Uruguay marines charged over Haiti abuse

Uruguayan officer arrives in court in Montevideo One of the four accused covers his face as he arrives in court in Montevideo

Four Uruguayan marines have been detained on suspicion that they abused a young man while serving as United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti.

The four men were charged with “private violence” against 18-year-old Johnny Jean, who says he was raped last year.

The four have avoided charges of sexual assault, but could still be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

The scandal emerged a year ago, when mobile phone footage began circulating in the internet.

The footage appeared to show the marines abusing the young man last September at a UN base in the southern Haitian city of Port Salut.

The four are being detained pending a trial. A fifth Uruguayan peacekeeper has been acquitted.


Uruguay’s justice department says the charges could carry a prison sentence from three months to three years.

Private violence is defined by the country’s law as using “violence or threats to force someone to do, tolerate or allow something to be done”.

The four men have denied wrongdoing and called the incident a “prank”.

The case caused public outrage in Haiti, fuelling resentment and protests against the UN mission.

Uruguay is one of the main contributors to the 12,000-strong UN force (Minustah), which first arrived in Haiti in 2004.

The peacekeepers were brought in to restore order following the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and its mandate was extended after the devastating earthquake in January 2010.

But Minustah has also drawn controversy, including allegations of excessive force.


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2 thoughts on “Uruguay marines charged over Haiti abuse

  1. This article ends well, but neglects to mention that the UN Minustah are also responsible for one of the worlds worst cholera outbreaks from them dumping their raw sewage directly into the Artibonite river.

  2. More smoke and mirrors.

    The Uruguayans are charged with a minor offense and could receive a few months in prison, or a simple reprimand.

    The judge decided they could not be charged with RAPe. In other words, the entire event was just a boyish prank.

    Those who have viewed the raw video of the attack, recorded by one of the RAPISTS is the most brutal, sadistic, violent and humiliating thing I have ever viewed.

    I have only watched it once and was almost sick.

    It is somewhere in my computer and I will present it for your opinions, if I find it.

    This situation also shows that the President of Uruguay’s word is worth less than nothing. When the rape was finally publicized, after MINUSTAH denied it ever happened, the Uruguayan President apologized to Haiti and promised compensation for the victim, John Jean.

    Instead, John Jean has been completely forgotten as he and those who helped him are ostracized by their society

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