The Washington Post
Thursday, June 5, 2003; Page A30

Haiti's New Police Chief Steps Down


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, June 4 -- The chief of Haiti's beleaguered national police force has offered his resignation to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide less than
three months after he took the job, according to a letter made public today.

The resignation came just days before the general assembly of the Organization of American States meets. The OAS has pressured Haiti to revamp its faltering
police force to improve security. "It's time for me to leave and serve the nation elsewhere," National Police Chief Jean-Claude Jean-Baptiste said in a letter dated
June 3.

There was no immediate comment from the National Palace as to whether Aristide would accept the resignation and appoint a new chief.

Improved security in the nation of 8 million people has been a key demand of international donor nations, which cut off some $500 million in aid to Haiti following
tainted legislative elections in May 2000.

The national police force, formed after Aristide disbanded Haiti's army in the mid-1990s, has been plagued by corruption. In February, the chief of its anti-drug task
force was arrested after he allegedly had his men block off a main highway to allow a plane carrying a ton of cocaine to land.

                                               © 2003