The notorious Emmanuel “Toto” Constant is alive and well–and free–in Queens, New York. Constant is the leader of FRAPH, the members of which nearly killed Alerte Belance. he is facing charges of murder and torture in Haiti. Among his reported victims is Guy Malary, the Haitian Minister of Justice, who was killed in 1993.
Constant’s photo appeared in a front-page in Newsday, a New York newspaper, on July 15, 1997, under the headline. “he Wants to Stay–‘Toto Constant, Wanted for Murder in Haiti, Walks Free as U. S. Government Decided His Fate.”
Under a secret arrangement between Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Justice Department and the State Department, Constant has been permitted, over the objections of the Haitian government, to remain free in the U. S., despite an outstanding order for his deportation.
Many people in the Haitian community are disturbed by the complete impunity with which the alleged criminal is living a normal life in New York, unlike his many victims. CCR began a campaign on July 28, 1997 to demand that the U.S. government return Constant to Haiti to face justice.
Also on July 28, 1997, CCR sent a formal letter to Attorney General Janet Reno urging that she “take immediate action to enforce U.S. immigration law and ensure that Constant is denied political asylum, is deported to Haiti to stand trial for the human rights abuses he has committed and no longer has free entry to this country.”
In the early fall of 1997, CCR received a response from the INS general Counsel, indicating that Constant had recently been granted a stay of deportation because “his immediate deprtation would place an undue burden on Haiti’s judicial and penal systems.”
CCR continues to lead a campaign to protest Constant’s presence in the United States and to press for his deportation to Haiti to stand trial for his crimes.
Jennifer M. Green, Beth Stephens and Michael Ratner