March 5, 2014
Oriel Jean, Aristide’s former associate, and security chief, who was involved with the ex-President on many important, confidential levels, had been talking a lot lately – which is never a good idea when the conversation focuses upon Aristide’s small character flaws.
Oriel Jean was a key figure in Aristide’s personal security apparatus, controlled much of the Chimere and coordinated a large percentage of the Little Priest’s cocaine business. As a true insider, Oriel Jean was privy to many secrets – one of these – the true facts of Jean Dominique’s murder.
When Aristide flew off to comfortable, American financed exile in Africa, Jean, and others, were left on their own, forced to find sanctuary in any way possible.
Oriel Jean grabbed a bag of cash, a cashiers cheques for $300,000, a few items of clothing and some documents before heading for Canada, and what he assumed to be safety.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which side of the game you sit, Jean was on a list and Canadian immigration officers were waiting at the arrivals area. Canadians had alerted their American associates and simply passed Oriel Jean on to them without allowing him into Canada.
He was soon talking so rapidly the court report had to ask the Haitian to slow down, so the information could be transcribed accurately. Although he maintained his testimony did not touch Aristide, and his cocaine connection, this was a lie. Jean would have given up his own mother, so save his soul, and held nothing back.
Like Jacques Ketant, Fourel Celestin, and a band-of-brothers, Oriel Jean detailed Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s control of Haiti’s massive cocaine traffic into the United States. Oriel Jean testified to his hands-on coordination of shipments, and cash collection/distribution for Aristide. He had documentary evidence.
And then, during a coffee break, Oriel Jean dropped a gem. He mentioned the Dominique assassination and Aristide’s involvement.
The focus changed. A detailed interrogation revealed the sequence of affairs that described Aristide’s upset at Dominique’s attack on Dany Toussaint and, by association, Aristide himself. Jean told of the meeting at Tabarre between Dominique, Toussaint, Preval and Aristide. Oriel Jean – as Aristide’s security chief – had been “the fly on the wall” – the unnoticed listener during many meetings between Aristide and key players.
Some of these he recorded on tape.
So valuable was Oriel Jean’s information that American authorities gave him an exceptional break. Instead of charges, that would guarantee Life Without Parole, as a Kingpin Drug Dealer, the Americans charged him with money-laundering, which rates slightly higher than a speeding ticket, on the schedule of offences. Oriel Jean was given less than two years, as a sentence, with credit for time in custody. In effect, he walked free almost immediately after providing his information.
So pleased, were the Americans, that they gave this killer, gang leader, cocaine trafficker, money launderer a Green Card and permanent residence in the States. Many law abiding Haitians work a lifetime to attain this goal, without success. They can’t even get a Tourist Visa!
So Oriel Jean disappeared from view, until Martelly was elected. At some point Oriel Jean believed it was safe for him to make a return to Haiti. After all, people like Fourel Celestin – an Aristide cocaine coordinator – had received a 27 year prison sentence, in the States, and was seen on Port-au-Prince streets, within 3 years, still in possession of his fortune. He had given up a load of his partners in crime, including his cousin – Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Celestin keeps a low-profile. Oriel Jean believed he was fire-proof and – forgetting the fates of Amiot Meteyer, and others – started to talk openly about Aristide and his character flaws.
Oriel Jean was about to be involved with Aristide’s arrest, and trial, for ordering the assassination of Jean Dominique.
The rest is history.
Somehow Oriel Jean became the target of another anonymous, motorcycle riding gunman, a gunman who was selective to the point that he eliminated Oriel Jean, while leaving his Dominican associate in life.
There must be a message here.
Perhaps, like a poker player, the Americans should reveal their cards and remove Aristide from the game.
Democratic elections cannot be held with Aristide in Haiti.