HAITI: Uruguayan Government to Investigate Suspected Sexual Abuse in Haiti by Peacekeeper

Friday, September 9, 2011
Courier Mail
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

Alberto Breccia, a presidential spokesman, said "there is a criminal complaint drawn up by the military" to be filed locally as is the procedure with suspected crimes by peacekeepers. He did not give a time frame. On Sunday local time, Montevideo announced it had sacked a navy commander with the UN mission in Haiti after a video was circulated of an alleged sexual assault on a young Haitian man by members of a Uruguayan peacekeeping unit. In Haiti, Magistrate Paul Tarte said on Friday local time that officials were examining testimony from the alleged suspect and images of the incident taken by a mobile telephone camera at the base in southern Haiti, which have also been circulated on the internet. Medical evidence of the attack also was obtained.

UN peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer said the UN acted immediately after hearing about the incident late last week. The UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, dispatched to help maintain order and security following last year's devastating earthquake, has also come under fire after a cholera outbreak in the impoverished nation that some experts say was transmitted by Nepalese peacekeepers. Uruguay is the biggest contributor to the UN force in Haiti with 2422 peacekeepers there.