Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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Fête Toussaint [Event]

May 20, 2016 - 07:45

Attend this event coordinated by the African Repertory Troupe (ART) with Toussaint Louverture in costume interacting with Mattapan square residents live in the streets and in their local businesses (3 to 5pm). Then enjoy paintings of Toussaint by Ducheine, Pascal Michel, Jean Claude Sainté and other artists and have pictures taken with Toussaint at the Mattapan Square Police building (5 to 7pm). Children welcome.


Mattapan Square

Boston, MA


Friday, May 20, 2016

3 to 6pm


Click HERE for the flyer.

PHTK Members Support Wanted Drug Trafficker Guy Philippe

May 20, 2016 - 06:23

Supporters of PHTK, former president Martelly’s party have spoken out in support of Guy Philippe, a Senate candidate who is wanted by the US Drug Enforcement Agency for drug trafficking. The supporters say that Philippe was not responsible for the attack against a major police station, as one of the attackers alleged.

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

Les Cayes attack: Martelly supporters solidarity with Guy Philippe

Haiti Sentinel

May 20, 2016

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Ouest, Haiti ( – Supporters of the former Martelly regime held a press conference Friday to lend their support and solidarity to Guy Philippe, a fugitive of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who is accused of having orchestrated a terror attack on the departmental police station in Les Cayes, Haiti on Monday.

Officials from Repons Peyizan, the political party former President Michel Martelly rode to power, Viktwa and Baz Tet Kale, said they rejected the accusations being launched against Guy Philippe, who is a candidate for senate for Grand’Anse under the party KLE.

Click HERE for the full text.


Haiti’s Interim President Reassures the Population About Election Verification

May 19, 2016 - 06:28

As concerns increase that Haiti’s interim president is trying to hold onto power indefinitely, he addressed the nation on Flag Day to reassure them that the elections will happen. An electoral verification commission is currently analyzing the past rounds of elections due to allegations of rampant fraud, to make sure that the process is truly democratic.

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

Interim President in Haiti calls for patience amidst election deadlock

Linnete Bahati, AfricaNews

May 19, 2015

Haiti’s Interim President Joclerme Privert has called on the country to be patient as preparations are underway for another round of presidential elections.

Speaking during the Flag Day celebrations, the temporary leader assured the population of his commitment for the polls to take place as soon as possible.

“I am calling on you all to be patient. The electoral tribunal announced the publication of the calendar for the 15th or 31st of May. The electoral tribunal is saying what the people have been waiting for. The electoral verification commission, which has a one-month mandate, has also said that the people are waiting for the results of their work. I hope that the electoral process is definitively re-launched,” he said.


Click HERE for the full text.

Paramilitaries Attack a Police Station in Haiti

May 18, 2016 - 07:15

Before dawn on May 16, a group of paramilitaries attacked the police station in Haiti’s third-largest city, resulting in four deaths and many injuries. An interview with one of the attackers, Théléus, revealed that they were under the command of Guy Philippe, a Senate candidate who helped lead the 2004 coup d’ état and is wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for drug trafficking. Théléus said that this attack is part of a larger plan to attack police stations all over Haiti, create havoc, and overthrow the provisional president.

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

Guy Philippe’s Paramilitaries Launch Deadly Attack Against the Aux Cayes Police Station

Yves Pierre-Louis, Haïti Liberté

May 18, 2016

In the hours before dawn on Mon., May 16, 2016, heavily armed assailants, dressed in green and camouflage army uniforms, attacked the main police station in Aux Cayes, Haiti’s third largest city. The toll was heavy. One policeman and four attackers were killed, and several were wounded on both sides.

At the station, the attackers killed police officer Tisson Jean Pierre, assigned to the Departmental Unit for the Maintenance of Order (UDMO), police said.

Another policeman, Wendy Dorléan, was seriously wounded and rushed to the hospital. Officer Pierre Jeannot and an agent of the National Penitentiary Administration (APENA) were slightly wounded. Other police officers were handcuffed and brutalized inside the police station. The assailants sacked the office of the station’s chief and hauled off heavy weapons, fleeing towards the town of Pestel, where paramilitary chieftain and Senate candidate Guy Philippe has holed up for years.


Click HERE for the full text.

Dominicans of Haitian Descent Excluded from Voting Through Discriminatory Laws

May 16, 2016 - 06:36

In 2015, the Dominican Republic (DR) got international backlash for new regulations that stripped citizenship from over 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent. In response, DR created a law to help these people back to full citizenship, but only a small fraction were able to make it through the bureaucratic hurdles. Now, the majority are not only unable to vote but part of the group (Group B) may have no way to attain citizenship, as these people were forced to register as foreigners and obtain a foreign ID, though they were born in DR. While political candidates continue to avoid these issues, is working to make sure that they can come into public dialogue so that Dominicans of Haitian descent, especially those in Group B, can exercise their right to vote and even run for public office to protect their rights in the future.

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

Tens Of Thousands Of Dominicans Of Haitian Descent Were Unable To Vote In Yesterday’s Elections

Jonathan DiMaio, Remezcla

May 16, 2016

On May 15, the Dominican Republic held its general elections for presidency, vice presidency, congress, and municipal leaders. But not all Dominicans of voting age were allowed to vote. In spring and summer of 2015, the Dominican government’s plan to deport and expel tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent gained international attention and condemnation. By the end of the year, the Dominican government deported thousands of people to Haiti, some of whom qualified as Dominican citizens, and today many Dominicans of Haitian descent who live in the Dominican Republic cannot vote because they are denied documentation. I recently sat down with Ana Maria Belique, an internationally recognized human and civil rights advocate and a founder and leader of, an organization that advocates for full citizenship for Dominicans who have been stripped of or are at risk of losing their citizenship because of their Haitian ancestry. I asked Ana Maria about developments in the country, in particular Dominicans of Haitian descent’s movement for full citizenship.

Before diving into the interview, below you can catch up on the complicated circumstances and recent events leading to the current situation in the Dominican Republic. If you’re up to date, skip to the interview after the jump:


Click HERE for the full text.

RFK Human Rights Seeks Latin America and Caribbean Program Officer

May 15, 2016 - 12:19
Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean

Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights – Washington, DC

(Washington, DC)

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is accepting applications for an immediate opening for a Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean within its advocacy and litigation program.

The Program Officer will work with the Partners for Human Rights Programs Director and Managing Attorney to develop and implement advocacy and capacity-building programs on human rights in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as support strategic litigation on human rights cases in the region. Primary thematic areas of work will include protecting civil and political participation, combating discrimination in access to citizenship, as well as ending gender-based violence and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We are receiving applications on a rolling basis and the start date will be June 1. This is a full-time position funded through December 2016 and may be subject to extension depending on funding availability. Salary commensurate with work experience. Authorization to work in the U.S. required. If interested please e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to: , with the subject line: Program Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean.

No calls please. Thank you for your interest.



Click HERE for the full position description.

Haitian Parliamentarians Nervous About Election Delay

May 15, 2016 - 11:49

Based on an early-February agreement, Haiti’s next president was supposed to be sworn in on May 14. As the deadline neared and passed, members of Haiti’s Parliament are becoming increasingly nervous about whether the interim president, Privert, is planning to try to hold on to power. Privert says that the delays are meant to allow the verification of the previous rounds of elections but hasn’t yet given a time-frame for the next round of elections.

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

Haiti’s Parliament to meet in emergency session on Tuesday

Jamaica Observer

May 15, 2016

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – Haiti’s Interim President Jocelerme Privert has called an emergency meeting of Parliament on Tuesday to discuss a number of issues amid fears by opposition politicians that he could use the occasion to further delay presidential elections in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

According to the decree issued by Privert, the Parliament with many of the law makers on annual leave, will discuss issues ranging from the draft penal code to a law creating a basic public service in communal sections.

But political observers note that “nothing appears in the agenda concerning the non-holding of elections provided for in the agreement of 6 February”.


Click HERE for the full text.

IJDH’s Newest Board Member Discusses Justice at Mount Holyoke College

May 15, 2016 - 07:45

Joia Mukherjee, IJDH’s newest board member and a long-time collaborator delivered a powerful commencement address at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts. The address is a must-read for anyone who cares about justice or healthcare, providing examples from Haiti, Kenya and more of how activism can change the world.

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

Commencement Address 2016

May 15, 2016

Following is a transcript of the keynote speech by Joia Mukherjee, the chief medical officer for Partners In Health.

Thank you, President Pasquerella, Chairperson Baumann. The faculty, the staff of Mount Holyoke College. And congratulations to my fellow honorary degree recipients. I am very delighted to be here with all of you.

Most of all, congratulations to all of you, the class of 2016.


I am so proud to be one of your classmates! A blue lion, just like you.


Warmest congratulations to families, and loved ones, and friends who have accompanied these graduates for the last four years—and often longer—who stood by you through in your freshman year jitters, four South Hadley winters—including the snowpacalypse of 2015, even in Boston we had a lot of snow—and the decisions about majors, your triumphs, your tragedies. This graduation is for all of your loved ones and “accompagnateurs,” as we say at Partners in Health. Thank you all.


It is a great honor to be here and receive this degree from Mount Holyoke, the oldest of the Seven Sisters.


When this college was founded in 1837, the very idea of women’s education was radical. Think about that for a minute. That revolutionary idea, that Mary Lyon put forward, made it her mission to use education to disrupt hegemonic forces of the day. That’s your mission.

Let’s fast-forward to the now. President Pasquerella’s final Commencement. We’ve come full circle, the president and I. I was six years ago invited to speak as part of her inaugural activities here at Mount Holyoke College. At that time, she said, “In order to promote women’s leadership, women’s political participation, women’s economic capacity, and in order to stem violence against women, we must turn to education.”

Click HERE for the full text.

Bertha Justice Initiative Seeks Program Director (London)

May 13, 2016 - 11:19

Bertha UK Ltd is seeking a full-time Program Director for the Bertha Justice Initiative program. The successful candidate will be based in the Bertha offices in London. Bertha UK Ltd advises the Bertha Foundation in Geneva.

The Bertha Foundation supports forms of activism that aim to bring about change and champions those using media and law as tools to achieve their vision ( We envision a society where activists build collective power, stories come from many different voices, and law is a tool for justice.

The Bertha Justice Initiative, our law portfolio, is focused on promoting movement lawyering and human rights ( The program funds two-year fellowships for emerging lawyers – currently more than 100 lawyers in 17 countries – to work with and learn from the most exciting and progressive law firms, which are part of the Bertha Justice network.

We are looking for a new leader to head the Bertha Justice Initiative and to continue the program, which aims to inspire and support emerging lawyers around the world.

Application Instructions

Salary is commensurate with experience; generous benefits package included.

To apply: Interested candidates should submit a CV and cover letter that specifically addresses the candidate’s suitability to perform the job responsibilities detailed above to:

Deadline: 31 May 2016

Start date: As soon as possible

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Only those offered interviews will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Bertha UK Ltd is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds to apply. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation.


Click HERE for the full position description.

Haitian Diaspora Advocacy for Cholera Justice Grows

May 12, 2016 - 19:13

That Haitian diaspora has the potential to be a strong force in the cholera justice movement, particularly because it is strongest in countries that have major influence on the United Nations–the United States, Canada, and France. The renewed calls for cholera justice were reinforced this week by Haitian cholera victims’ delivery of over 2000 letters to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. For the first time, several governments have also called for justice. If all of these groups continue to come together for cholera justice, the UN will have no choice but to be accountable.

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

Moving Closer to Justice for the Victims of Cholera in Haiti

Beatrice Lindstrom, Boston Haitian Reporter

May 12, 2016

Men Anpil, Chay Pa Lou

Haitian cholera victims and diaspora leaders abroad are turning up the pressure on powerful governments around the world, asking them to use their influence to press the UN to provide justice and reparations to the hundreds of thousands who have suffered from the cholera that UN peacekeepers brought to Haiti in 2010. This targeted pressure is showing encouraging signs of new progress—in recent months, several governments have for the first time called for a just response, and UN member states are reportedly in conversation with the UN Secretariat about compensation for the victims.

The pressure on governments is coming from all sides and taking various forms—from personalized appeals to high-level political meetings. This week, victims of cholera in Haiti are delivering over 2,000 personal letters addressed to members of the UN Security Council to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince. The letters implore the world leaders to support Haitians’ human right to a remedy. For example, cholera survivor Gerald St Fleur wrote in one of the many letters: “It is with great sadness that I am writing this letter. It is an opportunity to remind you that human rights should be respected no matter which country one is from.”

The community groups leading the letter writing campaign explained that “[w]e know that the fate of cholera victims ultimately depends on the willingness of member states of the UN Security Council, who have the power to ensure that the UN lives up to its own principles… We ask you to feel the injustice we have suffered.”

The Haitian diaspora living abroad is also doing their part to call on their governments to hold the UN accountable. Countries that are home to large Haitian diaspora—such as the United States, Canada and France—are some of the most powerful in the world and wield significant influence with the UN.


Click HERE for the full text.

Teach In: What’s Happening in Haiti

May 12, 2016 - 12:25



For almost a year, 68 grassroots organizations in Haiti have joined together and have taken to the streets in massive numbers. They have stopped fraudulent presidential and legislative elections from taking place and have forced President Michel Martelly out of office. The teach-in will give us the latest information about where this struggle stands, how the United States is subverting democracy, and how we can show our solidarity.


First Congregational Church of Oakland

2501 Harrison Street

Oakland, CA



Sunday, May 22, 2016


Haitian Cholera Victims Deliver 2,000 Personal Letters to United States Embassy

May 11, 2016 - 11:23


Contact:  Kermshlise Picard, Communications Coordinator, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, ; 617-652-0876 (English, Haitian Creole)

Haitian Cholera Victims Deliver 2,000 Personal Letters to United States Embassy

Appeal for US action on UN cholera

PORT-AU-PRINCE, May 10 2016— Victims of the ongoing cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers will hold a demonstration and hand deliver over 2000 personal letters appealing for justice to the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince this Thursday 12 May. Victims are calling on the U.S. government to stop defending the UN’s immunity and instead use its power and influence to press the world body to provide reparations in accordance with its legal obligations.

“The U.S is one of the most powerful countries in the world, a permanent member of the Security Council and the host state for the United Nations. It has the power to ensure that the UN responds justly to cholera victims and has not only failed to do so, but actively opposed victims’ claims” said Mario Joseph, Managing Attorney of Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), who has been seeking justice on behalf of cholera victims since 2011.

The U.S. government has consistently sided with the United Nations and protected the organization from having to fulfill its legal obligations to cholera victims, even as pressure on the organization to take action mounts inside and outside the UN system. Since 2013, the U.S. Government has defended the UN’s immunity against a lawsuit filed by victims in U.S. federal court, after the UN itself refused to appear. This position has drawn pointed criticisms, with Haitian-American leaders condemning the Government’s decision to ‘honor impunity’ rather than access to justice and a US appeals court earlier this year questioning what other possible recourse to justice the Government’s position allowed.

Victims in Haiti are calling on the United States to shift position and support accountability and their right to a remedy. “It is with great sadness that I am writing this letter. It is an opportunity to remind you that human rights should be respected no matter which country one is from” wrote cholera survivor Gerald St Fleur, in one of the many letters that will be delivered Thursday.

Thousands of cholera victims mobilized to write the letters, which are addressed to all Member States of the Security Council, in late 2015, to mark International Human Rights Day. The letters were delivered to Member State missions in New York, along with an appeal for a response. Six months later, victims are yet to hear anything from the U.S. Government and several other Security Council member states, and are renewing their appeals.

“We know that the fate of cholera victims ultimately depends on the willingness of member states of the UN Security Council, who have the power to ensure that the UN lives up to its own principles… We ask you to feel the injustice we have suffered” the community groups leading the letter writing campaign said in their cover letter to member states.

The U.S. has a particularly critical role to play in ensuring UN accountability, due to its power within the Security Council, role as a major funder of UN peacekeeping and position in opposing the lawsuit filed by victims. Victims are also calling on Haitian interim President Jocelerme Privert to take a “public position in support of cholera victims”.

These appeals come at a critical juncture in the international movement for cholera justice, with momentum building within the UN system to move forward in resolving victims’ claims.  In the past months several UN mandate holders, member states, and candidates for the position of next UN Secretary-General have publicly backed victims’ calls for remedies.

“I am depending on your collaboration …to really commit yourselves to give us all the respect and give us back our dignity with this disease that has made so many of us suffer here in Haiti. To all I am begging you to give us justice and compensation as is our right” appealed Decenat Fontilia, who fell ill with cholera in 2011.

Victims will hold a press conference at the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux tomorrow Wednesday 11 May at 11am and will gather outside the U.S. embassy for a public demonstration at 11am on Thursday 12 May, before delivering the letters.  Victims have also sought a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Peter Mulrean to present their appeals in person.

The letters, along with a selection of translations in English, can be viewed at



Why such strong opposition to the USDA peanut plan?

May 11, 2016 - 10:57

On the surface, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to malnourished Haitian children may sound great. Those familiar with Haitian agricultural and economic history, however, are strongly opposing this program because shipments of rice to Haiti in the 1980s and 1990s all but destroyed the Haitian rice market. Many, including IJDH, have written letters and made statements on the risks of the USDA plan but right now, the USDA says that it will still make the shipment before school starts in the fall. Can continued advocacy stop this plan from going through?

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

The US wants to give peanuts to malnourished Haitian kids. Why is that a problem?

Amy Bracken, PRI’s The World

May 11, 2016

For those unfamiliar with Haitian history and agriculture, the recent uproar over US Department of Agriculture plans to give 500 metric tons of peanuts to malnourished Haitian schoolchildren might be puzzling.

Here’s what it’s about.

In March, the USDA blogged in a chipper post that it had “crafted a deal” to acquire surplus peanuts from American farmers and donate them to Haiti.

It provoked hate mail.

Haitian peanut farmers and manufactures were mad. So were Haitian agronomists, citizens concerned about the country’s future, and dozens of Haitian and foreign NGOs.

Oxfam, Partners in Health, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and others sent out letters of protest.


Click HERE for the full text and audio.

Why is everyone so worried about USDA’s peanut shipment to Haiti?

May 11, 2016 - 09:50

When the US Department of Agriculture announced a plan to ship surplus US peanuts to Haiti to feed malnourished children, there was an immediate and prolonged backlash. From Haitian farmers to economists to human rights groups in the US, many spoke out urging the USDA to reconsider, especially given the devastating impact US shipments of rice had on Haiti’s rice market and farmers. While the plan may sound generous on the surface, the USDA doesn’t seem to have done any market analysis or sought to make this plan sustainable without interfering with Haitian peanut farmers’ livelihoods.

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

Dumping nuts

Raymond C. Offenheiser, The Hill

May 11, 2016

It’s a classic case of good intentions gone bad. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is planning to dump 500 metric tons of packaged, dry-roasted peanuts on Haiti as part of its “Stocks for Food” program, which transfers surplus farm commodities acquired by the government through domestic farm subsidies.

Thanks to the Farm Bill, the US is sitting on 16,000 metric tons of peanuts as American growers forfeited their crop, rather than pay federal loans that are used to finance production and storage costs.

The USDA is trying to put these peanuts to good use, hoping that shipping them to Haiti will feed 140,000 malnourished school children. Indeed, Haiti is one of the most food-insecure places on earth, with one in every four Haitian preschool children being stunted by chronic malnutrition. And yet civil society groups and farmer organizations in Haiti and the US are sounding the alarm: dumping these peanuts in Haiti does not present a lasting solution to feeding school children and could even do some serious damage to the country’s growing peanut crop.


Click HERE for the full text.

New England International Donors Seeks Executive Director

May 10, 2016 - 14:16


The Executive Director will work closely with the New England International Donors (NEID) Advisory Board to develop strategies, to produce annual operating budgets, to generate requisite funding, and to mobilize and manage NEID’s resources to achieve its mission as effectively as possible.  The Executive Director will work to further the collaboration between NEID and The Boston Foundation, specifically working with The Center for Global Philanthropy.  The Executive Director will work to create a highly efficient and fluid operating culture that is both strategic and responsive to the goals and needs of a membership organization.

Essential Functions:

Program Development – work with the Board to develop a “pro-active” program agenda to advance our mission, to identify and nurture critical partnerships, to be responsive to member-driven agendas and to propel global change;

Program Execution – recruit presenters/facilitators, publicize and recruit attendance to events, provide logistical coordination and solicit feedback on varied programs;
Budget Management – produce and provide quarterly budget updates that align strategic mission goals with tactical objectives and constraints;

Fundraising – Ensure the budget is supported in “partnership” with the Advisory Board through effective fund raising via membership dues, grant proposals, annual “event(s)” and other efforts;

Communications – manage the web-based calendar to inform membership; publish a monthly newsletter of curated events; create promotional materials; and prepare reports and other information for regular Board meetings

Culture – Create an entrepreneurial “can do” environment that supports multiple activities at various levels of development from idea through design to execution.  Support a climate of collaboration with members, external partners and the Advisory Board. Integrate NEID programs into the Center for Global Philanthropy (CGP) to ensure that NEID is “connected” to the intellectual energy and resources of the larger work of The Philanthropic Initiative/The Boston Foundation (TPI/TBF).

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • -The Director will allocate 10% of his/her time and effort to the goals of the CGP.  This is to ensure that s/he is “connected” to a larger organization that shares a common mission: affording intellectual peer networking and a collegial working environment.
  • -The Director will be expected to provide managerial support and direction to a full-time assistant.
  • -Individuals assigned to this position may perform other duties as assigned.


Click HERE for more information.


May 9, 2016 - 08:00


UN peacekeepers are bound, at the very least, to do no harm. But what happens when the peacekeepers bring untold suffering to those they are sent to protect? In 2010 a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera into Haiti, a country where the disease had not existed for more than 100 years. More than 800,000 people have been infected and more than 9,000 have died. Yet no remedies have been made available to the victims, and the UN has relied on legal immunity to resist any claims being brought to court.  Freedman and Lemay-Hebert are Senior Lecturers at Birmingham University’s Law School and International Development Department.


Wednesday June 1, 2016



Oxfam Moot



Click HERE to purchase a ticket.

Election Verification Threatens Haiti Presidential Front-runner

May 8, 2016 - 08:47

Despite strong opposition to a verification of the previous rounds of elections in Haiti by the former president’s party, PHTK, the verification process is underway. For the first time, it seems like the named presidential front-runner, Jovenel Moïse, fears losing his position. Many of the people calling for verification suspect that much of the electoral fraud was in favor of Moïse, PHTK’s candidate. If this is found to be true, he will likely be disqualified from the next round of elections.

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

Jovenel fears disqualification from Haiti presidential election

Samuel Maxime, Haiti Sentinel

May 8, 2016

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ( – The candidate for the party of the former totalitarian regime began, on Monday, to express his fear that the newly installed Election Verification Commission may determine he benefited from an electoral fraud operation and therefore recommend he be disqualified from further participation in the elections.

Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK) of former President Michel Martelly has been vehemently against the establishment of a commission to verify the results of the 2015 elections. Party members call the commission the Election “Falsification” Commission and, with their allies, announced a nationwide strike for Monday, May 2, 2016, to protest against the commission. For days, party surrogates told the public not to take the streets on that day and stay home.

But it was early in the morning that it seemed Haitians were not willing to support the party’s plea including its candidate for president, Jovenel Moïse. Moïse was live and in studio as an invitee on Radio Television Caraïbes 5:30 am news program with Bob C


Click HERE for the full text.

Congressional Letter Against USDA Peanut Dumping in Haiti

May 6, 2016 - 18:19

The Massachusetts Delegation of Senators and Representatives wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the State Department to encourage the Department of Agriculture (USDA) not to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haiti. According to the USDA, this shipment of peanuts will be a great help to Haiti during its current hunger crisis. Haitians and advocates, however, recognize the devastating impact this shipment would have, as Haiti already produces its own peanuts and the industry has recovered well since the 2010 earthquake. The Delegation wrote this letter in support of Massachusetts Senator Linda Dorcena Forry’s letter opposing the USDA’s peanut plan.

Click HERE for the full letter and signatures.

May 6, 2016

The Hon. John F. Kerry, Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write in support of our friend, Massachusetts State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry who wrote to you earlier this month expressing concern about an announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, regarding the proposed shipment of 500 metric tons of surplus peanuts to Haiti. Senator Forry tells us that she spoke on April 12, 2016, with Kenneth H. Merten, Haiti Special Coordinator, and that he understood her concerns. We are grateful that the Department of State responded so promptly to Senator Forry, whom we all respect for her solicitude for Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora, whom we are proud to represent. We urge you to use the wisdom and influence of the Department of State to encourage the Department of Agriculture to reconsider this plan.


Click HERE for the full letter and signatures.

Washington Office on Latin America Seeks Executive Director

May 6, 2016 - 11:30

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) – a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas – seeks a visionary Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for setting the strategic direction and overseeing the program and operation of the organization in support of WOLA’s mission. The Executive Director must work closely with the human rights, religious, academic, media, artistic, and foreign policy communities in Washington, DC, across the U.S. and Latin America, and around the world.

WOLA is a vibrant and growing organization where the staff is knowledgeable and motivated, goal-oriented, connected to colleagues in the region, and passionate about the mission. The Executive Director leads and supports the staff with a culture of innovation, collaboration, and excellence. WOLA has been recognized twice by Washingtonian Magazine as one of DC’s “Best Places to Work” and byThe Washington Post as one of DC’s best-managed nonprofits.

WOLA’s office has a paid staff of twenty-four, plus seven interns and seven Senior Fellows.

Job Purpose
The Executive Director is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization, working closely with the Board of Directors. S/he oversees a management team of four Directors (Program, Development, Finance/Operations, and Communications), along with issue/regional-specific program, development, communications, and operations staff. The Executive Director has an Executive Assistant.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
The Executive Director performs some or all of the following:


  • Reports to the Board of Directors on the organization’s activities.
  • Represents WOLA and maintains positive working relationships with a broad range of actors, including policymakers, funders, and partners in the U.S. Congress and administration. Also maintains a network of relationships throughout the Americas and around the world through private engagements, public forums and events, conferences, and other meetings as appropriate.
  • Educates policy elites, advocates, colleagues, and the general public in the U.S. and the hemisphere on the purpose and role of WOLA and the impact of WOLA’s work.
  • Guides the Board of Directors in reviewing and updating WOLA’s vision.
  • Provides stewardship to the Board and ensures that Board meetings are well organized and well executed.
  • Takes the lead in organizing and implementing the annual planning process and executing and, when appropriate, updating the organization’s strategic plan.


  • Provides strategic leadership for organizational fundraising with both WOLA staff and its Board of Directors.
  • With WOLA fundraising staff, develops and implements strategies to secure philanthropic support for WOLA’s priorities and leads the development of new strategic fundraising initiatives to increase WOLA’s individual donor and foundation funding base.
  • Builds and maintains relationships with institutional donors and individual major gift donors.
  • Oversees the Director of Development and the execution of the annual fundraising strategy.


  • Oversees the planning, implementation, and evaluation of WOLA’s programs, working closely with the Program Director.
  • Sets priorities on current and future program work with senior staff.
  • Ensures that all programs contribute to the mission of WOLA.
  • Develops and maintains effective systems for program development, including responsible budgeting and staffing for all programs.
  • Participates in WOLA programming according to the candidate’s own interest and expertise.


  • Provides strategic leadership on communications strategies, assessing new investments in communications tools and capabilities.
  • Helps assess and oversee the organization’s digital properties.
  • Works with the Director of Communications and appropriate program staff to develop, update, and implement the various communications strategies—from the project to the program to the institutional levels.
  • Acts as a principal institutional spokesperson, participating actively in outreach and impact activities.


  • Works with Finance/Operations Director, staff, and the Board (Finance Committee) to prepare a comprehensive budget.
  • Ensures that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed.
  • Directs the prioritization of undesignated funds.

Human Resources

  • Designs and evaluates organizational structure; determines staffing requirements.
  • Hires appropriate staff to execute the organization’s mission.
  • Ensures an organizational culture that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse, top-quality staff.
  • Implements a personnel performance evaluation process for all staff.

Candidates should have energy and enthusiasm, coupled with mature judgment, absolute integrity, and a history of working with Latin America. The Executive Director should have the following characteristics:

  • Adaptability: Demonstrate a willingness to be flexible, versatile, and tolerant in a changing environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency, including the willingness to work evenings and on weekends when necessary, and a willingness to travel, particularly in Latin America.
  • Communication: Speak, listen, and write in a clear, compelling, and timely manner, using appropriate and efficient communication tools and techniques.
  • Creativity and Entrepreneurialism: Able to find creative ways to improve the organization’s programs and operations; an instinct and ability to seek new resources to execute WOLA’s programs and initiatives, and secure the organization’s ongoing work.
  • Optimism and Tenacity: Social change takes time and persistence; WOLA’s Executive Director will need to be able to persevere to achieve the organization’s goals.
  • Collegiality: WOLA works in collaboration with many organizations, individuals, and sectors to achieve its goals. The Executive Director must be a team player.
  • Sense of Humor: This is hard work. A sense of humor helps.


  • A demonstrated commitment to human rights and social justice in the Americas.
  • An understanding of the changing dynamics in the region and in U.S. relations with the region.
  • Extensive experience in advocacy and U.S. foreign policy processes.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising from individuals and foundations.
  • English fluency required. Minimum requirement of Spanish conversational proficiency. Knowledge of Portuguese a plus.
  • Experience working or living in Latin America.
  • Experience working with the legislative process.
  • Management experience, including staff supervision.
  • Strong analytical and writing skills required.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and meet tight deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal, leadership, and communication skills.
  • Ability to produce and lead in a fast-paced, collaborative setting.

Salary: Competitive and commensurate with experience. Full health, dental, vision, long-term disability, and life insurance; four weeks annual vacation.

To Apply: Please send a cover letter and CV/resume to:

To Nominate a Candidate: Please send a note including the nominee’s name, contact information, and qualifications to

Application Deadline: July 1, 2016

Preferred Start Date: December 2016

– No phone calls please –
WOLA encourages application by minority candidates and is an equal opportunity employer.
Applications will be held in the strictest of confidence.

USDA’s Plan to Ship Peanuts to Haiti Benefits U.S., Not Haiti

May 5, 2016 - 12:12

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haiti to help with the current hunger crisis resulting from a drought in the country. The problem? Haitians already grow plenty of their own peanuts, which also are a drought-resistant plant. Many nonprofits and aid organizations, including IJDH, have stood up against this plan that would likely devastate Haiti’s economy. As one nonprofit leader says in this article: “When other crops fail, peanuts are what [Haitians are] literally relying on to survive.”

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

U.S. To Ship Peanuts To Feed Haitian Kids; Aid Groups Say ‘This Is Wrong’

Clare Leschin-Hoar, NPR

May 5, 2016

On paper, sending surplus U.S. peanuts to feed 140,000 malnourished Haitian schoolchildren for a full year sounds like a heroic plan. Instead, it’s united 60 aid groups that are urgently calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to halt a shipment containing 500 metric tons of peanuts, preventing the legumes from reaching Haiti.

The aid groups call it “crop dumping” and warn that it will deliver an economic blow to struggling Haitian peanut farmers. Critics say it’s poor aid policy that will have long-term negative impacts on Haitian communities.

“This is a country where peanut production is a huge source of livelihood for up to a half-million people, especially women, if you include the supply chains that process the peanuts,” says Claire Gilbert, spokesperson for Grassroots International, a Boston-based nonprofit that supports food sovereignty.


Click HERE for the full text.