Ex-Duvalier Police Chief Granted Asylum in Brazil
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Col. Albert Pierre, Haiti’s feared police chief under the Jean-Claude Duvalier dictatorship, has been granted political asylum in Brazil.
A newspaper, Le Matin, reported Pierre and his wife were taken Sunday night to Port-au-Prince’s airport in a Brazilian Embassy staff car.
In Brasilia, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Pierre, his wife, and Jener Cotin, a former officer in Duvalier’s secret police, have been granted political asylum and were expected to arrive in Rio de Janeiro Tuesday.
Pierre, 53, was accused of torture and murder by dozens of political prisoners freed after Duvalier fled Haiti and flew to France on Feb. 7 following violent demonstrations against his regime.
Brazilian sources in Port-au-Prince said earlier that the Pierres, Cotin, and Edner Pageotte, former mayor of the capital’s suburb of Delmas, had sought asylum in the Brazilian Embassy over the weekend.
Le Matin said Haiti’s six-member ruling council gave Pierre permission to leave, but it made no mention of Cotin or Pageotte.
The Brazilian statement didn’t mention Pageotte, but said the Pierres and Cotin were granted asylum for ″humanitarian reasons.″
But Ministry Undersecretary Renaldo Costa said the government has yet to decide it the three will be allowed to take up permanent residence or stay in Brazil only temporarily.
Duvalier is fighting France’s efforts to make him leave for another country, and so far Liberia is the only one that has indicated it might be willing to accept him.