Chief of presidential security for Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Oriel Jean, shot to death

Oriel Jean, former chief of presidential security for former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was shot and killed in Port-au-Prince on Monday, March 2, 2015. While investigations are still in their nascency, speculation has already arisen that his murder may have had something to do with the help he gave to the U.S. in the drug trafficking case against certain members of the Aristide administration, which resulted in him getting a lighter sentence and some fourteen people being arrested.


His job as head of Aristide's security lasted from 2001 to 2003. Jean was apprehended in Canada where he faced extradition to the United States after the ousting of Aristide. His possible jail time would have been up to twenty years in prison, but it was commuted to only three based on the evidence he gave for his "substantial assistance." This assistance was his testimony that a known Haitian druglord had received a security badge that gave him carte blanche to travel within the country at the status of a diplomat. Jean testified, however, that the former president had not been aware of his illicit dealings.

Jean completed his sentence in the States for money laundering before returning to Haiti to live. On the day of his death, Jean was reportedly in his grey Toyota SUV when two men rode up on a motorcycle and opened fire on him, hitting him in the stomach and neck. Despite the police's attempt to gather information from the scene and from eyewitnesses on the busy, commercial street, suspects have been hard to come by, and the investigation is still wide open.

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