Jean Morose Viliena was born in 1972. He worked as a grade school principal.
In the context of political unrest, following the violent overthrowing of the former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, Viliena was elected in 2006 Mayor of Les Irois, a small town on the southwestern coast of Haiti.
Viliena was the candidate of the “Mouvement démocratique et rénovateur d’Haïti” (MODEREH) party and allegedly had a strong support by the “Committee for Resistance in Grande-Anse” (“KOREGA”) – a powerful political machine which dominated the local politics in the southwestern Haitian region through organised violence, influence of elections, interference with investigations and prosecutions and suppression of critics and political opposition.
Once Mayor of Les Irois, Viliena became the head of the local branch of KOREGA and allegedly led an armed militia of KOREGA supporters between 2007 and 2009.
In July 2007, David Boniface, a school teacher and human rights activist, denounced Viliena for assaulting a neighbour during a street cleaning operation. Later that same day, Viliena and members of his militia allegedly shot and killed David Boniface’s brother, Eclesiaste, in reprisal.
In April 2008, Viliena announced his intention to shut down the Les Irois community radio station, which Nissage Martyr was hosting in his home. Martyr was allegedly beaten and shot during an attack of his home by KOREGA militia in April 2008. As a result, he lost his right leg.
During the KOREGA militia raids in 2008, Juders Ysemé was allegedly shot in the face and lost his eye.
In January 2009, Viliena fled to the United States after an investigation was opened against him for murder.
In October 2009, KOREGA militia, on Viliena’s orders, allegedly set fire and destroyed 36 houses belonging to persons suspected to belong to the Struggling People’s Party members, including the home of David Boniface and his family, the home of Nissage Martyr, and the home of Juders Ysemé.
Boniface, Martyr and Ysemé allegedly continued to receive threats after the attacks to prevent them from seeking justice.