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Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago
Attorney Mario Joseph explains to cholera victims the status of their case at a Federal Court of the United States
Bureau des Avocats Internationaux
May 31, 2016In Saut d’Eau, Mario Joseph, managing attorney of BAI, hosts an exchange with representatives of victims of cholera from the local community
This Wednesday, May 25, 2015, attorney Mario Joseph conducted a field trip to the communes of Saut d’Eau and Boucan Carré, to inform victims of cholera on the progress of their case against the United Nations in the 2 nd Circuit Federal Court in New York, including the recent appeals hearing held in the court in March. Mario Joseph is the head of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), and has been representing victims of cholera in Artibonite department since 2010, when the deadly disease was released into Haitian waterways from a United Nations camp.
In simple language, Mr. Mario Joseph broke down the process to victims, explaining their role in supporting the arguments in the hearing by demonstrating the relevance of the court’s decision, through their recent campaign to deliver more than 2000 letters to US authorities at the Embassy of the US in Haiti on the 12 th of May. The same letters have already been submitted to the United Nations Security Council, and have explained, in the victims’ words, the disastrous consequences of this disease on their physical and mental health.A group of victims in Boucan Carré gather around the tomb of a woman who died from cholera
Several victims took the opportunity to engage in the exchange. At Boucan Carre, Fernand Joseph, a young man of 25 years, mentioned his deteriorating mental state since contracting this disease, the severity of which has made recovery difficult, as he notes, “The disease has destroyed my memory because I cannot remember my school lessons. I am very worried about my future.” Maciane Moon, a 58-year- old woman, describes her condition, saying, “This epidemic infected me and members of my family, and since then I have no energy because my limbs were completely weakened. I cannot work to take care of my children – that is why the United Nations needs to compensate us.”
In Saut d’Eau, Noel John, a man of 70, requested the floor to express his indignation, stating that “It is necessary that the United Nations take account of their actions, they have to compensate us for all these wrongs they committed by releasing this epidemic. For this, we will continue to fight, with BAI leading our legal action, to get us compensation and restitution from the United Nations.”
At the end of the exchange both at Boucan Carré and Saut d’Eau, Mario Joseph was received with applause by the victims as he reiterated the will of the BAI to continue to fight the immunity of the United Nations mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, an immunity which is being employed to absolve the UN of its responsibility in the release of the cholera epidemic into Haiti.
Years after a UN peacekeeping team brought cholera to Haiti, the UN estimates that a problem solvable with $2,000 would now require $2.2 billion to rid Haiti of the disease. To prevent similar outbreaks in the future, experts came up with preventative measures to diminish pathogen transmission such as pre-screening travelers, use of prophylaxis, and treatment of waste before disposal.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Learning From the Cholera Crisis in Haiti
Elizabeth Carthy, Crisis Response Journal
Five-and-a-half years since its arrival, cholera had killed at least 9,300 people and sickened over 770,000. Studies indicate that an investment of approximately $2,000 (€1,700) in preventative measures could have prevented the epidemic, while the UN estimates that eradicating cholera from Haiti through water and sanitation infrastructure will cost $2.2 (€1.9) billion.
This article outlines key lessons drawn from the epidemic, and the importance of acting upon them in order to prevent a similar disaster in the future.
The epidemic highlights the danger that peacekeepers, which are meant to protect vulnerable populations, can end up as vectors of disease. The risk is not limited to Haiti or cholera; the current UN peacekeeping model relies heavily on troop contributions from countries which themselves face high burdens of infectious disease, and peacekeeping forces are, by definition, deployed into areas where conflict has often resulted in high levels of poverty, inadequate health infrastructure, and difficulty accessing basic protective resources. Yet existing guidelines on peacekeeping and disease focus largely on protecting peacekeepers from local diseases, overlooking the risks to locals from imported ones.
The UN has also failed to establish adequate accountability frameworks to help deter reckless practices and provide an avenue to resolve complaints by victims harmed by peacekeeping missions.
Click HERE for the full text.
After being installed by Haiti’s interim President Jocelerme Privert one month ago, a five-member verification commission charged with evaluating the 2015 presidential elections came to the conclusion that electoral fraud indeed appeared to have been masterminded at the highest level. On Monday, Commission President Pierre Francois Benoit recommended a complete re-run to the final decision making body, the reconfigured Provisional Electoral Council. Benoit pointed to signs of significant fraud, including multiple ballots with the same fingerprint and deceased voter participation. The first place candidate of the election was Jovenel Moise, a Tet Kale party candidate handpicked and well-funded by the previous President Michel Martelly. Moise has yet to comment on the commission’s findings. While some international monitors believe the fall balloting reflects the true will of the voters, number two finisher Jude Celestin has voiced his discontent in conjunction with the expressed concern of several civil society groups.
The article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Haiti Panel Recommends Throwing Out Results of Disputed Vote
The Associated Press, The New York Times
May 30, 2016
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A special verification commission on Monday recommended throwing out the disputed results of Haiti’s first-round presidential election because it appeared to be tainted by significant fraud.
Commission President Pierre Francois Benoit said there were far too many “zombie votes” and other problems in the Oct. 25 presidential balloting to be considered legitimate. He said some tally sheets from polling stations had fingerprints that appeared to be from a single person.
“We recommend that the presidential election be done over,” Benoit said on the grounds of the National Palace, where the commissioners handed over their report to Haiti’s interim president.
The commission, which was installed a month ago by caretaker President Jocelerme Privert, said they audited a random sample of 25 percent of the roughly 13,000 tally sheets from polling stations seeking to verify the results as well as to explore allegations of rampant fraud.
Benoit said it appeared electoral fraud was masterminded at a “high level.”
The final decision whether to redo the election will have to be made by a reconfigured Provisional Electoral Council, known by its acronym CEP. The current members were sworn in earlier this year, replacing a council that was repeatedly accused of corruption.
“The CEP now has to finish the work to have a good election,” Privert told reporters at the ceremony Monday night.
The council had been scheduled to announce a new date for a three-times postponed presidential runoff Tuesday. But CEP chief Leopold Berlanger said Monday night that the electoral council would now plan to issue an electoral timetable June 6.
Berlanger made no immediate comment on the recommendation that the October presidential results be thrown out.
Privert has repeatedly said Haiti cannot restart balloting without first building confidence in the electoral machinery.
U.N. peacekeepers and Haitian police could be seen on streets around the National Palace compound. After the commission’s announcement, Port-au-Prince’s downtown appeared calm and there were no signs of political unrest.
In recent days, several foreign embassies have warned their citizens in Haiti that the release of the panel’s report and the scheduled Tuesday announcement of a new election date could lead to civil unrest across the country.
Jean Pierre, a Port-au-Prince resident who has a small wedding photography business, said he was hopeful that Haiti’s political class would accept the findings and move on.
“Whenever their protesters take to the streets and burn tires and smash cars it just takes the country backward,” he said on a street corner.
There was no immediate comment from Jovenel Moise, the first-place finisher in the October presidential vote. The Tet Kale party candidate was hand-picked by previous President Michel Martelly and was the beneficiary of a relatively well-financed campaign.
International monitors who observed Haiti’s Oct. 25 presidential balloting have said results putting Moise in the leading position for a two-candidate runoff appeared to be a genuine reflection of the voters’ will.
But the tally was immediately rejected by local observer groups and virtually all the other candidates, most notably the No. 2 finisher, Jude Celestin. He called the results showing Moise with nearly 33 percent of the votes a “massive fraud,” and many civil society groups expressed concern about the legitimacy of the vote.
Click HERE for the full text.
On Monday, a five-member panel tasked with evaluating the vote announced its results after weeks of analyzing Haiti’s 2015 first-round presidential elections. They found that the number of untraceable votes surpassed the legitimate votes and recommended a re-run of the election, handing over their report to the revamped Provisional Electoral Council to make the final decision on whether or not to restart the presidential race from zero. Calling into question both the legitimacy of the specific 2015 presidential elections and the general electoral machine, the panel’s condemnation revives political tension in Haiti as the verdict exhibits the complete disregard for one-person-one-vote democracy in previous rounds.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Haiti Panel Calls for Re-run of Presidential Elections
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
May 30, 2016
The results of Haiti’s contested first-round presidential elections were such a disaster that the process should recommence at zero, the head of a five-member panel charged with reviewing the vote told the nation Monday.
Francois Benoit made the recommendation during a ceremony at the National Palace in which he handed over a 105-page report, the results of a month-long audit by the Independent Commission of Evaluation and Verification, to interim President Jocelerme Privert. Privert, in turn, gave the report to the revamped Provisional Electoral Council, which will ultimately decide whether to accept the recommendation. It had planned to announce a new elections calendar on Tuesday.
The commission audited 25 percent of the results, or 3,325 tally sheets from 13,000 polling stations across the country.
Click HERE for the original article.
The results from Haiti’s long-awaited verification commission are set to be published this Sunday after a month of analysis of the two rounds of elections in 2015. With the results, tensions are expected to escalate because no matter the recommendations of the commission, there will be a political faction that’s dissatisfied. It remains to be seen whether the elections will be rerun altogether, whether the fraudulent results from the second round will hold, or whether one or more candidates will be excluded from a final round.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Election Verification Results Expected this Weekend: What to Expect and What Comes Next?
Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch
May 27, 2016
This Sunday the month-long verification commission that is analyzing Haiti’s elections is expected to release its results. No matter the outcome, Haiti and the international community are bracing for the worst. The U.S. embassy warned yesterday that protests are expected both on Sunday and on Tuesday, when the electoral council said it will announce a new electoral calendar. Rosny Desroches, who led a U.S.-financed local observation mission, predicted a “climate of tension and pressure” after the verification report is released, according to Miami Herald journalist Jacqueline Charles.
Provisional president Jocelerme Privert, who took office after ex-president Michel Martelly’s term ended, created the verification commission after widespread condemnation of fraud following August’s legislative elections and October’s first-round presidential elections. After virtually all of Haiti’s opposition political parties and civil society organizations denounced the continuation of the electoral process without such a commission, Privert said it was needed to restore confidence and credibility to the elections. The U.S. and other actors in the international community, after first trying to prevent the verification, have largely accepted it, while still trying to limit the possible outcomes.
“We hope it is very, very quick and does not change the results of the election,” State Department Haiti Special Coordinator Kenneth Merten said on a trip to Haiti in late April.
Click HERE for the full text.
As Haiti has struggled to hold democratic elections since August 2015 (which were delayed for years before that), the United States has generally taken the position of rushing the elections to be completed as soon as possible, despite grave irregularities and allegations of massive fraud. Haiti experts believe that a strong motivator of this rush is the fact that much of Haiti’s political crisis can be attributed to Hillary Clinton, who is currently running for United States President. While she was Secretary of State, Clinton helped force Michel Martelly, the president who failed to hold elections for years, into office. She and Bill Clinton led post-earthquake reconstruction efforts that were a major failure. Hillary Clinton also blocked efforts to increase Haiti’s minimum wage. And this is just a partial list of her record in Haiti. It’s no wonder the U.S. State Department seems to want Haiti’s elections over in time for them not to overlap with the U.S. elections.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Clinton’s Long Shadow
Nikolas Barry-Shaw, Jacobin
May 27, 2016
Is Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid suffocating democracy in Haiti? A growing number of informed observers, both in Haiti and in the United States, think so. They contend that the former secretary of state’s political ambitions are having a profound effect on the Haitian electoral process.
The island’s deeply flawed elections — held last August and October, backed by over $33 million in US funding — triggered massive political unrest this past January.
Coming on the heels of Michel Martelly’s disastrous presidency, the elections spotlight how badly Clinton’s attempts as secretary of state to direct Haitian politics have backfired. The unrest caused the final round of balloting to be suspended and sent the US State Department into damage-control mode.
Click HERE for the full text.
When an infectious disease first breaks out, identify the source is a crucial step in stemming the spread of the disease and helping those who are already affected. When cholera broke out in Haiti, however, experts like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that they could not or did not need to identify the source. This lead to a rapid and very deadly spread of cholera, which Haitians had no immunity to because it had never been experienced in Haiti’s history. Well-known epidemiologist Ralph Frerichs discusses his new book on the cover-up.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.The Story Behind The Outbreak Investigation Of Cholera In Haiti
Officials Accused Of Covering Up The Source Of The Outbreak
French Epidemiologist Anointed As “Modern Day John Snow”
The Epidemiology Monitor
Ralph Frerichs, well-known UCLA epidemiologist and creator of an extensive website on John Snow, has spent four years writing a book about the introduction of cholera in Haiti and the medical detective work of French epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux. The Epidemiology Monitor first wrote about Frerichs and his involvement with the cholera outbreak back in 2013. Back then, Frerichs told the Monitor he got “terribly intrigued” by the failure of early investigators to pinpoint conclusively the source of the outbreak. He felt that something was not quite right with the reports he was reading because “I could not believe they could not wrap it up. They were omitting all the basic things and tip-toeing around the findings.”
In 2013, Frerichs was uncertain about whether or not Piarroux was truly a John Snow equivalent. He told us Piarroux was a worthy candidate but he wanted to wait until after the book was finished to decide. His hesitation has now disappeared as he told the Monitor this month, “I am now calling Dr. Renaud Piarroux the ‘modern John Snow’ for his excellent epidemiological manner and skills as described in the book. (See Side by Side Comparison Table in this issue.) When he faced the source of the initial outbreak and immediately recognized that the personnel were serving one of the most powerful organizations in the world, he did not flinch. I was hesitant in case other candidates appeared, but alas, none did. Piarroux was the man, a worthy hero.”
We interviewed Frerichs to get his perspective now that the book has been published.
Click HERE for the interview.
Below is a partial transcript of the UN’s daily press briefing, in which a journalist from Al Jazeera English poses questions to UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq. Haq was questioned about Haiti’s current importance to the United Nations. In particular, he was asked about the intended $2.2 billion fund set up for Haiti cholera that is now less than 20% funded. He was also questioned about the UN Senior Coordinator in charge of the cholera response leaving his position.
—Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
May 25, 2016
Question: Farhan, if I can ask you for an update on what has become a bit of a forgotten crisis, if we go back over three years ago, the Secretary‑General announced that… with the Haitian Government they were going to set up a fund, $2.2 billion, to help the people of Haiti. Given that most experts believe the UN actually brought the cholera to Haiti, is the Secretary‑General upset, even ashamed, that that fund is now still less than 20 per cent funded?
Deputy Spokesman: Well, certainly, as with many of the funds and projects that we have around the world, we want to see them all fully funded, and this is a very clear case where, if you have the right amount of money in place, you can have the right amount of interventions, whether they be vaccinations or improvements in Haiti’s sanitation and health infrastructure. And that could drive the number of new cases and the number of deaths downwards. At the same time, the work that we’re doing is proceeding. I did receive an update from our health agencies on the ground, so the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF are currently supporting the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population in a vaccination campaign against cholera. And the intention is to reach 400,000 people this year. That campaign was launched first on 11 May in a town called Arcahaie, which is north of Port‑au‑Prince. And what the campaign aims is to provide two doses of oral vaccine to some 118,000 people this month and next month. And that vaccine would basically provide between three and five years of protection against cholera. So we’re… that’s kicked off. And for that campaign, for both… for the phases of the campaign this year, we have an initial budget of $3.6 million. And so we’re hoping to get full funding for that. But, yes, you know, we do have continual challenges with funding, but we are pressing the various countries, and we do want them to support the Plan of Action by the Government of Haiti that we’re supporting, and we believe with that, we can continue to bring this downward.
Question: A follow‑up, if I may. You say… you’ve laid out some of the things you’re doing, but is the UN doing enough to try and get this money? The UN had a senior coordinator for the cholera response in Haiti. He left his post last summer. He’s not been replaced. And I… I understand his office has been quietly closed.
Deputy Spokesman: Well, what happened is his office was then… the responsibilities that the official, Mr. Pedro Medrano, had, once he ended his term last summer, those responsibilities were folded back into the work of the country team, and the country team is following up…
Question: So it’s not such a high priority now.
Deputy Spokesman: It remains a high priority. It doesn’t have a separate official, but the officials in‑country are handling it. And they have been getting money. For example, the details I have from their latest document on this is the Haitian humanitarian response plan was launched on 7 April, requesting $20.3 million for 2016 for alert and rapid response. Out of the $20.3 million that was requested for this year, so far $10.5 million are already funded. So we still have a gap of $9.8 million, and we’re pushing for that. But, as you see, it’s not that there’s no money there. There is money that’s been acquired, and we’re trying to put that to use. Yes, Colum?
Click HERE for the full transcript
This article is about IJDH Executive Director, Brian Concannon who recently taught a one-credit course at Whitman College on the topic of human rights advocacy. Although he was initially worried that that his students would not be engaged in the subject area, his fears proved to be wrong. Brian’s students all had glowing reviews about both him and his course.
Brian’s students found his work with Haiti to be fascinating. IJDH’s litigation against the UN for introducing cholera to Haiti and the work that IJDH does with local grassroots movements showed the class that Brian was not simply some “white man wrapped up in a white saviour complex.” In fact, one of Brian’s main takeaways for his students was to think critically about NGOs and humanitarian aid: While giving assistance to countries in need is well-intentioned and charitable, individuals need to think about the sustainability of the project. Although short term solutions seem tempting, it is much more important to use aid towards solutions that do not cripple a country in the long term.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.
—First, Do No Harm
Gillian Frew Whitman College
May 25th, 2016
It was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti six years ago. At Whitman, a workshop on human rights advocacy raises tough questions about aid accountability.
When lawyer and activist Brian Concannon arrived on campus earlier this year to lead a one-credit course called Human Rights Advocacy: How and Why, it felt like familiar terrain for him. A graduate of Middlebury College and Georgetown Law who currently serves as executive director of the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Concannon had little teaching experience to speak of—yet as far as the Socratic ethos of the liberal arts is concerned, he fit right in.
“One of the things that I was a bit worried about coming in was whether students would be engaged in the discussions, and what I’d have to do to get everybody involved,” said Concannon, whose stay was sponsored by the O’Donnell Visiting Educators program, with support from the Ashton J. and Virginia Graham O’Donnell Endowed Chair in Global Studies Endowment.
Click HERE for full text.
A cause de les pluies intenses en Haïti, les cas du choléra, qui a été porté à Haïti par des Casques Bleus en 2010, augmentent. Huit personnes sont morts pendant les dernières semaines. Le Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population a récemment publié un rapport sur le situation.
Une part de l’article est ci-desous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.8 morts à cause du choléra
25 mai 2016
Les pluies intenses à travers le pays ont causé une augmentation des cas de choléra en Haïti.
4 départements, centre, nord, nord-ouest et l’ouest sont en alerte rouge.
Les communes concernées par cette alerte sont Belladères et Mirebalais dans le plateau central, Grande Rivière du Nord, Milot, Pilate et Borgne dans le Nord, Bassin Bleu dans le nord-ouest et Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Tabarre, Cabaret et Gressier dans l’Ouest.
Les pluies intenses des dernières semaines partout à travers le pays ont causé une augmentation des cas de choléra entraînant la mort de 8 citoyens.
Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.
One reason the cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by UN troops proliferated so rapidly is that Haiti has poor water and sanitation infrastructure. There is a national plan in place to rectify this but so far, it has not been very successful. This paper analyzes the barriers to that plan’s success, particularly in the most impoverished areas of Haiti.
The abstract is below. Click HERE for the full paper.Haiti’s progress in achieving its 10-year plan to eliminate cholera: hidden sickness cannot be cured
Vicki Koski-Karrell, Paul Farmer, Louise Ivers, Paul Namphy and others, Dove Press
May 24, 2016
Since the beginning of the cholera epidemic in Haiti 5 years ago, the prevalence of this deadly water-borne disease has fallen far below the initial rates registered during its explosive outset. However, cholera continues to cause extensive suffering and needless deaths across the country, particularly among the poor. The urgent need to eliminate transmission of cholera persists: compared to the same period in 2014, the first 4 months of 2015 saw three times the number of cholera cases. Drawing upon epidemiology, clinical work (and clinical knowledge), policy, ecology, and political economy, and informed by ethnographic data collected in a rural area of Haiti called Bocozel, this paper evaluates the progress of the nation’s 10-year Plan for the Elimination of Cholera. Bocozel is a rice-producing region where most people live in extreme poverty. The irrigation network is decrepit, the land is prone to environmental shocks, fertilizer is not affordable, and the government’s capacity to assist farmers is undermined by resource constraints. When peasants do have rice to sell, the price of domestically grown rice is twice that of US-imported rice. Canal water is not only used to irrigate thousands of acres of rice paddies and sustain livestock, but also to bathe, wash, and play, while water from wells, hand pumps, and the river is used for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Only one out of the three government-sponsored water treatment stations in the research area is still functional and utilized by those who can afford it. Latrines are scarce and often shared by up to 30 people; open defecation remains common. Structural vulnerabilities cut across all sectors – not just water, sanitation, health care, and education, but agriculture, environment, (global and local) commerce, transportation, and governance as well. These are among the hidden sicknesses that impede Haiti and its partners’ capacity to eliminate cholera.
Click HERE for the full paper.
Avec la nouvelle création de la commission de vérification qui a été récemment élu, le president provisoire Jocelerme Privere a pris les rênes tandis que la commission analyse les milliers de bulletins de vote qu’elle a reçus.
La commission a pris un échantillon de 3,235 feuilles de vote à partir d’un total de plus de 13,000 feuilles. Le but de la commission est de vérifier s’il y a des activités frauduleuses qui aurait eu lieu. Selon Mathias Pierre, un ingénieur etcandidat à la présidentielle du Pitit Dessaline, il y a eu des preuves pour une élection truquée. Prétendument, 85 pour cent des procès-verbaux analysés par les membres de la commission eux révèlent des cas de fraudes. Dans un compte rendu composé de 45 votants, 41 votes sont destinés pour le candidat du PHTK, Jovenel Moïse. Mais, seulement 3 citoyens ont été enregistrés sur la list d’émargement.
Pierre croit que le parti PHTK est impliqué et le parti a reçu instructions de l’administration de Martelly.
Cliquez ICI pour l’article complet.Pitit Dessalines attend l’application de l’art 178 pour exclure Jovenel Moïse
Michelson Césaire, Le Nouvelliste
23 mai 2016
Jour J9. Les esprits se chauffent au Centre de tabulation des votes (CTV). Les techniciens restent très concentrés à leurs tâches. Des observateurs de certains partis politiques y sont également. Ils surveillent. Ils attendent de pied ferme le résultat du rapport de la Commission indépendante d’évaluation et de vérification électorale ce 29 mai. Si pour le représentant du parti Fanmi Lavalas au CTV les élections devraient être annulées, le parti Lapeh croit encore dans les travaux des commissaires, dans l’intervalle, la plateforme Pitit Dessalines reste sur le quivive.
Mathias Pierre, allié de Pitit Dessalines, n’y va pas de main morte. « Pas question du PHTK au second tour de la présidentielle ». La Commission de vérification a pour mission d’écarter tous les candidats qui ont bénéficié de fraudes massives lors des élections du 25 octobre », a rappelé celui qui a fait retrait de sa candidature à la présidence.
Cliquez ICI pour l’article complet.
Below is a brief report from one of our partners in Haiti, KOFAVIV, on the current women’s rights situation. The report describes the decrease in rapes since the 2010 earthquake and the need for continued work on the justice system so that more perpetrators are prosecuted.Making Progress in the Fight Against Gender-based Violence
Malya Villard Appolon
On behalf of KOFAVIV, the Commission of Women Victims helping women Victims, I extend our appreciation to everyone who has helped to provide services to women and girls who have been victims of sexual violence in Haiti. The 2010 earthquake led to significant increase in insecurity and impoverishment in a country already coping with economic hardship and instability. The natural disaster impacted negatively the nation as a whole, where everyone was grieving over the loss of a loved one, their homes, or both. People had to take shelter in public areas or parks as the government didn’t have the resources to safeguard affected individuals and areas.
As a result, there was a rapid increase in the number of women and girls who were attacked in the months after the earthquake shattered Haiti.
We are happy to report that the number of incidents documented by KOFAVIV have steadily decreased from 2010 to 2015:
Sadly, the ratio of arrests to incidents remains relative low due to a justice system that has meager technical and human capital resources. In too many cases, there is still no justice for victims and their families. However, with the financial assistance of the supporters of the Goldin Institute, we are making progress.
Thanks to your support, charges have been pressed against a small but growing percentage of defendants who have been prosecuted and convicted. Moreover, the Goldin Institute’s team of male sensitization agents continues to provide physical security within our facilities as they continue their outreach programs to bring anti-GBV awareness.
The team is working together to ensure that victims are encouraged to come forward swiftly, get medical and pyscho-social assistance, and press charges within 72 hours at local precinct. These interventions and services are crucial. Sadly, our team was needed on March 30th when an infant (2 years 6 months old) was raped by a young 22 year old man. The defendant was convicted of rape is currently serving 15 years in prison. The conviction is significant for the family and also the justice system. Although the family wasn’t able to afford a lawyer our partners at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti provided pro-bono legal services to the victim and her family every step of the way and succeeded in obtaining a measure of justice.
We have built crucial relationships with the Police captains in Port-au-Prince, Potay St Joseph and precinct Potay Leoganne, where increased police action has resulted in defendants who have been arrested for alleged rape charges against women and adolescents. Too often, however, the defendants are released before the victims even get home, which endangers the victims’ lives. This year, we will target people and organizations in Haiti who can help make a difference, such as the Chief of Police, governmental representatives, the Minister of Justice, media outlets and hospitals. We will continue the outreach programs in prevalent areas and camps such as Petion Ville, Matisan, Cite Solei, Kafou Fey, Gran Ravinn, Tibwa, Gran Gwav, Laskawobas and Okay Maniche.
We hope to continue this year and many years to come with these outreach programs because of the ongoing success, even in the most vulnerable communities. Hopefully, the outreach programs will help build awareness and action from all sectors, public and private, and to make our neighborhoods a healthy environment for our women, young girls and their families.
Malya Villard appolon
Click HERE for the original post.
Attend this event coordinated by the African Repertory Troupe (ART) with Toussaint Louverture in costume interacting with Mattapan square residents live in the streets and in their local businesses (3 to 5pm). Then enjoy paintings of Toussaint by Ducheine, Pascal Michel, Jean Claude Sainté and other artists and have pictures taken with Toussaint at the Mattapan Square Police building (5 to 7pm). Children welcome.
Friday, May 20, 2016
3 to 6pm
Click HERE for the flyer.
Supporters of PHTK, former president Martelly’s party have spoken out in support of Guy Philippe, a Senate candidate who is wanted by the US Drug Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking. The supporters say that Philippe was not responsible for the attack against a major police station, as one of the attackers alleged.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Les Cayes attack: Martelly supporters solidarity with Guy Philippe
May 20, 2016
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Ouest, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Supporters of the former Martelly regime held a press conference Friday to lend their support and solidarity to Guy Philippe, a fugitive of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who is accused of having orchestrated a terror attack on the departmental police station in Les Cayes, Haiti on Monday.
Officials from Repons Peyizan, the political party former President Michel Martelly rode to power, Viktwa and Baz Tet Kale, said they rejected the accusations being launched against Guy Philippe, who is a candidate for senate for Grand’Anse under the party KLE.
Click HERE for the full text.
As concerns increase that Haiti’s interim president is trying to hold onto power indefinitely, he addressed the nation on Flag Day to reassure them that the elections will happen. An electoral verification commission is currently analyzing the past rounds of elections due to allegations of rampant fraud, to make sure that the process is truly democratic.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Interim President in Haiti calls for patience amidst election deadlock
Linnete Bahati, AfricaNews
May 19, 2015
Haiti’s Interim President Joclerme Privert has called on the country to be patient as preparations are underway for another round of presidential elections.
Speaking during the Flag Day celebrations, the temporary leader assured the population of his commitment for the polls to take place as soon as possible.
“I am calling on you all to be patient. The electoral tribunal announced the publication of the calendar for the 15th or 31st of May. The electoral tribunal is saying what the people have been waiting for. The electoral verification commission, which has a one-month mandate, has also said that the people are waiting for the results of their work. I hope that the electoral process is definitively re-launched,” he said.
Click HERE for the full text.
Before dawn on May 16, a group of paramilitaries attacked the police station in Haiti’s third-largest city, resulting in four deaths and many injuries. An interview with one of the attackers, Théléus, revealed that they were under the command of Guy Philippe, a Senate candidate who helped lead the 2004 coup d’ état and is wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for drug trafficking. Théléus said that this attack is part of a larger plan to attack police stations all over Haiti, create havoc, and overthrow the provisional president.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Guy Philippe’s Paramilitaries Launch Deadly Attack Against the Aux Cayes Police Station
Yves Pierre-Louis, Haïti Liberté
May 18, 2016
In the hours before dawn on Mon., May 16, 2016, heavily armed assailants, dressed in green and camouflage army uniforms, attacked the main police station in Aux Cayes, Haiti’s third largest city. The toll was heavy. One policeman and four attackers were killed, and several were wounded on both sides.
At the station, the attackers killed police officer Tisson Jean Pierre, assigned to the Departmental Unit for the Maintenance of Order (UDMO), police said.
Another policeman, Wendy Dorléan, was seriously wounded and rushed to the hospital. Officer Pierre Jeannot and an agent of the National Penitentiary Administration (APENA) were slightly wounded. Other police officers were handcuffed and brutalized inside the police station. The assailants sacked the office of the station’s chief and hauled off heavy weapons, fleeing towards the town of Pestel, where paramilitary chieftain and Senate candidate Guy Philippe has holed up for years.
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In 2015, the Dominican Republic (DR) got international backlash for new regulations that stripped citizenship from over 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent. In response, DR created a law to help these people back to full citizenship, but only a small fraction were able to make it through the bureaucratic hurdles. Now, the majority are not only unable to vote but part of the group (Group B) may have no way to attain citizenship, as these people were forced to register as foreigners and obtain a foreign ID, though they were born in DR. While political candidates continue to avoid these issues, Reconoci.do is working to make sure that they can come into public dialogue so that Dominicans of Haitian descent, especially those in Group B, can exercise their right to vote and even run for public office to protect their rights in the future.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Tens Of Thousands Of Dominicans Of Haitian Descent Were Unable To Vote In Yesterday’s Elections
Jonathan DiMaio, Remezcla
May 16, 2016
On May 15, the Dominican Republic held its general elections for presidency, vice presidency, congress, and municipal leaders. But not all Dominicans of voting age were allowed to vote. In spring and summer of 2015, the Dominican government’s plan to deport and expel tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent gained international attention and condemnation. By the end of the year, the Dominican government deported thousands of people to Haiti, some of whom qualified as Dominican citizens, and today many Dominicans of Haitian descent who live in the Dominican Republic cannot vote because they are denied documentation. I recently sat down with Ana Maria Belique, an internationally recognized human and civil rights advocate and a founder and leader of Reconoci.do, an organization that advocates for full citizenship for Dominicans who have been stripped of or are at risk of losing their citizenship because of their Haitian ancestry. I asked Ana Maria about developments in the country, in particular Dominicans of Haitian descent’s movement for full citizenship.
Before diving into the interview, below you can catch up on the complicated circumstances and recent events leading to the current situation in the Dominican Republic. If you’re up to date, skip to the interview after the jump:
Click HERE for the full text.
Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights – Washington, DC
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is accepting applications for an immediate opening for a Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean within its advocacy and litigation program.
The Program Officer will work with the Partners for Human Rights Programs Director and Managing Attorney to develop and implement advocacy and capacity-building programs on human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as support strategic litigation on human rights cases in the region. Primary thematic areas of work will include protecting civil and political participation, combating discrimination in access to citizenship, as well as ending gender-based violence and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
We are receiving applications on a rolling basis and the start date will be June 1. This is a full-time position funded through December 2016 and may be subject to extension depending on funding availability. Salary commensurate with work experience. Authorization to work in the U.S. required. If interested please e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to: email@example.com , with the subject line: Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean.
No calls please. Thank you for your interest.
Click HERE for the full position description.
Based on an early-February agreement, Haiti’s next president was supposed to be sworn in on May 14. As the deadline neared and passed, members of Haiti’s Parliament are becoming increasingly nervous about whether the interim president, Privert, is planning to try to hold on to power. Privert says that the delays are meant to allow the verification of the previous rounds of elections but hasn’t yet given a time-frame for the next round of elections.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.Haiti’s Parliament to meet in emergency session on Tuesday
May 15, 2016
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – Haiti’s Interim President Jocelerme Privert has called an emergency meeting of Parliament on Tuesday to discuss a number of issues amid fears by opposition politicians that he could use the occasion to further delay presidential elections in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.
According to the decree issued by Privert, the Parliament with many of the law makers on annual leave, will discuss issues ranging from the draft penal code to a law creating a basic public service in communal sections.
But political observers note that “nothing appears in the agenda concerning the non-holding of elections provided for in the agreement of 6 February”.
Click HERE for the full text.