Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Constant criminal


Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, head of the Fraph death squad in Haiti in the early 1990s, responsible for many, many murders and rapes, has finally been arrested in New York City, which he fled to in 1994. In 1996 the Haitian government demanded his extradition and the US refused, a decision possibly related to the fact that Constant was threatening to reveal all the details of his close working relationship with the CIA. The Clinton Admin explained its decision was out of concern that a trial would overstretch the Haitian legal and penal system, And turned him loose. So he stayed in the US for ten years until he finally committed a crime the US cares about: defrauding banks in a mortgage scheme.

This sort of thing happens all the time. The Salvadoran Air Force captain whose driver got Archbishop Oscar Romero’s assassin to the church on time lived for many years in Modesto, California selling used cars until he went on the run two years ago for fear of being prosecuted for rolling back odometers. Oh, and the South Vietnamese police chief who shot the prisoner in 1968 – you know the picture – owned a pizza parlor in Virginia and died of natural causes.

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