mardi, mars 18, 2014


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - On May 10, 2013, Haitian prime minister Laurent Salvador Lamothe issued an official decree declaring the entire island of L'ile-a-vache a zone of public utility. Two days prior to the announcement, Mr. Lamothe met with Ms. Stephanie Villedrouin, his paramour and minister of tourism; his lawyers and advisors Mr. Salim Succar and Mr. Garry Lissade to go over the deal of the decade. All of them including Patrick Baker have serious percuniary interest in the so called "Tourist Development Project."

The official decree allows Mr. Lamothe to seize private property under the guise of "Eminent Domain." Under this legal theory, a government may seize private land for "public use" with fair compensation to the land owner. However, in a democratic society the citizens whose lands are confiscated or otherwise affected by such decree have legal recourse to an impartial court of law where a judge or a jury shall determine whether the "taking" is indeed for "public" or "private" use. Unfortunately for the poor people in L'ile-a-vache, Haiti is everything but democratic.
The 260 million dollars project has its genesis in the "LaGonave Development Project." In 2010, during the Martelly campaign, an America businessman from South Carolina sought the support of soon-to-be president Michel Joseph Martelly for a private development project in the Island of LaGonave near Port-Au-Prince. According to the blue-print, the project would have turned the Island of LaGonave into an American protectorate divesting the Haitian Government of any control and jurisdiction over the entire island and its inhabitants. All private land would been seized and turn over to private investors for private business use. In June of 2011, Mr. Lamothe, then senior advisor to newly elected President Michel Martelly met with the businessman in Miami. Mr. Lamothe received a copy of the blue-print with all details, and promised to follow up with the businessman. What is occuring now in L'ile-a-vache is a result of that meeting.
Unlike L'ile-a-vache, LaGonave has too many people, represents a greater social, political and legal challenge to Mr. Lamothe. If LaGonave was too big, L'ile-a-vache was just perfect. In February of 2012, Mr. Lamothe, Ms. Villedrouin, Mr. Lissade, Mr. Succar and Mr. Baker decided to replicate the proposed "LaGonave Development Project" in L'ile-a-Vache with only three problems: the two private resorts in the island, and private land. In order to accomplish their nefarious goal they need a lot land, a pass through company to hold titles to the confiscated land and investors to fund the project. But first thing first, the resorts have to go.
Port Morgan and Abaka Bay are the only two resorts in the island. The owners of Port Morgan quickly negotiated a deal with Mr. Lamothe, however, Robert Deitrich, the owner of Abaka Bay turned out to be a serious headache for Mr. Lamothe. He refused to sell the resort to LBK (more on LBK later).
Robert Dietrich is a foreigner who was married to a Haitian woman named Melissa Sajous, aka Melissa Dietrich, and together as husband and wife they built Abaka Bay, the biggest of the two resorts. Mr. Dietrich's refusal to sell the resort to LBK Group or otherise succumb to Mr. Lamothe's pressure resulted in his divorcing his wife who apparently had taken the side of Lamothe and his associates. As part of the divorce agreement, a Florida judge ordered Ms. Sajous to turn over any and all shares of Abaka Bay to Mr. Dietrich. Ms. Sajous claimed in open court that she did not have any share. However, on January 18, 2014, Ms. Sajous caused Le Nouveliste (the Journal of records in Haiti) to publish a notice claiming that she had sold fifty-percent of her shares of Abaka Bay resort to her father Ferdinand Sajous. Lo and behold Salim Succar and Garry Lissade are the two lawyers who negotiated the fraudulent sale of the on-existing shares of Abaka Bay resort. Mr. Dietrich is currently involve in a legal battle seeking to retrieve those shares from Ms. Sajous - the self-proclaimed president of Abaka Bay resort.
LBK Group is a foreign holding company owned by Laurent Salvador Lamothe through two proxies. LBK is the equity owner of the so called "Tourist Development Project" in L'ile-a-vache. As prime minister, Mr. Lamothe is seizing land of poor farmers and selling the land to LBK (his company) and LBK in turn leases the land out to foreign private investor groups. For example, the land upon which the private airport is being constructed is a private land seized by Mr. Lamothe's government, sold to LBK and then leased to investor group, the proposed owner of the airport.

The poor people whose lands are affected by the decree were never contacted. There were no community meeting to address their concerns or discuss this proposed development plan. Last week in a telephone interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Lamothe said "the people of l'ile-a-vache are being misinformed, no one is getting evicted." Interesting usef of the word "evicted". A government seizure is not an "eviction". Mr. Lamothe said nothing about LBK, nothing about private land being seized for private business use; nothing about the equity owners of the project, the partners and investors; nothing about what recourse if any the pople of l'ile-a-vache has in the protection of their lands. When the community finally realized what was going on, and began to protest, their leader was summarily arrested and jailed. The "Tourist Development Project" in l'ile-a-vache have nothing to do with providing jobs to poor farmer, or anyone in Haiti for that matter. It is a private investment for Mr. Lamothe and his associates.

According to the World Bank, eighty-percent of Haitians live in less than $2 a day; seventy-percent are illiterate; eighty-five-percent live with no running water, electricy or sanitation. The infant mortality rate is at its higher ever. Haitians continue to die because of the cholera epidemic. A private investment in a tiny island will do nothing to alleviate the problems of the vast majority of Haitians. What Haiti needs is long term sustainable investment designed to impact positively the lives of all Haitians. A limited private selfish investment designed to enrich a small group of blood suckers will do nothing for Haiti but perpetuating the status quo.

In the interest of transparency, we are asking the Minister of Tourism and the office of the Prime Minister to release all documents with regard to this project. We would like answers to the following questions: Who are the equity owners of the project? who are the investors? Whether any government official has percuniary interest in the project? How does the government plan to compensate the people whose land have been seized; who is the owner of the airport currently being built? What are the roles of Garry Lissade and Salim Succar in this project? and since this is being presented as a government project, who are the contractors?
BY: Emmanuel Roy
Source :