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Haitian rebel gang leader arrested in Miami

/ Source: The Associated Press

A street gang leader who led the rebellion that forced Haiti’s President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to flee has been arrested in Miami, officials said Friday.

Butteur Metayer was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, spokeswoman Nina Pruneda said.

Metayer’s family told The Miami Herald that he arrived at Miami International Airport from Haiti on Nov. 28 for treatment of stomach pains and to see his mother. At the airport, he was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, the paper reported in Thursday editions.

Family members told the newspaper that his passport and U.S. residency card were seized, and Metayer was told to appear at immigration headquarters in Miami the next day. When he arrived, he was arrested.

Metayer was leader of the Cannibal Army, which turned on Aristide after gang leader Amiot Metayer, Butteur’s brother, was assassinated last year, accusing the government of silencing him to prevent him from giving damaging information about Aristide.

A United States-supported interim government took over following a three-week rebellion that forced ousted Aristide into exile on Feb. 29.

Aristide has denied any involvement with the gang. Butteur wore bands of bullets across his chest during the uprising that erupted in February and declared himself president of Haiti’s central Artibonite district.

Under Bush administration policy, Haitians are usually kept in detention until they are deported or granted asylum.