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samedi 19 mai 2012

Two Americans are among 50 people who were detained during a march in Haiti that drew hundreds of protesters pressing for the return of the country's disbanded army, a police spokesman said Saturday.

Originally published Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Two Americans are among 50 people who were detained during a march in Haiti that drew hundreds of protesters pressing for the return of the country's disbanded army, a police spokesman said Saturday.
By TRENTON DANIEL

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti —
Two Americans are among 50 people who were detained during a march in Haiti that drew hundreds of protesters pressing for the return of the country's disbanded army, a police spokesman said Saturday.
Gary Desrosiers of the Haitian National Police said the Americans were held because they were acting as if they were part of the military in a Friday demonstration in Haiti's capital that turned violent.
The Americans arrested are Zeke Petrie, 39, of Barberton, Ohio; and Steven Shaw, 57, of Massachusetts. Both were driving vehicles in the march with the pro-army demonstrators and were picked up by police a few blocks from the National Palace. Petrie wore a black T-shirt with the army's name on it and Shaw wore camouflage pants.
"I'm friends with the guys," Petrie told The Associated Press from behind bars at the Canape Vert police station. "These guys are working for the betterment of the country."
Two other Americans, Benjamin Depp, 29, a freelance photographer from Waxhaw, North Carolina, and John Strutner, 22, a volunteer at Child Hope International from Monterey, California, along with Canadian Seanna McLeod, 38, a volunteer from Courtenay, British Columbia, were held overnight in the lobby of the police station after trying to bring insulin, syringes and swabs to Petrie, who says he's diabetic.
Desrosiers said he knew nothing about the three people held overnight, but each of them told the AP that government prosecutor Jean-Renel Senatus told them they had to stay at the police station until they answered questions with an attorney and an interpreter about how they knew Petrie.
Senatus didn't return repeated calls to his cellular telephone on Saturday.
The ex-soldiers and their young recruits who marched Friday have been pressing President Michel Martelly to honor his campaign goal of restoring the armed forces, which was abolished in 1995 because of its abusive record.
The rally began peacefully but some people near the National Palace threw rocks amid a heavy U.N. presence, whose troops responded by firing tear gas. A few of the men in military uniforms carried handguns. That evening, police exchanged gunfire outside an old army base in the Carrefour district outside Port-au-Prince.
Four civilians were treated for gunshot wounds Friday night at two Doctors Without Borders clinics in Carrefour, said Mathieu Fortoul, a spokesman for the international health charity. They were then taken to the western town of Leogane for further treatment because the road to Port-au-Prince was blocked.
It was not immediately clear if they were shot in the gunfire surrounding the demonstration, Fortoul said.
Martelly has said he wants to revive the military but that it must be done legally. His administration has repeatedly called for the lightly armed men to drop their weapons and clear out of 10 bases they've taken over since February. But the government has taken little action to disband the group of men.
Their paramilitary-like presence has come to embarrass the United Nations peacekeeping mission and the Haitian government, which hopes to court foreign investors.
By Saturday afternoon, dozens of the ex-soldiers and their young followers had vacated the seaside camp where they have been training and holding press conferences since February.
"Strategically, we left the base and gave orders to our soldiers to leave," Samson Chery, a former sergeant, said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
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Associated Press reporter Evens Sanon contributed to this report
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"La vraie reconstruction d'Haïti passe par des réformes en profondeur des structures de l'État pour restaurer la confiance, encourager les investisseurs et mettre le peuple au travail. Il faut finir avec cette approche d'un État paternaliste qui tout en refusant de créer le cadre approprié pour le développement des entreprises mendie des millions sur la scène internationale en exhibant la misère du peuple." Cyrus Sibert
Reconstruction d'Haïti : A quand les Réformes structurelles?
Haïti : La continuité du système colonial d'exploitation  prend la forme de monopole au 21e Siècle.
WITHOUT REFORM, NO RETURN ON INVESTMENT IN HAITI (U.S. Senate report.)

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