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Gérard Latortue


In office
March 12, 2004 – June 9, 2006
President Boniface Alexandre (provisional)
René Préval
Preceded by Yvon Neptune
Succeeded by Jacques-Édouard Alexis

Born June 19, 1934

Gérard Latortue (born June 19, 1934 at Gonaïves) was the Prime Minister of Haïti from March 12, 2004 to June 9, 2006. He was an official in the United Nations for many years, and briefly served as foreign minister of Haïti during the short-lived 1988 administration of Leslie Manigat.

In February 2004, the country suffered a coup d'état which saw the removal and exile of Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president; Latortue was appointed head of the new provisional government on March 9 while still living in the United States, and was sworn in on March 12. Breaking with the Haitian constitution a "council of the wise" was set up by the international powers to choose Latortue.

His administration was recognized by the United States, Canada and The European Union and denied recognition by a few of foreign states, including the governments of Jamaica and St Kitts and Nevis, as well as the African Union, Venezuela, and Cuba. Furthermore, his government was beset with opposition from the Fanmi Lavalas political party; an ongoing flight of foreign capital and human resources (especially by the country's economic elite, which, through the Group of 184, had steadfastly supported the coup against Aristide and had contributed a significant amount of personnel to the subsequent government); and violence by and between gangs, rebels, and militants (especially in Port-au-Prince and its metropolitan area), many of whom are either former members of the Haitian Armed Forces (disbanded by Aristide) or criminal street gang supporters of the Aristide government "Chimere".

Multiple human rights investigations by Amnesty International, the National Lawyers Guild, and the University of Miami Law School have documented massacres carried out by the police death squads of the Latortue government. A journalist, Abdias Jean, was murdered by police gunmen loyal to the Latortue government while other journalists such as Jean Ristill and Kevin Pina were placed in jail at times. Hundreds of Lavalas activists and politicians were illegally jailed, while thousands more were killed. Political prisoners of the Latortue regime include Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, Yvon Neptune, and Ronald Dauphin.

In 2006 he was succeeded by Jacques-Édouard Alexis.

Latortue was the head of the observer mission of La Francophonie in Togo for that country's October 2007 parliamentary election.[1][2]

References

  1. ^ "Togo : Francophonie observers urge electoral commission to release results", African Press Agency, October 16, 2007.
  2. ^ "Paysage après la bataille (électorale)", Jeuneafrique.com, October 22, 2007 (French).
Political offices
Preceded by
Yvon Neptune
Prime Minister of Haïti
2004–2006
Succeeded by
Jacques-Édouard Alexis
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