Communication No. 1677 (HAITI)

Communication No. 1677, dated April 17, 1970, denouncing the death in prison of Mr. Leon Borges, a Haitian businessman and the arbitrary arrest and trial, without procedural guarantees, of former Colonel Kesner Blain and other civilians and military personnel.

The Commission, in a cablegram dated April 23, 1970, requested the corresponding information from the Government of Haiti in accordance with Articles 42 and 44 of its Regulations.

In a note dated May 14, 1970, the Haitian Government responded, denying the denunciation as regards Mr. Leon Borges (who died of cardiac disease in a hospital in Port-au-Prince), and making a number of charges against Haitian exiles in the United States, to whom it imputed the Commission of acts of piracy and attacks on the Haitian Government. Furthermore, it described the request for information from the CIDH as an act of intervention in the internal affairs of Haiti, adding that the individuals named in the complaint had been brought before the competent courts for crimes of conspiracy and high treason.

The Commission examined this denunciation at its Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Sessions (October 1970 and March 1971, respectively). At the Twenty-fourth Session it decided to again request the Haitian Government for supplementary information on the status of the proceedings against Mr. Blain and others. This request was sent on November 23, 1970. At the Twenty-fifth Session, having observed that the Haitian Government had not replied to the note of November 23, the Commission appointed Prof. Manuel Pianchi as rapporteur of the case, who presented a report recommending that another request be made for the supplementary information. The Commission sent a note to this effect to the Government of Haiti an May 18, 1971.