Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Haitian activist detained in Windsor

JEAN CANDIO - A POLITICAL PRISONER OF THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT. Jean Candio has been imprisoned in Windsor, Ontario since December 13, 2006.

He left Haiti in March, 2004, following the Coup d'etat which culminated in the kidnapping of democratically elected Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He left as a result of persecution brought about against the Lavalas movement and Party by the U.S./Canadian and French installed interim government which brought back to power many criminal forces from the previous periods of dictatorship in Haiti. In May of 2000 Mr. Candio was elected deputy in the Haitian Parliament. He represented the 2nd region of Aquin. He was elected with 91% of the vote. Prior to the 1991 coup d'etat, Mr. Candio was a Vice-Delegate in the first Aristide government, under Prime Minister Rene Preval, responsible for education and community programs in the region of Aquin from March 2, 1991 until September 30, 1991. After the 1991 coup, Mr. Candio was forced into exile - along with most of the Aristide government - until 1994.

The 2004 coup, like the 1991 coup, was orchestrated and financed by foreign powers, specifically, in the most recent case by the governments of the U.S., Canada and France. Canada, along with the U.S. sent its troops to Haiti prior to the Coup, which eventually participated in the kidnapping of Haitian President Aristide. Canadian Forces secured the airport from which Aristide was taken out of the country by U.S. marines. Mr. Candio was an outspoken critic of foreign interference in Haiti's affairs, particularly of U.S. interference in Haitian politics. As a result, following the coup, his family was threatened, some of them murdered. His house was burned to the ground, while his sister was still in it.

He fled Haiti initially to the Dominican Republic and then to the United States in March of 2004. He was living in the U.S., with his wife, from that time. From March 2006 to April 2006 he was detained in the U.S. by INS. He was released after negotiating a voluntary departure. On December 13 he crossed the Canada U.S. border at Windsor, leaving his wife and newborn child in the U.S. while he sought refugee status in Canada, where, if successful they would follow. At the border he immediately requested political asylum in Canada. He was detained from that time until today at the Brock Street Prison in Windsor, Ontario.

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