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Guy Philippe

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Guy Philippe (born February 29, 1968) was a rebel leader in Haiti during the 2004 Haiti rebellion. He was the police chief of Haiti's second-largest city, Cap-Haitien, until October 2000, when he was accused of organizing a coup attempt. Philippe fled to the Dominican Republic, where he remained until a rebellion against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide began in February 2004. On February 14, he crossed the border back into Haiti and announced, alongside the notorious former militia leader Louis-Jodel Chamblain, that he was joining the rebels. On February 19, he was named as the commander of the rebel army by Buteur Metayer, the self-proclaimed president of rebel-held areas.

Guy Philippe was trained by U.S. Special Forces in Ecuador in the early 1990s.

He has said that the man he most admires is former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. He praises the former dictator as the man who "made Chile what it is.'"

The Haitian government and the private U.S. security firm hired in 1998 by Haiti to protect the president accused Philippe of master-minding a deadly attack on the Police Academy in July 2001 and of an attempted coup in December 2001.

Human Rights Watch reported Friday, February 27, 2004, that during Philippe's term as police chief of the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas from 1997 to 1999, international monitors "learned that dozens of suspected gang members were summarily executed, mainly by police under the command of Inspector Berthony Bazile, Philippe's deputy."

On March 2, 2004, Philippe and his paramilitaries retook control of the former Haitian Army headquarters across from the National Palace. Philippe declared to the international press that he himself is now in control of 90% of Haiti's armed forces. In an address on Haitian Radio, Philippe declared, "The country is in my hands." He summoned 20 police commanders to meet with him the previous day and warned that if they failed to appear he would arrest them.

That same day, Philippe announced he would arrest Haitian Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who is a top official of Aristide's Lavalas party. Democracy Now! heard from sources in Haiti that Neptune's home was burned and looted and that he was being pursued by armed gangs. People close to Neptune reported that he fears for his life. Local radio reported that Neptune was evacuated from his office by helicopter as Guy Philippe led a mob in a march to the office. Meanwhile, there are reports of regular execution-style killings on the Haitian seaside. [1]

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