‘Toto’ Constant is back on U.S. deportation flight to Haiti
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Former Haitian strongman and death squad leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant is back on a scheduled deportation flight to Port-au-Prince and arrested as soon as he landed, where he faces murder and torture charges stemming from killings in the 1990s..
He was ordered deported in 1995 but allowed to remain in the US because of instability in Haiti. Constant kept a low profile and lived with relatives in Queens, New York, until he was arrested in 2006 and later found guilty of fraud and grand larceny. In October 2008, he was sentenced at least 12 years in prison for his role in a $1.7 million mortgage fraud scheme.
Human rights groups have accused Constant of killing and torturing Haitians when he became leader of the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti after Aristide's presidency was toppled in 1991.
They allege that between 1991 and 1994, the group that Constant led terrorised and slaughtered slum-dwellers loyal to Aristide. When Aristide returned to power in 1994, Constant fled to the United States.
He was among 24 deported migrants who landed in the capital of Port-au-Prince, the fourth such flight since the COVID-19 pandemic began, said Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, director of Haiti's migration office.
Transferred to new jail
A day after Emmanuel “Toto” Constant was deported, Haitian prosecutors on Wednesday ordered him transferred to the northern coastal town of Gonaives where authorities will decide whether the former strongman accused of murder and torture will be freed.
Prosecutor Maxine Auguste shared the decision with The Associated Press after meeting privately with Constant's attorney.