Security forces reported to civilian authorities, and authorities addressed instances in which former armed forces members and army restoration proponents attempted to subvert civilian authority and control.The most serious impediments to human rights involved weak democratic governance in the country; the near absence of the rule of law, exacerbated by a judicial system vulnerable to political influence; and chronic, severe corruption in all branches of government.Basic human rights problems included some arbitrary and unlawful killings by government officials; excessive use of force against suspects and protesters; overcrowding and poor sanitation in prisons; prolonged pretrial detention; an inefficient, unreliable, and inconsistent judiciary subject to significant outside and personal influence; rape, other violence, and societal discrimination against women; child abuse; social marginalization of minority communities; and human trafficking.

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Violence and crime within camps for approximately 369,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) remained a problem.

Although the government took some steps to prosecute or punish some government and law enforcement officials who committed abuses, credible reports persisted of officials engaging in corrupt practices with impunity.

The newly created independent judicial body suspended a judge who freed the perpetrator of a high-profile murder.

There were no reports of politically motivated killings.

There were isolated reports of police and other government officials’ involvement in arbitrary or unlawful killings.

Only one of these resulted in arrests or convictions.

In February Substitute Justice of the Peace for Chantal (Southern Department) Barthelemy Vaval shot and killed Marc Sony Dorestant, who was testifying at a criminal hearing Vaval was overseeing.

Home » Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights » Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor » Releases » Human Rights Reports » 2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices » Western Hemisphere » Haiti Haiti is a constitutional republic with a multiparty political system.

In a second round of elections, voters elected President Michel Martelly, who took office in May 2011.