Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Raboteau Massacre History and Victims’ Stories 

Final Report of Haiti’s National Commission of Truth and Justice, Si M Pa Rele (“If I Don’t Cry Out”), February 5, 1996

Raboteau MassacreWikipedia

Jus­tice Delayed: Show­down Looms in Haiti, John Donnelly, Boston Globe, June 11, 2000

So that Tyrants Won’t Rest, Haitians Keep a Vigil,  David Gonzales, New York Times, August 2, 2000

Giv­ing “The Devil” His Due, David Grann, The Atlantic Monthly, June 2001

If You Are Not Corrupt, Arrest the Criminals: Prosecuting Human Rights Violators in Haiti, Ken Bresler, Spring 2003

Pote Mak Sonje: The Raboteau Trial (Documentary Film), Two for the Road Videos, 2003

National Lawyers Guild Congratulates Raboteau Massacre Victims on Historic Victory, National Lawyers Guild, May 23, 2008

Legal Victory Leads to Historic Recovery for Massacre Survivors in Haiti, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Upside Down World, May 27, 2008

Civil Suit Exposes U.S. Role in Hait­ian Mas­sacres, G. Dunkel, Workers World, June 1, 2008

Kiyes Toto Constant ye?Anonymous, July 27, 2019 (Warning: Graphic Content)

Sit-in devant le Parquet des Gonaïves avec les victimes du Massacre du Raboteau, BAI, July 28, 2020

Sit-in at the chief prosecutor’s office in Gonaïves with victims of the Raboteau Massacre, July 28, 2020 (Kreyòl with English subtitles)

“Istwa FRAPH ka ede n konprann fenomèn ensekirite Ayiti an” [“The history of FRAPH can help us to understand the phenomenon of Haiti’s insecurity”]

“Raboteau, massacre oublié par la Justice haïtienne” [“Raboteau, massacre forgotten by Haitian justice”]

Raboteau Massacre Litigation in Haiti

2000 Raboteau Massacre Trial
Raboteau Trial Recordings Archive, Radio Haiti Archives, Duke University
November 16, 2000 in Absentia Judgment of the Court of First Instance of Gonaïves  (convicting 37 individuals in absentia for murder, sentencing them to lifetime imprisonment and hard labor, and ordering them to pay one billion Haitian Gourdes in damages to the families of the victims)(link to copy printed in Nov. 23, 2000 Issue of Le Moniteur, the official journal of the Republic of Haiti))
Raboteau Massacre Trial Verdict List (Unofficial) (listing all individual convictions and sentences following the Raboteau Massacre Trial)
Ordonnance [similar to an indictment] Issued by the Court of First Instance of Gonaïves (indicting and charging defendants and explaining the applicable law)
Report of Colonels Horacio P. Ballester and Jose Luis Garcia, Military Experts for M. Jean-Senat Fleury, Juge d’Instruction for the Court of First Instance of Gonaïves: Hierarchy of Responsibilities of the Armed Forces of Haiti During Their Course of Conduct in Raboteau (Gonaïves) from April 18 to April 22, 1994, August 6, 1999 (expert report submitted to the Court of First Instance of Gonaïves outlining the laws of war applicable in the Raboteau trial and how they apply to the organizational structure of the de-facto military regime in Haiti)
Raboteau Verdict in Haiti “a Landmark in Fight Against Impunity, but Case Not Yet Finished (publishing statement by the UN Independent Expert on Haiti, calling the Raboteau Massacre Trial a “significant step in the fight against the impunity which affects all Haitian people” and “proof that the Haitian judicial system is able to effectively judge the authors of crimes and other offences that contravene the law and violate human rights”)
Justice for Haiti: The Raboteau Trial, Brian Concannon Jr., The International Lawyer, June 1, 2001
Beyond Complementarity: The International Criminal Court and National Prosecutions, A View From Haiti, Brian Concannon, Jr., Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Fall 2000

2005 Cour de Cassation Reversal of Jury Verdict
On April 21, 2005, Haiti’s highest court (Cour de Cassation) reversed the convictions of the individuals found guilty by a jury in the Raboteau Massacre Trial. That opinion has been harshly criticized and disputed as an improper and unconstitutional application of the law.
Decision of the Cour de Cassation (providing the court’s rationale for overturning the convictions of defendants convicted by jury)
Legal Memorandum of Mario Joseph (BAI) and Brian Concannon Jr. (IJDH) of June 6, 2005 (providing legal analysis of the Raboteau Case reversal)
Letter of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice and Public Security  August 12, 2005 (condemning the reversal)
Justice Dodged, Part II, Brian Concannon, Jr.Derechos, June 2005
Haiti: Obliterating Justice, Overturning of Sentences for Raboteau Massacre by Supreme Court is a Huge Step BackwardsAmnesty International, May 25, 2005 (outlining how the reversal was contrary to the Haitian Constitution and did not apply to the defendants convicted in absentia)
December 22, 2005 Open Letter of Mario Joseph (BAI) (explaining to the Minister of Justice in Haiti that the reversal in the Raboteau case does not apply Carl Dorélien or others convicted in absentia)
Raboteau Massacre Trial: Criticism follows court’s decision, Reed Lindsay, The Washington Times, May 17, 2005

Civil Litigation Against Raboteau Defendants in the U.S. 

Haitian survivors successfully sued two of the Raboteau Massacre Trial defendants convicted in absentia in Haiti in U.S. courts.  In each case, millions of dollars in civil damages were awarded to the plaintiffs.
Doe v. Emmanuel Constant
Jean v. Carl Dorélien

Constant Criminal Fraud Conviction in the U.S.

Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) Resources Page for Constant Mortgage Fraud Prosecution
Decision and Order of the Supreme Court, Kings County, New York of May 22, 2007  (vacating proposed plea agreement and noting, inter alia, that Constant emphasized serving as “a leader of FRAPH” and not merely a member, and characterizing the allegations made against Constant in Haiti as “heinous”)
Sentencing Order of the Supreme Court, Kings County, New York of October 28, 2008  (sentencing Constant and finding, inter alia, that “[d]efendant, a native of Haiti, has a truly heinous record of violence, murder, torture and intimidation under the brutal regime of the Duvaliers” and that “[g]iven the uncertainty of the political situation in Haiti and the very real chance that defendant may be able to evade justice due to the instability in the Haitian judicial system, it is the court’s hope that defendant remain in New York State for the full term of incarceration, although it is apparent that the federal authorities may move to deport him shortly”)
Declaration of Mario Joseph (BAI) of May 2007 (providing information in connection with the Court’s sentencing decision)
Declaration of Brian Concannon, Jr. (IJDH) of May 2007 (providing information in connection with the Court’s sentencing decision)

Noteworthy Raboteau in Absentia Defendants

Emmanuel “Toto” Constant (founder and leader of FRAPH) EN/FR
Giv­ing “The Devil” His Due,  David Grann, The Atlantic Monthly, June 2001
A Haitian Leader of Paramilitaries was Paid by C.I.A., Stephen Engelberg, New York Times, October 8, 1994
Raoul Cédras (ruled Haiti 1991-1994 through a brutal regime) EN
Jean-Robert Gabriel (secretary for the general staff of the FADH and eventual spokesman for Cédras) EN/FR
Carl Dorélien (assistant chief of staff of the FADH under Cédras, responsible for discipline of military personnel) EN/FR
Philippe Biamby (Cédras deputy and FADH chief of staff) EN
Michel François (chief of police and secret police under Cédras) EN

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
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