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Stateless Dominicans Still Face Fears of Deportation

April 9, 2015 - 07:40

Racial tensions have been increasing between Haiti and the Dominican Republic for decades and many fear that over 100,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent may soon be deported. This article describes the current and past conflicts related to immigration, statelessness and racism, which have led us to this point.

Fate of Haitians left hanging in the Dominican Republic

Hisham Ali, Al Jazeera
April 9, 2015

On March 17, the Dominican Republic reopened its consulates in Haiti after weeks of tension and negotiations. The diplomatic outposts had been closed two weeks earlier after thousands of people in the Haitian capital marched from the foreign ministry to the Dominican embassy, protesting the killing of a Haitian man a few days earlier in Santiago, a city in the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

Young men climbed the roof of the diplomatic building in Port-au-Prince and – in retaliation for the burning of a Haitian flag in Santiago – burned a Dominican flag, and tried to raise a Haitian one in its place. Dominican officials subsequently closed their five consulates in Haiti and withdrew their ambassador claiming that the unrest endangered the lives of its diplomatic staff. But last week Dominican officials declared that the Dominican ambassador would return and the consulates would reopen after the Haitian government had agreed to increase security at the diplomatic missions.

This latest flare-up surrounding the status of Haitians in the Dominican Republic comes in the wake of a particularly gruesome hate crime. On February 11, the corpse of a Haitian man was found hanging from a tree – hands and feet bound – in a park in Santiago.

The young man was identified as Henry Claude Jean (better known as Tulile), and worked shining shoes in Ercilia Pepin Park. The Santiago police declared over social media that they “rejected racism as a motive”, suggesting that he was killed by fellow Haitians over a lottery ticket.

Robbery claim

The victim’s family – and human rights activists in Haiti and elsewhere - rejected this robbery claim, arguing that the recent spike in “anti-Haitianism” is the result of long-standing hostility towards and mistreatment of Haitians in Dominican society.

For generations, Haitians have worked in the Dominican Republic doing low-skill, back-breaking work, often coming under harassment, if not outright attack – as occurred in the so-called Parsley Massacre of 1937, when thousands of Haitians were killed under the orders of dictator Rafael Trujillo.

In a letter to his Dominican counterpart, the Haitian Foreign Minister Duly Brutus denounced the recent burning of the Haitian flag, and called on Dominican officials “to respect the fundamental rights of every Haitian in the Dominican Republic”.

The place of Haitians in the Dominican Republic has been in the news of late, because in September 2013, the Dominican constitutional court ruled that people born to illegal migrants do not have a right to citizenship – even if they were born and lived in the country all their lives.

The court ordered a review of the Dominican Republic’s birth records and civil registry, starting from June 1929, to assess who can qualify for citizenship. This court decision sparked an international outcry, and the Dominican government was denounced for its “Negrophobia” – given that the ruling disproportionately affects people of Haitian descent.

As the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees then warned, the court’s decision “may deprive tens of thousands of people of nationality, virtually all of them of Haitian descent”.

‘Foreigners in transit’

The Dominican government used to grant citizenship to all those born in the country, with the exception of children born to foreign diplomats and foreigners “in transit”, that is people who were in the country but on their way to another country.

But over the decades, the category of “foreigners in transit” has been more narrowly defined. In 2004, a new Migration Law expanded the category of “foreigners in transit” to include non-residents, such asundocumented Haitian migrants.

Dominican officials then began refusing to grant certified copies of birth certificates to the Dominican-born children of Haitian immigrants. In 2005, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights denounced the Dominican government for denying birth certificates to two young Dominican girls of Haitian descent, in contravention of the American Convention on Human Rights.

But there is domestic opposition to granting Haitian migrants and their children citizenship. On the day before the Haitian man’s body was found, a group of Dominican nationalists gathered in Santiago calling for the deportation of Haitian migrants.

In response to the widespread criticism, in May 2014, the Dominican Senate approved a law creating a path for people of Haitian descent – thrown into legal limbo by the 2013 law – to normalise their status and apply for citizenship. Dominican authorities have since declared that by June 2015 they will resume deporting people who have not legalised their status. Thus far less than 10,000 people have applied for naturalisation under the new law.

Human right groups are warning that tens of thousands of individuals born in the Dominican Republic, mostly of Haitian descent, are at risk of expulsion.

Hisham Aidi teaches at Columbia University. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture, a study of black internationalism and global youth culture.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

 

Click HERE for the original article.

April 2015 Update

April 9, 2015 - 07:02

Over 100k Haitian-Descended Dominicans at Risk of Deportation

April 8, 2015 - 08:24

In September 2013, a Dominican Republic Constitutional court issued a ruling that retroactively stripped citizenship from hundreds of thousands of Haitian descent. Many were shocked but many also recognized it as part of a long history of racism and discrimination against Haitians and their descendants in DR. After much international pressure, DR agreed to establish a regularization/naturalization program but it hasn’t been effective. Now over 100,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent are at risk of deportation.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

How a group of Dominicans were stripped of their nationality and now face expulsion to Haiti

Eve Hayes de Kalaf, The Conversation
April 8, 2015

Just because people feel that they are a national of a country does not mean the state necessarily agrees. While tourists flock to the Dominican Republic – the most visiteddestination in the Caribbean – few are aware of the struggle that tens of thousands of people are currently facing to prove their right to a Dominican nationality.

Born and raised in the country, many had the birth certificates, ID cards and passports to prove it. Yet the state is claiming that for over 80 years a bureaucratic mistake led them to issue this documentation. Those affected have been left stateless.

The DR shares an island with Haiti. For almost a century Haitians were a cheap source of labour for the sugar industry. As economic interests shifted, migrants and their descendants moved into different professions from construction to domestic labour. Tens of thousands settled in the country and had children. Their children had children.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Other Worlds Seeks “Another Haiti is Possible Coordinator”

April 8, 2015 - 06:49

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT:

ANOTHER HAITI IS POSSIBLE COORDINATOR

April 8, 2015

Organizational Description: Other Worlds is a women-driven education and movement-support collaborative. We inspire hope and knowledge that other worlds are possible, and also help build them. We compile and bring to light just alternatives that are flourishing throughout the world, and open up new pathways for the public to adapt and integrate them. Globally, we support the movements that are propelling the alternatives. In the U.S., we seek to draw in new participants and strengthen existent efforts for economic, social, and gender justice; environmentally sound systems; and participatory democracy.

Job Description: The Another Haiti Is Possible Coordinator advances Other Worlds’ political and programmatic objectives in Haiti. These include: (a) strengthening struggles of movements there, in ways they themselves identify, for democracy, land security, food sovereignty, gender justice, and human rights; (b) providing information and other support that the movements need; (c) creating a better international understanding of Haiti and what is at stake; and (d) building the political engagement of international allies.

The Another Haiti Is Possible Coordinator’s primary work will be to co-plan and coordinate – following the lead of Haitian allies – an international campaign to protect land rights against massive grabs being promulgated by foreign investors, Haitian elite, and Haitian government (with strong backing of the US, World Bank, and IDB). The campaign will both fortify Haitians’ efforts and add global muscle. The coordinator’s work will guide popular and public education, strategy development, media work, movement support, network-building, coordination of international advocacy, and organizing. It will also involve a political campaign against one or two targets, be it/they a corporation, US government, or IFI. Because Other Worlds is so small, a focus will be on finding key players who can carry various pieces of the work.

The Another Haiti Is Possible Coordinator will also play a key role in fundraising for the land rights campaign.

Job Requirements:

  • Fierce and proven commitment to economic and social justice, and leadership by movements of those directly impacted;
  • Strong familiarity with Haiti and social movements;
  • Excellent strategic thinking and execution;
  • At least three years of experience in grassroots advocacy, organizing, and/or campaigning, preferably involving both Haitians and U.S. allies;
  • Ability to attend to the large and the small, managing a grand strategy without losing sight of the details;
  • Good human relations, communication, and writing skills;
  • The ability to work independently while being accountable to a team;
  • Fluency in English and Creole. Spanish a plus.

Location: Oakland, CA, with regular travel to Haiti.

Start Time: Immediate.

Time Commitment: Full-time.

Salary and Benefits: Salary commensurate with experience (or as best as a small collaborative can do). Flexible hours, generous vacation and holiday policies, full health coverage.

To apply: Please send a cover letter explaining interest and qualifications, a resume, and three references to info.otherworlds@gmail.com.

Other Worlds is an equal opportunity employer. People of color and people from the global South are strongly encouraged to apply.

Haitian Perspectives in Film: Premiere Screening & Discussion

April 7, 2015 - 16:00

In Boston: see Haitians’ perspectives on post-quake relief efforts, through film.

WHAT:

View a number of new Haitian-made films portraying the Haitian experience of the post-earthquake reconstruction.  Michael Sheridan has an outstanding reputation as a documentary filmmaker and trained Haitians to produce these films so that their voices could be heard. Going beyond disaster reporting, these films seek to include the experiences and points of view of Haitians in the international conversation about what has and has not happened since the 7.0 earthquake 5 years ago.  The films will also be used to increase dialogue and influence public policy internationally and in Haiti regarding effective foreign aid and sustainable development.

WHERE:

Jamaica Plain Forum
6 Eliot Street
Boston, MA

WHEN:

7-9pm
Tuesday April 7, 2015

 

Click HERE for more information.

Forum Sur Les Relations Haitiano Dominicaines

April 4, 2015 - 14:00

Attend this Miami forum on the crisis of Haitian-Dominicans in the Dominican Republic.

WHAT:

Rev. Edwin Paraison is continuing with the campaign in the Diaspora Communities about the “Forum sur les Relations Haitiano Dominicaines”.  He will be in Miami this weekend. He will be joined by Edwidge Danticat on Saturday April 4 to conduct a Town Hall meeting on the issue. Please feel free to join, share and circulate.  It is important to spread the word.

WHERE:

6744 North Miami Ave
(St. Paul et les Martyrs d’Haiti, Salon pariossial)
Miami, FL 33150

WHEN:

5-8pm
Saturday, April 4, 2015

Contradictory Poll Examines Popular Opinion on Martelly Government

April 3, 2015 - 11:29

Recent headlines have reported that Haitian President Martelly’s approval ratings are above 50%. This didn’t make sense given that there have been continuous protests against the current government for months. This article analyzes possible reasons for this inconsistency, including flaws in the methodology of polling and the fact that the poll was conducted by a man with former government ties.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Poll: Majority of Haitians Say Country “Headed in the Wrong Direction”

Center for Economic and Policy Research
April 3, 2015

A new opinion poll, reported on Wednesday by Jacqueline Charles of The Miami Herald, reveals that while Haitian President Michel Martelly’s personal approval rating remains high, more than 50 percent of respondents thought the country was “headed in the wrong direction.” The Herald reports:

Martelly, who will begin the final year of his five-year term in May, got a 57 percent job approval rating. But it’s an open question whether his popularity will give his choice of presidential candidate the win. Martelly is barred from running again, and Haitians are waiting to see which candidate gets his support.

More than half of Haitians believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, while nearly 70 percent do not believe things are going well today.

Eduardo Gamarra, a professor at Florida International University who conducted the poll (PDF), told the Herald that “members of the private sector” funded the poll and had contracted him to do a number of polls over the past few years. Gamarra was also an advisor to the Government of Haiti, contracted by the Ministry of Planning, until August 2014.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Haitian American Caucus Seeks Executive Assistant

April 1, 2015 - 09:01

The Haitian American Caucus (HAC)- US is a grassroots movement of leading young Haitian professionals whose mission is to provide the Haitian Diaspora in New York City with access to information and resources that will foster self-development and success. Advocacy and services are at the core of all of our initiatives. Our goal is to improve the reputation and visibility of Haitian Americans by breaking barriers we face in America. We are dedicated to educating young Haitian professionals and providing them with essential tools to ensure success in their personal and professional lives.

SEEKING: Full-time interns in New York City who are looking to work hard to help develop and grow the organization.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Executive Director (ED) assistance may include, but not be limited to:

  • Manage & maintain day-to-day calendars & itineraries for Executive Director
  • Maintain & update files & assets
  • Provide on-site assistance for ED as needed and/or directed
  • Create or assist with creating event flyers for social media
  • Create & maintain event/workshop guest lists
  • Send out announcements/press releases to media & company contacts
  • Create & help update monthly newsletters to blast to media & company contacts
  • Provide on-site production assistance for events as needed and/or directed

Administration / Back Office assistance may include, but not be limited to:

  • Send & track information to HAC Administration & Support Staff
  • Maintain & update ED calendar

Social Media/Digital assistance may include but not be limited to:

  • Curating daily content & posts for Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr & Facebook
  • Help Communications Director maintain & update website as needed
  • Assist with capturing & editing video content for Youtube Channel

Working smart and hard is the key to moving ahead here at HAC. At times you will be asked to follow specific instructions, and at other times you will need to think on your feet and self-direct/think outside the box. This would be a non-paid internship position to start, with hope for and room to grow into a full-time paid Assistant position.

Please send resumes and/or relevant portfolios to TInnocent@hacus.org to apply for a position and schedule an interview.

World Bank Pursues Mining Goals Despite Civil Society Objections

March 31, 2015 - 12:06

The World Bank has been involved in beginning mining projects in Haiti. This, despite 92 civil society organizations signing a letter to World Bank outlining the issues with mining in Haiti and their desire to be included in mining-related decisions. The World Bank rejected their claims and continues to be involved with the mining sector. This article also discusses World Bank involvement in mining in Honduras and Armenia.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

World Bank support for mining expansion criticised

Bretton Woods Project
March 31, 2015

Despite civil society criticism of World Bank-supported large-scale mining activities, the Bank is still involved in controversial extractives projects (see Observer Summer 2014Bulletin Dec 2013). Local and international campaigners argue that, through technical assistance, the Bank facilitates the opening up of countries’ extractive industries to transnational companies over supporting domestic industry; and doing so without providing governments with the tools to adequately protect marginalised communities against harmful social and environmental consequences of projects originating from Bank technical support.

Haiti: CSOs concerned by Bank’s role

Since 2013 the Bank has provided technical assistance to the Haitian government in drafting new mining laws intended to increase foreign investment in the sector under the Extractive Industries Technical Advisory Facility (see Bulletin Dec 2013). In March, a letter to Bank president Jim Yong Kim, signed by 92 civil society organisations and individuals, expressed deep concern that the Bank “is helping to develop Haiti’s mining sector, an inherently high-risk industry, without applying any social or environmental standards to ensure transparency and meaningful public participation.”

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Welcome to the IJDH/BAI Community

March 31, 2015 - 07:16

Thank you for signing up for IJDH’s email list. Once a month, you will receive an email with the latest news on our work. You will also receive notifications of events in your area or breaking news a couple times a month. If you’d like to hear more about any of our programs, let us know! In the meantime, feel free to learn more about us, donate, or volunteer.

Brian Concannon, Mario Joseph, and some BAI staff travel to a remote village for the Civic Engagement Project.

Another Contractor Suspended for Faulty USAID Housing

March 30, 2015 - 13:49

CEEPCO Contracting, which USAID used for their poorly-constructed Caracol housing project, has now been suspended. This comes after USAID extended CEEPCO’s contract in 2014, despite knowing about the construction problems. All of the houses suffer from construction problems including concrete that is below the required PSI. This is especially worrisome as such poorly-constructed housing was a major cause of the massive death- and injury toll of the 2010 earthquake.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Second USAID Contractor Suspended Following Caracol Housing Debacle

Center for Economic and Policy Research
March 30, 2015

On March 25, 2015, USAID suspended CEEPCO Contracting – which had been working on shelter programs in Haiti –from receiving further government contracts, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation. CEEPCO joins Thor Construction, which was suspended in early February. The investigation concerns faulty construction practices related to 750 houses built in Caracol, Haiti by USAID. CEPR Research Associate Jake Johnston reported in February for VICE News:

CEEPCO’s CEO is Harold Charles, a Haitian-American who was formerly one of the Haitian government’s representatives to the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC), run by Bill Clinton and meant to be in charge of the $10 billion in earthquake relief. The IHRC had initially approved the USAID shelter program back in December 2010.

Charles also enjoys a close, personal relationship with Haitian President Michel Martelly. In an interview in 2013, Charles said, “I do know and have very close friends up through the highest ranks of government,” adding, “Martelly is a childhood friend of mine.” One former government official in Haiti said in an interview, “this was seen as a deal that would please Martelly.”

Despite the initial assessment in August, 2014 that revealed the construction problems, USAID extended CEEPCO’s contract for work at other shelter sites in Haiti this past January.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Hastings Law Students Partner with Haitian Law Students

March 30, 2015 - 11:17

Over their spring break, a delegation of 9 students from UC Hastings College of the Law went to Haiti to support Haiti’s legal education system and engage in human rights advocacy. The trip was led by IJDH’s own Nicole Phillips, along with another Hastings professor. Among the activities during the trip, the Hastings students learned from BAI about the cholera case and BAI’s response to rapes of poor women and girls. As Mildred Aristide pointed out about trips like these: “Aid can only go so far. Training partnerships are more effective and are what’s needed.”

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Not Your Typical Spring Break The Hastings to Haiti Partnership Delegation spent the week engaging with Haitian law students and legal organizations.

UC Hastings College of the Law
March 30, 2015

“For many, Haiti evokes images of devastation and poverty,” wrote 3L Jessica Huang in an email after returning from spring break.

“But to me, Haiti represents perseverance. It is a country of great joy, even in the face of unyielding hardship.” Huang has been to Haiti three times, twice as a student leader for HHP. Each time she said she finds it “overwhelming and exciting.”

Huang and seven other students were selected to go on the nine-day trip to Port-au-Prince and Jérémie, led by Professor Nicole Phillips and accompanied by Professor Richard Boswell, who established the partnership with Professor Karen Musalo in the late 1990s. The purpose of the delegation, which raises its own travel funds, is to support the country’s legal education system and engage in human rights advocacy.On the nearly annual trips, students visit École Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie (ESCDROJ), the only law school in Haiti dedicated to preparing students to serve the public interest.

Click HERE for the full text.

Cholera Cases Doubled in First Months of 2015

March 30, 2015 - 08:14

20 communes in Haiti are on red alert as cholera cases so far this year have double compared to last year. Clean water and proper sanitation continue to be major problems, causing cholera to persist in Haiti. The Pan American Health Organization is calling for increased financing but the United Nations (UN) continues to struggle to raise water and sanitation funds. Many believe that the lack of UN accountability for the epidemic is to blame for the funding trouble.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti: Cholera cases double from previous year

Samuel Maxime, Haiti Sentinel
March 30, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Experts say Cholera will continue to kill and infect citizens as long as they lack access to clean water and sanitation. This information comes as suspected cases and deaths have doubled in January and February compared to the year prior and twenty of the nation’s communes are on red alert.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reports that during the first two months of this year, cholera cases totaled 7,225, including 86 deaths – higher than recorded during the same period in 2012 and 2014. The resurgence of the disease began in October of last year and has continued on.

….

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Les craintes de résurgence du choléra en Haïti

March 28, 2015 - 05:56

Le Ministère de la santé a récemment publié des statistiques sur le choléra en Haïti. Ces statistiques indiquent une résurgence du choléra si les précautions nécessaires, telles que la décontamination de l’eau et des sérums orals, ne sont pas prises. Jusqu’ici, presque 9,000 personnes sont mortes du choléra et plus de 730,000 haïtiens ont été affectés.

Partie de l’article est ci dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Haïti – Choléra : 20 communes en alerte rouge

HaitiLibre
28 mars 2015

 Les statistiques publiées par le Ministère de la santé publique et de la population (MSPP) indiquent une augmentation du nombre de cas de choléra vus pour le début de cette année. En effet, durant les 9 premières semaines épidémiologiques (Du 1er janvier au 28 février 2015), 7,833 cas suspects (4,149 en janvier 2015 et 3,684 en février 2015 comparé à 1629 en janvier 2014 et 1259 en février 2014) et 72 décès ont été enregistrés.

De plus le MSPP indique, qu’une vingtaine de communes sont déjà en alerte rouge où plus 440 cas vus ont été déjà répertoriés pour la 10e semaine épidémiologique (du 3 au 9 mars 2015). La situation est beaucoup plus critique dans les communes de Port-au-Prince (65 cas), St Marc (60 cas), Cabaret (47 cas) et Tabarre (40 cas).

 

Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

“Angaje” Dance Series in Boston

March 27, 2015 - 17:00

Join Jean Appolon Expressions in Boston for a justice-themed dance series.

WHAT:

Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE) is a Haitian contemporary dance company directed by Jean Appolon. Combining Modern technique, Haitian folkloric dance and live percussion, JAE inspires and educates audiences about Haitian culture, traditions and current issues. “Angaje,” (“committed” or “engage”), will explore themes of injustice, inequality and homophobia in the context of contemporary Haiti.

WHERE:

Plaza Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

WHEN:

8pm
March 27 and 28, 2015

 

Click HERE for more on JAE and this event.

HFRP Program Information Session

March 26, 2015 - 14:30

Miami: Learn about Haitian Family Reunification in this info session.

WHAT:

An information session in Haitian Creole, on the newly-implemented Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program. This event is free and open to the public. Email Berta.M.Cassidy@uscis.dhs.gov with any questions.

WHERE:

Catholic Charities
Pierre Toussaint Center
9920 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami Shores, FL 33138

WHEN:

Thursday, March 26, 2015
5:30 – 7:00pm

 

Click HERE for the flyer.

105 partis politiques restent dans la course présidentielle d’Haïti

March 26, 2015 - 11:03

À l’origine, environ 192 partis et groupements politiques ont enregistrés pour les élections présidentielles de 2015. Maintenant, ils sont 105 qui ont un dossier en conformité avec les dispositions du Décret électoral en ses articles 100 et suivants. La date limite pour eux de répondre à ces exigences est 27 mars à 4h00 p.m. Cet article contient la liste des 105 groupes qui se qualifient.

Partie de l’article est ci dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Haïti – Élections : Liste complète des Partis politiques agréés et non agréés

HaitiLibre
March 26, 2015

Conformément à l’article 102 du Décret électoral du 2 mars 2015 et dans le cadre de l’exécution du Calendrier électoral, le Conseil Électoral Provisoire (CEP), publie la liste des partis et groupements politiques régulièrement enregistrés, habilités à participer aux prochaines compétitions électorales.

Le Conseil Électoral, précise dans une note signée par Pierre-Louis Opont, Président, Pierre Manigat Jr., Vice-président ; Vijonet Demero, Secrétaire Général ; Richardo Augustin, Trésorier et des membres Yolette Mengual, Marie Carmel Paul Austin, Néhémy Joseph, Lourdes Edith Joseph et Jaccéus Joseph, que 105 partis et groupements politiques ont un dossier en conformité avec les dispositions du Décret électoral en ses articles 100 et suivants. Télécharger le décret électoral : http://www.haitilibre.com/docs/decretelectoral2015.pdf

 

Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Cholera Struck 1,000 per Week Since January

March 26, 2015 - 09:02

The cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers continues to plague the small nation. So far in 2015, there have been 1,000 new cases each week. The UN also continues to struggle to raise the necessary funds for improved water and sanitation, which would help end the epidemic. We are currently in the appeals process, to get the UN to take responsibility for the damage epidemic.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti finds 1,000 new cases of cholera per week in first months of 2015

Circa
March 26, 2015

According to the UN, Haiti remains “the largest cholera epidemic in the Western Hemisphere.”

A UN official in Haiti, Sandra Honore, told the UN Security Council March 18 that the country is on its way to holding general elections, noting, however, that “lingering” problems such as the ongoing cholera epidemic remain. In the first two months of 2015, the government of Haiti reported an average of 1,000 new cases of cholera a week.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Hillary Clinton Should Denounce Negative Impact of Haiti Mining

March 25, 2015 - 14:01

Hillary Clinton recently came under fire for her brother’s involvement with mining contracts in Haiti, because of her position as Secretary of State and the influence of the Clinton Foundation. This article advises her to focus on the devastating environmental impacts mining would have in Haiti, a country whose environment is already very unstable. It focuses particularly on the negative effect of mining on clean water, which Haiti struggled with even before UN peacekeepers brought cholera to the island.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Advice for Hillary Clinton on Her Brother’s Bad Judgment

John Cavanagh, The Nation
March 25, 2015

The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, is on the advisory board of a company that is trying to mine gold in Haiti. No one should be judged based on decisions made by family members, but here is why Hillary Clinton is in the middle of this story and needs to act quickly.

Tony Rodham met VCS Mining’s chief executive, Angelo Viard, in 2012 at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), part of the Clinton Foundation, where Hillary serves on the Board of Directors. Viard admitted to the Post that he paid the $20,000 entry fee to the Initiative because he thought he could drum up business deals. It’s not clear from the Post story whether Tony Rodham also paid an entry fee for himself, but the meeting between the two delivered a potential financial bonanza for Rodham. As a board member, he holds stock options that will become extremely valuable if the mine comes on line.

There are two problems here. The first is that the Clinton Global Initiative’s integrity is tarnished when some corporate executives are drawn to it out of profit motives rather than charitable ones. Viard told the Post he attended as “a pure marketing operation.”

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Farmers Pushed Off Land for Haiti Industrial Park

March 25, 2015 - 12:28

 

The USAID-funded Caracol Industrial Park has been under fire for its failure to live up to the promises made after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. This article sheds light on the failure from a different angle–the challenge to the self-sufficiency of Haiti’s farmers. Over 1,000 were forced off the land to make way for this Park, which is way outside the earthquake-affected area to begin with. If Haitian’s can’t feed themselves, they will continue to be dependent on foreign aid.

Measuring success in Haiti

Marie Clarke Brill, The Washington Post
March 25, 2015

The March 21 front-page article “The Clinton effect: Light and shadow” rightly picked up on the failure of the Caracol Industrial Park but failed to mention the biggest scandal of this Clinton-championed project: More than 1,000 farmers were forced off their land with only a few days’ notice to make way for the park, which was built on some of Haiti’s most fertile land.

Instead of consulting the communities on the kind of support needed, more than $170 million of U.S. emergency aid was spent building the park in an area far outside the earthquake disaster zone.

Five years on, only 4,500 jobs have been created — far short of the 65,000 projected by the State Department. And farmers still have not been properly compensated.

This flagship project for U.S. aid to Haiti is an expensive mistake, with farmers unable to access the land they need to grow food, graze their animals and generate income.

With Haiti struggling to feed its people, donors must invest in Haitian smallholder farmers so they can feed the country, not shove them aside to make a quick buck for foreign investors and local elites.

Marie Clarke Brill, Washington

The writer is executive director of ActionAid USA.

In the first paragraph of “The Clinton effect: Light and shadow,” we learned of a successful Clinton Foundation intervention that increased yields for peanut farmers, but this success is balanced in the second paragraph by the tale of a disappointed worker who cannot get a job at a foundation-supported “struggling industrial park,” implying that this foundation effort did no good. One industry that opened in the park employs 4,500 Haitians. True, had it been able to employ 9,000, the woman mentioned might have gotten a job, but the persistence of disappointed job seekers hardly means the foundation’s effort did little good.

 

Click HERE for the original.