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Canada Haiti Action Network website fundraising campaign

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CHAN readers & supporters,

(Version Francaise ci-dessous) 

The website of the Canada-Haiti Action Network is undergoing an upgrade and needs your support.

The website mandate will continue to focus on providing news and analysis of the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Accordingly, the name is being changed to The Canada-Haiti Information Project.

In addition, the website needs technical upgrades, including crucial security and formatting upgrades. These and other upgrades will allow the site to function on smartphone platforms and other devices, and will allow editors to relaunch a regular, monthly email news bulletin with a format to accommodate all web browsers and email services. 

New report slams international observer impartiality in 2015 as OAS deploys in Haiti

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By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, Sept. 21, 2016

On Sun., Sep. 18, observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) began deploying in Haiti in preparation for the Oct. 9 elections, which will include a re-done first-round presidential race and legislative run-offs. Former Uruguayan Sen. Juan Raul Ferreira will lead the OAS observer mission, which will deploy about 130 monitors.

Even though we never expressly accepted that the right decision was to do a redo, the OAS is there,@ said Gerardo de Icaza, director of OAS's Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation.

This grudging participation, not surprisingly, is also the posture of Washington, which dismissed the findings of a Verification Commission that the Oct. 25, 2015 presidential election was fraudulent and should be scrapped. Although the U.S. is withholding funding, it now says it will go along with the re-vote. But a new report, released on Sep. 19, says that OAS and European Union (EU) observers white-washed the fraud and violence of Aug. 9 and Oct. 25, 2015 elections and "hindered efforts to initiate a verification process."

I, Hillary Rodham Clinton: Haiti’s pay-to-play IHRC

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By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post, Sept. 19, 2016

From its inception, and well before it made $10 billion of earthquake aid money disappear, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) was a vicious joke on Haitians. The original name, Commission Intérimaire pour la Reconstruction d’Haïti, should have been simply translated as Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti. After all, it was the commission that was temporary, not Haiti.

There was also no need to change the word reconstruction to the vague term recovery, unless one deliberately wanted to suggest the collection of something. As the I-HRC, however, the organization not only acquired Hillary Rodham Clinton’s initials but also boasted that it would scoop up Haiti’s reconstruction funds and turn the world’s first black republic into a temporary construct. If Mrs. Clinton has become a zombie and the “I” in I-HRC has faded, this could easily be interpreted as a sign of the Haitian gods’ wicked sense of humor.

Bahrain using Canadian software to stifle dissent: report

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By Colin Freeze, The Globe & Mail, Sept. 21, 2016

A new report from The Citizen Lab alleges that Canadian-made software is – once again – being used by a repressive Mideast state to keep its citizens from learning about news, religion and politics.

The kingdom of Bahrain this summer started using Web-filtering software from Netsweeper Inc. as a means of keeping a lid on dissent, the report said. It added that the Sunni-dominated monarchy is going so far as to use the software to deny Bahrain’s majority Shia citizens access to basic information about their religion and religious leaders.

The Citizen Lab, a group of civil-minded technological researchers at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, last year released similar findings about Netsweeper software being used in Yemen, where religious strife has led to ongoing civil war. It has also previously documented the Ontario company’s software being used in Pakistan and Somalia.

How the media helped put Canada’s role in Haiti down the memory hole

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By Yves Engler, Ricochet, Sept. 20, 2016

As Justin Trudeau courts the United Nations General Assembly today in a bid to secure a seat on the Security Council, don’t expect him or the media to talk about Canada’s role in Haiti.

Corporate media bias on foreign policy is more pronounced than most critics even imagine. As part of a recent fact check for my book A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation, I discovered my own misplaced trust searching for information about Canada’s response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

I searched Canadian Newsstand to confirm no media outlet commented on or investigated a 2011 Canadian Press report demonstrating Ottawa militarized its response to control the population. According to an internal file uncovered through an access to information request, Canadian officials worried that “political fragility has increased the risks of a popular uprising, and has fed the rumour that ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa, wants to organize a return to power.” The government documents also explain the importance of strengthening the Haitian authorities’ ability “to contain the risks of a popular uprising.”

The suppression of critical information regarding Canada’s role in Haiti over the past decade and a half is particularly stark.

See no evil, hear no evil? New report sheds light on controversial role of international observers

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The National Lawyers Guild, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the Haiti Support Group released a report, entitled Democracy Discouraged: International Observers and Haiti’s 2015 Elections, today on the controversial role played by the OAS and EU observation missions during the 2015 elections. The EU pulled its observers from Haiti in June 2016 in protest over the decision to rerun the presidential elections, but the OAS will be observing the October 9 elections. Below is the Executive Summary of the report; the fulldocument (pdf) is available here.

Huge weapons shipment seized in St. Marc

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By Yves Pierre-Louis, Haiti Liberté, Sept. 14, 2016

On Thu., Sep. 8, at the port of St. Marc, 85 kilometers northwest of Port-au-Prince, a customs search of an off-loaded truck from Miami uncovered a large quantity of weapons, ammunition, and other military equipment.

The investigating judge reported seizing 159 12-gauge shotguns (nine of them double-barreled), five M4 carbines, a Glock pistol, and about 30,000 rounds of 9mm, 5.56mm, 38 caliber, and 12 gauge ammunition. Haitian authorities also impounded 15 pairs of handcuffs, 10 pairs of boots, 12 uniforms (blue pants, black shirts), five bullet-proof vests, and many ammo clips.

Haitian Secretary of State for Public Security Himmler Rébu quickly went to the scene, vowing to trace the shipment’s source, would-be recipients, and accomplices, both in Haiti and abroad. However, Mr. Rébu, a former Haitian Army colonel, is an outspoken Duvalierist and a political ally of former President Michel Martelly. The neo-Duvalierist pro-Martelly sector is the most opposed to the current government and is likely behind the arms shipment.