by Kim Ives
armed assailants gunned down Police Division Inspector Yves
Michel Bellefleur in a hail of bullets on the morning of Fri.,
Nov. 9 near the Gérald Bataille circle in Tabarre.
A police spokesman and some
media have presented the killing as a response from criminals to
the Oct. 22 arrest of prominent Haitian businessman Clifford
Brandt and several others – including policemen and ex-policemen
– for kidnapping.
However, a former police
official told Haïti Liberté that Inspector Bellefleur was
in fact working with Clifford Brandt’s criminal organization and
led a kidnapping ring based in the police station of Pernier,
which, not coincidentally, is the same neighborhood that
Clifford Brandt’s abductees, Coralie and Nicolas Moscoso, were
found and freed (see Haïti Liberté, Oct. 31, 2012).
Most alarmingly, a kidnapping
victim of Bellefleur had denounced the cop and some of his
associates to the Haitian National Police (PNH) immediately
following his release last April, but apparently no action was
“I think that Bellefleur was
rubbed out because, if he was arrested, he might have revealed
the names of powerful people, as Brandt is maybe doing now,”
said the former police official, who requested anonymity.
A few hours later in the
afternoon of Nov. 9, another policeman, Johnby Mathieu, was shot
dead by unidentified armed men near the police outpost at
Portail Saint-Joseph, in the capital’s commercial center.
“These assassinations are
happening in a context of struggle against major criminality,”
said Frantz Lerebours, the PNH’s spokesman.
The lack of action against Bellefleur reflects, at the very least, negligence on the part
of the PNH’s former Director General Mario Andrésol and his
successor Godson Orélus, who replaced Andrésol on Aug. 15, 2012.
“In April 2012, Emane ‘Jacques’
Jean-Louis, the owner of Sourire Rent-a-Car in the capital’s
Tabarre district, was kidnapped,” reported Haïti Liberté
on Aug. 15, 2012. “His family eventually paid the kidnappers
about $800,000 in ransom, and he was freed. But, immediately
following his release, Emane took legal action against the PNH
for the involvement of police officers in his kidnapping,
according to the former high-ranking police official who
requested that he not be named. Emane provided the license plate
number of a police vehicle used and the names of several of the
policemen involved. Up until now, there has been no action by
the police to arrest any of those that Emane accuses of having
helped kidnap him.”
In his complaint, Jean-Louis
denounced Inspector Bellefleur as the leader of the kidnappers
based in the Pernier police station.
Haïti Liberté asked
Chief Orélus about Jean-Louis’s complaint again in a Sep. 16
interview. “We have zero tolerance” for cops found to be
involved in kidnapping, Orélus responded. “When we find them, we
arrest them, and we put them in prison.”
The question remains: did
either Orélus or Andrésol investigate Jean-Louis’s complaint. If
not, why not? If so, why wasn’t he arrested?
“Bellefleur was working
alongside Clifford Brandt in kidnappings,” said the former
police official. “Six months ago, Emane Jean-Louis gave to
authorities, in a formal complaint, the names of the policemen,
including that of Yves Michel Bellefleur, who kidnapped him. Why
was nothing ever done to arrest them? It seems it wasn’t until
the Moscoso kids were kidnapped that the police took any action,
and that was apparently only done because the U.S. authorities
On Nov. 13, Mario Andrésol gave
an interview to Radio Kiskeya to denounce the death threats he
claims have been made against him and the Internet rumors that
he was placed under house arrest. He dismissed rumors that he
had been interrogated by FBI agents, who are presently in Haiti,
about the Brandt affair. Andrésol said that his security detail
had been reinforced by the PNH because of death-threats he has
received in recent weeks.
Andrésol also saluted “the
memory” of the late Inspector Bellefleur. Is it really possible
that he was unaware of Emane Jean-Louis’s complaint against
When he was riddled with
bullets, Bellefleur was still the head of the Pernier police
station, located near the old military academy on the northern
fringes of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
“Bellefleur had just dropped
his children at school, he was in civilian clothes, and he was
killed by gunmen traveling in a vehicle with tinted windows and
a ‘service of the state’ [government] license plate” said PNH
spokesman Lerebours. According to witnesses at the scene,
Bellefleur was hit by many bullets, his attackers had automatic
weapons, and they were in a Toyota all-terrain vehicle, commonly
called in Haiti a “Zoreken” (Shark bone).
According to Radio Vision 2000, Lerebours said on Nov. 13 that “the first elements in the police
investigation” into Bellefleur’s murder “reveal links with
organized crime networks in the country,” but he “was still not
able to say whether it involved [Brandt’s] powerful gang network
recently dismantled by the police.”
Are the police incapable of
establishing the links between Bellefleur and Brandt’s
organization, or are they trying to cover-up the links?
Meanwhile, PNH spokesman Lerebours told the press
that Johnby Mathieu, 29, was an Agent I with the Central Command
of Street Police (DCPR). He was killed by four bullets, two in
the throat, two in his arms. Mathieu had graduated with the
PNH’s 21st promotion. He was dressed in civilian
clothes when shot by assailants who got away. Justice of the
peace Fritz Dilia inspected the crime scene before the body was