Haitian Senator-elect Guy Phillipe, who is weighing an arrest warrant from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), was arrested today by agents of the Haitian National Police as he left a radio station in the capital's Petionville area.
The police officers who arrested him did not give details of the operation that took the former military leader by surprise.
Phillipe, an ex-colonel of the dismantled Army and who became police chief of the country, was accompanied by his security personnel when he was taken prisoner.
Elected senator in the November 20 elections, Phillipe led the armed rebellion that ousted the then Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004.
Phillipe unsuccessfully appeared in the 2006 elections and the following year the DEA attempted to detain him in Haiti on charges of international drug trafficking. Despite the warrant that has been in place for over a decade, Guy Phillipe made numerous public appearances and moved freely around the country, mainly in the Grande Anse Department, whose senate's seat he won.
The arrest of the former police chief is bound to complicate the already fragile political climate in Haiti, as Guy ran under the banner of the Haaitian Tet Kale Party (PHTK) the same party as the new President-elect Jovenel Moise.
Phillipe always denied the accusations that linked him to drug trafficking and was often heard to say that "he was not a rich man."