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Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Updated: 48 min 20 sec ago
As Haiti approaches its next round of elections on October 25, members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs urge US support for making the elections free, fair and transparent. The August 9 round of elections was marred by violence, fraud and voter intimidation but there’s still a chance to make sure the presidential elections, which have a crucial role in Haiti’s future, will be better. In a letter to John Kerry, who visited Haiti October 6 to discuss elections, the members of Congress underscore the need for ensuring voter and candidate security in this round.
For Immediate Release
October 9, 2015
Press Office (Rep. Engel) 202-226-8467
Keith Fernandez (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen) 305-668-5994; 202-225-8200
James Lewis (Rep. Lee) 202-225-2661
WASHINGTON, DC—Led by Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair Emeritus of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a bipartisan group of 61 Members of Congress today called on Secretary of State John Kerry to offer a strong American commitment to free, fair, and transparent elections in Haiti set to take place later this month and again in December. The group also praised Secretary Kerry’s recent travel to Haiti and focus on this issue.
“We believe it is essential that these next two rounds of elections meet basic international electoral standards and are seen as free, fair and legitimate by the majority of Haitians. To that end, we urge you to continue to provide necessary assistance to the OAS and other international and national observation groups and to offer the full support of the State Department to a robust Haitian and international electoral observation effort,” the Members wrote in a letter to Secretary Kerry.
Haiti held legislative elections in early August which the Organization of American States (OAS) accepted as valid, but in which OAS and other observers found some irregularities and concerns of fraud, violence, and voter intimidation. Highlighting the longstanding United States-Haiti friendship, the Members underscored the importance of supporting Haitians as they vote in the first round of presidential elections, municipal elections, and run-off legislative elections scheduled for October 25th and in run-off presidential elections on December 27th.
Full text of the letter follows, and an image of the signed letter can be found here.
October 9, 2015
The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Kerry:
As longtime friends of Haiti in the United States Congress, we write to express our support for a strong United States commitment to free, fair and transparent elections in the country and to thank you for your recent travel there. As you know, Haiti is an important U.S. neighbor and partner in the Caribbean. After the country’s devastating earthquake in January 2010, the United States rightfully invested billions of dollars in reconstruction in the country. We must continue to provide Haiti with this crucial support.
Moving forward, we can continue to stand with the Haitian people by supporting the current electoral process. As past experience has demonstrated, a credible and inclusive electoral process is critical for stability in Haiti. We believe it is crucial for the Organization of American States (OAS) and other international institutions to continue to work with Haitian officials to ensure that upcoming elections take place without irregularities and free of violence. Voter intimidation and violence of any form cannot be tolerated.
As you know, on August 9th, Haiti held long overdue legislative elections. OAS electoral observers found some irregularities but determined that these matters were not sufficient to invalidate the results. Local electoral observers expressed concern, reporting numerous incidents of fraud, violence and voter intimidation. Looking ahead, the first round of presidential elections, municipal elections and run-off legislative elections will take place on October 25th. Run-off presidential elections will be held on December 27th.
We believe it is essential that these next two rounds of elections meet basic international electoral standards and are seen as free, fair and legitimate by the majority of Haitians. To that end, we urge you to continue to provide necessary assistance to the OAS and other international and national observation groups and to offer the full support of the State Department to a robust Haitian and international electoral observation effort. It is also critical that the State Department send a clear message to the Haitian government underscoring the need to guarantee the security of voters and candidates during the electoral campaign and on the day of the elections. For a number of years now, our government has helped Haiti strengthen its national police; now is the time for the national police to demonstrate that it is able and willing to protect Haitian citizens as they exercise their most fundamental democratic right.
Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to working with you to continue to stand with our friends in Haiti.
Emails released through the Freedom of Information Act have revealed how much the US State Department pressured the Haitian government to change the results of the 2010 elections. The State Department’s efforts, along with those of Haitian businessman Reginald Boulos, resulted in Jude Célestin being replaced by Michel Martelly in the 2nd round presidential runoff. In this year’s elections, the US has so far supported Martelly’s apparent efforts to influence the election results. Despite rampant fraud and violence (usually by Martelly affiliates) in the first round of elections, the U.S. has deemed the process acceptable.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Clinton Emails Reveal “Behind the Doors Actions” of Private Sector and US Embassy in Haiti Elections
Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch
October 8, 2015
Recently released e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s private server reveal new details of how U.S. officials worked closely with the Haitian private sector as they forced Haitian authorities to change the results of the first round presidential elections in late 2010. The e-mails documenting these “behind the doors actions” were made public as part of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.
Preliminary results from the deeply flawed 2010 presidential and legislative elections were announced on December 7, 2010, showing René Préval’s hand-picked successor Jude Célestin and university professor Mirlande Manigat advancing to a second-round runoff. The same day, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti released a statement questioning the legitimacy of the announced results.
Behind the scenes, key actors were already pushing for Célestin to withdraw from the race, according to the e-mails. Just a day after preliminary results were announced, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten wrote to Cheryl Mills, Tom Adams and Daniel Restrepo, all key State Department Haiti staff. “Boulos + private sector have told RP [René Préval] that Célestin should withdraw + they would support RP staying til 7 Feb.” “This is big,” the ambassador added.
Click HERE for the full text.
Part of the job posting is below. Click HERE for more information.
Job Title: Director of Development
Location: New York
Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis
New Media Advocacy Project Description:
The New Media Advocacy Project (N-Map) is an innovative human rights organization that helps human rights lawyers and advocates integrate video and other media into their work. We help advocates throughout the world tell their stories in more compelling and powerful ways to tip the balance of power in the toughest cases and campaigns.
N-Map works on behalf of courageous clients in areas such as unlawful detention, gender-based violence, forced evictions, prison conditions, race discrimination, criminal justice, and more. We develop high-quality, tactically sophisticated media advocacy projects that can be used in the courtroom, in legislative offices, within our clients’ communities, and more broadly in public.
In 2014, Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, recognized N-Map as one of 10 organizations advancing the “New Digital Age.”
N-Map seeks an experienced and ambitious development professional to help take N-Map to the next level of growth. The Director of Development will report to the Executive Director to advance all aspects of N-Map’s fundraising and development work, including individual major gifts, foundation grants, and business development initiatives for client projects. The Director of Development will develop and help to implement an ambitious and diversified fundraising strategy and build internal systems to maximize our ability to pursue multiple avenues of development with a lean staff.
Click HERE for more information.
It seems like more often than not, peacekeepers around the world have hurt local populations more than they have helped. This article discusses why that happens–usually by peacekeepers being out of touch with the local population–and how that can change. The solutions are simpler than one might think.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Trouble in PeacelandBy operating from a fortified bubble, dismissing local knowledge, and not speaking the language, peace missions are actually hindering the people they’re trying to help.
Severine Autesserre, Foreign Policy
October 6, 2015
May 2010, in an attempt to bring state authority back to war-torn parts of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) began helping the Congolese police deploy officers to particularly volatile villages. Aided by other international peacebuilding organizations, the U.N. built new police stations and flew in officers from other parts of the country — part of a strategy to avoid corruption by introducing detached and uncompromised ranks. Once the police were established and the area was secured, or so the plan went, other government representatives would soon follow. After the deployment process had finished, U.N. officials in New York claimed that an important step had been accomplished toward fulfilling their mandate to stabilize Congo and return peace.
In reality, however, it only made the situation much, much worse.
To begin with, the new police had to compete with remnants of rebel groups and militias for control. Far from establishing law and order, the introduction of an additional force made the area less stable. And being from far away, the police not only had no support within the community, they had no stake in making it better. When the government refused to pay, feed, and house the officers — it considered them “UNOPS police” and so the U.N.’s responsibility — the police took what they needed from the community. By the end of the disastrous affair, the government, the police, and the community all felt the U.N. was to blame.
Click HERE for the full text.
John Kerry, le secrétaire d’Etat américain, a rencontré le président Michel Martelly en Haïti cette semaine. Kerry a denoncé la violence et les intimidations mais son discours a laissé plusieurs questions sans réponse. Cet article décrit certaines de ces questions, et souligne l’importance de les élections du 25 octobre.
Partie de l’article est ci-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.Kerry, Opont, Merten et Martelly doivent donner plus de garantie
Frantz Duval, Le Nouvelliste
October 6, 2015
Le secrétaire d’Etat américain a visité Haïti mardi. Son message est simple et clair : cap sur les élections, non à la violence et aux intimidations.
De son côté, le président Michel Martelly, comme une promesse, a indiqué lors de la conférence de presse conjointe avec John Kerry que «l’accompagnement donné à la police sera renforcé en vue d’une meilleure efficacité le jour du vote». Il confirme qu’il s’en ira le 7 février et présage une alternance démocratique.
En parlant de violence, la première situation à dénoncer est cette prime accordée par le CEP et la PNH aux fauteurs de trouble du 9 août. L’incapacité de sanctionner les agités, les agitateurs et les têtes pensantes peut inspirer d’autres débordements le 25 octobre. Non à la violence et une police plus efficace, cela seratil suffisant pour faire la différence entre ce qui s’est passé le 9 août et ce qui nous attend le 25 octobre ?
Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ office has issued a press release urging Secretary of State John Kerry to support democratic elections in Haiti. As Secretary Kerry visits Haiti October 6 to discuss the elections, it is a chance for the US State Department to leverage its influence to make sure that perpetrators of violence, fraud and voter intimidation are sanctioned and that Haiti’s Electoral Council will take steps to regain voters’ trust. Congresswoman Waters has abundant experience with Haiti and stresses the importance of the next round of elections, which include both the presidential and 2nd round legislative elections.
Part of the release is below. Click HERE for the full text.
Congresswoman Waters Urges Secretary Kerry to Support Free, Fair and Democratic Elections in HaitiCalls for Investigation of Election Violence, Fraud and Voter Intimidation
October 5, 2015
Washington, DC, – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, expressing deep concern about Haiti’s 2015 elections and the impact they will have on Haiti’s future if the Haitian people do not perceive them to be credible. According to the State Department, Secretary Kerry will be visiting Haiti tomorrow.
Congresswoman Waters’ letter urges Secretary Kerry to take all necessary and appropriate action to support free, fair and democratic elections in Haiti. The letter specifically calls on him to make a clear statement that the violence, fraud and voter intimidation witnessed in the first round of the elections should be thoroughly and independently investigated, that the individuals and parties responsible for the violence must be sanctioned, regardless of political party affiliation, and that the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) must make the reforms necessary to establish public trust. A copy of the letter was sent to Kenneth Merten, the State Department’s Haiti Special Coordinator.
During Congresswoman Waters’ thirteen terms in Congress, she has visited Haiti many times, and she has worked with her colleagues in Congress, State Department officials, Haitian political leaders, and Haitian civil society to promote political stability, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic and social development in Haiti. Following the 2010 earthquake, she introduced the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act (H.R. 4573), which was passed and signed into law by the President.
Click HERE for the full text.
US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Haiti on October 6 to discuss elections, of which the next round is scheduled for October 25. So far, neither the US nor the international community has done enough to dis-incentivize the crimes that allowed certain parties to succeed in the first round of elections on August 9th. Many voters walked hours to reach their polling centers but were turned away by armed thugs once they arrived. For legitimate presidential elections on October 25, more votes need to be counted. Violence, ballot stuffing and other fraud needs to be discouraged. John Kerry’s State Department has the economic influence to help make that happen.
Part of the op-ed is below. Click HERE for the full text.
(Traduction non-officielle au fond.)Instill integrity in Haiti’s election
Brian Concannon, Miami Herald
October 5, 2015
Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Haiti Tuesday with a chance to help avoid what the Herald Editorial Board warned may be “another disastrous train-wreck” of an election. There is still time to switch Haiti’s elections onto an acceptable track, and the United States can play an important role in that process. But fair elections will only happen if Kerry ensures that the Martelly administration and the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) make fundamental changes to restore voter confidence.
As most observers — the Haitian and international press, and Haitian human-rights and electoral observation groups — have noted, Haiti’s Aug. 9 first-round legislative elections featured systematic voter suppression. Thugs associated with political parties —especially President Michel Martelly’s parties — attacked voting centers early and often, closing many, destroying voting materials and convincing untold numbers of voters to stay safely at home.
Police systematically failed to intervene. Rural Haitians walked hours down mountain trails, only to be turned away by thugs outside voting centers or political-party representatives within. Eighty-two percent of eligible voters did not vote.
Click HERE for the full text.Instiller l’intégrité dans les élections haïtiennes
L’intimidation des électeurs répandu durant premier tour d’août
John Kerry peut utiliser les subventions fédérales comme levier
par Brian Concannon Jr.
Le secrétaire d’État John Kerry se rend mardi en Haïti, où il aura l’occasion d’aider à éviter que les élections haïtiennes se terminent par un « autre déraillement désastreux », pour reprendre les termes de l’avertissement du comité de rédaction du Herald. Il est encore temps de remettre les élections haïtiennes sur une voie acceptable, et les États-Unis peuvent jouer un rôle important dans ce processus. Toutefois, les élections ne seront démocratiques que si le Secrétaire d’État Kerry s’assure que le gouvernement Martelly et le Conseil Électoral Provisoire (CEP) effectuent des changements fondamentaux afin de rétablir la confiance des électeurs et électrices.
Comme l’ont constaté la plupart des observateurs – les presses haïtienne et internationale, les groupes haïtiens d’observation électorale et pour les droits humains – une suppression de votes systématique a eu lieu lors du premier tour des élections législatives haïtiennes du 9 août. Des bandits associés aux partis politiques – surtout ceux du Président Michel Martelly – ont attaqué des centres de vote dès leur ouverture, et à plusieurs reprises. Plusieurs centres ont dû fermer, du matériel de vote a été détruit, si bien qu’un nombre incalculable d’électeurs ont décidé de rester en sécurité chez eux.
La police a systématiquement refusé d’intervenir. Des Haïtiens des régions rurales ont marché pendant des heures sur des sentiers de montagne, pour se faire renvoyer chez eux par des bandits à l’entrée des centres de vote ou par des représentants de partis politiques à l’intérieur des bureaux. Quatre-vint deux pourcent des électeurs admissibles n’ont pas voté.
Parmi les votes exprimés, près du quart n’ont pas été comptés parce que le procès-verbal du bureau de vote avait été détruit, perdu ou mise à l’écart.
Le développement peut-être le plus scandaleux est le refus du CEP, du gouvernement Martelly et de la communauté internationale de reconnaître ces problèmes que tous les autres observateurs ont constatés. Jusqu’à la clôture du vote – et la fin des méfaits – le 9 août, l’Union européenne a jugé le processus électoral « presque parfaitement normal », tandis que l’ambassadeure sortante des États-Unis Pamela White a déclaré que le processus était « imparfait, mais acceptable. »
Le CEP a annoncé, sous la pression, de nouvelles élections dans les circonscriptions où moins de 70 % des feuilles de pointage avaient été reçues et comptabilisées, ce qui signifie que là où 29 % des votes ont été rejetés – et où tant d’autres n’ont pas été exprimés en raison des violences – les résultats sont jugés valables.
Ces élections redéfinissent d’une manière désolante ce qui est « imparfait, mais acceptable », mais il y a plus : deux facteurs aggravent la situation. Premièrement, de l’aveu même des responsables de l’Union européenne, la destruction et l’intimidation semblent avoir été planifiées pour cibler les bastions des partis de l’opposition. Deuxièmement, le 9 août était le premier des trois tours d’élections prévus pour cette année et établit donc un précédent : le crime paie.
Il y a plusieurs raisons de penser que les deux prochains tours – dont le premier débute le 25 octobre – pourraient se dérouler différemment. Premièrement, les élections précédentes se sont mieux passées. Les présidentielles de 2006 ont fait l’objet de controverses, mais seulement 3 à 8 % des procès-verbaux ont été exclues et le consensus qui s’est dégagé fut que le vainqueur, René Préval, avait réellement eu le plus d’appuis. Deuxièmement, les électeurs haïtiens font preuve d’une grande vaillance s’ils croient que les élections seront justes. Les taux de participation des élections présidentielles de 2006 et 2000 ont été de 59 % et 78 %, respectivement. La semaine dernière, j’ai assisté à une conférence de presse présentant des habitants de la commune rurale de Saut d’Eau qui, après avoir marché pendant des heures, avaient été renvoyés à la pointe du fusil. Ils ont affirmé avec force que le gouvernement et le CEP devaient faire cesser l’intimidation et améliorer l’accès aux bureaux de vote, mais ils ont aussi promis de faire cette marche à nouveau le 25 octobre si des améliorations étaient apportées.
Le secrétaire d’État Kerry répondra avec raison que ce n’est pas lui qui conduit le train électoral haïtien, et que ce sont les responsables haïtiens qui doivent prévenir un éventuel déraillement. En revanche, M. Kerry sait que les États-Unis fournissent presque tout le carburant électoral – 25 millions de dollars jusqu’à présent, et plus encore pour la suite des choses. Le Département d’État de Kerry peut donc établir des incitatifs pour le CEP, le gouvernement et les partis politiques.
Ce mardi, le Secrétaire d’État Kerry aura une occasion historique d’établir de nouveaux incitatifs, et que le crime ne paiera plus, en encourageant la tenue d’élections justes et inclusives. Pour tirer pleinement partie de cette occasion de donner aux électeurs haïtiens les élections qu’ils méritent, M. Kerry devra rendre l’appui des États-Unis aux élections haïtiennes conditionnel à des promesses vérifiables de changements fondamentaux capables de rétablir la confiance des électeurs, trahie le 9 août.
Brian Concannon Jr., Esq. est directeur général de l’Institut pour la Justice et la Démocratie en Haïti. Il a été observateur accrédité de plusieurs élections haïtiennes passées, notamment avec l’Organisation des États américains.
Part of the job posting is below. Click HERE for more information.Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
Prosperity Catalyst (PCAT) is a non-profit (501©3) organization whose mission is to inspire, educate and support women entrepreneurs in places of conflict and natural disaster around the world. We seek to contribute to a global awakening in which women are recognized and valued as vital, empowered participants in creating the foundation for peaceful and prosperous societies. Prosperity Catalyst accomplishes this by empowering women as entrepreneurs, facilitating business and entrepreneurship education, and assisting women-owned enterprises in their initial creation and launch.
In the spring of 2013 Prosperity Catalyst launched its work in Haiti by supporting women apprentice entrepreneurs in the creation of a candle-making business, Fanm Limye. Since that time we have established Fanm Limye as a women-led social enterprise, focused on candle production, marketing, and sales both for local and international markets. In addition, we are currently building out our Haiti program to include a network of thirty-one businesses that employ women along the candle-making supply chain (beekeepers, artisans, street vendors, and recyclers).
Therefore we are now seeking to fill a newly created position: Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Program Director will be responsible for overseeing our current work in Haiti, as well as leading our efforts to expand our work into new areas in the region. The Program Director will play a vital role in managing the Haiti program’s field team, overseeing all program operations, managing the program and business finances, and leading all grant-related activities. The Program Director will also be responsible for working with our executive team to determine an expansion strategy into other areas within Latin America and the Caribbean and will lead all efforts related to establishing new women-led businesses in these areas under the Prosperity Catalyst program model. The position will be supported by a Haiti Program Director, and will report directly to the Executive Director.
The role will be based in Cambridge, MA, though remote working in Washington DC could be possible for the right candidate. The start date is Dec 1st and the salary is $65,000 plus benefits.
Click HERE for more information.
Haiti is gearing up for presidential elections happening later this month but given the violence, fraud and other irregularities that plagued the first round elections, and some questionable actions by the CEP, many are worried about the outcome of this round. This article makes some good recommendations on how the next president can improve Haitian politics in the future, including rejection of voting outcomes based on violence and institution of anti-corruption measures in the government.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Another chance to move Haiti forward
Editorial, Miami Herald
October 3, 2015
On the surface, Haiti’s presidential elections seem to be a robust competition. Fifty-four candidates are vying for the votes of 5.8 million registered voters, and they’re all debating their competing visions across the island — and even here in South Florida.
One of their debates takes place Sunday in North Miami, an acknowledgment of the importance of the local Haitian community and that the residents care deeply for their homeland.
This election is another chance to turn the page politically, to move the country forward. But one doesn’t have to look far to sense the uncertainty hovering over the Oct. 25 presidential vote, which is also the second round for the violence- and fraud-marred Aug. 9 elections. By many accounts, the vote may be headed for another disastrous train wreck
Click HERE for the full text.
After the resignation of one of the nine members of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), many are concerned that more will come. The CEP is already facing a lot of criticism for its handling of the August 9th round of elections, which were marred by violence, fraud, late starts and more. Meanwhile, presidential candidates are campaigning and electoral officials are making preparations for the 2nd round, which is scheduled for October 25.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Haiti election official resigns ahead of Oct. 25 vote
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
October 2, 2015
A member of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council resigned Friday, raising concerns about the possibility of more resignations from the embattled body and the fate of the Oct. 25 vote for president, mayors and members of parliament.
“I am not comfortable,” Néhémy Joseph told Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper, confirming the news that he had sent President Michel Martelly a letter announcing his resignation.
In the signed three-page resignation letter circulating on social media, Joseph addressed the criticisms dogging the council, and told Martelly that Haiti needs more than anything “inclusive and impartial elections.”
Martelly was headed back to Port-au-Prince on Friday from New York where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday morning.
Click HERE for the full text.
Après quatre ans de silence, l’ancien président Jean-Bertrand Aristide est apparu publiquement pour soutenir Maryse Narcisse, la candidate de Fanmi Lavalas. Des miiliers de partisans du Fanmi Lavalas se sont réunis devant la résidence d’Aristide pour écouter son discours. Mais si cette apparence mènera au vote reste à voir.
Partie de l’article est ci-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.Haïti: Jean-Bertrand Aristide appelle à voter Maryse NarcisseEn Haïti, pour la première fois depuis son retour d’exil, Jean-Bertrand Aristide s’est adressé directement à ses partisans. Et il appelle la population à élire comme présidente la candidate de son parti : Maryse Narcisse. Le premier tour de scrutin est prévu le 25 octobre.
Amélie Baron, RFI
1 octobre 2015
Les milliers de sympathisants Lavalas auront attendu des heures devant la résidence d’Aristide, pour enfin voir de leurs yeux celui qu’il surnomme leur « roi ». Et Jean-Bertrand Aristide est donc sorti de son silence.
Celui qui a par deux fois été obligé d’écourter ses mandats présidentiels et de prendre l’exil a appelé la foule à voter Maryse Narcisse, lors de l’élection présidentielle dont le premier tour se tiendra le 25 octobre.
Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.
Beatrice Lindstrom currently serves as lead counsel on litigation that seeks to hold the United Nations accountable for introducing a deadly cholera epidemic to Haiti, one of the worst public health disasters in the world. She will discuss how to use lawyering in situations where there is no legal forum, the need to combine legal and non-legal strategies to do effective human rights work, and how to chart a career as a human rights lawyer.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Yale Law School, Room 129
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT
Click HERE for the event poster.
For the first time in four years, former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide spoke publicly on September 30, the 24th anniversary of the first coup against him. He spoke out in support of the Fanmi Lavalas presidential candidate, Maryse Narcisse, and also demanded unity among the poor masses. Thousands of Fanmi Lavalas supporters gathered in front of Aristide’s home to hear him speak.Former Haiti president Aristide breaks his silence
October 1, 2015
Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Haiti’s former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide has spoken in public for the first time since returning from exile in 2011, calling on Haitians to elect his party’s candidate as president.
Speaking from the back of a pickup truck outside his home late Wednesday, Aristide galvanized a crowd of about 2,000 followers who waited for hours to hear him speak.
“We must mobilize ourselves to vote democratically for doctor Maryse Narcisse’s arrival at the national palace,” he said referring to the candidate of his Fanmi Lavalas party.
The first round of the presidential elections are scheduled for October 25.
Narcisse, a physician and longtime Lavalas activist, is one of 54 candidates running to succeed Michel Martelly as Haiti’s president.
Reprising some of his best-known slogans, which followers repeated in chorus, Aristide, a firebrand former Catholic priest, called for unity among Haitians.
“You the victims of insecurity, of abuse, of hunger, of unemployment… and all Haitians who are victims of repatriations from Santo Domingo must mobilize together.”
“Rich and poor, we must understand each other to re-stitch the flag of unity.”
Aristide was speaking on an important day for his followers, for it was September 30, 1991 that he was forced out of office and into exile by a military coup just seven months after becoming Haiti’s first democratically elected president.
He returned to power from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2004, when he was chased from office by a popular revolt.
He went into exile for seven years until his return in March 2011.
Click HERE for the original article.
October 1, 20159:30am–11:00amCannon House Office Building, Room 44127 Independence Ave SEWashington, DC 20003RSVP requested
Haiti is in the midst of an unprecedented electoral cycle, with three elections scheduled in 2015. With legislative and local elections long delayed, the entire 118-member lower house, two-thirds of the Senate, the President and all local officials will be elected this year. The United States has already contributed $25 million for the process and has pledged an additional $5 million. The first round of legislative elections took place on August 9, though election day was plagued by extremely low voter turnout, violence and other irregularities. Nearly 25 percent of votes were never counted. The next round will include presidential elections and is scheduled to take place onOctober 25. This panel of Haitian and U.S. experts will examine the causes of the problems of August 9 and discuss steps that must be taken to ensure that the next two rounds of elections result in legitimately-elected authorities.Panelists:
Pierre Esperance, Executive Director, National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) and national election observer
Yolette Mengual, Current Member, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) To Be Confirmed
Jake Johnston, Research Associate, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
On September 29, 2015, Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, addressed the UN General Assembly. At minute 10:37, he addressed the issue of denationalization in the Dominican Republic (DR), as well as deportations from DR. At minute 15:18, he addresses the lack of UN accountability for cholera in Haiti, as well as peacekeeper sexual assaults. Gonsalves also spoke of the effects of climate change on his country, the importance of global poverty alleviation, the embargo on Cuba, and other issues.
Click HERE for the original posting.
2L Applications Due: October 23, 2015
1L Applications Due: December 18, 2015
THE ELLA BAKER PROGRAM
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) created the Ella Baker Summer Internship Program in 1987 to honor the legacy of Ella Baker, a hero of the civil rights movement, and to train the next generation of social justice lawyers. The program uses a combination of theory and practice to train talented and committed law students on how to work alongside social movements, community organizations, and impacted individuals. The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) is one of four sites hosting the CCR Ella Baker program. Interns will likely work primarily on ground-breaking litigation and advocacy seeking accountability from the United Nations (UN) for introducing cholera to Haiti. This work is done in collaboration with our Haiti-based affiliate, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI). Interns may have an opportunity to travel to Haiti for 1-2 weeks to work directly with the attorneys and apprentices at BAI.
Students in the Ella Baker program are hosted at four sites: Miami, FL; New York City, NY; New Orleans, LA; and Boston, MA. Each site offers students the opportunity to work at a legal organization where collaboration with social movements and community organizations is emphasized. CCR has stitched these sites together in a single program to expose students to the unique opportunities and challenges of social justice lawyering in different cities, institutions with unique and varying political histories and contexts.
Ella Baker interns in Boston work with IJDH and are supervised by IJDH attorneys. IJDH and BAI, have over 17 years of demonstrated success enforcing Haitians’ human rights, in Haiti and abroad. IJDH works in four areas: 1) impact litigation that opens the doors of Haitian, international and U.S. courts to precedent-setting human rights cases; 2) documentation that provides public officials, human rights advocates, and grassroots activists the reliable information they need to speak up for human rights in Haiti; 3) transnational grassroots advocacy that compels governments and powerful institutions in Haiti and abroad to respect Haitians’ human rights; and 4) systemic capacity building that develops a corps of Haitian human rights lawyers and advocates trained to fight for sustainable change in their country. Due to the dynamic and fast-paced nature of legal work in Haiti, interns must demonstrate language proficiency in French or Kreyol; however, students with proficiency in both languages are preferred.
For more information about the other sites, please visit CCR’s website.
The internship will begin on June 6, 2016 and end on August 12, 2016. Interns are expected to work 40 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks. All students will be asked to attend an Orientation and a Final Debrief in New York City.
- First year or second year law student;
- Excellent legal research and oral/written communication skills
- Experience and/or a demonstrated commitment to social justice, organizing and/or social movements ;
- Familiarity with issues surrounding racial justice, gender justice, civil rights, international human rights, national security law
- Site specific requirement: Fluency in either Kreyol or French required (both are preferred)
Follow this link to complete the application process. In additional to completing the online form, you must upload the following documents as a single PDF in order for your application to be considered complete:
- Cover Letter (please be sure to include information about your site preferences)
- Three references with contact information
Note: If granted an interview, applicants may also be asked to submit a short legal writing sample.
Because we have limited resources, CCR strongly advises applicants to make every effort to secure their own funding. Possible sources of funding include: your law school; your local Bar Foundation; Equal Justice America, etc. CCR may be able to provide funding only for those who have demonstrated that they have been diligent in seeking alternate funds but have been unsuccessful.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you have specific questions about the Ella Baker Program, please contact Mr. An-Tuan Williams at email@example.com . But, please no e-mail inquiries or phone calls about the status of your application!
Due to extremely low voter turnout, violence and other irregularities, many are calling for a rerun of Haiti’s first round of legislative elections (originally August 9, 2015). Now, two candidates who challenged their positions in the preliminary results have been named Senators of the Artibonite and West departments. Some say that without a re-vote, none of the election results released will be legitimate.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Haiti elections officials: Two senators elected in Aug. 9 balloting
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
September 28, 2015
Two candidates for Haiti’s Senate who challenged their preliminary standing in last month’s fraud and violence-plagued legislative elections have won their challenges.
Former Sen. Youri Latortue and newcomer Jean Renel Senatus, an ex-government prosecutor known by his crime-fighting nickname “Zokiki,” were deemed winners Sunday after the National Bureau of Electoral Litigation (BCEN) upheld a lower court’s decision that both had received enough votes against challengers to represent the Artibonite and West departments, respectively.
The decision was posted late Sunday on the Provisional Electoral Council’s website. It came a month after the elections for 10 Senate seats and 129 in the lower Chamber of Deputies. Council members spent hours in deliberations for most of Sunday, unsure of how to handle the rulings, fearing publishing them would trigger more protests.
Click HERE for the full text.
This article discusses the United States’ interference in Haiti’s 2010 elections through Hillary Clinton and the State Department, as well as the failed US response (particularly through the Clinton Foundation and USAID) to the 2010 earthquake. So far, the US’ intentions in Haiti’s current elections are unclear but the rampant fraud and violence of August 9, which was downplayed by the international community, seems a bit suspicious. The Obama administration has appointed Kenneth Merten as the Haiti Special Coordinator, despite the failures of 2010 and on occurring on his watch as the US Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to 2012.Obama Sends Merten Back to Haiti as New Election Crisis Looms
Georgianne Nienaber, The Huffington Post
September 27, 2015
U. S. Presidents will sometimes scheme to preserve a legacy, but the media is strangely silent on the Obama administration’s latest move in Haiti. With little fanfare from our shores, Kenneth Merten was appointed as the Haiti Special Coordinator in August 2015. Merten served as the United States Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to July 2012. Why President Obama and John Kerry would want to return Merten to Haiti is anyone’s guess, since his tenure as Ambassador did little to lift Haiti from the hell of the 2010 earthquake or the corruption that followed.
During Merten’s time in Haiti, the country also faced allegations of a rigged Presidential election and misappropriation of earthquake relief funds. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs attributed some of the most egregious waste to USAID in blistering testimony: “Haiti: Is U.S. Aid Effective?” Included is a Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis of failures at the Caracol Industrial Park development, and other “programs that have been slowly implemented, more costly than planned, and of questionably lasting impact.” Caracol is the creation of Hillary Clinton, her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and the Clinton Foundation.
Now, Merten returns to Haiti in the middle of another election crisis and an 18 percent August voter turn-out, which some observers think might be closer to 4-5 percent. The country’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has not yet released the final results from the August 9 legislative elections. The official website lists the population of each Department (similar to a province) and the number of votes cast, but no vote count by political party. The Haitian press has released “preliminary” results, but these have not been officially confirmed.
Last week, fifty of the more than 120 political parties and groups registered with the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) attended a meeting to determine why the CEP had not yet released a final vote tally. The meeting turned into a heckling fest, with attendees calling for the ouster of CEP President Pierre Louis Opont. According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Opont has lost all credibility.
Merten is a predictable choice to defend U.S. interests in the Haiti Parliamentary elections, since he was Ambassador to Haiti during the 2010-11 Haiti Presidential election cycle that installed musician “Sweet Mickey” Martelly. Results obtained by the CEP and the European Union-backed National Observation Council’s (CNO) were switched, removing Jude Celestin from the runoff and advancing Martelly. It was essential to US interests that Martelly, and not Celestin, participate in the runoff.
In July 2015 CEP President Pierre Louis Opont said that the Unites States rigged the 2010 elections. As director general, Opont gave the official recount results to the international observers. He charged that Cheryl Mills, the Chief of State for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) then gave results different than what were passed to them. People are angry that Opont did not speak up at that time and fear that he may once again be functioning as a puppet of the United States until “satisfactory” election results are obtained.
The release of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server lends credence to Opont’s story about 2010.
An email thread between Hillary Clinton and her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills (Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05777664) was copied to Merten. In it, the Secretary of State participated in a heavily redacted discussion of a draft statement by the State Department on the elections. It appears that a defense was crafted that explained why the initial results released by the State Department were changed.
This is the statement we released late last night. Election results order Manigault, Celestin, Martielly (sic). May be good to have Tom Adams give you a quick update today.
In the email thread, on Tuesday December 7, 2010, Cheryl Mills instructs a staffer to “print the traffic” on a draft embassy statement that discusses something the “tabulation center” did not show in their first statement which quoted the CEP tabulations.
Current events are echoing the 2010 Presidential election under Merten’s tenure while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Describing the August 2015 polling, the Miami Herald said, “Around the country, polling stations were attacked and ballots were stuffed after candidates and their partisans thought they were losing. Polls also opened late and political parties had problems getting credentials for their observers.”
Haiti has been desperately seeking fair and credible elections since her formation, but meddling in elections has been a part of U.S. policy towards Haiti since at least 1915. At that time, forces opposed to his close ties with the United States assassinated Haitian President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. Sam had ordered his predecessor Oreste Zamor and 160 or so of his allies executed in Port-au-Prince.
U.S. Marines then took over the harbors in what amounted to a military invasion. The Haitian legislature was in session during this crisis and about to proceed to the election of a new president, when Admiral William B. Caperton, under orders from the U.S. State Department, “twice induced the Chambers to postpone the election.”See “The Seizure of Haiti by the United States; A report on the military occupation of the Republic of Haiti and the history of the treaty forced upon her.”
The State Department, “by the instruction of the President,” requested the Navy Department to send a sufficient force of marines to control the situation absolutely, and Caperton was instructed that the United States favored the election of [Sudre] Dartiguenave.
History shows that U.S. “favored” elections are a sine qua non of Haitian election cycles.
The current President, Martelly, who cannot run for re-election, has dozens of candidates running throughout the country under his Haitian Tet Kale (Bald Headed) Party (PHTK).
The United States and others in the international community provided $38 million to the CEP to organize the August 9, 2015 elections. This amount is more than four times the amount spent by nations of similar to greater populations and circumstances, according to the Haiti Sentinel.
Election fixing is closely tied to USAID failures in Haiti.
Rewind the reels of history to November 2011 when Ambassador Merten stood with Bill Clinton, representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Korean apparel manufacturer Sae-A Co. Ltd., as they officially laid the foundation stone for the Caracol Industrial Park. Their protégée, the new Haitian President Michel Martelly, infamously said, “Haiti is open for business.”
Merten hailed the Caracol Industrial Park and Sae-A’s investment in Haiti as “a great victory” and said, “Investment is the real key to making the Haitian people more prosperous, which in turn will make the Haitian nation more independent and sovereign.”
A lot has not happened at Caracol since 2011 when Merten claimed a “great victory” for the industrial park. The 2013 GAO analysis of failures there under Merten’s tenure is epic and shows the folly of unaccountable USAID and Clinton Initiative programs in a region of Haiti that was untouched by the earthquake of 2010. A third or more of earthquake reconstruction funding was allocated to the industrial park, a power plant to run it, and a port facility to service the park.
Meanwhile Port-Au-Prince was rubble.
The 2015 GAO Report is not much improved from 2013. As of September 30, 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had allocated $1.7 billion to the Haiti reconstruction effort, but has dispersed only 54 percent or $911 million.
Merten has not said a word about the failure of USAID, but seems to be focusing on the unfolding election debacle. He urged “all parties to work together to solve the shortcomings observed during the elections on 9 August, to ensure that the elections of 25 October and 27 December next are conducted peacefully and credibly.”
If it does not work out to his liking, Merten can always steal a page from history and request that the U.S. send in the Marines (again).
Click HERE for the original posting.
Though the United States vowed to help Haiti rebuild after the earthquake, many of its policies towards Haiti lacked results or even worsened the situation. This article examines initiatives like the Caracol industrial park built after the 2010 earthquake, as well as US meddling in Haiti’s elections and labor to make Haiti more amenable to foreign interests.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Why Things Continue to Go Wrong in Haiti, and How U.S. Policy Is ResponsibleWashington has been meddling in a country it doesn’t believe should be allowed to chart its own path.
Antony Loewenstein, AlterNet
September 24, 2015
The industrial park in Caracol, northern Haiti, never receives tourists. It’s a collection of factories producing clothes for some of America’s leading retailers including Walmart and Target. The opening of the facility in 2012 saw then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller, and fashion designer Donna Karan attend and celebrate the establishment of a center that was advertised as producing 65,000 jobs. “We had learned that supporting long-term prosperity in Haiti,” Hillary Clinton said, “meant more than providing aid.”
Today, it’s clear the promises were empty. “People unfamiliar with the area [Caracol] may see the people standing in front of the park looking for jobs and think the Caracol Industrial Park was a great idea,” Castin Milostène told me recently. He’s a coordinator of AREDE, a campaign group of Haitian grassroots organizations working with vulnerable Haitians to influence aid accountability after the devastating 2010 earthquake. ActionAid is the convener. “You may see the need and think we should have many more parks,” he continued. “But the people standing at the doors of the park looking for work have nothing, they don’t even earn on average 58 gourdes (US$1) a day — they are living in extreme poverty.”
I visited Caracol in 2012 and found few signs of employment. Many poor Haitians loitered outside the main gates looking for work and complaining about low wages. Prime agricultural land was taken with farmers left landless and given little compensation. The US$300 million investment in the South Korean-run factory has quickly become yet another failed attempt to boost Haiti’s economy. The Financial Times headlined a story about the situation this year, “Haiti’s economy held together by polo shirts and blue jeans.”
Click HERE for the full text.
Après près de 5 ans sans justice de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour avoir apporté le choléra à Haïti, certaines personnes ont commencé à perdre l’espoir. Pas Maitre Mario Joseph du BAI. L’avocat rassure Le Nouvelliste que parce que l’ONU a enfreint la loi, l’organisation doit faire face à la justice. Il explique que cette question est non seulement important en Haïti, mais pour tous les pays pauvres où les Casques bleus sont déployés.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Plainte contre l’ONU pour le choléra : « Nous avançons très bien et sûrement », affirme Mario Joseph
Karenine Francesca Theosmy, Le Nouvelliste
23 septembre 2015
Le responsable de l’Institut pour la justice et la démocratie (IJDH) et du Bureau des avocats internationaux (BAI) continue de croire que la loi est du côté des victimes du choléra. Un état d’esprit confiant pour une bataille judiciaire avec peu de rebondissement et qui s’annonce aussi longue que le processus d’éradication de la maladie.
Le dossier des victimes du choléra en Haïti est porté devant la cour d’appel à Manhattan, attendant avec espoir une audience devant un juge. Environ cinq mille victimes ont porté plainte contre les Nations unies en octobre 2013, après le rejet d’une première plainte en 2011. L’ONU, accusée d’être responsable de l’introduction du choléra dans le pays caribéen, a fait valoir son immunité.
« C’est un système qui prend en compte l’écrit. Mais nous estimons important d’avoir une audience afin de mieux exposer nos arguments au juge », explique Mario Joseph, l’un des avocats. « Nous allons gagner. Il est clair que nous allons gagner. »
« La convention de 1946 sur les privilèges et immunité est claire sur le fait que les Nations unies n’ont pas seulement l’immunité, mais doivent donner des alternatives. C’est ce que nous plaidons. C’est la loi, et puisque c’est la loi, nous allons gagner. Que cela soit en Europe, en Haïti ou ailleurs, nous finirons par avoir les Nations unies », indique l’avocat.
Click HERE for the full text.