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Cablegate: Hiti Monthly: February, 2008

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RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 1633
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WHA/EX PLEASE PASS USOAS

E.O. 12958: N/A
AGS: HA, PREL, PGOV, PHUM, ECON, EFIN
SUBJECT: HITI MONTHLY: FEBRUARY, 2008

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they were in the Doinican Republic. (Note: GARR correctly
noted tat the GOH's fight against corruption must include
the land borders because corrpt officials on both sides of
the Haitian-Dominican border are implicated, either turning a
blind eye to illegal border crossings or profiting directly
from such crossings. End note.)

7. (SBU) PREVAL WANTS FASTER PROGRESS ON FINANCIAL CRIMES
PROSECUTIONS

President Preval called for a briefing February 22 by
Department of Treasury Office of Technical Assistance
advisors. The President asked OTA advisors to outline
impediments in the identification and prosecution of
financial crimes cases and said clear and measurable progress
is essential to respond to public concerns about corruption.
Preval pressured Minister of Justice Magloire to equip
offices of the judicial police investigators (BAFE offices),
ensure appropriate salaries were offered to BAFE
investigators, and immediately identify prosecutors and
magistrates with financial expertise who can swiftly act on
cases. OTA advisors returned March 2 and plan to work
intensively with BAFE in the review of suspicious cases.

8. (SBU) CONTROVERSY CONTINUES AT FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE UNIT

Former investigating judge Jean Ostrict Hercules was named
February 29 to replace Central Financial Information Unit
(UCREF) Director Jean-Yves Noel. Some media reports
criticized Hercules for not doing enough as a sitting judge
to ensure prosecutions in the murder of Radio Haiti
journalist Jean Dominique and bodyguard Jean Claude
Louissaint in 2000. Hercules allegedly cited personal
security concerns to justify his decision to return the cases
to the Civil Court. Noel, whose term recently expired, made
the list of candidates, but was not recommended for selection
by the National Committee against Money Laundering (CNLBA)
due to questions about management and operational
transparency. Noel has also been accused of blocking the
transfer of suspect financial crimes cases to the
investigating arm of the police -- BAFE. (Note: Minister of
Justice Rene Magloire swore in Hercules at UCREF offices
March 3. End note.)

9. (U) GOH PREPARES FOR APRIL INTERNATIONAL DONOR CONFERENCE

Prime Minister Alexis presided over a meeting with donor
country representatives February 26 to discuss preparations
for a donor conference to be held April 25 in Port-au-Prince.
The GoH plans to reach an agreement with key donors on
financing the medium-term Growth and Poverty Reduction
Strategy (GPRSP) devised by the GoH in November.
Approximately USD 4 billion will be required over a
three-year period to implement the GPRSP. GoH interlocutors
note the GPRSP is primed for success due to broad
participation by the Haitian public and civil society, as
well as consultations with the donor community. A conference
secretariat, headed by former Minister of Planning and
External Cooperation Anthony Dessources, has been established
to organize the April conference.

10. (U) COMMISSION ON SECURITY PROMOTES HAITIAN MILITARY

On February 19, poloffs met with journalist/historian Georges
Michel, member of the Presidential Commission for Reflection
on the Reinforcement of Security, a think-tank organized to
explore the feasibility of reinstituting a national army in
Haiti. Michel said the Commission supports the
reconstitution of a small national army of about 3,000
troops, underscoring that the army would specialize in
defensive warfare only. The HNP, not the army, would remain
the first line in the defense of civilians, to avoid the
military's past abuse of authority against civilians. The
commission's final report will be released in October, and
will be made available to the public.

11. (U) GOH PROPOSES TO INCREASE DAILY MINIMUM WAGE

The GOH on February 28 announced that it wanted to increase

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