US deports ex paramilitary leader 'Toto' Constant to Haiti

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US deports ex paramilitary leader 'Toto' Constant to Haiti

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP)— Former paramilitary leader Emmanuel Constant was deported from the US today and arrested as soon as he landed in Haiti, where he faces murder and torture charges stemming from killings in the 1990s.

Constant did not say anything as he was placed into a police vehicle and taken away for questioning.

He was among 24 deported migrants who landed in the capital of Port-au-Prince, the fourth such flight since the COVID-19 pandemic began, said Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, director of Haiti's migration office.

Human rights groups have accused Constant of killing and torturing Haitians when he became leader of the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's presidency was toppled in 1991. They allege that between 1991 and 1994, the group that Constant led terrorised and slaughtered slum-dwellers loyal to Aristide. When Aristide returned to power in 1994, Constant fled to the United States.

He was ordered deported in 1995 but allowed to remain in the US because of instability in Haiti. Constant kept a low profile and lived with relatives in Queens, New York, until he was arrested in 2006 and later found guilty of fraud and grand larceny. In October 2008, he was sentenced at least 12 years in prison for his role in a $1.7 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Constant has repeatedly alleged that he was on the CIA's payroll and that he is a scapegoat and would be killed upon his return to Haiti.

There were no protesters or supporters when he landed in Port-au-Prince.


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