|07PORTAUPRINCE1782||2007-11-08 16:34:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Port Au Prince|
VZCZCXRO1778 OO RUEHQU DE RUEHPU #1782/01 3121634 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 081634Z NOV 07 FM AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7162 INFO RUEHZH/HAITI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 1692 RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA PRIORITY 1506 RUEHQU/AMCONSUL QUEBEC PRIORITY 0929 RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL PRIORITY RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1345
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PORT AU PRINCE 001782
1. (U) This message is sensitive but unclassified -- please
2. (U) Summary: This is a monthly report on various topics of
interest which do not merit a full reporting cable. End
3. (U) MINUSTAH DEPUTY RECALLED. Local press reports that
the deputy MINUSTAH Force Commander, General Raul
Gloodtdofsky of Uruguay, has been recalled by his own
government after comments he reportedly made accusing the
Uruguayan navy and air force of ''abandoning'' other sectors
of Uruguay's armed forces in the context of investigations of
past human rights abuses by the military. Apparently, the
general's statements were interpreted as an implied criticism
of Uruguayan President Vazquez's campaign of investigating
past military abuses.
4. (U) HNP CHIEF GOES PUBLIC. Haitian National Police
Director Mario Andresol has taken a more public profile on
security issues in the final week of the month. The week of
October 22, Andresol was filmed by Haitian National
Television personally directing HNP operations against
criminals targeting merchants in various commercial districts
of the capital. Appearing before the Senate's Committee on
Justice and Security October 26 with his boss, Secretary of
State for Public Security Eucher-Luc Joseph, Andresol
testified about recent stepped-up HNP operations against
criminals preying on retailers in the capital.
5. (SBU) SRI LANKAN BLUE HELMETS GO HOME. MINUSTAH confirms
that on November 1, 111 Sri Lankan MINUSTAH peacekeepers were
repatriated on disciplinary grounds. 108 troops are accused
of participating in sexual exploitation of a ''transactional
nature'' and sexual involvement with under-aged minors.
Among those repatriated are the battalion's second-in-command
and two company commanders at the rank of major. Three
officers are not among the accused, but are repatriated
because the events occurred under their watch. No final
reports have been released; the investigation is ongoing.
MINUSTAH initiated an independent investigation after
allegations began in August. Most of the alleged abuse
occurred in the areas of Martissant, Jacmel and Leogane.
According to the head of the UN investigation, SRSG Annabi
presented the findings to President Preval and the PM last
week with the recommendation that the troops be removed.
Preval agreed the best route was to go public and send them
home. Local human right's groups have expressed concern that
the peacekeepers will not return home with impunity, but are
legally processed and brought to justice if found guilty.
6. (U) OAS AND MINUSTAH CONVENE IN BUENOS AIRES. The
Organization of American States (OAS) and nine Latin-American
contributing countries to MINUSTAH met on October 27 to
appeal to the international community to improve coordination
and cooperation with Haiti to avoid undermining the gains
made thus far in the Preval administration. Conference
participants underscored that the international community
must fulfill their financial commitments to Haiti with more
timely disbursement of funds, and assist the government's
capacity to fully absorb financial resources made available
by the international community.
7. (U) U.S. BIOFUELS CONTRACTORS ROCK HAITI. The U.S. and
Brazilian Embassies introduced the U.S. and Brazil biofuels
feasibility teams, Winrock International and Fundacao Getulio
Vargas (FGV), respectively, to the Government of Haiti (GoH)
on October 9. Throughout a week-long visit, the
USTDA-contracted Winrock team separately introduced their
programs to several key ministries, including Agriculture and
Environment. They also met with Senate President Joseph
Lambert and over a dozen private sector representatives.
Both the GoH and most private sector representatives are more
interested in the indigenous oil-seed plant, Jatropha,
locally referred to as ''gwo metsiyen'', as it is
locally-produced and thought not to compete with food crops.
Although there is no formal definition or standardized
framework for biofuels, the team left Port-au-Prince
relatively surprised at the amount of interest and potential
PORT AU PR 00001782 002.2 OF 002
opportunities for Haiti. The Ministry of Agriculture's
Secretary for State, Joanas Gue, is drafting a biofuels
policy framework to share with the inter-ministerial biofuels
8. (U) JATROPHA FOUNDATION LAUNCH. An international group of
investors, including representatives from Jatropha Interbanx,
S.A. (JTX) and supported by the Association of Brazilian
Jatropha Growers, announced on October 25 the creation of the
Jatropha Foundation. The Foundation will help Haiti develop
its potential for large-scale cultivation of Jatropha, an
indigenous oil-seed plant. The Foundation plans to support
pilot projects of Jatropha Interbanx, S.A., to test and
improve Jatropha yields and to facilitate the collection of
existing seeds. Warren Jackman, president of the foundation,
and Dr. Johanna Mendelson-Foreman of the Center for Strategic
and International Studies (supporter of the project) agree
that renewable energy is key for Haiti's energy independence.
The Jatropha Foundation is incorporated in Illinois, and
plans to open offices in Illinois, Haiti and Washington, D.C.
9. (U) BEL AIR TO FIGHT VIOLENCE WITH ART. The Haitian-based
Africa-America Foundation and the National Commission of
Disarmament, Dismantlement, and Reinsertion (CNDDR) have
formed a partnership to fight violence in the neighborhood of
Bel Air. The project targets the neighborhood's youth and is
focused on encouraging them to participate in art programs to
discourage participation in gangs and violent crime.