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Questioning the UN Presence in Haiti and Africa

January 14, 2016 - 11:17

For at least a few years, the United Nations has been facing a credibility crisis due to its lack of accountability for peacekeeper misconduct. Particularly in the case of peacekeepers bringing cholera to Haiti and peacekeepers committing sexual assault there and in African countries, many are questioning whether the UN’s presence in these countries is truly positive or even necessary.

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

Has the UN lost credibility in Haiti and Africa?

Saeed Shabazz, Amsterdam News

January 14, 2015

As 2015 was coming to an end, the 193-member United Nations wrapped up its agenda with discussions and resolutions on issues in the Sahel/Western Sahara, Burundi as the African Union agreed Dec. 19 to deploy an African prevention and protection mission and Dec. 15 the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 2251, which extended the mandate of the U.N. Security Force for Abyei, South Sudan, until May 15.

According to the 2016 U.N. Security Council Report, the 15-member body will be discussing the situations in the African nations of Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan (Darfur), Libya, Central African Republic and Somalia.

In 2014, the Security Council held 88 meetings dealing with issues in sub-Saharan Africa. There were four solely dealing with the situation in Haiti, where the world body has deployed 4,577 peacekeepers as part of the mission known as MINUSTAH (U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti) since 2004 at an annual cost of $500 million.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

What’s the U.S. Role in Haiti’s Fraudulent Elections?

January 13, 2016 - 18:50

In this interview, IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon explains the current election crisis in Haiti and the U.S. role in the elections. From funding, to wrongly announcing a lack of fraud, many are suspicious of the U.S. influence in the outcome of the presidential race, which is currently scheduled for January 24.

Is the U.S. Facilitating Rigged Elections in Haiti?

WHDT World News
January 13, 2016

Click HERE for the original post.

Threats to Peasants’ Land Rights in Haiti

January 13, 2016 - 12:42

Below is the second piece in Other Worlds’ Haitian land rights series, featuring an interview with Ricot Jean-Pierre. Jean-Pierre discusses how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.

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

The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History

Beverly Bell, Other Worlds

January 13, 2016

Yesterday, January 12, on the sixth anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake, Haitians mourned the countless lives lost. Among the many aftershocks they face is disaster capitalism, in which the Haitian elite and foreign corporations – backed by the US  government, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank – are grabbing lands for extraction and mega-development projects. Ricot Jean-Pierre, social worker and program director of the Platform to Advocate Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA), tells how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.   

Today we live in a crucial moment in which peasants are confronting challenges as they grapple with global warming, with the power of multinational companies over what they eat and how they live, and with an agricultural model that can’t provide them livelihood. Among the risks and catastrophes the peasants confront are lack of quality and quantity in food production, and their right to live as human beings. They also face a challenge in accessing the basic resources they need to produce, especially seeds and water.

The biggest problem has to do with access to land. Land defines social relations and economic systems in communities and countries. The right to land is linked with the agricultural system peasants want and to the kind of economic model that can buttress it. We see this in Haiti as all over in Latin America, Africa, and other parts the world.

Click HERE for the full text.

Legal Analysis of UN Immunity in Haiti Cholera and Other Cases

January 13, 2016 - 10:25

Below is a law review abstract on our cholera case against the United Nations, focused on the issue of UN immunity. The article examines the reasons for UN immunity, the case against absolute immunity and counterarguments against that position, and the idea of partial immunity or waiving UN immunity in particular cases (like cholera in Haiti).

Click HERE for the full text.

The United Nations as Good Samaritan: Immunity and Responsibility

Kristen E. Boon, Chicago Journal of International Law
January 2016

Since the U.N.’s founding, its need for immunity from the jurisdiction of member states courts has been understood as necessary to achieve its purposes. Immunities, however, conflict with an individual’s right to a remedy and the law’s ordinary principles of responsibility for causing harm. This inherent conflict at the center of the immunity doctrine has evolved into a very public rift in the Haiti Cholera, Kosovo Lead Poisoning, and Mothers of Srebrenica cases against the U.N.

In these three cases alleging mass torts by the U.N., the independence of the organization is perceived by some to have trumped the dignity of affected individuals. Due to a combination of factors, including the U.N.’s broad immunities, the limited jurisdiction rationae personae of courts over international organizations (IOs), and the nascent state of the U.N.’s own internal review mechanisms, not to mention continuing debate over whether human rights obligations bind the U.N. directly under international law, these cases of human tragedy have resulted in neither compensation by the U.N. to the victims nor access to domestic courts.

This article argues that the threshold problem with the position that the U.N. is absolutely immune is that it severs ordinary legal principles: an organization is responsible for the harm it causes by its negligence. Absolute immunity also stands in contrast to the U.N.’s programmatic promotion of the Rule of Law and to the standards expected of member states. While partial immunity is justified under certain circumstances, the categorical assertion of absolute U.N. immunity does not survive an assessment of accountability, distributive justice, or economics. U.N. Member States should join the conversation about what immunities mean to the U.N. today given its contemporary mandate and impact on individuals. If they do not, there may be consequences for the U.N. that are disadvantageous for its future work.

Click HERE for the full text.

Discrimination and the Ongoing Citizenship Crisis in DR and Haiti

January 13, 2016 - 09:08

This article tells a detailed story of how the crisis on the Dominico-Haitian border developed, beginning with stories of the people now living in camps on the border. It ties these individual stories to the larger story of how the Dominican Republic first began stripping citizenship from Dominicans of Haitian descent, making clear the devastating impact of these discriminatory actions on both individuals and society in the two countries.

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

In ExileDeportations and violence have driven tens of thousands of people of Haitian
descent from their homes in the Dominican Republic — while the world is silent.

Jonathan M. Katz, The New York Times
January 13, 2016

At the far southeastern tip of Haiti, just outside the border town of Anse-à-Pitres, there was a farm. When the farmer’s grandfather bought the land years ago, he arrived with a cow that birthed twin calves. It was a sign of good fortune — a gift from God — so he named the land the “gift ranch,” or Parc Cadeau.

The property was delineated on the west by a partly paved road and on the east by the babbling Pedernales River, which marked the border with the Dominican Republic. In between was a grove of mesquite trees. Whenever money was tight, the farmer would cut down trees to sell as charcoal. But each tree he cut down made the farm less productive, which made money even tighter. Eventually there were almost no trees left, and the loose topsoil blew in dirt storms that kicked up with every gust of wind.

Last summer, people began to show up at the farmer’s mud-walled shack. They could speak Haitian Creole, but often with a Dominican accent. They said they had come from the Dominican Republic, where the government was planning to expel anyone of Haitian descent, by force if necessary. They told stories of vigilantes carrying machetes and axes. The threats reminded them of their grandparents’ stories of 1937, when Dominican soldiers massacred anyone living along the border they thought looked or sounded like a Haitian. “Every time there is a deportation, there is a massacre,” one refugee said.

The farmer said they could set up camp on his land. He figured they would move on or go back home soon. But the people didn’t move. More arrived every day. At bigger crossings farther north, many of the tens of thousands fleeing across the border went on to the Haitian interior. But in the far south, around Anse-à-Pitres, the chalky mountain roads are harder to cross, so the migrants set up camps just past the border.

They were dropped off by caravans of brightly painted Daihatsu trucks or came on foot, carrying pots, pans and mattresses, balancing suitcases on their heads. They built shelters with frames made of branches and covered them with whatever material they could find. One family made a wall out of a pair of XXL Levi’s jeans. Another stretched out a dirty Snuggie, its left sleeve hanging out like a limp windsock. Someone found a huge purple-and-yellow vinyl poster bearing the smiling face of a Dominican congressional candidate and used it as a waterproof roof.

By fall, 2,000 people were living in the dirt in Parc Cadeau. The settlement had become large enough to split into two camps and permanent enough to produce community leaders, a wicker-walled church and a school. The farmer threw up his hands and went back to selling charcoal.

One morning in November, Peres Yves Jean and Mirlene Lamour sat at the entrance to their shelter in Parc Cadeau. The structure was of the same cardboard-and-sticks construction as their neighbors’. Lamour had found a comforter and sheets to make a roof; atop it, a doll’s head gazed up at the sky. The couple spoke softly to each other, the way people learn to when they live in places where they don’t want to be overheard.

Jean was 35, but he had the parched, worn voice of a man twice his age. Lamour, 33, rested her head on her hands. She liked to keep up her appearance, but it was hard to do in Parc Cadeau. The leopard-print scarf around her braided hair had begun to fray in the sun. Her fingernails bore the chipped purple remnants of a manicure applied long ago.

The subject of the conversation, as usual, was money. There was no work for Jean and Lamour in Anse-à-Pitres and certainly not in Parc Cadeau. Lamour had resorted to selling their possessions — the sheets, her plate, even her mirror — for food. The family had originally brought two mattresses for six people to sleep on. They had had to sell one. “I can’t hold on anymore,” she said, exhausted.

Their language was a blend of Haitian Creole and Spanish. Jean and Lamour were born in Haiti but had lived in the Dominican Republic most of their lives. In happier times, they told Haitian jokes to each other and danced to Dominican bachata on the radio. Their seven children were all born on Dominican soil — some literally on the soil, in a little palmwood cabin on a farm outside Los Patos, a town in the Dominican southwest. They had lived there until the previous spring, when the trouble began.

In the summer of 2015, as overloaded fishing boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, lines of displaced Syrians snaked north across Europe and the American presidential debates were consumed by arguments over refugee quotas and Latin American immigrants, the Dominican Republic became embroiled in a migration crisis of its own. But this was a different sort of crisis — one of the country’s own making.

People of Haitian descent make up by far the largest ethnic minority in the Dominican Republic, though estimates of their numbers vary widely, from half a million to more than a million, out of the country’s population of 10.4 million. Some were born there, some immigrated, others move back and forth along the mostly unmarked and unguarded border. They are all lumped together in the Dominican imagination as, simply, haitianos, and many of them make up an underclass that is the backbone of the country’s labor force, tending its farms, cleaning its floors, building its houses and skyscrapers, staffing its all-inclusive resorts.

Click HERE for the full article.

Six Years Post-Quake and Not Much Change – Interview with Brian Concannon

January 12, 2016 - 12:42

Today, January 12, marks the sixth anniversary of Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake. Despite billions pledged and spent in Haiti since then, there is not much to show for it. IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon explains what went wrong, like not consulting Haitians on what their country needed and relying on expensive international experts.

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

Anger in Haiti over misspent aid, six years after the 2010 earthquake

Christopher Woolf, PRI’s The World
January 12, 2016

It’s six years since an earthquake devastated Haiti, and killed at least 200,000 people.

In the immediate aftermath, the world rallied and pledged enormous amounts of assistance and development aid. But in Haiti today there is anger about the promises that have fallen short.

The UN estimates that about $10 billion was pledged, and about half of that has been spent.

Much was well-spent, especially in the beginning, according to Brian Concannon, executive director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Concannon has worked in and for Haiti for more than 20 years.

Click HERE for the full text and audio.

Brother, I’m Being Deported: The Dominican Republic Deportation Crisis and What We Can Do About It

January 12, 2016 - 06:55

WHAT:

A unique technology-enabled discussion between human rights lawyer Brian Concannon and author Edwidge Danticat.

The forced departure of tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic is both a tragedy and an opportunity.

Edwidge and Brian will discuss the humanitarian crisis and its deep-rooted causes, as well as the promising movement – fueled by social media and new models of human rights advocacy– to address both the crisis and its underlying causes.

Brian Concannon, Jr.  is a lawyer who directs the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Mr. Concannon is an O’Donnell Visiting Educator this Spring

Edwidge Danticat is an author and human rights activist and was this year’s Summer Read author.

This event is sponsored by Ashton J. and Virginia Graham O’Donnell Endowed Chair in Global Studies and the President’s Office.

WHERE:

Olin Hall, Olin 130
920 E Isaacs
Walla Walla, WA

WHEN:

4pm
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

 

Click HERE for the original event post.

2016 Events Commemorating Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake

January 12, 2016 - 05:19

Tour de Quisqueya | January 9-18 | Port Salut, Haiti

Haiti Cultural Night – The Whistler | January 9 at 5:30 PM | St. Columba Catholic Church: 6401 San Pablo Ave. Oakland, CA 94608

Worship Service & Haiti Earthquake Commemoration | January 10 at 11am | 1313 Bristol Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Memoirs of the Diaspora Art & Cultural Exhibit | January 10 at 4pm | Queens Museum: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368

Protest outside the Clinton Foundation | January 12 at noon | 1271 6th Ave – Avenue of the Americas

Haiti Earthquake 6th Anniversary March and Vigil | January 12 at 4:30pm | N. Miami Avenue and 62 Street (in front of the statue of Toussaint L’Ouverture)

The Haitian Coalition January 12, 2016 Commemoration Vigil | January 12 at 5pm | Tufts University, Medford, MA

Community forum to remember the victims | January 12 at 6pm | I.S. 246 – Walt Whitman Junior High School: 72 Veronica Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11226

Ti Pil Ti Pil Fé Chaj: A commemoration on the 6th Anniversary since Haiti’s Earthquake to benefit Haitian midwifery education | January 12 at 6pm | Home Sweet Harlem: 1528 Amsterdam Avenue NYC 10031 (b/w 135th and 156th Streets)

Live earthquake commemoration television program | January 12 at 8:30pm | Boston, MA/online

6th Annual Save Haiti Bike Ride | January 16 at 7:45am | Moca Plaza, North Miami, FL

3rd Annual Haiti Clinic 5K Run/Walk | January 16 at 8am | South Beach Park in Vero Beach, FL

Haiti Earthquake 2010: 6 Years Later | January 17 at 5pm | Boston Foundation/Haiti Development Institute: 75 Arlington Street Boston, MA

IJDH Needs Legal Intern for Spring 2016

January 12, 2016 - 02:03

Are you a second- or third-year law student interested in human rights? Do you know any? If so, apply or tell them to apply to our Spring 2016 Legal Internship by January 20th!

The Legal Intern will work on our groundbreaking cholera case against the UN and gain valuable legal and advocacy experience. The Intern must have excellent oral and written communication skills and be available for at least ten hours a week.

Here’s more information on the internship and qualifications: http://www.ijdh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/IJDH-Legal-Internship-Spring-2016.pdf

Celestin still adamant that he won’t participate in “electoral masquerade” as run-off approaches

January 11, 2016 - 19:08

Campaigning for the 2nd round of Haiti’s presidential elections has already started; despite the runner up to the first round claiming he will not be participating. Celestin refuses to campaign or run until an independent electoral commission follows up on the previous round which had him finishing 2nd.

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

Crisis looms as Haiti 2nd-round presidential campaigning kicks off

Amelie Baron, L’Agence France-Presse (AFP)

January 9, 2016

Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Campaigning for the second round of Haiti’s presidential election opened Friday, with the opposition candidate refusing to participate without sweeping reforms to the process.

Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas, has endured years of political crisis aggravated by its attempt to recover from the massive January 2010 earthquake that claimed some 200,000 lives.

Candidate Jude Celestin “will not launch his campaign and will not participate in the January 24 voting” until recommendations that an independent electoral commission presented earlier are fully implemented, his campaign spokesman Augustin Jinaud told AFP.

Click HERE for full text.

 

Haiti Faces Election Crisis as 6th Earthquake Anniversary Approaches

January 11, 2016 - 12:15

Without a functioning parliament since January 2015, Haiti prepares to inaugurate 14 new Senators and 92 Deputies. Unfortunately, the elections that chose these parliamentarians, and the ones that will chose Haiti’s next president have been deeply flawed. Instead of standing with Haitians in their demands for fair and legitimate elections, the international community is pushing the country to go forward with the fraud-filled results.

Part of the press release is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Is U.S. Facilitating Rigged Elections Process in Haiti?

Institute for Public Accuracy
January 11, 2016

The Miami Herald reports: “Now as Haiti prepares to mark another quake anniversary, it is also preparing to welcome back a functioning Senate and lower house after 14 new Senators and 92 Deputies were elected in the much-criticized Aug. 9 and Oct. 25 elections.

“While in theory Martelly’s one-man rule should be curbed, observers and critics say much will depend on the configuration of each of the chambers where no one political party enjoys a majority. …

“‘The constitution doesn’t give the president the power to take decrees. Every decree President Martelly has taken is illegal,’ said [Haitian Senator Jocelerme Privert].

 

Click HERE for the full text.

International intervention has contributed to broken politics in Haiti

January 11, 2016 - 09:07

With international actors meddling in Haiti’s political and economic affairs, many believe that it will lead to further downfall.

Haiti is broken because of intervention

Letters to the Editor, Washington Post

January 9, 2016

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

The Dec. 28 editorial “Haiti’s broken politics” concluded that, absent international intervention, Haiti will crumble into anarchy. In fact, Haiti’s crisis is, in large part, a consequence of U.S. and international intervention.

This country has been occupied by U.N. soldiers for more than a decade. And it was U.S. pressure that led to the 2010 elections, months after the earthquake and weeks after the eruption of a virulent cholera outbreak, introduced by those U.N. troops. Fewer than 23 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.

President Michel Martelly has never had a democratic mandate. It was only after a nine-member team from the Organization of American States, controlled by the United States and its allies, reversed the first-round results — in an unprecedented maneuver and without justification — that Mr. Martelly even made it to the second round.

Click HERE for full text.

2 events in NYC to mark the 6th Anniversary of the 2010 Haiti earthquake

January 11, 2016 - 07:03

KOMOKODA, the Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti encourages you to join them at 2 events to mark 6 years since the tragic 2010 earthquake which killed hundreds of thousands and devastated Haiti:

WHAT: 

Protest outside the Clinton Foundation in Manhattan to denounce them for the $6 Billion recovery money they stole

WHEN:
Noon-2pm
January 12, 2016

WHERE:
1271 6th Ave – Avenue of the Americas
(Between 50th & 51st Streets)

Trains B, D, F, M to 47th-50th Rockefeller Center

***********

WHAT:
Community Forum in Brooklyn to remember the victims and indict those who used this tragedy to pillage and plunder Haiti’s resources

WHEN:
6pm
January 12, 2016

WHERE:
I.S. 246 – Walt Whitman Junior High School
72 Veronica Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11226
Entrance on Snyder Ave Between Veronica Pl. & Bedford Ave.

Trains 2, 5 to Church Ave., B44, B49, B41

For more information:
347-730-3620; 718-440-6892

Georgetown Law’s Human Rights Institute Now Hiring

January 11, 2016 - 04:10

The Human Rights Institute is pleased to share a call for applications for a new position with the International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative, based at the Law Center. The IMBR Initiative and HRI are seeking a program manager to establish and oversee a Secretariat to manage its work promoting the recognition and protection of the rights of migrants through research, education, and advocacy grounded in the IMBR – a comprehensive, coherent articulation of the legal rights of all international migrants. The program manager will join the growing Initiative at an exciting time and will be responsible for piloting a new advocacy campaign to promote the IMBR in the Americas and to expand its partnerships in the region. Applications are due by January 29, 2016.

The job posting can be found here.

More information about the IMBR Initiative can be found here.

Information about joining the Initiative’s civil society Network can be found here.

Legitimacy of January 24th run-off at stake with Celestin not participating

January 8, 2016 - 12:38

Celestin is opting not to participate on January 24th run off.  Without his participation, many already see run-off as being illegitimate.

Celestin says ‘No’ to Haiti presidential runoff

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 7, 2016

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

Haiti presidential candidate Jude Célestin says he will not be participating in this month’s runoff elections.

“The 24th is out of the question,” Célestin told the Miami Herald on Thursday. “[President Michel] Martelly will have to do an election with just one candidate.”

Célestin’s announcement came as two top U.S. envoys departed Haiti for Washington on Thursday after failing to convince him to run, and as the U.S. State Department issued a statement welcoming Martelly’s executive order scheduling the presidential and partial legislative runoff for Sunday, Jan. 24.

“We look forward to the completion of the electoral process and encourage all Haitians to participate peacefully and calmly in the vote,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. Meanwhile, the Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States in Haiti called the establishment of a date a “step in the right direction,” while urging the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) to factor into its preparations the recommendations of an elections evaluation commission to allow for a competitive process.

Click HERE for original article.

Rep. Hastings urges US to ensure truly fair Haiti election process

January 8, 2016 - 06:04

Citing “allegations of fraud and electoral misconduct,” U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings states in his January 8, 2016 letter to Secretary Kerry that, “though the push for truly free and fair elections in Haiti may be difficult, the United States must do all that it can to ensure that Haiti moves closer to such elections in the coming days and months.” Rep. Hastings’ letter joins Rep. Frederica Wilson’s December 14 letter, and December 13 and December 2 editorials by the editorial boards of The New York Times and Miami Herald respectively, which all support Haitian civil society’s demand for a Haitian-led, independent investigation into the serious allegations of fraud as prerequisite to any runoff.

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

January 8, 2016

The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:
I write to you today as the current Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and the former President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE’s) Parliamentary Assembly, to address the current democratic crises unfolding in Haiti.

With allegations of fraud and electoral misconduct coming from Haiti’s electorate in the aftermath of its October 25, 2015 elections, Haitians have once again been forced to contend with the seemingly Sisyphean task of establishing free adn fair elections in their country. The people of Haiti have struggled for decades to create legitimate democratic institutions for themselves and future generations, and though the push for truly free and fair elections in Haiti may be difficult, the United States must do all that it can to ensure that Haiti moves closer to such elections in the coming days and months, as the country works to hold a presidential runoff election.

The United States’ unyielding support for the establishment of strong democratic institutions in Haiti will help to cement confidence in such institutions and in the overall democratic process as it takes further root throughout Haiti.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

Remember Haiti 01/12/16

January 7, 2016 - 07:08

WHAT:

The anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti six year ago is on January 12, 2016. On that day, the Haitian Coalition will commemorate the memory of those who have lost their lives, and to thank the individuals that stood with us and our community over the years. It will also pay tribute to the survivors many whom are still struggling to find their bearings here in our city. The purpose of this FREE Remember Haiti 01/12/16 event is to help attendees understand the continuous effort that still needs to be done and to share the Haitian Coalition’s continuous involvement. There will be guest speaker panelist and individual survivor testimonies. Light refreshment will be provided.

WHEN: 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

5 to 8pm

WHERE: 

Tufts University

51 Winthrop Street

Medford, MA

If you have any questions please call 617-625-6400 or email Lince011@yahoo.com.

Click HERE for more info and to RSVP.

An official date has been given for Haiti’s presidential run off

January 7, 2016 - 07:05

After holding out on solidifying a run-off date, all parties have agreed on a January 24th date.  The run-off date, however, is dwarfed by the fact that the newly-elected parliament is to take office next Monday.

Part of the article is below. To view in full-text click HERE.

It’s official: Haiti presidential runoff in 17 days

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 7, 2015

Haiti President Michel Martelly issued a presidential order Wednesday officially scheduling the country’s postponed presidential and partial legislative runoffs for Jan. 24.

Martelly’s late night order came a day after the head of the Provisional Electoral Council reversed himself on the impossibility of staging the vote in time for Martelly’s Feb. 7 departure from office, and on the day that two top U.S. envoys arrived in Port-au-Prince to address an unraveling political crisis triggered by the Oct. 25 presidential and legislative elections.

Ambassador Thomas Shannon, counselor of the Department of State, and Haiti Special Coordinator Kenneth Merten, spent the first of two days meeting with key political actors including Martelly, Prime Minister Evans Paul and opposition candidate Jude Célestin. They had hoped to convince Célestin to participate in the runoff.

Click HERE for full text.

Luncheon Briefing on Gold-mining in Haiti

January 7, 2016 - 06:49

WHAT:

Join Oxfam America for a luncheon briefing on “The Risks of Gold-mining in Haiti.” Six years after the devastating earthquake, Haiti faces another potential disaster from large-scale gold-mining. Can Haiti avoid the “resource curse,” or will gold-mining contribute to even greater corruption, environmental damage and social conflict? Haiti has a unique opportunity now to hold a robust public debate about the risks of mining for the Haitian people, and to implement preventive measures to avoid future human rights abuses and environmental harms. This briefing will explore the potential risks of mining in Haiti and the role of the US government in helping ensure protection of human rights and the environment.

Panelists:
Tonny Joseph, Governance Program Manager, Oxfam Haiti
Camille Chalmers, Director, Haitian Advocacy Platform for Alternative Development (PAPDA) and Haiti Mining Justice Collective
Nikki Reisch, Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law

Moderator:
Keith Slack, Global Program Manager, Extractive Industries, Oxfam America, Washington, DC

WHERE:

B-339 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C.

WHEN:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

noon

 

RSVP here.

How Haiti’s Elections Have Been Rigged

January 7, 2016 - 06:11

Haiti’s 2015-2016 elections have been marked by rampant fraud, voter suppression, and other problems. This cheeky “guide” breaks all of those problems down to explain how the current results don’t represent the popular will.

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

Haiti: A Beginner’s Guide to Fixing Elections

Haiti Support Group

January 7, 2016

It is not always possible to control the outcome of an election (remember 1990?!). The best thing is not
to hold them at all – this worked well for all concerned in the Duvalier era. But, if elections are absolutely unavoidable, read the following guide and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Guiding principle: minimise the turnout; the smaller the turnout, the easier it is to micromanage the result.

Preparation is everything
–Eliminate hundreds of thousands of citizens from the electoral register by failing to issue them
with valid National Identification Cards

–Pass a law reducing the number of members constituting a valid political party from 500 to 30:
the more ‘parties’ the better (see below).

 

Click HERE for the full text.