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Caribbean News Today

HAITI-Schools closed for week as parents fear reprisals following extradition of legislator

Director of the Department of Education (DDE), Jean Marcel Jeanty Director of the Department of Education (DDE), Jean Marcel Jeanty
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Jan 13, CMC – The Director of the Department of Education (DDE), Jean Marcel Jeanty Friday deployed the continued closure of schools in the Grand Anse area following last week’s arrest of the newly elected representative Guy Philippe, who has since been extradited to the United States on drug related charges.

Jeanty, who said the students had already been placed at a disadvantage following the passage of Hurricane Matthew last October and the closure this week has led to a further disruption of their studies.

Haiti GrandanseHe said he planned to meet with the police to discuss how they could ensure the safety of the children in order to allow the resumption of school activities.

Philippe, 48, who is due to have an arraignment hearing in a Florida courthouse on Friday, was indicted in the United States in 2005 on one count of conspiracy to import narcotics; one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments and engage in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity and one substantive count of engaging in monetary transactions derived from unlawful activity.

Philippe was ordered held without bond during an initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber of the Southern District of Florida over the last weekend.

According to the indictment, from approximately 1997 through 2001, Philippe conspired with others to import more than five kilograms of cocaine into the United States.

Ever since his arrest last Thursday as he emerged from participating in a radio programme in the capital, supporters of the newly elected senator of the Department of Grande Anse, have been staging daily demonstrations demanding his return.

Most of the schools in the Grande Anse department have been closed since the start of the week with parents keeping their children at home as a result of the street protests.

Earlier this week, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Cholzer Chancy, said Parliament would adopt a position on the extradition of Philippe.

  • Countries: Haiti

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