FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A former Haitian army soldier accused of torture has been arrested by immigration agents in Florida and faces deportation.
Olichard Sauveur (search) was being held at the Krome detention center in Miami-Dade County after his arrest Friday, said Ana Santiago, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (search). Santiago said Sauveur is accused of "physically abusing people who were resisting arrest."
Santiago said Sauveur committed the human rights abuses during the early 1990s, but she did not know if they were perpetrated under Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (search), who first took power in 1991. Aristide was ousted in a coup that same year by Gen. Raul Cedras (search), whose regime was accused of widespread killings and human rights violations. Aristide returned to power with the help of U.S. troops in 1994.
Sauveur came to the United States from Haiti shortly after the abuses and had been living in Fort Pierce, Santiago said. U.S. officials were processing Sauveur for deportation to Haiti.
"It could happen any time," she said Monday.
The arrest was latest in a continuing effort by immigration authorities to crack down on foreign nationals living in the United States who are suspected of human-rights abuses overseas.
About 50 human rights suspects have been arrested nationally since 2000, including several people suspected of being members of a death squad that operated in Honduras in the 1980s.