Local February 20, 2021 | 8:02 am

Dominican Republic: first stop in the flight of Haitian political leaders

From left to right, Henri Namphy, Prospel Avril, Guy Philippe and Jean Bertrand Aristide, who in different circumstances have taken refuge in the country. ARCHIVE / AGENCIES

Haitian leaders fleeing their regime have taken asylum in the country.


Santo Domingo, DR

 Several political and police leaders in Haiti have sought refuge in the Dominican Republic when they have been forced to leave their territory in the face of political crises, including presidents after a coup.

Others who have been forced to leave Haiti have flown further to have the protection they require, with the United States, France, South Africa, and Panama being some destinations. Former Haitian President Henri Namphy and Prosper Avril and former Police Chief Joseph Michel Francos and Guy Philippe have been some of those who have come to the Dominican Republic to seek protection.

The former president of Haiti, Henri Namphy, was deported to the Dominican Republic in September 1988, after being removed from the presidency in a coup that occurred on June 20 of that year, in which members of the presidential guard were used, as reviewed in the online biographical encyclopedia Biographies and Life.

The Haitian politician and military man settled in the Dominican Republic until his death on June 26, 2018, at 85. According to the Listín Diario publication on that date, he requested that he be buried on Dominican soil because he was disgusted with his nation.

Hit of State

In 1994, the Haitian police’s former head, Joseph Michel Francos, also took refuge in the Dominican Republic. He was one of the soldiers who participated in the coup that overthrew Jean Bertrand Aristide in 1991. He then left for Honduras when the Dominican Republic deported him for organizing another coup in Haiti, according to reports from the newspaper El País, from Spain.

Guy Philippe, former head of the Police of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, also fled to the Dominican Republic in October 2000, after being accused of directing the attempted coup against President René Preval. He remained until February 14, 2004, when there was another rebellion against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

He spent time in the Dominican Republic and returned to Haiti to join an uprising against Aristide. Later, in January 2017, he was arrested and sent to the United States, where he was tried and convicted of various crimes, according to multiple media and international agencies.

Refuge request

Recently, the former mayor of the capital, Port-au-Prince, Chevry Youry Ralph; the former governor of Sacalasou, Werson Pierre, and the police officers, Antonine Maquendy and Wiquensont Despine, fleeing after being accused of organizing an attempted coup against President Jovenel Moise.

Listín Diario reported that Haitian immigrants were captured on Monday night by members of the Army at the border control point of Santiago de la Cruz’s municipal district in Dajabón. Last Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense reported that they were arrested when they tried to enter Dominican territory irregularly because they did not have the proper documentation.


Prosper Avril.

The former president of Haiti, Prosper Avril, settled in the Dominican Republic in 1990 after fleeing Miami, United States, when he was accused before a federal court of charges of torture and human rights violations during his government.


Haiti is going through a violent crisis, with protests calling for the resignation of Jovenel Moise.

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