YOURI LATORTUE REVISITED-COLLEAGUE CHRONICLES CORRUPTION OF YOURI LATORTUE

August 28, 2017
By `

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YOURI LATORTUE REVISITED: PORT AU PR 00002230 001.2 OF 002 Classified By: Ambassador Janet A. Sanderson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d ).

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COLLEAGUE CHRONICLES CORRUPTION OF YOURI LATORTUE

Date:

2006 November 20, 18:20 (Monday)

Canonical ID:

06PORTAUPRINCE2230_a

Original Classification:

SECRET

Current Classification:

CONFIDENTIAL

Handling Restrictions

– Not Assigned –

Character Count:

5310

Executive Order:

– Not Assigned –

Locator:

TEXT ONLINE

TAGS:

HA – Haiti | PGOV – Political Affairs–Government; Internal Governmental Affairs | PREL – Political Affairs–External Political Relations

Concepts:

– Not Assigned –

Enclosure:

– Not Assigned –

Type:

TE – Telegram (cable)

Office Origin:

EMBASSY P-AU-P –

Office Action:

– N/A or Blank –

Archive Status:

– Not Assigned –

From:

Haiti Port-au-Prince

Markings:

– Not Assigned –

To:

Brazil Brasilia | Canada Quebec | Haiti Haiti Collective | Secretary of State | South Africa Pretoria | United Nations (New York) | United States Southern Command (Miami)

XXXXXXXXX

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PORT AU PR 00002230 001.2 OF 002 Classified By: Ambassador Janet A. Sanderson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d ).

  1. (C) Summary: Senator Youri Latortue may well be the most brazenly corrupt of leading Haitian politicians, according to a colleague. The departmental delegate from Latortue’s Artibonite province recently shared with poloffs his concerns regarding Latortue’s illegal or otherwise unsavory activities in the port city of Gonaives and other areas of the Artibonite. Latortue’s family connections play a part in his ability to manipulate the region, as do his close associations with armed gangs and drug traffickers. End Summary.

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  1. (C) On November 9, Poloffs met with Marc-Elie St. Hilien (protect), Departmental Delegate of the Artibonite. St. Hilien has been in this presidentially-appointed position for approximately one year, serving as representative of the President in the Artibonite. The IGoH appointed St. Hilien and he is unsure whether or not the Preval administration intends to replace him. The First Senator from the Artibonite is Youri Latortue, of the Artibonite in Action party. St. Hilien was able to provide insight into the senator’s activities in the region, particularly in the city of Gonaives. ——————–

Latortue Family Ties ——————–

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PM Gerard Latortue

  1. (SBU) The Latortue family is crawling all over Haitian politics. Youri is a first cousin once-removed of former IGoH Prime Minister Gerard Latortue. Youri’s sister is the former mayor of Gonaives, and the former delegate to the region was a cousin of his as well.

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The administration filled Haiti’s local and municipal offices by presidential appointment during the IGoH. Senator Latortue had influence over these appointments through his relation with IGoH Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, and managed to place members of his party in most positions around the Artibonite. The senator used these people to consolidate his power and influence in the region until the new delegate to the Artibonite appointed new local and regional officials who were not in the back pocket of Senator Latortue. ——————————————— —-

—- Senator Running Drug and Gang Activities in Gonaives? ——————————————— ——

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– 4. (C) St. Hilien likened Senator Latortue’s authority in the port city of Gonaives to that of a mafia boss. He claimed that the somewhat lethargic port and the drug and other contraband trafficking taking place there are completely under the Senator’s command. The port in Gonaives is largely controlled by the Cannibal Army gang, which faces persistent competition from two other gangs, Des Cahos and Jubile Blan. Senator Latortue exerts influence over all three groups and is thus able to maintain sway over dealings in the port. Senator Latortue’s other businesses in Gonaives include a nightclub and movie theater, both of questionable legitimacy.

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Srgs mulet

Additionally, other sources such as SRSG Mulet have accused Latortue of being a “drug dealer” (ref A), and an oft-disruptive popular organization in St. Marc named “Bale Wouze”

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recently accused the senator of distributing weapons in an effort to destabilize the government. (Note: St. Hilien phoned the Embassy on November 16 to reinforce the Bale Wouze accusations, and also to report another incident in which Senator Latortue and friends were stealing telephone poles and utility boxes from Port-au-Prince for use in Gonaives.

End Note.)

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5. (C) After the large-scale flooding in the Artibonite in September, the central government allocated emergency food supplies to be distributed to the flood victims. St. Hilien reported that Senator Latortue intercepted the supplies and stashed them temporarily somewhere in Gonaives, and then took the supplies to the victims and acted as if he was personally responsible for the handouts. PORT AU PR 00002230 002.2 OF 002

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6. (C) St. Hilien recounted a story demonstrating Prime Minister Jacques Eduard-Alexis’ distrust of Senator Latortue and his Artibonite in Action party. When a group of Artibonite in Action members sat behind the Prime Minister at a recent event to celebrate the anniversary of the city of Gonaives, he asked for them to be moved so they weren’t so close to him. During the same event, Senator Latortue paid protestors to demonstrate and cause disruption to the ceremonies, according to St. Hilien. Senator Latortue often exploits local gangs for his own purposes in this way.

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Preval – alexis

7. (C) Comment: Latortue’s activities are a cause for concern given his presidential ambitions for 2011. Prime Minister Alexis has gone as far as to ask for the USG to “arrest him”, as has Preval’s advisor Bob Manuel. Post will provide septel a fuller profile of Latortue’s background and policy implications for the USG.

End Comment. SANDERSON

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References to this document in other cables

References in this document to other cables

07PORTAUPRINCE42

If the reference is ambiguous all possibilities are listed.

3 Responses to “ YOURI LATORTUE REVISITED-COLLEAGUE CHRONICLES CORRUPTION OF YOURI LATORTUE ”

  1. QUESTIONER on August 28, 2017 at

    There is a certain American hypocrisy here.

    The American embassy sought out Senator Youri Latortue as a candidate for the Presidency, in the election that saw Martelly win.

    A local intelligence figure had one of his people – Ray Baysden – meet with Latortue at the Montana.

    At the time, the embassy said that they were aware of the allegations against Latortue but they thought he would make a strong president.

    Another case of selective memory.

  2. Gerard G. on August 28, 2017 at

    “On November 9, Poloffs met with Marc-Elie St. Hilien (protect), Departmental Delegate of the Artibonite.”

    This phrase indicates Americans wanted to protect identity of St. Hilien.

    This article shows value of American promises.

  3. Rachel on August 28, 2017 at

    Politics as usually.

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Ouest, HT (sentinel.ht) – The photo was taken in the heat of Haiti’s presidential race in 2010, the year of the 7.0 earthquake. $13 billion [USD] in reconstruction money lay in the balance. It is President Bill Clinton and Youri Latortue. In Wikileaks-released U.S. Embassy cables, the 2004 Bush administration portrayed Latortue as a “mafia boss… drug dealer… the most brazenly corrupt of leading Haitian politicians,”

    Senator Youri Latortue came to power with the 50th Legislature in January of 2016. This legislature was elected in an election in which 92% of its tally sheets were later found to be fraudulent. The Obama administration paid $33 million [USD] for these elections with U.S. taxpayer money and is opposed to any changes in its results.

    In no time, the 50th Legislature elected Senator Latortue to head a Special Ethics committee to review the prior administration’s management of the country’s affairs. The admistration of President Michel Martelly was propped up in 2010, the year of the earthquake, by the Hillary Clinton State Department.

    Latortue’s commission is being criticized for extorting former officials and private citizens in the case, furthermore based on the individual’s politics.