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Robert Manuel, aide to Rene Préval, dies in Guatemala


Robert Manuel alternated his time between Haiti and Central America. Photo from Haïti Liberté.

Robert Manuel, the campaign manager who helped Rene Préval succeed in Haiti’s 2006 election, has died in Guatemala, where he had been residing for several years, according to close family and friends. He was 69.

Details concerning the date and cause of death have not been released. 

Trained as a commercial architect, Manuel first left Haiti in the early 1990s following the coup d’état against then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He became first secretary of the Haitian Embassy in Mexico and, from 1994 to 1996, resided in Guatemala. 

Manuel further came into the public spotlight under Préval, when he worked as his Secretary of State for Public Safety from 1996 to 1999, resigning at Préval’s request. 

Following his resignation, Manuel became embroiled in controversy after Jean Lamy, the ex-colonel who was scheduled to replace him, was murdered the day after the position announcement was made. 

Préval nominated Manuel for Prime Minister of Haiti in 2008, but was prevented from acceding to the position after the Chamber of Deputies voted 57 to 26 against him. 

After the 2010 earthquake, Manuel worked in Mexico to provide key information about the disaster to media organizations in the country.

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