Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

Ex-Haiti mayor accused of killing & torture faces civil trial

March 15th, 2023 | Tags:
In this photograph provided by attorney Ela Matthews, David Boniface, Nissage Martyr and Juders Yseme, from left, pose together in January 2014 in Haiti. Boniface, Yseme and Martyr's son Nissandere are plaintiffs in a suit against former Les Irois, Haiti Mayor Jean Morose Viliena, who now lives in suburban Boston. The former mayor is accused of terrorising his political opponents in a case that highlights the violent nature of Haiti's politics and the lack of accountability. The trial began on Monday, March 13, 2023, in federal court in Boston. Photo: Ela Matthews/Center for Justice & Accountability via AP

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA - Accusations of political violence and terror have followed a former Haitian mayor all the way to a Boston courtroom, where a civil trial began Monday that shines a light on the wider issue of bloodshed and unaccountability in the Caribbean nation's politics.

Attorneys painted widely different pictures of Jean Morose Viliena during opening arguments in US District Court in Boston.

Those included claims of a killing, torture, and arson — or a successful mayor who helped improve the town of Les Irois in the late 2000s.

Viliena, who now lives in Massachusetts, is being sued by three Haitian citizens who say they or their relatives were persecuted by him and his political allies.

The suit was filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, which allows civil lawsuits to be filed in the US against foreign officials who allegedly committed torture or extrajudicial killing — if all legal avenues in their home country have been exhausted.

It was filed by the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco.

The defence said Viliena was not involved in violence and increased services while leading Les Irois, a town of around 22,000 people on Haiti's westernmost tip, about 140 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince.

Viliena's attorney, Peter Haley told the 12-person jury during opening statements about a farmer's son who got an education, ran for mayor in 2006 and brought more paved roads, a medical clinic, waste pickup, and a better education system — all lacking before his election.

Viliena is a lawful permanent resident of the US, and he moved to the Boston suburb of Malden in 2009, drives a truck and is a “very productive member of the community,” Haley said.

Leave a Reply

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.