EXCLUSIVE: Guy Philippe “Everything is a Consequence of Corruption”

Though years older, his voice has every bit of its strength and might. He’s still a man on a mission to save Haiti with his politics balled up in a fist he refuses to unclench until justice is served.

In 2017, Guy Philippe was the Senator-elect, a position, once sworn in, he would serve for 6 years. But when he made an appearance at a local radio station, no one could have predicted that he’d be apprehended by the police and sent to the U.S. where he would remain to this day.

Gary Desrosiers, a deputy spokesman for the Haitian National Police, told the New York Times, “This was an operation led by the Haitian police.”

As this story goes to print, Guy Philippe sits in an ICE facility waiting to return to Haiti.

“They took me by forcible abduction,” Philippe said.

On June 21 that same year, the Senator-elect was sentenced to 108 months in prison for one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, per a release from The Southern District of Florida.

“They accused me of trafficking, but when they didn’t have evidence of that, they accused me of money laundering,” Philippe said. “They had no evidence whatsoever. They took people that were here in prison here in America and promised to reduce their sentence,” he adds. Philippe maintains that he doesn’t know the people attached to his case. “Why didn’t they give me any restitution? Because there was no money.”

Ultimately, the Senator-elect served nine years of a plea deal that was negotiated in Miami, FL. As part of the deal, Philippe was said to have admitted that from June 1999 to April 2003, he received between $1.5 and $3.5 million in bribes from drug traffickers — knowing that payments came from proceeds of cocaine sales from Miami and other locations in U.S. territories. These payments were allegedly shared with Haitian National Police to secure support for future drug shipments as they arrived in Haiti.

When news broke that Philippe had been arrested, he was one of the top names on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) most wanted list. The New York Times called him a rebel and a drug fugitive — but questioned his standing as a hero in Haiti.

“I think it is a misunderstanding,” he said. “Sometimes they think you’re an enemy. I am not an enemy of America,” Philippe added. “I’m not enemy of anyone or any country. I just want my people to live a better life.”

When initially apprehended in June 2017, Philippe tried to get the charges dropped under the immunity that came with being a sitting member of senate. But because he had not been sworn in, there was a small window where the U.S. was able to apprehend and charge him.

We reported on the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in Haiti. Philippe was a major supporter of Moïse. He campaigned for the slain president and an ally from both camps was promoted to the security detail of Moïse.

“The last president of Haiti was one of my friends. I campaigned for him. It’s very sad how they killed him,” Philippe said of his friend. “They killed the president because he wanted to help poor people.”

There’s one thing the U.S. and Philippe agree on; the corruption in Haiti must come to an end. The source and fuel for that corruption is where the two differ. Jim Foley, a retired diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Haiti between 2003 and 2005 is quoted in The Miami Herald alluding to Philippe’s release as being a potential issue.

“I’m not close enough to the situation to comment on the facts, but this does seem a particularly bad time to add gasoline to a raging fire.”

Philippe is widely known for being instrumental in the coup that led to the take down of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. His election was said to be the first, democratically.

In the winter of 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti by an overwhelming margin. Raoul Cédras, according to a report from Time Magazine, led the coup just seven months into Aristide’s presidency. Ultimately, Aristide wound up in exile.

“President Bill Clinton called a reign of terror, raping civilians and killing around 5,000 Aristide supporters over the next three years,” per Time.

In 2016, when Hilary Clinton ran against disgraced former U.S. president Donald Trump, her and her husband’s (former President Bill Clinton) dealings in Haiti were brought into question.

The BBC quoted Haitian activist Dahoud Andre in a feature about the first Black independent republic, saying, “The Clinton family, they are crooks, they are thieves, they are liars.”

Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State and Mr. Clinton was UN Special Envoy to Haiti when the January 2010 earthquake struck, killing an estimated 220,000 people, per the BBC.

From January 2010 to June 2012 a reported $9.04 billion was raised for Haiti with $6.04 from bilateral and multilateral donars and $3 billion from individuals and companies. The Clinton Foundation raised $30 million but had sway allegedly over how and where the larger funds would be spent.

Of the $9 billion, only $36.2 million went to Haitian organizations, per research completed by the Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti.

Though the U.S. was able to restore President Jean-Bertrand Aristide back to power in the 90s, he was again overthrown in 2004 — this coup involved Philippe.

“Everything is a consequence of corruption,” Philippe said.”

When Aristide began campaigning, Philippe was a supporter. But then something changed and around 1994, per the Senator-elect, things felt different. Platforms began to shift, and the elite were being catered to while the poor suffered.

When Philippe oversaw the police in 2014 an order came down for him to tamper with the elections. This, according to the senator-elect would have killed several officers on his team.

“No way, we will not obey this order to kill our own police men,” he said. “Til that day, they targeted me. Till that day, I was their enemy.”

There’s hope in Philippe’s voice when he talks about his wife who is an American citizen. Her and his two children make him smile bright enough that their presence warm him even in an ICE box. Being around them, returning to his beloved Haiti, seeing his ailing mother, and serving his country are all on his list of priorities — if he ever gets to go home.


Fresh off his nine-year sentence served in the U.S. for money laundering, the once Senator-elect, and Haitian revolutionary Guy Philippe is set to return to his homeland but is currently being held in an ICE facility. Senior Editor James R. Sanders reports.