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Arsonist Burns Planned Recreation Center

Sun., Oct. 22, 1995, midnight

Arsonists burned down a former military installation Saturday, three days after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide told slum dwellers it was theirs to convert into a recreation center.

Two people were charged with setting fire to the two-story former Engineering Corps building, which had also housed the anti-narcotics bureau. The building was located on the fringe of the midtown Bel-Air slum.

Aristide had told a Bel-Air rally of about 10,000 people Wednesday they could convert the empty building into a recreation center.

It was abandoned after a U.S.-led multinational force intervened in Haiti in September 1994 to dismantle the 3-year-old military regime and restore Aristide to power.

On Friday, an unidentified group tried to occupy the premises but was chased away by Bel-Air activists. Squatters then entered before the fire broke out.

Tags: Arson

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