Former Haitian Army General Killed
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ A former member of the Haitian army high command was shot and killed Tuesday in suburban Port-au-Prince, a police spokesman said. There were no immediate arrests.
Former Brig. Gen. Henri Max Mayard was killed about 1 p.m. in front of a telephone company office in the Delmas suburb east of downtown, said police Lt. Jean Yonel Trecil. A passer-by was wounded in the shoulder.
Mayard, 46, had left the office and entered his car when gunmen opened fire from a passing white pickup truck, police said. Radio Metropole, however, quoted witnesses as saying the gunmen fired from a blue car. Sixteen bullets struck Mayard’s vehicle, Metropole said.
A motive for the shooting was unknown. Justice Minister Jean-Joseph Exume ordered an investigation.
Mayard served as army inspector general under the military regime that toppled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in September 1991, though he was not believed to be among the coup plotters.
He was the army’s fourth-highest ranking officer, behind the commander in chief, Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras, and Maj. Gen. Jean-Claude Duperval and Brig. Gen. Philippe Biamby.
A U.S.-led multinational force intervened in Haiti on Sept. 19, 1994, to dismantle the army and restore Aristide, who returned from exile on Oct. 15.
Cedras and Biamby went into self-imposed exile in Panama several days before Aristide’s return. Mayard was promoted for a brief term to army deputy commander in chief.
As Aristide moved to disband the army, Duperval was assigned to a diplomatic post in Brazil, while Mayard was appointed military attache to Ecuador. The act was tantamount to Mayard’s firing, since Haiti has no embassy in Ecuador.
About 20 commando-style assassinations have occurred in Haiti since Aristide was restored, the U.N. civilian mission in Haiti recently reported. In the last such incident, a former government prosecutor, Lexius Pierre, was killed at his home in Delmas on Sept. 16.
There was no evidence of government involvement in the slayings, the mission said.