Haitian Senate Demands Temporary Stay Against Mining: Will Martelly-Lamothe Respond?

March 3, 2013
By `

http://miningawareness.wordpress.com

Have We Achieved Victory?  Not quite.  Has the Mining Gone Away?  Not necessarily.

SENATE RESOLUTION PASSED

The Haitian Senate awakened from its slumber and made a Resolution on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, essentially calling for a temporary injunction against mining in Haiti, pending examination by a committee and national debate.  The Senate has apparently decided to represent the people of Haiti and act both as its advocate and as a court of appeals in this matter.

They have requested a stay of execution of the contracts, and of any mining on the national territory.  They sent the Resolution to the Executive branch (Martelly&Lamothe), which appears to be ignoring it.  While apparently failing to respond to the Senate Resolution, President Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe found the time to meet, on Monday, with the Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird and the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, Diane Ablonczy.

One week on, we have still found no news of response from the Executive branch.  Although some headlines lead us to believe that the mining “problem” has gone away in Haiti, unfortunately this is not the case.  This Resolution only represents the possibility of a temporary reprieve, even if it is applied.  Nonetheless, this reprieve could become permanent in the best case scenario.

So, contrary to what “HaitianTruth” website alleged in a title that they added when reposting (without our permission) our Morne Bossa post, on February 22, it was the Haitian Senate and not the Martelly-Lamothe team, which demanded the freezing of contracts.  Martelly-Lamothe appear more concerned with restoring Canadian International Aid, which has elsewhere announced itself as largely contingent upon mining, than with the Haitian people or Senate.  We have not heard a peep from or about the Haitian lower house of Deputies.  There is one, but one would not know that from news articles.

It is important to note that until they are published in Haiti’s Le Moniteur, the new Conventions, signed on December 21, 2012, do not enter into effect anyway.  And, unless they were sneaked through during the Christmas to New Years week, or were sneaked through along with a bunch of other contracts in Le Moniteur, no. 3, Jan. 9, 2012, Resolutions no 1 and no 2 of the “Conseil du Ministres” of 21 Dec. 2012, they have not yet been published.  At least one of these published December 21st resolutions had to do with 48 infrastructure projects funded by Venzuela-Hugo Chavez’ Petrocaribe program.  Of course, there are still the 1997 Mining Conventions, published in the Moniteur in 2005 (post-coup 2) and other permits granted.  There was also the February 11, 1992 (post-coup 1) Mining Convention signed for Morne Bossa and Grand Bois, which may or may not have been published.

CONTENTS OF SENATE RESOLUTION

Importantly, in the Senate Resolution, paragraph 7, they state as one reason for calling for the stay: “TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE SERIOUS ECOLOGICAL RISKS INHERENT IN THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY AND IN VIEW OF THE ALREADY ALARMING LEVEL OF DEGRADATION OF OUR ENVIRONMENT”.  Nonetheless, the entire tenor of the resolution appears more a postponement until an appropriate time, rather than stopping the mining definitively.  While, we believe that this is because they, like most, have been misled as to the resources available, the ecological risks do not have a price tag; the value of trees, clean air, land, and water is priceless.

Further reasons given in their request for stay include the history of exploitation of Haiti and its resources, starting in 1493, and the genocide of the Native Haitians, forced to mine gold by the Spanish.  Other reasons cited in their resolution include “…the current inability of the country to serenely negotiate its mineral reources in the context of political disequilibrium, the weakening of the State…”; “…the waste of resources already recorded – in non-priority areas- after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, which resulted from the absence of a national consensus when facing the challenge of reconstruction”; …”the opacity”, i.e. the lack of transparency, in the evaluation and the real estimations of the resources already identified, “as well as the brute value of the ore”.

After stating reasons for the stay the resolution concludes:
“Thus, the Senate of the Republic adopts the present resolution and demands expressly and solemnly of the Executive to:
Article 1:  To immediately stay the execution of the exploitation permits already signed with SOMINE, SA, “VCS Mining” or any other entities.
Article 2:  To put in place a commission of experts regrouping the professionals of the Ministry of Public Works, of the State University of Haiti (UEH), Haitians living overseas and of Parliament in view of analyzing the different contracts, which have already been signed.
Article 3:  Organize a national debate on the mineral resources of the country, their potential and the way to use them in the framework of a consensual Plan of National Reconstruction.
Article 4:  The present Resolution is transmitted to the Executive
for all legal purposes”
(From a French text in references; translation our own).

Unfortunately, while noting the problems of environmental degradation, the assumption seems to be that the mining will be eventually done, but that now is not the right time for a multitude of reasons.  However, if a stay is implemented, then this buys more time for people to be educated as to the risks, i.e. “cost-benefits”.

It is even more imperative than ever to remain vigilant.

PROPOSED COMMITTEE & CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The proposed committee of experts, who would examine the existing contracts, risks being akin to the fox guarding the hen house. A committee comprised of experts from the UEH (State University of Haiti) and of “Haitians living abroad” would risk including those benefiting from the mining contracts! And, the MTPC (Ministry of Public Works) is over the BME (Bureau of Mines), which approved the contracts in the first place.

For instance, Pierre-Yvon Beauboeuf, who teaches at the UEH, signed the 1997 Mining Convention as Vice-President and Director General of Ste-Genevieve, Haiti, which changed its name to SOMINE, SA and is now held by SOMINE, SA-Majescor.  Beauboeuf was Director General of the Bureau of Mines (BME) in 1993, when their promotional documents were published.  Djacaman (Jacaman) Charles also teaches at the UEH.  He was colleague to the late Enerlio Gassant of Delta Mining (VCS Mining) and works in Enerlio Gassant’s law firm “Cabinet Gassant” where Enerlio’s son Vladimir and perhaps son Enerlio Karms Gassant still work.  As Enerlio Gassant (we continue to assume the father and not the living son) is listed as the “owner” of Delta Mining, which currently holds the Morne Bossa Mining Convention, this is also worrisome.  Dominique Boisson of Marien Mining, and representative of Canadian Eurasian Minerals, Inc., who in turn is holder of the Grand Bois Mining Convention, is a doctor of engineering and geology and teaches at the UEH.  We must also mention Claude Prepetit, engineer and geologist, who both works at the BME and teaches at the UEH.  Although Prepetit seems both the most honest and most knowledgeable of the mining topic, he very likely cannot be totally honest without fearing for his livelihood and even for his life.  This last is most surely why an appalling pall of silence has fallen over the truth of mining in Haiti.  Hiring hit-men within Haiti, and even within the US, is in the Haitian play-book. (1)  Finally, we believe, though are not certain, that Angelo Viard of VCS Mining, is descended from Frederic Doret,  a Mining Engineer, who is one of the founding fathers of the State University (UEH).  These are some of the more glaring conflicts of interest, but there are most certainly more, as the movers and shakers in Haiti, often like to put a feather in their cap by teaching at the State University (and elsewhere).  It also gives them control of ideas within Haiti and about Haiti, and of who enters the professions in Haiti.

Additionally we have noted, in an earlier post, the financial ties between certain Canadian professors working at the UEH and Canadian Mining companies.  It bears noting the importance of collegiality in universities, where even professors who fight and bicker amongst themselves will most often provide a solid front against anyone from outside their academic circles (including students).

The Haitians living abroad, often called Haitian Diaspora risk being represented by the Haitian Diaspora Federation and NOAH, both creations of Joseph Baptiste, DDS, who sits on the Board of Directors of VCS Mining, the US holder of Delta Mining, which, in turn currently hold the Morne Bossa Convention and the Lasile Permit.  Also, both he and SOMINE’s Jean-Marie Wolff were founders of Promocapital, which has been described as a sort of joint venture between Promobank and NOAH.  While called Promocapital in the US, and registered in Delaware, it is (or was) incorporated as Promocapital Haiti, SA – a “Societe Financiere de Developpement”- in Haiti.  We are unsure if this is the same as SOFIHDES (Societe Financiere Haitienne de Developpement Haitienne) or if Promocapital Haiti disappeared along with Promobank, whose shares were reportedly bought by SOGEBANK and UNIBANK. SOFIHDES has close ties to SOGEBANK.

While reading about SOFIDHES, we read that Michaelle Lamothe Fortuné used to work in personnel at the Haitian Bureau of Mines — probably in the early to mid 1990s– and now works at SOFIDHES.  Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe’s mother is Gislaine Fortuné Lamothe (the name also appears as Ghislaine Fortuney).

And, for that matter VCS Mining is Angelo Viard who is a Haitian living abroad!  Shall he be consulted as to the Conventions?  VCS Mining may be registered in the US State of Delaware, but it is owned by a Haitian!  Angelo married an American, but we find no evidence that he was born or raised in the US. Rather we first find him in US records in San Francisco in 1995. The general lack of records suggest that he was born, raised and educated in Haiti (or perhaps Canada or France).  He does not seem to want us to know where he went to university for some reason, as he never mentions a name.  So, VCS Mining, this “American” private company exploiting poor Haiti is actually one or more Haitians (Angelo Viard, Joseph Baptiste and perhaps others unknown) exploiting Haiti!  A company, such as VCS Mining, which is owned by one or two Haitians does not make an American Company as it is traditionally understood.  This is not Walmart nor McDonalds nor even First City Development Haiti (FCDH) from Illinois, a little discussed mining company in Haiti, nor Reynolds Haiti.  And, even these last could not have operated without the complicity of Haitian Elites.

The Ministry of Public Works is ultimately responsible for the BME, so suggesting that they be on a committee is akin to asking the BME to self-regulate.

While it is unclear who can possibly examine these contracts objectively, it is abundantly clear that it should not include the UEH, or any universities sharing close ties with the UEH or mining companies, whether in Haiti or abroad (e.g Universite de Montreal; McGill); nor should it be the Haitian Diaspora Association, nor NOAH, nor anyone with close ties either professional or familial with the Mining Companies.  It should go without saying that it should not include those, like Beauboeuf, who signed the contracts! Duh!

EVIDENCE OF AN ELITE INTERNECINE SQUABBLE

If we think that at least some, and hopefully most Senators have as intent to protect the Haitian people, if one believes quotes by the Nouvelliste, this does not seem the primary concern of Senator Bien-Aime.  He is cited in the Nouvelliste, Jan. 22, 2013, of accusing “the power” of acting such that “Michel Lamour, in conflict with other associates of SOMINE, SA, obtains the two exploitation contracts at the expense of Jean-Marie Wolff and Pierre Yvon Beauboeuf”.  He further says ”Michel Lamour is an acolyte of Martelly, he financed his electoral campaign.”  We are pretty sure that Michel Lamarre of SOMINE, SA. is meant and not Michel Lamour.  However, we are perplexed as to WHY Bien-Aime thinks that anyone should give a bleepity, bleep as to whether Wolff-Beauboeuf or Lamarre own the Conventions?  (We guess that this means that Michel Lamarre signed the new December 21, 2012 Convention for SOMINE?) The only hint is that Bien-Aime is with Preval’s party “INITE” (UNITE) and the 1997 Mining Convention for the SOMINE property was signed, under Preval, by Pierre Yvon Beauboeuf as “Vice President and Director General” of Ste-Genevieve, Haiti.  So, the mining promotional brochures, which were produced when Beauboeuf was Director of the BME bore fruit for Beauboeuf.  Oh, the revolving door, between government and business!  Beauboeuf has held the SOMINE contract for at least 16 years and maybe more – longer than many marriages!  Shall he keep it because he has held it so long?  Truly bizarre that Senator Bien-Aime would say such a thing aloud, if he did!  He sure let the cat out of the bag!  This appears for Bien-Aime as an internecine squabble between elites, and nothing to do with legality or with the Haitian people.  Rarely a dull moment in Haitian politics for almost 30 years!   Of course, most Haitian elites, professors or not, appear the same:  they bicker amongst themselves unless they are faced by their common enemy: the poor majority or anyone who asks for even a few crumbs for Haiti’s poor majority, and certainly anyone asking for decent treatment of Haiti’s poor majority.  If faced with such a prospect the greedy, selfish, cowardly elite, who have refused to share for hundreds of years, form a collegial truce and cry for help to the US, Canada and France.  So, under the protection of international troops, funded by those in the rest of the world who “share” by paying income tax or donations, the Haitian elites can continue on with their internecine squabbles, leaving the poor outside of the economic and political system.

JEAN-MAX BELLERIVE, HENRY ROBERT LOUIS AND VCS MINING

As the Resolution speaks of the misuse of monies in the aftermath of the earthquake, the time has come to speak of former PM Jean-Max Bellerive, who gave out contracts during the post-quake state of emergency, and of Henry Robert Louis of HR Louis Associes (accountants).  Henry Robert Louis acted as co-chair of the Haitian Reconstruction Interim Committee (HRIC-CIRH), on behalf of Bellerive, during the transition to the Martelly presidency.  Jean-Max Bellerive is a cousin of President Martelly and HR Louis’s firm is listed as a partner of VCS Group owned by Angelo Viard of VCS Mining.  That’s what we said:  the interim co-chair of the HRIC, acting on behalf of Jean-Max Bellerive,  Henry Robert Louis is a “partner” to Angelo Viard of VCS Mining.  We assume that Henry Robert Louis is well-trusted by Bellerive and Martelly to have been given this post.  Much uproar has occurred due to Bellerive failing to use a proper bidding process for the contracts.  However, this seems to have been legal during the 18 month post-quake state of emergency, but appears unethical to many.

POTENTIAL OUTSIDE PLAYERS

While, contrary to popular belief, most of the players involved here are Haitians, we must draw attention to some prominent non-Haitians who may need to be taken into consideration.  However, we cannot underestimate the role which politically savvy Haitian elites and savvy members of the Haitian expat community “diaspora”, such as Joseph Baptiste, Pierre Yvon Beauboeuf, Jean-Marie Wolff, Angelo Viard and others, play in bringing these players into play.  The jet-setting Haitian elites have the financial, social, and linguistic means to set the agenda of the US and of Canada and France within Haiti.  Before the advent of aircraft, they were taking ships to New York or Europe via New York.  The Haitian elites have been international for most of Haiti’s history.  There is no free lunch, so the elites likely offer something to the US, Canada and France in exchange for propping up the power of Haiti’s morally repugnant elites.

Within a pile of strange facts unearthed in relation to the mining, the strangest and most interesting of all are the US campaign contributions of VCS Mining’s Angelo Viard:  Angelo Viard (VCS Group, Inc.) gave $17,600 to the 2010 California Senate Democratic campaign (i.e. Barbara Boxer) on May 13, 2010.  He also gave $17,600 on May 6, 2010 to the election PAC “Act Blue” who, in turn, contributed to Barbara Boxer.  Angelo is listed as number 29 for largest “Act Blue” donors Nation-wide in the US in 2010 and number 9 for California “Act Blue” donors.  He also gave $2,300 in 2008 to Hillary Clinton for President, a more typical donation of an average “rich person” who wants access to the halls of power.  And, in 2012 he gave $2,500 to Haitian Rudy Moise for Congress, even though Rudy ran in Florida and Angelo was living in North Carolina (Martelly voiced support for Rudy).  The mystery of this $35,200 campaign donation by Angelo resides in a) How did he get that amount of money? and b) Why did he donate it?  There is nothing in Angelo Viard’s background to suggest that he, a married father of two, living in a high cost location (California) would have an extra $35,200 to throw around, based on what is known of his employment, although this remains possible.  This leads us to suspect that it came from a) Morne Bossa Mine or b) funneling money from other parties, most likely Haitian super-elites, to US Senator Barbara Boxer or c) money- laundering or d) any combination of these.  It could also be that he comes from an ultra-rich family.  However, we doubt this due to the modesty of his former California condo.  Regardless of the source, what might he want?  Surely this must have something to do with Senator Barbara Boxer serving on the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Haiti.

A major investor in Majescor stocks is MacKenzie Financial Corporation of Canada (not to be confused with MacKinsey), which itself is owned by Power Corporation of Canada, and hence controlled by the Desmarais family of Canada and also Laurent Dassault of France.  Stupidly MacKenzie has locked itself into Majescor stocks – some until July 28, 2013 and some until March 1, 2014.  Other institutional shareholders of Majescor were IG Investment Management, Ltd, and AMBS Investment Counsel, LLC. who had the good sense to drop Majescor.  Majescor Stock was worth $1.50 to $1.80 eleven years ago (April 2002) and now is worth four or five cents (.05).  It would be difficult to find a worse investment.  It is in MacKenzie et. al.’s interest to have the stock go up as much as possible before they get out.  Anyone who has entrusted retirement money to these companies should seriously consider investing elsewhere, since they do not seem to carefully examine their investments of people’s money.  Ethically and financially it would be good to get out of MacKenzie and anyone who invests in high risk penney mining stocks, as well.  Alternatively, you can complain and ask MacKenzie Financial to divest from Majescor, as soon as possible.  While Majescor stock has dropped to 5 cents, the CEO of Majescor, Daniel Hachey is making a salary of $180,000 per year and the CFO Kadija Abounaim is making $111,150  per year, excluding stock options.  We imagine and hope that the losses incurred by MacKenzie Financial’s investment in Majescor are too small a deal for the Desmarais and Dassault families to worry about.  But, you can never tell.  Companies do not have to mine to make money, but need to at least pretend that there will be or is mining, in order to get a higher stock value.  Then they can sell the stocks to the next sucker.  Was the visit by Haiti’s foreign minister right after the Senate Resolution truly a coincidence?  They claim to have been visiting other countries but was Haiti already on their agenda?

These are not the only big players.  Major shareholders of Eurasian Minerals, which holds the Grand Bois Mining Convention and other permits in Haiti, include Newmont Mining, Antofagasta (mining), Sprott Asset Management, and Lundin Mining.  This potentially brings in the Iris Fontabana (Luksic) family of Antofagasta- the wealthiest family in Chile; the Swedish-Canadian Lundin family of Lunding mining, and Eric Steven Sprott of Mutual and Hedge Fund Company Sprott Asset Management of Toronto, Canada.

Another major shareholder is the IFC (International Finance Corporation), investment arm to World Bank which bought Eurasian Minerals shares after the Haiti earthquake.  IFC bought shares at $2.06 Euarasian Minerals in 2010.  The stock is now worth $1.95 so if they sell now they will have lost about $281,546. (These numbers and the salaries at Majescor are given in Canadian dollars but the US and Canadian dollar is close to equivalent).

THE EXECUTIVE AND ITS APPARENT ALLERGY TO DEMOCRACY

Although we hope to be proven wrong, we fear that the Executive will continue to ignore the Senate, as the regime, since the arrival of Lamothe as PM, appears allergic to the concept of free speech and debate.  Although Martelly was laudable in his thick-skinned tolerance of criticism, Lamothe has made clear from the beginning that he will not tolerate criticism, which for better or worse is called free speech elsewhere.  For Lamothe, what we know as free speech is called defamation. This is perhaps why it has remained difficult to find information about him: journalists are justifiably frightened.  We should not be surprised that Lamothe appears a fan of authoritarianism, considering that his mother chose to study in Franco’s Spain and willingly returned to Duvalier’s Haiti.  For them dictatorship is the norm.  Free speech is not.  Lamothe seems to have learned from the Spanish Inquisition, as well.  The frightening thing is that Laurent Lamothe and Patrice Baker, who appear rolling in money, sued a poor New York journalist for defamation in a Florida Court and won, thus setting a dangerous precedent against free speech in the US.  Although one may doubt that Miami is still a part of the US, the ruling was by a Federal judge (Ursala Mancusi Ungaro), who was appointed by George Bush Sr. Frightened journalists is perhaps why we have found it so hard to find out much of anything about Lamothe outside rare tidbits like his kinship ties to the Heurtelou family.  Jean Claude Duvalier’s great-grandmother was a Heurtelou, as was President Estime’s wife, Lucienne Heurtelou Estime, who served as Haitian Ambassador under Francois Duvalier from 1957 to 1971.  Enerlio Gassant’s daughter is Pascale Gassant Heurtelou (husband Jean Pierre Heurtelou).  Pascale would be, by law, an heir to Delta Mining and the Morne Bossa Convention.  By attitude and kinship ties, Lamothe seems more Duvalierist than Martelly.  It is important that those calling for the removal of President Martelly understand this:  Lamothe would replace him and is likely worse.  Martelly seemed to have had more sense, years ago, without the help of Lamothe’s “brain”.  The administration’s reported blocking of Carnival groups from singing songs critical of the regime furthur illustrates this regime’s intolerance of criticism and free speech. Lamothe and Martelly appear to want to snuff out the Carnival and Rara tradition of using songs to express popular discontentment.  Those claiming to have been blocked during Carnival include Martelly’s own cousin, Richard Morse’s group, RAM.  Morse, owner of the famous Oloffson Hotel, recently resigned from Martelly’s government.  Duvalier left just ahead of Carnival in 1986, fearing that he would be forced out, during the exuberance of carnival.  Lamothe-Martelly appear to have opted to control Carnival in order to control discontentment.

We will be happy to be proved wrong, but we do not expect the Lamothe-Martelly Executive to either pay attention to the elected Senate nor allow the proposed public debate of mining.  That would involve democracy and free speech, a concept which Lamothe does not seem to understand, as Franco’s Spain and Duvalier’s Haiti (and apparently the Spanish Inquisition) are the traditions in which he was raised.

Regardless, the problem of mining will never totally go away.  No “win” is permanent.  One must always be alert and vigilant.  This is all the more true due to the patronage and nepotism, which seems to continue to characterize things in Haiti — caused or exacerbated by the close kinship ties of the Haitian elites.

IS THE OBJECTIVE REALLY MINING?

In theory, if there is nothing really worth mining the problem should go away. However, as we have noted, it depends not only on the grade of the ore, but on how many corners can be cut regarding the environment and worker safety. It also depends on if mining is the real goal:  Bre-X and other scandals demonstrate that mining companies do not have to mine to make money.  By making people convinced there are precious metals, money can be made on the stock market.  Or, the goal might be getting loans and then defaulting on them; money laundering or some other unknown objective, such as using the areas as drop-off/pick-up spots for contraband using mining FIFO (fly-in, fly-out) helicopters.  Higher level mine workers in Haiti are and will be FIFO (we have seen advertisements to that effect).  After many months of research on this topic, and having studied Haiti off and on for over 28 years, I am convinced that there is something else hidden, for which the “mines” are just a cover. We call on the curious to continue to dig into this mystery of mining in Haiti.

We leave you for now with a quote regarding mining in the Northeast of Haiti and a more upclose satellite image, in the Morne Bossa area, of a mine, which according to the BME director Remarais and others does not exist.  It is one of several areas on the Morne Bossa hill group where gold was identified as early as 1979.  There were Mining Conventions signed for Morne Bossa in 1992, 1997, 2005, and December 21, 2012.

First the quote:
“The parish of Bayaha [Northeast] has mines and I have the proof in an Administrative Ordinance….that gold has been found, because it allows Mr. Boisdenier, Belfort, Mr. Gerland and other associates to work this mine privately for 10 years…I have not been able to discover where this mine is….”

Does this sound familiar?  Does it sound like our current troubles getting information about mining and mining locations?  This was written by Moreau de St-Mery about a mining convention signed in Haiti on December 26, 1716…almost 297 years to the day before the current Conventions, which were signed December 21, 2012.  Was signing things at Christmas time a trick even back then?  In those days the mine owners were to present themselves weekly at a government office in Cap Haitian or risk losing their mining privilege.  He is convinced that the mining has not taken place, but we are not sure if it is because he cannot ascertain its location or if there were other reasons.  The distinction hinges upon if he meant “donc” and wrote “dont” instead in the original (see pictures below)

Morne Bossa Mining Convention area no. 1
Mining Area 1 Ponds

Moreau de St-Mery, 1716 Mining Convention
1716 Mining Convention
FOOTNOTE (1)
We wish to clarify that this statement about hitmen is a generic statement.  We are certainly NOT implying state assassinations, but rather assassinations by unknown parties, which even may be taken for random violence.  By no means are we implying that there would be an assassination against Claude Prepetit or anyone else for speaking the truth about mining in Haiti.  However, in the not so distant past there were assassination threats and apparent assassinations carried out, by unknown parties, against Haitians both within the US and Haiti.  So, it is “in the playbook”, so to speak,  and hence there is a lingering and, possibly still, legitimate fear, which can breed intimidation and silence.  This is why we remain anonymous, having personally known one killed and one constantly threatened.  This is, in part, why this blog exists (in memoriam).  Within the last year four men confessed to killing a Swiss woman over an investigation of finances at an orphanage, indicating that such things still can occur.  Lamothe and Patrice Baker’s lawsuit against journalist Leo Joseph for defamation could possibly indicate that younger, wealthier Haitians are modernizing their means of intimidation.  Assassination threats and assassinations are the cheap way of intimidating and buying silence.  The rich, like Lamothe and Baker, can afford attorneys instead.  As most cannot afford attorneys, and not all judges are just, the threat of lawsuit is intimidating, and the end result for a society is the same as the threat of assassination:  fear and intimidation and the resulting muzzling and death of free speech, muzzling and death of free press and ultimately the death of democracy, which depends on free speech, free press, and an informed populace.  Hence, Lamothe and Baker, through their lawsuit, have, whether knowingly or unknowingly, endangered free press and free speech, and ultimately democracy, both within the US and Haiti. We feel that they should have asked for equal time in the newspaper or used their wealth to publish a response to Leo Joseph’s articles instead of filing suit.  To us, suing a journalist working for a tiny newspaper (circulation 75,000) is a slippery slide down a dangerous slope, especially for a government official.  By her ruling that Leo Joseph can never ever write about Lamothe again, Judge Ursala Ungaro, has shoved us further down that slope.  From what we understand Joseph was even judged in absentia, alleging that he was not properly served.  And, why was this suit filed in Florida against a journalist and Haitian Newspaper in New York?  Additionally, neither we nor many others would have ever read or heard about Leo Joseph’s articles if it had not been for this lawsuit.  If American politicians had this attitude they would be in court all day and all night instead of running the country. NB:  In “About” we reserved the right to express our opinion. References on this topic appear below, along with the others.

REFERENCES AND ADDITIONAL READING

US Bill of Rights, Amendment I to the US Constitution:
Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

French and English summaries of case and the Haitian Senate resolution:
http://www.haitilibre.com/article-7929-haiti-economie-le-senat-vote-la-suspension-des-permis-miniers-en-haiti.html (we used this French version as the basis for our English translation and summary)
http://lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=113631
http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-7929-haiti-economy-the-senate-voted-the-suspension-of-mining-permits-in-haiti.html (we found this English translation inadequate, probably because Haiti Libre was good and quickly put it online for everyone and so did not have time to check it; also, the French version has an error making translation impossible; we do not know if the error is in the original Senate version or not, but the error does not change meaning in an important way).

Jean Baptiste Bien-Aime and the Internecine Squabble:
http://lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=112782

Angelo Viard Campaign Donations
http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/angelo-viard.asp?cycle=10
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2011/03/blue-tide-rising-actblue.html
https://secure.actblue.com/directory/CA?year=2010http://boxer.senate.gov/en/senator/committees/foreign.cfm
http://www.foreign.senate.gov/

Martelly endorses Rudy Moise
http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/05/haitian_president_michel_marte_1.php

Angelo Viard gives Rudy Moise $2,500 even though Angelo living in NC and Rudy in Florida (May 8, 2012)
http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/angelo-viard.asp?cycle=12

Angelo Viard’s Viard Group (VCS Consulting) partners
http://viardcorp.com/partners.html

H.R. Louis Associates of Port-au-Prince (Henry Robert Louis)
http://www.ocpah.org/download/i/mark_dl/u/4008677919/4571316392/Liste%20des%20cabinets%202011-2012.pdf
Henry Robert Louis representing Max Bellerive for the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (CIRH)
http://portal.oas.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=jl0z3ESjZFc%3D&tabid=1821
http://www.radiotelevisioncaraibes.com/presse/3815.html
Note: Joseph Bernadel on board of Haitian Diaspora Federation also served on the HRIC.

Canadian Ministers Visit
http://lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=113860
http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-7962-haiti-reconstruction-visit-of-two-canadian-ministers.html

2007 Haitian Commerce and Investment Mission to Canada
Participants include Pierre-Yvon Beauboeuf, VP and Director General of Ste-Genevieve Haiti, SA, Mining Exploitation;
Dominique Boisson, Director General of Marian Mining, Mining Exploitation (recently with Eurasian Minerals);
Guy Lamothe, General Director of Investment Facilitation (still holds this post and is Haitian Ambassador to Mexico; may or may not be kin to Prime Minister Lamothe):
http://www.haiti-montreal.org/PDF/Liste_participants.pdf

Links to the 1997 Mining Conventions, renewed and published 2005:
http://haitigrassrootswatch.squarespace.com/storage/Mining.Convention-St.Genevieve.pdf
http://haitigrassrootswatch.squarespace.com/storage/Mining.Convention-Citadel.pdf

A website discussing the lack of consultation with the local populations.  They were kind enough to upload the 1997 Mining Conventions: http://haitigrassrootswatch.squarespace.com/haiti-grassroots-watch-engli/

Institutional Investors in Majescor:
http://www.mackenziefinancial.com/en/financials/fs/E_2287F09.pdf
http://www.mackenziefinancial.com/en/financials/fs/E_1042F09.pdf
http://www.majescor.com/uploads/majescorceoq&a_august162012.pdf
http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Business-profile?s=MJX:CVE
http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-overview.html?t=XBER:L7C1&region=DEU&culture=en-us
http://stockzoa.com/fund/ambs-investment-counsel-llc/

MacKenzie Financial subsidiary of Power Corp of Canada
(not to be confused with McKinsey)
http://www.powercorporation.com/en/companies-group/igm-financial-inc/subsidiaries/

UEH (State University of Haiti) faculty list:
http://ueh.edu.ht/filieres/enseignants.php

Joseph Baptiste, DDS of VCS Mining:
1) VCS Mining
http://vcsmining.com/management.html
2) Haitian Diaspora Federation
http://www.myhdf.org/Board_Members.htm
http://www.oas.org/oaspage/videosasf/2012/Links/101912_Diaspora.doc
http://www.oas.org/fr/centre_medias/communique_presse.asp?sCodigo=F-377/12
http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09PORTAUPRINCE758
Second meeting Diaspora Federation
http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09PORTAUPRINCE758
Note: Joseph Bernadel, on board of Haitian Diaspora Federation, also served on the HRIC.
3) NOAH
http://www.noahhaiti.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62&Itemid=61
4) Representaction (with Jean-Marie Wolff of SOMINE)
http://www.bizapedia.com/tx/REPRESENTACTION.html

Joseph Baptiste and Michaelle Jean:
http://www.snaa.org/news_events.php

Joseph Baptiste works with CARICOM on behalf of state of Maryland.
(Martelly currently President of CARICOM):
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/col-ret-joseph-baptiste-dds-magd-faaid-dicoi/2b/228/b6

Promocapital investment:  Joseph Baptiste, Patrice Backer (Baker), Daniel Rouzier (Martelly pick for PM), Reginald Heurtelou and many more, including many better known Haitian super-elites like Reginald Boulos who also teaches at the UEH (as may some others) and was part of the G-184 and who has maintained close ties to Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/04/prweb115614.htm
http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=promocapital
http://acraindustries.com/about
http://www.metropolehaiti.com/metropole/full_une_fr.php?id=12571
http://www.haitiobserver.com/blog/tag/promobank/promocapital-haitis-pioneer-investment-bank.html

Promocapital in Haiti was “Societe Financiere de Developpement” and Promocapital, USA in Delaware, USA.  It was supposed to be a wing of Promobank whose shares were sold to SOGEBANK and UNIBANK.
It is unclear to us if Promocapital, US still exists and if “Societe Financiere de Developpment” is now SOFIHDES or if SOFIHDES is a different entity.  Regardless, SOFIDHES is of interest.  It partners with the IFC wing of the World Bank.  IFC is invested in Eurasian Minerals Mining; European Development Bank; USAID; was a recipient of a loan from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and local partners include SOGEBANK, Capital Bank, Industrial Development Fund, and Banque Populaire Haitienne.  See SOFIDHES below.
SOFIDHES administrative council and directors:
http://www.sofihdes.com/apropos/conseil.php
http://www.sofihdes.com/apropos/direction.php
Includes Michaelle Lamothe Fortuné, Director of SOFITRAINING.  She worked at the “Ministère des Mines et des Ressources Énergétiques” (that is the Bureau of Mines (BME) Directeur du Personnel.  Afterwards she had her on company for almost a decade; returned to school and received a Masters of Science from University of Montreal in 2008 and has been Director of Sofitraining since Jan. 2009.

IFC Invests in Eurasian Minerals of Canada
http://reliefweb.int/report/haiti/ifc-invests-eurasian-minerals-supporting-haitis-recovery-and-job-creation

Jean Marie Wolff of SOMINE SA:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jean-marie-wolff/a/178/3b2?_mSplash=1
http://www.simactfoundation.org/boardmembers.html
http://latindispatch.com/2010/04/13/lesly-kernisant-of-simact-on-bringing-investment-to-haiti/
SIMACT:
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/simact-work-pays-haiti-13-years-long-island-based-group-article-1.378844

Misleading title regarding Senate Resolution
http://www.haitian-truth.org/martellylamothe-team-freeze-mineral-petroleum-exploittion-contracts/

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe lawsuit for defamation and various articles on him (please hurry and save copies for yourself before he threatens legal action against the web sites below; his win in US court sets a frightening precedence against free speech).  If the links go dead you will know why!  His response to various allegations also below.
http://overlawyered.com/2013/02/judges-order-write-public-official-ever/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=judges-order-write-public-official-ever
http://www.salon.com/2012/09/12/haitis_lamothe_sues_us_newspaper_for_defamation/
http://article.wn.com/view/2012/09/12/Haitis_Lamothe_sues_US_newspaper_for_defamation/#/related_news
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/19/3241877/judge-says-us-based-reporter-defamed.html
http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/blog/00-9694-haitian-senator-wants-president-sue-dominican-republic-journalist-who-reported-corrupti
http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/content/un-danger-nommé-laurent-lamothe
http://canadahaitiaction.ca/content/who-laurent-lamothe-and-what-are-his-chances-be-prime-minister
http://haiticonsciencecitoyenne.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/how-laurent-lamothe-became-prime-minister/
http://www.legriot.info/377-global-voice-wade-manipule-par-laurent-lamothe/
http://www.lematinhaiti.com/contenu.php?idtexte=34798&idtypetexte=
http://www.touthaiti.com/economie/2-uncategorised/736-questions-au-premier-ministre-lauren-lamothe
http://www.touthaiti.com/economie/660-telecommunication-scandale-vente-de-la-haiti-la-part-du-lion-a-laurent-lamothe
http://haitilivenews.com/post/31707676895/haiti-observateur-affaire-haitel-laurent-lamothe
Lamothe bio. He served on the CIRH-HRIC:
http://primature.gouv.ht/biographie.htm
Lamothe response to various allegations.  This is the proper way to counter criticism and not through the litigation which he undertook.
http://globalvoicegroup.blogspot.ch/2011/07/formal-denial-from-laurent-lamothe-and.html

Articles regarding Censoring of Haitian Carnival Groups 2013:
http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/02/music-and-politics-haiti
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/09/3225963/haiti-musicians-say-theyre-banned.html
The Miami Herald link is strangely dead already!
We chose the Miami Herald article link because we have always found many older articles still online.  An article about Caracol Industrial park is still up since since last October.  In absence of the link we are adding this arts freedom link which discusses the contents of the now missing article with the bonus of adding two videos of Carnival groups.
http://artsfreedom.org/?p=4664
http://www.touthaiti.com/touthaiti-actualites/1899-c-est-la-dictature-carnaval-2013-boukman-eksperyans-empeche-par-tous-les-moyens-de-defiler
http://www.dominionpaper.ca/weblogs/wadner_pierre/3799
http://www.lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=113494
http://www.touthaiti.com/touthaiti-editorial/1891-2013-le-carnaval-de-l-exclusion-vendetta-de-michel-martelly-contre-la-verite-et-les-groupes-racines-brothers-possees-boukman-eksperyans-kampeche

Laurent Dassault:
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=710333&ticker=DSY:FP&previousCapId=355361&previousTitle=Dassault%20Systemes%20SA
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/business/global/26dassault.html?_r=0
http://www.forbes.com/profile/laurent-dassault/
Some reading on Laurent’s father Serge Dassault in France:  sounds like Haiti:  accusations of electoral fraud; assassination
http://www.metrofrance.com/paris/corbeil-essonnes-reglement-de-comptes-sur-fond-de-fraude-electorale/mmbt!nAVarsyvB9mg/
http://www.metrofrance.com/paris/corbeil-essonnes-les-demeles-judiciaires-de-serge-dassault/mmax!TptDs3kg8nVcE/

World Billionaires list:  see # 97 (Dassault) and # 248 (Desmarais)
http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/

Queen’s Privy Council (Michaelle Jean and Paul Desmarais)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen’s_Privy_Council_for_Canada

Article on Desmarais family
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=21070001&sid=aEl4wizkuSTQ

A Guide to help communities protect themselves:
http://www.culturalsurvival.org/files/guide_for_communities_0.pdf

Canada and Haiti
http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadian-aid-money-supports-mining-companies-in-developing-countries/5311106
http://rosslandtelegraph.com/news/declassifying-canada-haiti-canadian-officials-planned-military-intervention-weeks-haitian-coup-#.US5yHdR5mSM
http://www.international.gc.ca/wet30-1/aff/news-communiques/2013/02/25a.aspx?lang=eng

“Haiti under Martelly”
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42559.pdf
Maureen Taft Morales.

Gary Lissade who served on the HRIC-CRIH (Haiti Reconstruction Interim Commission) was super-elite family Mevs attorney, as well as legal rep of Coup leader General Cedras (Cedras is the cousin of Martelly’s first Prime Minister pick Daniel Gerard Rouzier).  Justin Viard, current Canadian Consul to Montreal, works or worked for Lissade Law Firm (as well as for Promobank and Unibank).  We believe Justin to share a common ancestor with Angelo Viard, and he may well be a first cousin or sibling, so shrouded in mystery is Angelo, we do not know for sure.
http://haitirewired.wired.com/profiles/blogs/list-of-representatives-haiti
http://www.thenation.com/article/162431/haiti-wikileaks-sparks-political-furor-and-elite-drama#
http://www.lissadelaw.com/Justin_Viard.htm

4 Responses to “ Haitian Senate Demands Temporary Stay Against Mining: Will Martelly-Lamothe Respond? ”

  1. MICHAEL COLLINS on March 3, 2013 at

    Quote: “By no means are we implying that there would be an assassination against Claude Prepetit or anyone else for speaking the truth about mining in Haiti. However, in the not so distant past there were assassination threats and apparent assassinations carried out, by unknown parties, against Haitians both within the US and Haiti.” Unquote

    What is wrong with suggesting people would resort to violence, perhaps murder, if financial advantages are threatened. That is the way in Haiti, at many levels.

    Try to sue a bank and see what happens!!!!!

  2. Jack Peters on March 3, 2013 at

    miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/haitian-senate.

  3. Jack Peters on March 3, 2013 at

    AS AN EARLIER CARTOON SAID – “YOU GET THE GOLD AND WE GET THE SHAFT” A PROPER CONTRACT SHOULD PROTECT EVERYONE. A BAD CONTRACT WILL NOT DRAW REAL INVESTORS, BECAUSE THEY ARE EXPERIENCED AND KNOW FRAUD WHEN THEY SEE IT.

    The legislation should be modeled on international best practice, ensuring the Haitian people gain substantial benefit from their own natural resources. The legislation should see Haiti acquire a 50 per cent stake, by right, in any viable reserves discovered. Production royalties of between 8 per cent and 16 per cent with corporation tax of 50 per cent would accrue to the state. Legislation should specify companies begin drilling/mining operations within three years of the date of the issue of an exploration license.

    DON’T GIVE THE TREASURE AWAY!!!

    HIRE AN EXPERT TO NEGOTIATE A DEAL IN ACCORDANCE WITH BEST PRACTICES.

    IT ISN’T BRAIN SURGERY.

  4. Pierre Laurenceau on March 5, 2013 at

    Logo_post_b
    Print Back to story
    Gold Miners Come Clean on Costs After Lost 6 Years: Commodities
    By Liezel Hill – Feb 26, 2013

    The gold-mining industry, which has underperformed the precious metal for each of the past six years, is pledging to report costs more accurately as part of its efforts to win back investor confidence.

    Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) and Goldcorp Inc. (G), the two biggest producers by market value, have begun reporting “all-in sustaining costs” for the first time. The new measure averaged $941 an ounce between the two companies in the fourth quarter. That’s 50 percent higher than the $626 average so-called cash cost they disclosed in the preceding three months.

    The largest gold companies are seeking to lure investors back to the $300 billion industry after a string of money-losing multibillion-dollar takeovers and over-budget projects. Barrick and its competitors are vowing to focus on margins and to get a grip on soaring production costs, rather than boosting output.

    Gold producers “have really done themselves a huge disservice by effectively walking around for the last 12 years promoting the gross margin as opposed to the net or the operating margin,” said Joseph Wickwire, the Boston-based manager of Fidelity Investments’ $2.9 billion Select Gold Portfolio fund. “The managements and the boards of the gold companies really have no one to blame but themselves for some of the negative sentiment and disappointment.”

    Earnings statements had previously carried so-called cash costs, based on a standard developed in the 1990s that excludes expenses such as exploration and waste-rock removal.
    Margin Compression

    The 55-member S&P/TSX Global Gold Sector Index (SPTSGD) trailed gold each year in 2007 through 2012. The index declined 6.9 percent during that period while gold futures more than doubled in New York. Gold rose 1.8 percent to $1,615.50 an ounce yesterday.

    Gold has advanced for 12 successive years, driven at least in part by demand from investors looking for a store of wealth amid concern about inflation. Despite benefiting from that rally, gold producers’ margins have come under pressure from rising prices for labor, equipment and raw materials.

    The average cash cost of 10 of the biggest gold miners was $694 an ounce in the third quarter, 49 percent higher than in the same period two years earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average gold price rose 35 percent in the same comparison.

    “Everyone was trying to run through the funnel of building these new projects as big as you can, as fast as you can,” Kinross Gold Corp. (K) Chief Executive Officer J. Paul Rollinson said in an interview Feb. 13. “There was huge competition for people, competition for steel, competition for tires and spare parts.”
    Ballooning Budget

    Barrick’s gross margin, expressed as a proportion of sales, was 47 percent in 2012, while its operating margin was 39 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    “The costs of running this business are higher than it looks and that’s how we need to manage this business going forward,” Barrick CEO Jamie Sokalsky said at a Jan. 29 conference in Toronto.

    Sokalsky has been expounding his strategy since taking charge in June, when Barrick fired his predecessor Aaron Regent, citing a disappointing share-price performance. The Toronto- based company saw the cost estimate for its Pascua-Lama mine balloon to as much as $8.5 billion in 2012, from as much as $3.6 billion in 2011.
    Fired CEOs

    Regent was among at least six CEOs of North American gold producers to either announce their departure or be fired in the past year. Kinross, which fired Rollinson’s predecessor Tye Burt in August, has taken more than $5.5 billion of writedowns on Mauritanian assets the Canadian company acquired as part of its C$8 billion ($7.8 billion) takeover of Red Back Mining Inc. in 2010.

    As gold miners pursued additional ounces at the expense of profit margins, investors instead plowed billions of dollars into gold-backed exchange traded funds. The weight of gold behind those ETFs, which include the $64.9 billion SPDR Gold Trust, has quadrupled to 2,530 tons since the start of 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    The boom in ETFs may now be at an end, with physical holdings poised for the biggest monthly decline since 2008. The gold cycle has probably turned as the recovery in the U.S. economy gathers momentum and investment holdings shrink, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a Feb. 25 report. Still, it’s not yet clear whether gold miners will benefit from the change in sentiment.
    Predictability, Rigor

    “I don’t think the industry has done anything to persuade some of those investors that hold, for example, gold ETFs to buy gold shares instead,” said Neil Gregson, who manages about $5 billion in natural resources equities at JPMorgan Asset Management in London. “Our allocation to gold equities is now down to 20 percent, which is the lowest we’ve been certainly since I’ve been here in the last 2 1/2 years.”

    To be sure, while the gold industry has traditionally emphasized cash-cost figures, the other components of all-in costs were available in financial reports, Gregson said. Gold companies have diverged since the 1990s in terms of which cost items they included, Goldcorp CEO Chuck Jeannes said in a Feb. 25 interview.

    “What we are trying to do is bring back some predictability and rigor,” he said.

    There’s still no universal agreement on the new all-in costs. Members of the World Gold Council, a London-based industry group, are working on issues such as how to treat byproduct revenue, interest expenses and profits on energy hedges, said Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM) CEO Sean Boyd.
    More Realism

    Mining companies are hoping that it’s governments and not just investors who pay attention to the new all-in costs, Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI) CEO Nick Holland said in a Feb. 4 interview. Gold more than quadrupled in the last 10 years and reached a record $1,923.70 an ounce in September 2011, encouraging some countries to seek a greater share of profits.

    The Dominican Republic’s congress said last month it will review and may change a contract with Barrick over the development of a $4 billion mine. Burkina Faso is among countries that have amended royalty and tax regimes.

    “It could be positive for getting more realism into governments about how much tax they really should be levying on us,” Holland said. “There’s not the super profits that you’d have them believe you’re making.”

    To contact the reporter on this story: Liezel Hill in Toronto at lhill30@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net
    ®2013 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.