was referred to the Ministry of Justice, which established a Pretrial Detention Oversight Office at the Port-au-Prince Penitentiary, and there are plans to extend the program to other penitentiaries. Acting on the instructions of that Office, magistrates regularly visited the prisons between May and July 1998 and of the 300 prisoners interviewed, 190 were released.14
31. Based on the information provided by non-governmental organizations15, detention is prolonged for such wrongful reasons as the lack of organization of the administrative staff of the courts (la greffe); tardiness in the appointment of judicial and prison authorities; the failure on the part of the nine judges to follow through on cases that are pending; lost or overlooked files because of the workload of judges; the transfer of detainees for disciplinary reasons; and the absence of a proper records in the prisons. In the latter area, MICIVIH has done excellent work in helping to correct and update the information contained in individual files, the prison records, and computerized lists.
32. The poor functioning of the system for the administration of justice affects the work done by the Police, thereby increasing the chance of this body taking the law into its own hands.16 Studies have been done and proposals made on how to strengthen the Ministry of Justice. A Judicial Reform Committee drafted a plan on actions to strengthen the judicial system. However, this project will not be implemented until a political consensus is reached.
33. Another area of concern for the Commission is the situation regarding prisons in Haiti. In 1995, the establishment of the National Penitentiary Administration (APENA) contributed to the improvement of detention conditions. However, it should be pointed out that this institution, which is semi-autonomous and comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice, became, in 1997, an entity of the National Haitian Police. The Commission notes that the subordination of the prison administrations to the Police demonstrates a blatant disregard for international rules.
34. The incorporation of the prison administration into the National Police and the failure on the part of the Ministry of Justice to make decisions has delayed the adoption of the internal prison regulations that have already been drafted, of a code of conduct for guards and of formal procedures for investigating and punishing abuses on the part of guards, as well as mechanisms that would help preserve respect for human rights in prisons.17
35. In the past three and a half years, a prison reform project has been carried out under the supervision of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). For the first time, a new civil administration has been established and professional training has been provided for prison guards. In August 1998, 108 new guards joined the prison system, most of whom were assigned to the prisons in Port-au-Prince.
36. At the moment, only at the prisons in Port-au-Prince are women and minors held separately from men. In some prisons in the country (Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien, and Gonaïves), prisons have been renovated, basic services have been improved or instituted (water, health care, meals), and special emphasis has been placed on the maintenance of appropriate records. MICIVIH has played a key role in the latter area and in the commencement of the process of prison reform.18 However, the impact of these improvements has been reduced by the problem of overcrowding in the prisons of Haiti.
37. Although prison conditions have improved, much remains to be done to bring these conditions in line with minimum international rules. The number of incidents of abuse and beatings fell in the second part of the year, after an increase in the first five months of 1998, which included the reported death of a detainee after a beating. The guard was arrested and a judicial investigation was started immediately.19
38. Another matter of great importance to the Commission, which will also be examined during its in loco visit, is the role played by the new Haitian National Police (PNH). Non-governmental organizations have acknowledged that the National Police have won trust and gained credibility in the past two years. There police are now more visible, are better equipped, and better trained.20 However, human rights problems persist, and according to reports provided to the Commission, this new institution has not yet achieved the level of professionalism required to act alone to maintain law and order.21 As a result, the United Nations decided to establish a Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH), charged with the mission of assisting the Haitian authorities and helping and contributing to raising the level of professionalism of the Haitian National Police.22
39. The establishment of an Office of the Inspector General has resulted in high priority being assigned to overseeing the conduct of members of the police force. Despite the decision made by the Inspector General in the investigation of the criminal activities of its members, in particular human rights violations, numerous members of the National Police continue to violate the law.
40. The number of incidents of abuse increased in 1998, with a total of 423 complaints being filed. Thirty-one deaths were caused by members of the police force, 15 of which occurred in a manner that suggest that they resulted from extrajudicial actions. The other deaths occurred as a result of the severe beating of the victims. Also, there have been several reports of cases of corruption in the ranks of the police, the most serious being those that point to ties between the police and drug trafficking.
41. In general, there is no doubt that actions were taken by the police authorities to discipline their subordinates. However, when the cases reach the courts, the judicial authorities almost always adopt a lenient attitude towards police officers. Although the Office of the Inspector General has forwarded 66 cases of serious violations by police officers to the courts, none was fully prosecuted.
42. However, the resignation by the Director of the Judicial Police (criminal investigations) because of dissatisfaction related to his handling of a matter involving the disappearance of a large shipment of cocaine seized by the Police, affected morale and confidence in this institution. The resignation of the Director and ensuing controversy came at a time when the police were being harshly criticized and accused of partisan behavior by the two main factions of the Lavalas movement.
43. As a result of the absence of police in the rural zones, the members of the Communal District Administrative Councils (CASECs) or other State agents assumed responsibility for security-related duties. According to MICIVIH, in Asile, a Department of Grand Anse, members of the PNH and CASECs established a network of voluntary "delegates" who executed judicial orders "to invite persons to appear" or "to call on persons to appear" in court. In several big districts, mayors established municipal security forces. Many of these persons have now been neutralized or disarmed by the National Police.
44. Despite the undeniable efforts of the Government to improve the human rights situation in Haiti, the problem of personal safety persists, taking the form of street violence and the phenomenon of "zenglendos"23 or "banditos." Because of the impunity with which these violations occur, the society lives in a climate of fear and there is a tendency to take justice into ones own hands, which has led to numerous lynchings, a practice that is mislabeled in Haiti "peoples justice." The problem of violence does not appear, as it did during the era of the de facto government, to be encouraged by the State authorities. However, the inertia on the part of the State is resulting in this impunity. "Zenglendos" are often detained by the police, but are later released by the judicial authorities, who have been accused time and time again of corruption.
45. One subject of particular importance to the Commission is observation of the right to judicial protection. In 1998, little progress was made towards achieving justice for the victims whose human rights were violated during the era of the de facto Government (September 1991 to October 1994). The National Criminal Unit (Unité Pénale Nationale), established by the Ministry of Justice in November 1996 to provide assistance with human rights trials, does not have the resources needed for the performance of its functions. The Special Investigations Unit, an internationally financed team which is responsible for investigations into politically-motivated killings, has not accomplished very much.
46. Only the International Lawyers Bureau seems to have made progress with the preparation of two cases for trial: the December 1993 massacre in Cité Soleil, and the 1994 massacre in Raboteau. Despite that, the cases were not ready for criminal prosecution last year. After the appointment of a special coordinator in the Ministry of Justice for the trial related to the Raboteau massacre, and the improvement of the criminal justice system in Gonaïves, a number of legal investigations were conducted and several arrests were made. Requests for the extradition of top-ranking members of the military, made in the context of the Raboteau investigation, were rejected by the receiving countries, which cited legal reasons for the denial of these requests.
47. According to Human Rights Watch, the cases in Cité Soleil and Raboteau have been languishing because of the lack of cooperation on the part of the United States authorities. Since 1995, the United States has been refusing to return thousands of documents to Haiti seized by the United States from the Haitian Armed Forces (FadH) and the paramilitary group (FRAPH) (Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti). Since 1996, the United States Department of State has refused to turn over to the International Lawyers Bureau material on investigations conducted by the United States Embassy in Haiti shortly after the killings in Cité Soleil and Raboteau.24
48. In a press communiqué issued on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the Raboteau massacre, MICIVIH issued an appeal for the documents of the Haitian Armed Forces and FRAPH, taken by the United States military in 1994, to be turned over to the Haitian authorities, since it is thought that they could be helpful in prosecuting past human rights violations.
49. Few cases of human rights violations that took place during the period of the coup détat have been prosecuted in the Haitian courts, although in a few isolated cases, arrests have been made. In the criminal trials in Jacmel and St. Marc, cases of human rights violations involving Thélesumé Jean-Gilles, accused of the murder of Marie Delene Nicolas; Baguidy Calixte, accused of the murder of Pachino Dord; and Adrien Saint-Julien, accused of the murders of Loukens Pierre and Antoine Pauléus were prosecuted and resulted in acquittals.25
50. Non-governmental human rights organizations have indicated that the negligence shown in the prosecution of criminals is resulting in an increase in the recurrence of lynchings. In the course of the year under consideration, 51 deaths were noted, as a result of "peoples justice," with three of the victims being police officers.26
51. In 1998, organized groups of the victims of the coup detat held many demonstrations in front of the National Palace in Port-au-Prince and in Les Cayes. The Movement to Support the Victims of Organized Violence (Mouvement dappui aux victimes de la violence organisée) conducted a preliminary investigation designed to identify groups of victims who might be eligible for compensation or rehabilitation.27
52. The Commission was informed that in light of the increased public debate regarding the topic of impunity and compensation, the Ministry of Justice established an Office of Prosecution and Oversight (Bureau de poursuite et suivi) to oversee the granting of compensation to persons who were victimized during the period of the coup détat. The office has a budget of 60 million gourdes, and its primary function is to provide social, economic, legal, and medical assistance. The CIDH was also informed of a pilot project for the reconstruction of houses destroyed by the military in the southern region of the country. At the request of the Office of Prosecution and Oversight, MICIVIH is distributing, throughout Haiti, copies of the report submitted in February 1996 by the National Truth and Justice Commission.28
53. On another positive note, the Commission was informed of the Judicial Reform Law, adopted in May 1998, which paves the way for the establishment of a Special Commission of Magistrates which will be given a mandate to prosecute the human rights violations that occurred during the period of the de facto Government. The law stipulates that the statute of limitations does not apply to crimes committed during the de facto regime.
54. The draft of this report on the overall situation of human rights in Haiti was approved by the Commission at its 102nd regular session. On March 16, 1999, it was transmitted to the Government of Haiti, pursuant to Article 63 (h) of the Regulations of the Commission, so that the Government might present its observations within one month.
55. The Government of Haiti had not presented any observations by the end of that period.
56. On April 16, 1999, the Commission adopted the report in its final form and approved its publication in Chapter IV of this Annual Report.
1 By means of Communication JUR/97-406 of April 29, 1997, Mr. Fritz Longchamps, Minister of Foreign Affairs, invited the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to conduct an in loco visit to Haiti to observe the human rights situation in the country. The Commission formed a preparatory mission in November 1998 and will donduct its in loco visit this year.
2 Parliament is comprised of 27 Senators and 83 Representatives. Article 53 of the 1995 Electoral Law makes provisions for 3 Senators per Department. Article 54(1) stipulates that the terms of one-third of the members of the Senate shall be renewed every 2 years. Article 50 stipulates that Representatives shall be elected for a period of 4 years.
3 The OAS/UN International Civilian Mission (MICIVIH), Report on Haiti, A Human Rights Overview, submitted to the CIDH by Ambassador Colin Granderson, Executive Director, October 9, 1998, p.2.
4 Pursuant to Article 157(6) of the Constitution of Haiti.
5 Article 158 of the Haitian Constitution states that: "the Prime Minister, with the consent of the President, chooses the members of his ministerial cabinet and appears before Parliament in order to obtain from it a vote of confidence on his statement on general policy. The counting of the votes is done in public, with an absolute majority of each of the two chambers. If a vote of no confidence is received from any of the chambers, the procedure begins anew.
6 With the break-up of the Lavalas Party in November 1996, a new party of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide was created, called Fanmi Lavalas.
7 MICIVIH, Haiti A Human Rights Overview, p. 3.
8 Report on the Economic Situation in Haiti, Moreno López, Paul, IDB. March 1998.
11 Promoting Stability, Democracy, and Economic Growth in Haiti, Subcommission for the Western Hemisphere, May 14, 1997.
12 See the Report on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti, 1997, in the CIDH Annual Report, 1998.
13 MICIVIH, Haiti A Human Rights Overview, p. 5.
14 See the Report on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti, prepared by Mr. Adama Dieng, United Nations Independent Expert. Document A/53/355, of September 10, 1998, page 7.
15 Report of the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations, October 1998.
16 MICIVIH, Haiti A Human Rights Overview, p. 6.
17 Ibid, p. 5.
18 MICIVIH report.
20 See the Report on the Human Rights Situation in the World, 1998, Human Rights Watch/Americas, pp. 40-44.
21 Report on the Human Rights Situation in Haiti, A/53/355, September 10, 1998, p. 2.
22 The United Nations Security Council adopted the decision in its Resolution 1141 (1997) of November 28, 1997.
23 Criminals under ordinary law. During the era of the de facto military government, the Zenglendos were used as paramilitary groups.
24 Human Rights Watch/Americas, Report on the Human Rights Situation in the World, 1998, p. 40-44.
25 See the Annual Report of the CIDH in 1998, op. cit.
26 MICIVIH, Human Rights Review, October-December, 1998.
27 Doc. A/53/355, op. cit. p. 3.