Whether a branch of the Democratic Initiatives organization exists in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and, if so, its structure, its problems with the authorities or other persons, and whether the group has received threats from Aristide supporters [HTI43033.FE]

The following information was provided by a representative of the Group of Canadian-Haitians for Development (Regroupement des organisations canado-haïtiennes pour le développement, ROCAHD) during a 24 September 2004 telephone interview. Democratic Initiatives (Initiatives démocratiques, ID) is an organization of volunteers that remains politically a neutral and encourages dialogue between political parties in Haiti.

The assistant coordinator for the ID chapter in Montreal provided the following information during a 28 September 2004 telephone interview. ID is an organization of non-partisan members that was founded in Haiti in 1997 or 1998. Its objective is to encourage discussions on and promotion of democracy in Haiti. Its initial objective was the signing of a national accord in Haiti.

Also according to the assistant coordinator, the core of the organization was established in Haiti. The organization eventually expanded to include branches in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, New York, and Montreal. Many Haitian expatriates in Europe and other countries around the world belong to ID, although there might not be an actual branch in their area.

The assistant coordinator also said that the organization is not affiliated with any political party. However, it is part of Group 184, a civil society organization (Country Reports 2003 25 Feb. 2004) that is working to find a solution to the political situation. He added that Guersy Antoine is the president of the branch in Santo Domingo and that Renos Dossous is the secretary-general. There are also other members, but the assistant coordinator did now know them, nor had he been informed of any problems with the authorities or other persons in Santo Domingo. He said that he did not know whether the group had received threats from Aristide supporters.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003. 25 February 2004. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27902.htm [Accessed 23 Sept. 2004]

Initiatives démocratiques, Montreal. 28 September 2004. Telephone interview with the assistant coordinator.

Regroupement des organisations canado-haïtiennes pour le développement (ROCAHD), Montreal. 24 September 2004. Telephone interview with a representative.

Additional sources consulted


Internet sites, including: Agence haïtienne de presse, Alterpresse, Amnesty International, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CBC, Haïti Progrès, Haiti-Référence, Haitian Times, Human Rights Watch, Latin American Network Information Centre, Le monde diplomatique, Organization of American States.
Publications:

Europa World Factbook 2004, Political Handbook of the World 2002.