- News & Reports
- Take action
- Donate to CHAN Site
Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Updated: 51 min 30 sec ago
While billions were pledged to help reconstruct Haiti and provide emergency aid after the 2010 earthquake, it’s still unclear where the money has gone in most cases. What we do know is that many organizations used the vast majority of the money for their own overhead, instead of funding housing and useful medical supplies. Worst of all, the UN brought cholera to Haiti and still denies culpability.Haiti special report: Just where did the money go?
Jason O’Brien, Independent.ie
February 17, 2014
FROM the roof of the five-star Occidental Oasis hotel in Port-au-Prince – where they are currently adding an outdoor swimming pool – your eyes are immediately drawn to the Jalousie neighbourhood a couple of miles away.
It is a breathtaking sight.
Greens, pinks, blues, yellows, purples, reds – the thousands of brightly-coloured small houses built into the side of the steep Morne L’Hopital mountain appear to merge together, and from this distance it has the dramatic and pleasing look of a painting by the Haitian artist Prefete Duffaut.
It’s not a coincidence.
Fifteen minutes later, the effect is rather less magical as we experience Jalousie from the inside – trudging up rough steps in the almost-vertical slum, avoiding dirty water rushing down having been told there is no sanitation, and questioning the wisdom of leaving the car in an area synonymous with extreme poverty and violence.
“We call it ‘the Botox’,” says Marc Mondesir (32), tapping a freshly-painted lime-green wall on the seemingly never-ending upward climb to where he lives.
“From down in Petionville (the capital’s most sought-after address and home to many of its new luxury hotels and embassies) it looks good but when you get closer you see Jalousie for what it really is.”
Jalousie is approximately 50,000 people – up to 1,800 per hectare – living on top of each other in tiny houses built on top of each other with no planning permission, no building regulations and generally using poor materials.
It is a slum with no running water, consisting of homes with no toilet facilities and intermittent electricity, carved into the side of a mountain prone to regular mudslides, with at least 1,300 teetering homes identified as a threat to residents immediately below them.
It also sits on a significant earthquake fault line.
Rather than attempt to tackle any of these problems, the Haitian government has already spent €1.3m on ‘Jalousie in Colours’, with a further €3m now being spent on phase two.
Welcome to Port-au-Prince, where little is how it first appears.
Mondesir, a father-of-four, is one of the thousands swelling the population of Jalousie since the earthquake four years ago.
He is also one of the estimated 70,000 in the capital made homeless twice – once by the earthquake that flattened his home in Delmas and once by what he claims were police and armed men who forced him from a tent camp last summer.
“We had been there for more than two years, but we were burned out,” he says. “What belongings we had were taken, and we had to leave and move here with my cousin.”
Mondesir’s tent was in a camp of approximately 600 families, located in a square immediately across from another new luxury hotel in Petionville.
The family had enrolled in the internationally-backed housing plan for Haiti, and were looking for a home to rent. But perhaps not fast enough.
The Haitian government denies any involvement in forced evictions, but it would be an effective way of pushing the homeless out of sight – and far easier than implementing a sustainable and long-term housing programme.
Latest figures from the United Nations show that approximately 170,000 people continue to live in tents. The figure stood at 1.5m in the immediate aftermath of the quake, but the UN thinks it will be at least two years before the problem is solved.
There are still in the region of 300 tent camps dotted around the city, although the most prominent – such as at the Presidential Palace – have long since been cleared, and the main square at Champs de Mars, for example, underwent a multi-million dollar facelift after it was cleared. Nice restaurants and bars there too.
People living in tents on public land were offered up to €400 – in theory a year’s rent – to leave under the government’s rental subsidy plan, and recent updates on internally-displaced people suggest that 60pc of those leaving the camps are enrolling in this offer.
But with a lack of affordable, safe, permanent housing and rents soaring because of demand, it is thought that many – like Mondesir – do not find a new house but rather a room or a space on the floor.
Still, it looks better to the outside world.
Of course, you might argue that the provision of affordable, safe, permanent housing should have been the most-pressing priority for those spending the billions earmarked for Haiti reconstruction after the emergency relief had been provided.
But an inspection of where the money went is likely to bring you down more murky dead-ends than an unguided trek through Jalousie.
In Ireland, like many countries, the horrific scenes relayed from Port-au-Prince in January 2010 led to unprecedented levels of donations from the public and significant pledges from government.
Four years later, the overall figures remain eye-watering.
According to the US-based Centre for Global Development, approximately €12bn – €2.5bn in private donations largely for emergency relief and €9.5bn in bilateral and multilateral aid largely for reconstruction – was pledged to Haiti in the months following the quake.
The emergency relief money and half the reconstruction fund (€7.5bn in total) have been “disbursed” at this stage.
But where the money was disbursed “to” is the big question. For example, the Centre reported that “we do not really know how the money was spent, how many Haitians were reached, or whether the desired outcomes were achieved”.
It did find that 94pc of the emergency relief went to donors’ own civilian and military outfits, UN agencies, international NGOs and private contractors before the trail went cold.
The journalist Jonathan Katz outlined some of the most outrageous “support and logistics” costs that ate into this €2.5bn: it cost $1m a day to have the USS Carl Visnon, an aircraft carrier, anchored off the coast; the US Coast Guard spent almost $4m servicing its helicopters; and someone was paid $50,000 for “elevator maintenance” in a country with practically no lifts.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Gena Heraty, the Mayo woman who runs a home for children with special needs just outside Port-au-Prince, says she was stunned at how some money was spent in the medical sector after the quake.
“For example, there were wheelchairs everywhere – it seemed that everyone was given a wheelchair but no-one stopped to consider how useful wheelchairs would be in Port-au-Prince where there are few footpaths and the roads are poor and hilly,” she adds.
“Most were soon abandoned. When I think of all the money wasted – and what it could have done if spent correctly on the medical system here… it’s a shame.”
Other figures show that less than 1pc of the emergency relief funding went directly to the Haitian government.
The little of what is known about the money earmarked for reconstruction is even more unedifying.
Half of it – nearly €5bn – has never arrived, with pledges reneged on or, as Katz outlines in his eye-opening book ‘The Big Truck That Went By’, promised money was simply double counted, spent at home, or given as ‘money in kind’ such as debt relief.
Of the billions that were spent, the Centre for Global Development again hit a wall in terms of detail, adding that “data reporting becomes even more opaque when dealing with specific organisations or agencies”.
Some nuggets have emerged, however.
The US development agency USAID, for example, spent almost €1bn on ‘reconstruction’ – but more than half went to US firms in the Washington area and less than 1pc to Haitian firms and nonprofits, according to the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.
And the ‘New York Times’ reported last year that just €170m had been allocated to what most casual observers highlighted as the most pressing need: safe, permanent housing.
That’s 1.4pc of the total pledges.
So while the overwhelming narrative may be that the recovery and reconstruction effort fell very short because Haiti is too corrupt or unstable or dangerous, perhaps the bigger culprit is the international aid industry?
Meanwhile, one thing the international community has given Haiti is cholera.
The Caribbean nation is one of the poorest in the world and has been blighted by almost every human-made and natural disaster going since it achieved independence.
But it didn’t have a recorded outbreak of cholera for more than a century – until the UN increased numbers in its ongoing Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in the months after the quake.
It was soon alleged that newly-arrived Nepali members had brought a cholera strain to the country before, through negligence, contaminating a river near their camp.
There have been approximately 8,500 deaths from cholera in Haiti since then, with almost 700,000 taken ill.
About one in every 13 Haitians has been affected.
Several independent studies – including one carried out by the UN – have backed up the allegations, with the strain of cholera prevalent in south Asia and found specifically in Nepal’s Kathmandu area but never before seen in the Western Hemisphere.
So much for ‘stabilisation’ – those mandated to help have, in this instance at least, verifiably made the situation worse.
But the UN continues to deny culpability, which resulted in a class lawsuit being filed in a Manhattan federal court late last year by the Boston-basedInstitute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)
“If we’re allowed into court, it’s probably the easiest case I’ve done in over 20 years of being a lawyer,” IJDH director Brian Concannon tells the Sunday Independent.
“The liability is so absolutely clear on behalf of the UN and the damages are fairly clear too.”
The lawsuit demands that the UN admit culpability and compensate victims. It demands funding to the tune of $2.4bn to fight the epidemic.
Another 1,000 people are expected to die from cholera in Haiti this year.
The case raises huge questions about the extent of UN immunity and access to justice for victims of peacekeeper wrongdoing – and it would take a substantial make-up job to gloss over the reality of those figures.
But then this is the home of ‘the Botox’.
Haiti: Irish contributions since earthquake top €42m
IRISH people have paid more than €42m to help the people of Haiti since the earthquake four years ago.
Private donations to the tune of €28m were made by November of 2010, according to Dochas – an unprecedented amount for a natural disaster. This figure included approximately €9m donated through Concern, €8m through and approximately €3m each through GOAL and Red Cross.
Separately, the government pledged €13m of taxpayers’ money to support relief efforts between 2010 and 2012, and this figure eventually exceeded €14m.
In terms of development funding, Concern received the vast majority at over €4.3m, while humanitarian funding included GOAL (€2.2M), and Plan Ireland (€1m).
Separately, the Irish-Aid administered Rapid Response Corps – experts deployed at short notice to humanitarian emergencies – has been to Haiti 18 times.
***This article was supported by the Simon Cumbers Media Fund
Click HERE for original.
This article briefly tells the stories of four Haitians immediately after the 2010 earthquake and now, in 2014.Haiti – A nation with a cross to bear
Jason O’Brien, Independent.ie
February 16, 2014
WITH people still trapped under rubble, bodies lining the streets and huge security concerns that saw armed American troops on the streets, the Haitian capital was truly devastated in what the United Nations described as the “most serious humanitarian crisis” in decades.
Life would obviously never be the same again.
Yet, for those lucky enough to survive, life had to go on – and the stoicism and determination of many in the face of that incredible adversity was widely noted and remarked upon as the world’s media shone its spotlight on Port-au-Prince for weeks.
But what happened when that spotlight inevitably moved elsewhere?
A little over four years after the quake, our team has returned to produce a series of articles on whether life for the ordinary Haitian has improved on the back of the massive and initially-lauded humanitarian response.
Here, in the second report – further expanded on independent.ie – the award-winning pair track down some of those they interviewed and photographed in the chaotic days after the disaster that may have killed hundreds of thousands – and find out what happened next.
For many, the stoicism and determination to get back on track and back to some sort of ‘normality’ appears to have dwindled – or perhaps been ground down.
In its place? A grey and grim reality, and not a little bitterness at their lack of opportunity.
For others, however, that light has yet to be fully extinguished.
Luckner Shackelton (62), unemployed interpreter
‘JOE’ Shackelton, as Luckner is known, is a bear of a man, and someone we looked forward to meeting again because of his incredibly warm, gregarious manner and his perfect, almost poetic, English.
He worked as an interpreter, but had a nifty sideline in philosophy.
“People couldn’t find their loved ones, their family,” he explained one morning outside the fallen Sacre Coeur Church in Turgeau when asked about the mayhem in the city a few days earlier.
“They couldn’t phone them. So they went out looking for them. They could never find them in a city this big in the dark but they had to try. That’s what love is.”
He worked with us for a few days, and his demeanour and vitality were one of the few bright lights on a grim assignment.
Four years later, Joe is a changed man – something he immediately acknowledges himself. His booming laugh, which almost seemed inappropriate so shortly after the quake, makes no appearance during our conversation, which he will disappointingly cut short.
“I lost my job a couple of months after we spoke, and I haven’t had any work since. And without work, a man cannot get on in life, or have respect,” he says. “My family helps me to live – there is no other help (from outside).”
The 62-year-old fills his days looking after his only grandson, and seemingly ruminating on a fall-out with a co-worker that cost him his position.
“He was a bad guy, he put the voodoo on me,” he says. “I lost the job. I’ve since heard that he has lost his so maybe now they (his employer) know that he was a bad guy.
“But I would never have told them – I don’t tell tales. I have my dignity. They can’t take that away from me,” he says firmly, before declining an offer of coffee, and leaving with a wan smile.
Whatever he believes, Joe still has both dignity and respect. The hope and warmth has left him, however.
Micaelle Bayard (47), shop owner
“I HEARD an aeroplane next door, and it took me a moment to ask, ‘why is there an aeroplane next door?’” Micaelle Bayard says, her eyes widening at the memory of the day of the quake.
“Then the noise got even louder and the walls began to shake, and I began to scream.”
Some of the walls of her small home – which also houses the family’s small shop – also began to fall, with one collapsing on her son Bernard, who was 11.
“I was okay – it hit me on the arm mostly but I jumped out of the way and ran outside,” he says.
Today, chickens and cats again roam the shop floor in Saint Marie as Mrs Bayard sits in a small chair, transferring rice from a big sack into small pouches that will be sold for 10 gourdes (about 20c).
“We re-opened timidly the following May,” she says.
When we had first met, all seven in the family were living in a small tent in a soccer field nearby – wary of moving back because of cracks in the remaining standing walls and regular aftershocks.
“We are still not back to the same size we were before. It is a money problem, and a money problem for the neighbourhood,” she says.
“We don’t have the money to re-invest. And we are not selling as much. Before maybe they bought four small sacks of rice. Now it is three.”
She says that while they got help and food from some aid agencies, including GOAL, the Haitian government has been conspicuous by its absence for the past four years.
“I believe in God and I believe things have to change,” she says of the future. “I’m an optimist. But I won’t rely on the government for my life.”
The small pouches of rice continue to pile up.
Sineus Dieunet (33), unemployed teacher
WE first met Sineus Dieunet seven days after the quake, and six days after he had dug his younger sister Nadia out of the rubble of the school she had been studying in.
“She was still alive but she could not talk at this point,” he says, his voice catching.
“We removed her. Ten minutes later she died.”
Nadia, like Sineus, had been working as a teacher, but she was also studying childcare in the hope of earning more money. Sineus estimates another 100 or so died with her when the three-storey school collapsed. He personally pulled out four bodies, but only one of the women lived.
Like many other buildings in Port-au-Prince, poorly-built extra storeys had been added as the landlord sought to cash in on the mantra that ‘education is a way out of poverty’.
When we visited the site at Canape Vert a week after the quake, the bodies still entombed inside were decaying.
The nearby one-storey school that Sineus ran also collapsed, but fortunately it was empty.
Four years later, and he hasn’t been able to re-open.
“We worked under a tarp for a while but it was too hot,” he says now, playing with his son Drisch (2). “I was working more with younger kids and it was too difficult for them.”
Unable to find work for any meaningful period, he has struggled to put together the money needed to build a new school. His wife – another teacher – is working, but saving is a painfully slow process.
Yet, he remains determined.
“I don’t know how we will do it, but we will do it,” he says. “This is my goal, and my wife’s goal. This is where we are going.”
Augustin Yvon (35), street trader
BARBANCOURT Rum is one of Haiti’s best-known exports, but its price means it is out of reach for most locals.
Instead, they choose clairin, a strong spirit also made from cane sugar but not refined like higher-quality rum.
Augustin Yvon makes and sells it on the side of the street in Carrefour-Ville, charging five gourde (about 10c) for a cup. It burns about as much you would expect – a lot.
“It gives people a boost, and people need it,” the 35-year-old says.
His stall is outside the University Saint Gerard, and he has lived around here all of his life. When we photographed him in 2010, he was overseeing the removal of rubble at a house and a barber shop just across the street.
“A lot of people died in there, but I don’t remember the names,” he says now.
“We just needed to get the place cleared up some, so we could back to work. We didn’t receive much help from anyone.”
Since the quake, his daughter Celeste (5) has moved in with him. She had previously been living with her mother in the mountains behind the capital.
“Fortunately, none of my family died that night, but I wanted to be closer to my daughter after that, and we have managed to do it,” the father-of-one says.
“I lost my house but got my little girl.”
This article was supported by the Simon Cumbers Media Fund
Click HERE for original.
Brian Concannon is featured in this article, which discusses the effect of corruption on the Haitian prison system, particularly in prolonged pre-trial detentions and failure to arrest actual criminals.
Haiti special report: Corruption means many prisoners wait years for trials
Jason O’Brien, Independent.ie
February 15, 2014
HAITI ranks 12th on a league table of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.
Pre-trial detention rates – with prisoners often waiting years for court appearances – are eye-watering.
And whether you get arrested, released, to trial or convicted often comes down to money.
“One of them is just lack of resources, another is the antiquated procedures, but the biggest obstacle is that the high rate of pre-trial detention is a way of creating a market for bribes.”
Put simply, many – from the arresting officer to justice officials – are on the take.
“The corruption works both ways,” Concannon says.
“It keeps people in prison who shouldn’t be, but also lets people who should be in prison out. It means police would legitimately think twice before arresting a ‘real’ criminal.
“They have the resources to be back out quickly – with a vendetta.”
Violent crime levels have oscillated wildly since the earthquake, with homicides rates in the capital hitting 72 per 100,000 last year, according to the Igarape Institute.
The global average is 7 per 100,000, and although rates have plummeted in Port-au-Prince recently, maintaining law and order is a major challenge for an under-resourced government.
Currently the police force is 10,200 strong for 10m people. In Ireland, it is 13,200 for 4.6m.
“As a starting point to lessening corruption you need to raise salaries (for police and judiciary) to a living wage, but you also need to have judges and police put in jail and made an example of,” Concannon says.
The recent arrest of Andre Michel, an anti-corruption lawyer taking a case against President Michel Martelly’s family, was not what he had in mind.
Click HERE for original.
Celebrate Charlot Lucien’s CD release at Tamboo Bistro in Brockton.
February 16, 2014, 6-10pm
252 Main Street
Charlot was one of the Haitian artists featured in our art auction January 10-17, 2014. Read more about him HERE.
Join IJRC and Nicole Phillips in San Francisco for a Baseball in the Time of Cholera screening.
Human Rights Happy Hour and Baseball in the Time of Cholera film screening
After the film, IJDH staff attorney Nicole Phillips will provide an explanation and update of the cholera case against the UN.
Variety Screening Room
582 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
February 13, 2014, 6-7:30pm (PST)
Click HERE for more info and registration.
Un résumé des récentes négociations gouvernementales à l’hôtel El Rancho en Haïti et le choix entre les deux types du gouvernement: le gouvernement de consensus et le gouvernement d’ouverture.Le dialogue accouche d’un gouvernement d’ouverture
Robenson Geffrard, Le Nouvelliste
February 11, 2014
La journée a été longue. Les discussions à la fois houleuses et intenses. Il
fallait aboutir à un consensus sur le thème gouvernance. Dans la grande salle
de l’hôtel El Rancho, le président Michel Martelly, ses conseillers, 23
représentants de partis politiques et les responsables de la Conférence
épiscopale d’Haïti (CEH) se sont enfermés, loin des micros des journalistes,
de 1 heure de l’après-midi à 9 heures du soir en vue de valider les ententes
trouvées la semaine dernière.
Entre un gouvernement de consensus et un gouvernement d’ouverture les
acteurs politiques ont passé des heures à discuter pour enfin trouver un «
consensus » qui ne fait pas l’unanimité. Sur les 23 représentants de partis
politiques, 19 d’entre eux, plus l’exécutif, ont l’option du gouvernement
d’ouverture. Ce qui a soulevé la colère et le mécontentement des six autres
organisations politiques qui ont voulu voir partir Laurent Lamothe en faveur
d’un gouvernement de consensus.
Quelle est la différence entre les deux types de gouvernement ?
Le gouvernement de consensus, selon les acteurs politiques, veut dire
automatiquement le renvoi du gouvernement, notamment le Premier
ministre Laurent Lamothe. Ensuite, les politiques vont se mettre d’accord
sur la formation et le contenu du nouveau gouvernement. Donc, ce qui
implique les questions suivantes : qui va avoir tel ou tel ministère ou
secrétairerie d’Etat ? Qui va avoir telle ou telle direction générale ?
Comment choisir le nouveau Premier ministre… ?
Alors que pour le gouvernement d’ouverture, Laurent Lamothe reste à son
poste mais ses ministres s’en vont, pour la plupart, pour faire place à
d’autres sur une base d’ « ouverture ». Là encore, la question : qui va avoir
quoi comme poste revient, mais l’exécutif a moins de contraintes formelles.
« Après beaucoup d’échanges et deux ateliers de travail… nous sommes
arrivés à cette modification : mettre en place un gouvernement d’ouverture
qui inspire confiance et créer les conditions pour la réalisation d’élections
libres, honnêtes et démocratiques. Mais, quelques partis politiques ont eu
des réserves sur cette décision », a rapporté le cardinal Chibly Langlois dans
son habituelle conférence de presse après chaque journée de dialogue.
« La gouvernance, c’est une question extrêmement compliquée, a reconnu
Evans Paul, l’un des représentants de partis politiques engagés dans la
deuxième phase du dialogue politique. Cependant, le leader de la KID,
interrogé par Le Nouvelliste, a estimé qu’un parti politique qui veut
participer aux prochaines élections ne devrait pas faire partie du
Evans Paul n’est pas intéressé à faire partie d’un gouvernement « pour le
moment », mais comme les 18 autres acteurs politiques, il s’est rangé du côté
de l’exécutif dans la formation d’un gouvernement d’ouverture. « Nous
souhaitons qu’il y ait un gouvernement qui inspire confiance pouvant
garantir la tenue des élections, a-t-il dit. Cependant, je crois que nous allons
vers un gouvernement d’ouverture… »
Dans cette deuxième phase du dialogue, les décisions sont prises non pas par
vote, mais par consensus. Chaque point de vue est pris en considération. Les
23 membres de partis politiques représentent une cinquantaine
d’organisations politiques qui ont participé à la première phase du dialogue.
Pour le gouvernement de consensus, les sénateurs qui ont pris part à cette
deuxième phase de dialogue ont souligné au Nouvelliste qu’ils n’ont pas la
certitude que le Sénat, dans sont état actuel, allait ratifier un nouveau
Premier ministre. « Si cela se trouve, le Premier ministre désigné pourrait
attendre des mois avant sa ratification probable… »
Visiblement minoritaire dans sa position, la coordonatrice de Fanmi Lavalas,
qui ne jure que par le renvoi du gouvernement dans son ensemble, avait l’air déçu après la rencontre. Cette organisation politique se range dans le camp de ceux qui plaident pour la formation d’un gouvernement de consensus. «Nous sommes ouverts au dialogue et nous pensons que le dialogue peut nous aider à sortir de là où nous sommes. Mais il faut qu’il y ait de la bonne volonté de tous les côtés », a indiqué Maryse Narcisse.
La coordonnatrice de Fanmi Lavalas a estimé que nous devons retourner à la
Constitution de 1987 sans tenir compte des amendements faits par la 48e
législature qu’elle considère comme faux. De là, selon elle, on pourra faire de
« vrais amendements ».
Encore une fois, elle a appelé les partisans de Fanmi Lavalas à la mobilisation
à travers tout le pays. « La population a des revendications. Il y a des
problèmes partout. Le peuple peut se mobiliser pour exprimer ses
frustrations », a-t-elle dit. « Nous sommes à l’écoute de la population », a-telle
répondu sur la question à savoir est-ce que Fanmi Lavalas marche dans
la logique ‘’vle pa vle fòk li ale ?’’.
Pour sa part, le sénateur Jean William Jeanty, responsable de Kontrapèpla, a
qualifié de changement cosmétique la formation d’un gouvernement
d’ouverture. Les organisations politiques Kontrapèpla, Fanmi Lavalas,
Fusion, OPL, Lavni, Respè et Ayisyen pou Ayiti estiment que ce n’est pas la
réponse à la situation actuelle et ont clairement fait valoir leur opposition.
Autres consensus trouvés lors de la première journée de la deuxième phase
Les acteurs politiques se sont mis d’accord sur le respect de l’indépendance
des pouvoirs, sur la publication des lois votées au Parlement après la fin du
délai d’objection du chef de l’Etat pour trouver une solution à la question de
la détention préventive prolongée, régulation du Conseil supérieur du
pouvoir judiciaire (CSPJ).
Sur le dossier des frères Florestal qui sont considérés comme des prisonniers
politiques, alors que le cardinal Langlois a indiqué que le pouvoir a promis
d’y réfléchir, le conseiller du président Martelly, Me Grégory Mayard-Paul,
a dû intervenir après pour souligner que ce dossier est par-devant la justice,
donc, l’exécutif n’a rien à y voir…
En outre, les acteurs politiques ont discuté également sur plusieurs autres
points non moins importants pour le pays comme les élections, la
décentralisation, le renforcement des partis politiques, le renforcement des
lois régissant les ONG, la situation des collectivités territoriales,
l’indépendance et la souveraineté nationale. Sur ce dernier point les acteurs
politiques se sont mis d’accord sur un retrait progressif et ordonné de la
Minustah, l’augmentation de l’effectif de la police nationale, la création d’un
système d’intelligence nationale.
S’agissant de la Constitution, les acteurs politiques se sont mis d’accord sur
l’amendement du document et la création d’une commission multipartite
pouvant accompagner l’amendement. Les discussions vont se poursuivre ce mercredi sur les élections.
Cliquez ICI pour l’original.
Join us at NYU for a screening and discussion of Baseball in the Time of Cholera.
WHO: International Public Service Association (IPSA), Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
WHAT: Baseball in the Time of Cholera film screening (28 min) and group discussion with representatives from IJDH, one of the organizations working towards accountability of the United Nations in the case of the Haitian Cholera victims. Our Volunteer Coordinator Andrew Chatzky, Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom, and Legal Fellow Katharina Rall will all be there.
During its response to the 2010 earthquake, UN peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti. The outbreak has hospitalized over 698,961 and killed 8,549 Haitians. Thus far the UN has cited its immunity against claims of the victims and avoided any reparations to the victims of the outbreak. IJDH filed a lawsuit against the United Nations last October.
WHERE: Mulberry Conference Room, Puck Building, 295 Lafayette Street, New York
Communiqué de presse du Defenseurs des Opprimés (DOP) sur le double meurtre du Daniel Dorsainvil et son épouse le 8 février.Haiti, encore des victimes ! C’ en est trop …
Me Patrice Florvilus, Av, Defenseurs des Opprimés
11 février 2014
Défenseurs des Opprimées- Opprimés ( DOP) apprend avec amertume et consternation les nouvelles de l’assassinat de Daniel Dorsainvil et de son épouse Girldy Larêche le samedi 8 fèvrier 2014 à Port-au-Prince . Monsieur Dorsainvil et son épouse , selon les informations, sont assassinés non loin de leur domicile . Les assassins de ce couple ont eu le temps de s’enfuir prendre comme d’habitude , sans aucune inquiétude .
Monsieur Dorsainvil a été atteint d’ un projectile à la poitrine alors que sa femme , pour sa part, a été criblée de cinq (5) balles selon les informations rapportées par le Secrétaire Exécutif de la POHDH , Monsieur Anthonal Mortimé, dans un interview accordé à HPN .
Monsieur Dorsainvil , citons –nous Alter Presse, est ingénieur civil, fonctionnaire du Ministère des Travaux Publics Transports et Communications (MTPTC). Il est également un des fondateurs du Groupe d’Alternatives et de Justice (GAJ), organisation membre de la POHDH, militant au sein du Comité Résistance Populaire Benoit Batraville (KRPBB) et membre de l’initiative pour la mise en place du Mouvement Patriotique Démocratique et Populaire (MPDP), un regroupement d’une trentaine d’organisations politiques et sociales, actuellement en phase d’établissement.
Cet acte crapuleux survient quelques jours après la publication d’un rapport du RNDDH, membre de la POHDH, sur la vassalisation de la justice et la violation systématique des droits humains par le gouvernement Marthelly-Lamothe . Ce crime est aussi survenu à un moment où la POHDH prend toujours des positions publiques contre les dérives totalitaires du pouvoir en place et en faveur le respect des droits humains .
DOP constate que le droit à la vie et la liberté d’expression n’ont pas droit de cité sous le gouvernement Marthelly-Lamotne . A titre d’exemple , citons-nous pour la mémoire et pour l’histoire:
- La mort suspect du juge Jean Serge Joseph « magistrat en charge du dossier de corruption de la famille présidentielle haÏtienne »;
- La disparition de l’homme d’affaire Evinx Daniel ;
- Les expulsions forcées et illégales qui mettent en péril la vie des milliers de famille dans les camps d’hébergement malgré les diverses recommandations de la Commission Interaméricaine des Droits de l’Homme (CIDH)
- L’arrestation arbitraire et illégale de Enold , Josue Florestal et de Me André Michel
- Les menaces d’arrestation et – ou d’assassinat de Mario Joseph , Newton Louis- Saint Juste et du Directeur Exécutif de DOP;
- La torture suivie de la mort de Meris Civil au Commissariat de Delmas 33 par des agents de Police clairement identifiés ;
- L’assassinat de Damael D’Haiti, à la Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Économiques et la disparition depuis le Ier Novembre 2011 de l’étudiant finissant de la Faculté des Sciences Humaines Ronald Auguste;
- La mort d’une fillette de trois (3) ans dans l’incendie du camps ‘Pep Progresis’ , le 11 janvier 2014 , un jour seulement avant la commémoration du 12 janvier ;
- La mort continue et quotidienne des victimes du choléra ( environ 9000 morts );
- L’assassinat du professeur d’université Lucien Jean Roland , 73 ans, le vendredi 15 novembre 2013 ;
- La décapitation de Laplanche Mackenson, Policier de la 21eme promotion de la Police Nationale d’Haiti et de Jean Mary ainsi connu dans la Commune de Saint Michel ;
Autant d’actes révoltants prouvant combien le droit à la vie est banalisée sous le gouvernement de Marthelly-Lamothe .
Pourquoi , DOP interpelle le gouvernement haïtien à adopter toutes les mesures nécessaires en vue de garantir le droit à la vie des citoyennes et citoyens haïtiennes- haïtiens en lieu et place de faire des propagandes médiatiques qui ne reflètent nullement la réalité du pays .
Le double assassinat des époux Dorsainvil ne doivent pas rester impunis. L’éternel ‘Enquête se poursuit’ doit cesser d’être la norme . Si les assassins sont dans la ville , il est du devoir des responsables de la sécurité publique de les traquer .Ce, aux fins d’envoyer un signal clair aux bandits qui sèment le deuil dans les familles haïtiennes. Que justice Soit faite !
Me Patrice Florvilus , Av
Directeur Exécutif ‘Défenseurs des Opprimées-Opprimés’ (DOP)
Cliquez Haiti Assassinat des époux Dorsainvil Note de presse DOP pour le pdf.
Human rights leader Daniel Dorsinvil and his wife were shot and killed February 8th while walking in Port-au-Prince. Many believe this was an attack on the human rights community, as other Haitian human rights defenders have faced constant threats and intimidation in the past.Police in Haiti probe killing of rights activist
San Antonio Express
February 10, 2014
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Police detectives are investigating the slaying of a human rights activist and his wife, Haitian authorities said Monday.
Police spokesman Gary Desrosiers told Radio Caraibes that Daniel Dorsinvil and Girldy Lareche were killed Saturday by a lone gunman as they walked through a residential neighborhood in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Desrosiers didn’t cite a motive for the killing, though he acknowledged reports that the couple were either killed in a robbery or targeted because of the husband’s activism.
Dorsinvil was coordinator for the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations, one of Haiti’s lesser-known advocacy groups.
President Michel Martelly‘s administration condemned the killing in a communique issued from its press office Monday.
Other rights activists in Haiti have been targeted for their work.
A lawyer who was investigating corruption allegations last year was locked up overnight. Supporters erected burning barricades in downtown Port-au-Prince on his behalf and then physically escorted him out of the courthouse.
Other human rights lawyers have reported receiving death threats over the phone and being followed.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch this year said election delays, natural disasters and a deadly cholera epidemic are hindering the Haitian government’s ability to tackle long-standing rights problems.
Click HERE for original.
February 8th, during a walk in Port-au-Prince, Daniel Dorsinvil and his wife were shot and killed. Many are calling this double murder an attack on the human rights community.Human rights leader and wife assassinated
The Sentinel Staff, The Sentinel
February 10, 2014
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – The general coordinator of an organization comprising eight of the largest human rights organizations in Haiti was shot dead, along with his wife, in Port-au-Prince Saturday.
Daniel Dorsinvil and his wife Girldy Larêche were walking in Canapé Vert, an office and business district in Port-au-Prince, on Saturday at 2 in the afternoon when they were coldly gunned down by unknown individuals.
Dorsinvil is the General Coordinator of the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH), a coalition of Haiti’s human rights organizations that include the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH).
The two died on the scene with Daniel receiving five bullets and his wife one, according to the Executive Director of RNDDH, Pierre Esperance, the crime appears to be an execution in the fashion it was carried out with the wife receiving five bullets and Daniel receiving one in the head.
“This is a real shock to POHDH, family and relatives of the two victims,” Antonal Mortimer, Executive Secretary of POHDH told AlterPresse. Mortimer says the two were killed near a library in the area and had not visited a bank as most killings are done in Haiti; there is no information in terms of motive.
The two members of the human rights sector both denounced the attempts of authorities to minimize the severity of the crime by suggesting the two individuals had just left the bank. Mortimer said “even if that were the case, that is not a reason why someone should be killed.”
It is both an “attack against the human rights sector” and a “political crime,” Mortimer said, pointing to the “impunity” in the country.
The two human rights lawyers Andre Michel and Newton Louis St Juste released a statement:
“We André Michel and Louis Newton St Juste, Bar Association of Port-au-Prince, vehemently condemn the execution this Saturday, February 8, 2014 in Bois Patate, Daniel Dorsinvil, Coordinator of the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH) and his wife, Girldy Larêche.”
According to the lawyers, the version of government officials that the victims were returning from the bank, “in no case should be put forward to guarantee impunity and hide the true nature of the crime.” Instead, they argue, “it is a political crime to intimidate the human rights sector that is considered an inconvenience for the powers that be.”
A civil engineer and a former official at the Ministry of Public Works Transport and Communications (TPTC), Daniel Dorsinvil, was one of the founders of the Alternatives and Justice Group (FPG) another human rights organization, member of POHDH.
Daniel Dorsinvil also an activist in the Popular Resistance Committee Batraville Benoit (KRPBB), which is part of the initiative for the establishment of the Patriotic People’s Democratic Movement (MPDP), a group of thirty political and social organizations , currently being coalesced in Haiti.
Girdly Lareche is the sister of Deputy Ronald Lareche (Ouanaminthe/Inite). She worked at the General Hospital and volunteered as a nurse for Medecins sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders).
Deputy Lareche said the crime was not a simple robbery as the assailant or assailants made sure the individuals were dead.
Click HERE for original.
About a month after beginning meetings with Haiti on their controversial immigration ruling, Dominican officials reveal a plan to deal with the problem. They call it the most “ambitious and comprehensive plan in the country’s history.”Dominican Republic Unveils “Ambitious and Comprehensive” Citizenship Plan
Caribbean Journal staff, Caribbean Journal
February 5, 2014
The Dominican Republic unveiled today what the country is calling an “ambitious and comprehensive” immigration plan aimed at dealing in part with the country’s ongoing citizenship issue involving Dominicans of Haitian descent.
“The government has set up, in record time, the most ambitious and comprehensive plan in the country’s history in this area,” said Alejandra Liriano, deputy foreign minister of the Dominican Republic.
Liriano said the plan dealt with two main areas: the situation of “irregular foreign migrants,” and nationals who “do not have their papers in order.”
The Dominican Republic said with its immigration plan it could normalize the immigration status of “thousands of people from over 100 nations who are currently illegally in the country” in the next 14 months.
She said the government would also launch an “extensive programme of outreach and advertising” to encourage people to engage with the regularization plan.
On the issue involving children of “undocumented migrants,” Liriano reiterated what she called a “strong stance” of the Dominican government that “no person having Dominican nationality will be stripped of it.”
A Dominican Constitutional Court decision in September 2013 found that children born to parents who were considered “in transit” in the country were not considered citizens of the Dominican Republic.
That ruling, which applied retroactively to anyone born since 1929, disproportionately impacted Dominicans of Haitian descent — as many as 200,000 people.
The ruling has led to tensions between the country and the rest of the Caribbean region, particularly Haiti.
“It is important to note that this process does not affect the children of immigrants born in this country who have at least one parent that was legally resident in the Dominican Republic,” Liriano said.
Among the provisions of the plan, released as a decree signed by Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina, included a ban on deportation of foreigners in an “irregular migration situation” during the 18-month period of the execution of the plan.
The plan also echoed provisions of an immigration decree released at the end of last year, which said it would consider several factors when determining regularization, including ties with Dominican society, labour and socioeconomic conditions, among others.
“Ties with Dominican society” included several linguistic criteria, including competence in both written and spoken Spanish, according to the decree.
The decree said that those who do not qualify for regularization following the 18-month implementation period would be subject to deportation.
In order to engage with the plan, every “foreigner” must present personal identity documents on order to be entered into a “registry of evaluation,” which would include biometric data and finger prints, the decree said.
The announcement of the new plan, made to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, came two days after high-level talks between Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the city of Jimani.
To read the new plan (Spanish only) click here.
Click HERE for original.
Le 8 février, au cours d’une promenade à Port-au-Prince, Daniel Dorsinvil et sa femme ont été abattus. Beaucoup de monde appellent cela une attaque contre le secteur des droits humains.Haïti-société: assassinat d’un important militant des droits de l’homme
Haiti Press Network
9 fevrier 2014
Antonal Mortimé a exigé l’ouverture d’une enquête afin de retrouver les auteurs du crime, dans des déclarations à Haiti Press Network.
Daniel Dorsainvil a été abattu d’une balle à la poitrine qui l’aurait atteint au coeur et sa femme a été touchée de 5 projectiles alors qu’ils se trouvaient dans leur quartier, a indiqué M. Mortimé.
“Pour nous, il s’agit d’une exécution. C’est un coup dur pour le secteur des droits humains en Haïti”, a déclaré le secrétaire exécutif de la Plateforme haïtienne des droits humains.
Les avocats Newton St-Juste et André Michel ont condamné le double meurtre et rejeté la version qui ferait croire que les victimes revenaient de la banque.
“Il s’agit de préférence d’un crime politique visant à intimider le secteur des droits de l’Homme considéré comme gênant pour le pouvoir en place”, a commenté les deux avocats opposants au gouvernement.
“La version officielle selon laquelle les victimes revenaient de la banque ne saurait en aucun cas être mise en avant pour garantir l’impunité et cacher la vraie nature du crime”, écrivent les deux avocats.
“Nous n’avons aucune indice montrant que le couple revenait de la banque. Le sac à main de Madame Girly Larêche, soeur du député Ronald Larêche et épouse de Daniel Dorsainvil, a été emporté par l’auteur du crime. Seul le commissaire du gouvernement peut se rendre à la banque du quartier pour vérifier si c’est bien le cas”, a déclaré M. Mortimé à HPN.
“Nous exigeons l’ouverture d’une enquête”, a ajouté Antonal Mortimé.
Cliquez ICI pour l’original.
Le 8 février, tout en marchant, Daniel Dorsinvil et sa femme ont été abattus. Beaucoups personnes appellent cela une attaque contre le secteur des droits humains.Haïti-Violence : Le coordonnateur de la POHDH, Daniel Dorsinvil, et son épouse, abattus par balles à Port-au-Prince
9 février 2014
P-au-P., 8 févr. 2014 [AlterPresse] — Le coordonnateur de la Plateforme des Organisations Haïtiennes de Droits Humains (POHDH), Daniel Dorsinvil, et son épouse, Girldy Larêche, ont été tués par balles dans l’après midi du 8 février à Port-au-Prince, apprend AlterPresse.
Dorsinvil et sa conjointe circulaient à pied au Canapévert (secteur est) lorsqu’ils ont été braqués par un individus armé qui les a froidement abattus, rapporte à AlterPresse Antonal Mortimé, secrétaire exécutif de la POHDH,.
« C’est un véritable choc pour la POHDH », la famille et les proches des deux victimes, a confié Mortimé.
Il s’agit à la fois d’une « attaque contre le secteur des droits humains » et d’un « crime politique », a-t-il ajouté, pointant du doigt « l’impunité » qui règne à travers le pays.
Ingénieur civil, fonctionnaire du ministère des Travaux publics transports et communications (Tptc), Dorsinvil était un des fondateurs du Groupe d’Alternatives et de Justice (GAJ), organisation membre de la POHDH.
Daniel Dorsinvil militait également au sein du Comité Résistance Populaire Benoit Batraville (KRPBB), qui fait partie de l’initiative pour la mise en place du Mouvement Patriotique Démocratique et Populaire (MPDP), un regroupement d’une trentaine d’organisations politiques et sociales, actuellement en phase d’établissement. [gp apr 08/02/2014 19 :00]
Cliquez ICI pour l’original.
An interview with Brian Concannon, director of IJDH is the main feature of this article, which describes IJDH’s efforts to hold the UN accountable for bringing cholera to Haiti.Local nonprofit up against the UN for Haiti
Adrian Walker, The Boston Globe
February 10, 2014
Most of us will go through life without ever making this discovery, but Brian Concannon has learned something interesting in the past few months: Suing the United Nations is really hard to do.
It isn’t that winning a suit against the UN is just difficult; it’s that a victory is almost impossible. Even serving legal documents on its New York headquarters is harder than one might think. “It’s a huge game of cat-and-mouse,” Concannon said the other day, sitting in his Andrew Square office. “You take it to headquarters, they won’t let you in. You mail it return receipt and they won’t acknowledge that they have received it.”
Concannon is head of a Boston-based nonprofit called the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. For a year, the institute has been trying to bring attention to — and get action on — the scourge of cholera in Haiti. Concannon’s work has gotten the UN’s attention.
The basic facts are not really disputed, not even by the UN. A peacekeeping force from Nepal introduced cholera into the drinking water following the earthquake that racked Haiti in 2010. For all its ills, Haiti had previously been spared cholera, but no more. In a medical nightmare worsened by chronically inadequate sanitation, cholera has killed an estimated 4,000 Haitians so far — with the emphasis on estimated.
For multiple reasons, no one is certain of the exact total, Concannon said. Some victims in rural areas never make it to the hospitals that could authoritatively establish their causes of death. Because cholera victims are supposed to be buried in mass graves, some families decline to disclose the cause of death so their loved ones can be buried in a family plot. Concannon’s institute believes that public hospitals have been ordered not to release information on cholera cases as a direct reaction to the lawsuit.
Ultimately, Concannon said he believes that the UN — which enjoys broad immunity from lawsuits — has resorted to the strategy of acknowledging the widespread incidence of cholera, while downplaying its culpability.
“I call it the ‘rope-a-dope’ strategy,” Concannon said. “Usually, they take their hit. They acknowledge there’s a problem. They never give the victim any justice, but they know the story will eventually go away. The problem is, the strategy doesn’t work anymore. This is 2014 and things have changed.”
Indeed, the cholera-in-Haiti story has become something of an international cause. Publications as far-flung as The New York Times, The Economist, and Le Monde have weighed in, calling for intervention. There is an engaged Twitter constituency. The Haitian diaspora, in Boston and elsewhere, has taken notice. The story has not gone away.
One group that appears unmoved is the Haitian government. It has been virtually silent about the tragedy. The UN’s continuing investment in Haiti could be a factor in that.
Under pressure, the United Nations has floated a $2.2 billion plan to clean up the water supply in Haiti. The UN says it is in the process of appointing a commission that might oversee said plan. Appointing members is expected to take until April. The UN isn’t famous for its sense of urgency.
Still, an activist group working out of a quiet former convent in South Boston believes it can somehow hold Goliath accountable, or at least spur it to action.
“They wouldn’t have a plan and they wouldn’t have a commission without pressure,” Concannon said. “I think you’re going to hear a lot more about this.”
Click HERE for original.
In Boston, learn “Where Did the Money Go” after billions were donated to Haiti for earthquake relief.
In the United States alone, half of all households gave a total of $1.4 billion to charities, yet almost two years later more than half a million people still live in squalid camps. Only a few have access to drinking water. Sanitation is woefully inadequate. Malnutrition and cholera are on the rise. What happened? HAITI: Where Did The Money Go? asks the pivotal question—why did so much money buy so little relief? And why are so many still living in squalor?
“Haiti: Where Did the Money Go?” movie screening
The Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room
559 Washington Street
Friday, February 7 OR Saturday, February 8 at 7pm
Click HERE for event page and tickets.
Although billions of dollars were poured into Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, there has been very little progress. This is because the money didn’t go to the government or even to Haitians and many NGOs put the money into for-profit groups that haven’t accomplished much and don’t show where their money goes. The author explains how NGOs need a new model in order to actually help Haiti find long-term solutions.The Aid Industry Failed Haiti After Its 2010 Quake Four years and billions of dollars since the devastating earthquake, the impoverished nation stands no better equipped to improve itself. How a new local model might work better.
Elise Jordan, The Daily Beast
February 3, 2014
It’s been just over four years since a devastating earthquake killed more than 100,000 Haitians and left 1.5 million homeless. An estimated 20 to 40 percent of civil servants died in 35 seconds, wiping out the government’s already shaky capacity. Only one government building withstood the 7.0 quake.
In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, the world prioritized relief and threw money at the suffering. Private donors gave $3.1 billion. The international community pledged around $10 billion and dispersed about $6 billion, the majority on relief.
So much money, so many players, so little progress. Four years later, a complete lack of essential public services and government functionality is the international community’s legacy. Today, about 150,000 men, women, and children still live in the 127 camps that remain, according to the International Organization on Migration. The billions of dollars still haven’t brought running water to most of the country.
Haiti had extreme problems far pre-dating the quake that should have been central to the planning for any realistic solution. It had virtually no industry or exports, farmland destroyed by deforestation, and the most privatized education system in the Western Hemisphere, condemning most of the population to a cycle of poverty. In Cap-Haitien, on the northern coast, a 70-year-old midwife told me that parents sometimes pay for the first semester but cannot afford the second term. These children will often dress in their uniforms and still show up every day, only to be turned away for tuition non-payment. Despite 30 years of war, Afghanistan, where I’ve traveled extensively, seems surprisingly better off than our Caribbean neighbor.
Over 10,000 NGOs have been documented operating in Haiti since the earthquake, according to the United Institute of Peace. Only 1 percent of donor funding has gone directly to the Haitian government. What did we expect to happen? That absurd funding imbalance guaranteed an addict/dependency state, where emergency needs are attended to by outsiders, but minimal effort is made to rebuild, train, or try out any sort of Haitian institutional infrastructure to attend to those same needs going forward. Instead of bankrolling an aid industrial complex that hasn’t worked, Haitians deserve a chance to fail or prosper on their own terms.
This is a situation that demands a greater percentage of relief funding channeled to long-term systematic assistance to build a foundation of an economy, not less. An industrialized power like Japan or even South Korea could withstand a disaster and just requires emergency assistance, because they have the groundwork laid for a successful economy to return to. When a shambles like Haiti is wiped out, it’s back to the drawing board after each disaster.Some projects have rejected the paternalistic model and found striking success actually trusting the Haitians as long-term partners.
Lack of transparency on how our development funding gets spent is a big part of the problem. There’s already scant oversight into how we spend our U.S. Agency for International Development funding budget. USAID spent $270 million in Haiti last year, and most of the spending went to for-profit American companies who do not publicly provide their budgets.
So while multilaterals, foreign donors, and nonprofits initially provided essential relief, other private companies and humanitarian organizations became very rich in the reconstruction phase. The for-profit Chemonics International has received more than $58 million in USAID funding for development projects in Haiti, with little quantifiable success, except ranking No. 45 in a 2012 list of Washington, D.C.’s most profitable contractors.
One Chemonics project was urban beautification in the towns near the much-lauded Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti. Project workers planted seedlings in the town center. The seedlings died. As the inspector general explained in a 2012 USAID audit, “residents did not understand how the activity led to the beautification of the area, nor did they associate it with the industrial park.”
But there are nonprofits who have made a difference in Haiti—and these projects overwhelmingly are partnered with the Haitian government.
Some projects have rejected the paternalistic model and found striking success actually trusting the Haitians as long-term partners. The University Hospital in Mirebalais is a case study in how to build lasting change while also attending to the immediate needs of the sick and dying. It’s a public teaching hospital administered and funded through public-health pioneer Dr. Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health, with such a high standard of care I’d be treated there any day. Instead of eschewing advanced medical care because there’s such limited access to the basics, they teach local doctors how to provide it via a residency program.
Partners in Health made a $25 million investment to build a world-class facility, which operates annually for $16.2 million. In the dark of night, a line of patients grows to the hundreds. An average of 700 patients are treated a day. The 200,000-square-foot facility is powered by solar energy so that frequent power outages do not disrupt care. Each bed has its own oxygen unit supplied in-house, and there’s neo-natal intensive care, and a post-partum recovery room with chairs that convert to beds so fathers or family can also stay overnight. The mental-health unit has helped earthquake survivors deal with grief and post-traumatic stress.
Partners in Health and its Haitian NGO counterpart are now in the lead, but the Haitian government has agreed to manage the hospital in 10 years.
NGOs that work locally to tackle the grittiest problems should also be encouraged. The 2010cholera outbreak from sewage in a United Nations camp in Mirebalais underscores the need for improved sanitation. It’s perhaps the least sexy development project to tackle, and among the most basic and important. More than 20,000 Haitians have access to the SOIL project’s locally sourced compost toilet. The SOIL project, operating in Haiti since 2006, turns human waste into compost at the largest sanitation treatment site in Haiti. Paid local toilet managers in the community are responsible for upkeep, and the sale of the compost will hopefully allow the organization to become self-sustaining—and increasingly create more jobs in these communities. SOIL’s founder, Dr. Sasha Kramer, hopes to translate success on a small scale to a model where the private sector manages the compost and the government purchases it to re-sell to farmers at a subsidized price.
It’s the right instinct—demonstrate sustainable local success, and let the Haitians lead. Incrementally. Four, eight, or 50 years of doing it for them and then abandoning them to their own untrained, unsupported, unsustainable devices is a failed model.
Haiti has a chance to change post-earthquake, and so should our thinking when it comes to development.
There’s a moral argument that we should be just as accountable of do-gooder dollars as do-gooder bombs. If there’s a “responsibility to protect” civilians from genocide, shouldn’t there be a responsibility to not infantilize and doom an entire society to poverty? If bankrolling the aid industrial complex keeps the government powerless and otherwise broke, there is no hope for Haiti.
Click HERE for original.
Support free speech in a Boston Appeals Court case and panel discussion led by Center for Constitutional Rights.
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is a federal criminal law ushered through Congress in 2006 by powerful lobbyists for the fur and meat industries and corporations and institutions that profit from animal research. It criminalizes a broad swath of protected First Amendment activities and has cast a chill over the animal rights community, leading many advocates to censor themselves. In 2011, CCR filed Blum v. Holder, a federal lawsuit in support of five animal rights activists chilled from engaging in lawful advocacy out of fear that their work would subject them to prosecution as terrorists under the AETA.
Oral Arguments in Blum v. Holder on the constitutionality of the AETA before the First Circuit Court of Appeals
John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse, Court of Appeals Panel Courtroom
1 Courthouse Way, 7th floor
Boston, MA 02210
Monday February 3, 9:30am (CCR suggests arriving 30-45min early)Panel Discussion
Suffolk Universtiy Law School, Faculty Dining Room
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02114
Monday February 3, 5:30pm
Click HERE to learn more about these events.
Des organisatoins haïtiennes et dominicaines se sont réunit pour discuter la migration et le Plan de régularisation publié par le gouvernement dominicain en novembre 2013.Haïti – Politique : Atelier binational sur le Plan dominicain de régularisation des étrangers
January 30, 2014
La semaine dernière, une trentaine d’organisations des Sociétés Civiles haïtienne et dominicaine, se sont réunit durant 2 jours dans un atelier organisé par le Groupe d’Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (GARR) et l’Observatoire des Migrants de la Caraïbe (OBMICA).
Outre la validation d’un rapport réalisé par le « Norwegian Peacebuilding Ressource Centre » (NOREF) sur les dynamiques de migration à travers l’Île, cette rencontre visait également à élaborer une démarche commune autour du Plan National de Régularisation d’étrangers No.327-13 de la République Dominicaine.
Le rapport du NOREF a permis de mieux comprendre la complexité de la migration irrégulière, les rapatriements et la dénationalisation des Dominicains/Dominicaines d’origine haïtienne « Même si le gouvernement dominicain a su créer une bonne image de leur pays à l’égard d’Haïti après le séisme du 12 janvier, les violations de droits humains et la gestion du flux migratoire demeurent un « nœud d’étranglement » dans les relations entre les deux pays. », a déclaré Mme Bridget Wooding de l’OMMICA, qui assurait la présentation du rapport.
Elle a insisté sur le rôle que devraient jouer les Sociétés Civiles haïtienne et dominicaine dans l’établissement d’un rapport harmonieux entre les deux peuples « Les organisations de la Société Civile des deux côtés de l’île doivent s’engager dans des plaidoyers pour que l’on puisse aboutir à de véritables changements dans les relations haïtiano-dominicaines et au respect des droits des migrants haïtiens. »
De son côté, William Charpentier de l’Organisation « Mesa Nacional para la Migracion y el Refugio », a mis l’accent sur les problèmes du Plan de régularisation publié par le gouvernement dominicain en novembre 2013. Soulignant entre autres, la confusion qui règne autour de la nationalité de Dominicains et Dominicaines visés par l’arrêt TC 168-13 et la régularisation du statut de migrants étrangers en situation irrégulière (en majorité haïtiens).
Dans son intervention, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, de l’organisation « Dominicanos por Derechos » a déclaré « Toute personne née sur le territoire dominicain a droit, au départ, à la nationalité dominicaine. La décision de la Cour constitutionnelle de mon pays crée une exclusion sociale touchant près de cinq générations. C’est absurde et inacceptable [...] » plaidant pour l’unité des organisations de la Société Civile dominicaine en vue de forcer le retrait de la sentence.
Jean Thomas Philippe, le Président du Conseil d’Administration du GARR, a réitéré l’engagement de son institution dans la lutte pour le respect des migrants haïtiens.
Au terme de cet atelier, les organisations des Sociétés Civiles haïtienne et dominicaine ont adopté une déclaration conjointe qui manifeste leur total désaccord avec l’inclusion dans ce Plan de Dominicains et Dominicaines nés sur le territoire dominicain de parents étrangers en situation migratoire irrégulière. Tout en réaffirmant leur volonté de travailler au développement de fraternité entre les deux peuples, ces organisations se sont engagées à œuvrer au renforcement des liens de coopération et de communication en établissant un mécanisme de suivi aux décisions prises durant l’atelier binational.
Cliquez ICI pour l’original.
While interest in MINUSTAH is waning internationally, the US Director of National Intelligence is trying to convince other countries that a continued foreign presence is necessary in Haiti, particularly with impending elections.What the New DNI Threat Assessment Says about Haiti
Center for Economic and Policy Research
January 29, 2014
The Office of the U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released its “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community” [PDF] for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today. The assessment’s section on Haiti is longer this year, due to concerns that the DNI apparently has regarding what it sees as a need for an ongoing foreign military presence there, support for which is waning internationally. The assessment cites chronic factors such as poverty and “weak institutions” as reasons why foreign military intervention is still warranted:
Stability in Haiti will remain fragile due to extreme poverty and weak governing institutions. Meaningful long-term reconstruction and development in Haiti will need to continue for many years. Haiti remains vulnerable to setbacks in its reconstruction and development goals due to the possibility of natural disasters. Food insecurity, although improving, also has the potential to be a destabilizing factor. Periods of political gridlock have resulted due to distrust between President Michel Martelly, in office since May 2011, and opponents in Parliament. Martelly is generally still popular, but politically organized protests, possibly violent, might occur before the elections, scheduled for 2014.
While the assessment claims (as it also did last year) that Martelly “is generally still popular,” no evidence is provided. Indeed there have been protests and other signs of public discontent with his administration in recent months. Contrary to what the assessment says, there are as yet no elections scheduled; the delay in elections has been a key issue behind the demonstrations.
The long delay in scheduling the elections has also contributed to “donor fatigue” among countries that contribute to MINUSTAH – something the assessment acknowledges apparently for the first time:
During the next decade, Haiti will remain highly dependent on assistance from the international community for security, in particular during elections. Donor fatigue among contributors to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), however, will likely lead to reductions in force, evident by the 2013 mandate which calls for consolidating and downsizing forces.
This comes after Uruguay’s recent, public announcement that it will withdraw its troops from the mission. The mention of waning regional interest in MINUSTAH participation is presumably a concern for the U.S. since it has been seen as a way to “manage” Haiti on the cheap, as we know from State Department cables made available by Wikileaks.
Click HERE for original.
This letter in the Miami Herald, regarding an article on the desperate sea voyages in which many Haitians risk and often lose their lives, urges a neglected policy long championed by IJDH: creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program like the ongoing Cuban one. It would alleviate at least some of the pressure leading to these deadly trips by speeding up entry into the U.S. of 110,00 Haitians, still on years-long wait lists in Haiti, who are beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions which DHS has already approved.Create long-delayed Haitian family-reunification program
Marleine Bastien & Steve Forester, Miami Herald
January 28, 2014
Jacqueline Charles’ excellent Jan. 28 article, Deadly voyages devastate Haitian island, underscores the need to fix a flawed policy. The Department of Homeland Security has approved family-based visa petitions for 110,000 Haitians on years-long wait lists in Haiti. President Obama should speed their entry.
Since the 2010 quake, creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (FRPP) has been urged by 100 members of Congress, 10 editorial boards including the Miami Herald’s, the Miami-Dade County Commission, the New York, Philadelphia and North Miami city councils, the American Bar Association, the NAACP, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Congressional Black Caucus, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, 6,000 petitioners and others.
Obama surrogates promised Haitian-American Floridians that he would expedite these paroles if reelected, but despite the merits, bipartisan pleas and the ease of implementation, he hasn’t.
Creating a Haitian FRPP would save lives: The 110,000 people approved by DHS are at risk in Haiti, whose misery includes a worsening cholera epidemic. They’d be safer with their petitioning American family members in communities that are not only in Florida.
Reuniting them would help Haiti, too. Augmenting the U.S. Treasury with large work-permit application fees, these employed Haitians would start sending remittances home; Haitians remit about $2 billion annually.
Thousands enter the United States under the ongoing FRPP for Cubans. Nationals of both lands risk their lives at sea, many Haitians dying during the horrific voyages that Charles documented. Creating a Haitian FRPP would end a double standard.
It would relieve at least some of the pressure leading to these tragedies. And Haitians under this program wouldn’t get a green card sooner — there’d be no “line jumping.” But they could wait for them in safety, like Cuban parolees, not in devastated Haiti.
Why the inaction? Obama hasn’t said, but there is no conflict between seeking congressional immigration reform and administratively expediting these paroles to save lives and help Haiti, whose recovery is in our national security interest given its proximity to our shores.
The president should instruct DHS to promptly create a Haitian FRPP, as the Herald and others have long urged.
Marleine Bastien, executive director, Haitian Women of Miami, Miami
Steven Forester, immigration policy coordinator, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Miami
Click HERE for original.