Haitian Leader’s Power Grows as Scandals Swirl – NYTimes.com

As Mr. Martelly strengthens his hold on power, scandals involving those close to him have continued to mount, raising questions about the president’s ability to lead.

One of Mr. Martelly’s senior advisers was jailed for six months during the president’s tenure after being accused of killing a man in a gunfight at the Dominican border. Another friend of the president vanished last year, shortly after being released from jail in a marijuana trafficking case.

The prosecutor in that case fled the country fearing retaliation.

Yet another of the president’s associates is in jail, accused of running a kidnapping ring. The authorities are trying to determine whether the man, Woodley Ethéart, who said he worked at the Ministry of Interior, laundered ransom money through a lucrative catering contract at the presidential palace, an investigator familiar with the case said.

One longtime law enforcement official said he stopped going to events at the palace because he kept running into people who had been arrested on charges as serious as murder but were now working at the presidential offices as security guards.

“There they were, in the palace, carrying automatic weapons,” the official said under the condition that his name not be published out of safety concerns. via – NYTimes.com


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