May 10, 2003

Ex-police chief says he would back coup in Haiti

But he denies charge that he's plotting Aristide's ouster

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) --The man Haitian authorities have
accused of plotting to overthrow Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government says he supports
a coup but isn't planning one.

Guy Philippe told The Associated Press that he wasn't plotting Aristide's ouster
but that the time for a peaceful solution has passed. He wouldn't say, however,
whether he would take up arms in the future.

Dominican authorities released Philippe, a 35-year-old former Haitian police
chief known for his flashy cars, expensive taste and strong-armed tactics to
battle crime in the impoverished Caribbean nation, Thursday after finding no
evidence he and four others were conspiring against the Haitian government.
Haitian authorities told their Dominican counterparts Philippe and others were
plotting against the Haitian government from neighboring Dominican Republic.

"I would support a coup," Philippe said in Spanish during an interview in a
Santo Domingo hotel. "We have to get rid of the dictator."

Philippe fled to Ecuador in late 2000 after being accused of fomenting violence,
but later settled in the Dominican Republic, where he said he was when gunmen
stormed Haiti's National Palace in a pre-dawn attack December 17, 2001.
Aristide was not there at the time, but at least 10 were killed in the attack and
violence that followed.

"Dominican authorities have the right to consider he doesn't threaten the national
security of the Dominican Republic, but we consider his release shows a lack of
cooperation on their part with Haiti," Haitian government spokesman Mario
Dupuy said.

The two countries, which share the island of Hispaniola, have historically had
rocky relations that date back centuries. In the late 1930s, troops taking orders
from Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo massacred at least 20,000 Haitians
along the border. Both sides have tried to mend the relationship since.

The Haitian government has also been at loggerheads with opposition members
since May 2000 legislative elections that were swept by Aristide's Lavalas
Family party. Observers called the races flawed.

Haiti: Past week's events indicate plot

The Haitian government has alleged that several events this week illustrate a
pattern of subversive acts carried out by the opposition to destabilize the
government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Opposition party spokesmen
denied the allegation.

The Haitian government has said the detentions of Philippe and four other
Haitians in the border town of Dajabon are linked to an attack Wednesday on
the hydroelectric plant in Haiti's Central Plateau district, about 34 miles [55
kilometers] north of the Haitian capital.

After killing two guards, about 20 armed men in uniforms of the disbanded
Haitian army shot up and set fire to the plant's control tower, cutting off power
to the area and to the capital.

On Saturday, a government spokesman said police have arrested a U.S. citizen
on charges of importing arms to Haiti illegally.

James White Glenn was arrested Friday in west-coast Gonaives in possession
of army uniforms, assault weapons, munitions, and grenade launchers, Dupuy

Glenn "had imported the material under cover of the Protestant mission he
works for," Dupuy said, but could not give the name of the mission or say
whether Glenn worked as a missionary or in some other capacity.

The material was seized, and Glenn was taken Saturday to the national
penitentiary in the capital, Port-au-Prince, he said.

The U.S. Embassy said it was looking into the arrest but was unable to confirm
it immediately. It was unclear where Glenn was from in the United States, or
how long he had been in Haiti.

Philippe had support of some ex-soldiers

Philippe was a police chief in Haiti's second largest city, Cap Haitian. He won
some support among members of the police force, some of whom were
soldiers in the army Aristide disbanded after the 1991 coup that shoved him
from power shortly after his election victory.

Recently, the Haitian government has accused Philippe of arms smuggling and
planning acts against the government.

On Wednesday, Haitian police found assault weapons, ammunitions, and plans
to attack the National Palace and Aristide's suburban residence in the home of
former Port-au-Prince mayoral candidate Judith Roy.

"The tie between Philippe and Roy is obvious," said Dupuy, declining to give
details or furnish evidence.

Criticizing Haiti's main opposition alliance, Convergence, for failing the Haitian
people and considering negotiations with Aristide, Philippe said Friday he
hoped for another way out but that the time for negotiations was over.

"There are no leaders and that is the problem," he said. "Convergence has to
understand that we are not going to negotiate any further." He is not a
Convergence member.

Declining to say how he makes a living or what he does to spend his time in the
Dominican Republic, Philippe said the international community needed to do
more to push Aristide from power, but he said he would not support an armed
invasion. International forces, including the U.S. military, helped restore Aristide
to power in 1994.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press