Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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Five Years Later, UN Continues Dodging Cholera Accountability

October 14, 2015 - 12:10

In light of the fifth anniversary of cholera in Haiti, and our #FaceJustice campaign at UN headquarters in New York, Port-au-Prince and Geneva, a reporter probed the UN on its cholera response. The following exchange ensued.

Click HERE for the full article.

With Haiti Cholera Victims At UN’s Gate, ICP Asks of Accountability

Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press

October 14, 2015

Inner City Press: I want to ask about Haiti and Central African Republic. On Haiti, I’m compelled to ask you. I’m sure you saw the people with the portraits of victims outside. I understand it’s taking place outside Geneva and Port-au-Prince. And I wanted to ask you, the number they’re using is 9,000 people killed, 745,000 people sickened by cholera they say the UN brought negligently to their country and there’s been no accountability. And I wanted to know, now that Mr. [Pedro] Medrano seems to have been decommissioned and wasn’t replaced, what is the UN’s response to… to this sort of being called to task for total lack of accountability and families left without breadwinners, etcetera?

Spokesman Stephane Duajrric: I think on the legal issues, our stand has not changed. Obviously, on a more personal level, if you let me speak, I would refer you to what the Secretary-General said when he met victims… families of victims of cholera when he went to Haiti just about a year and a half ago, I believe, or two years ago. And those feelings still stand. The work that Mr. Medrano had done on mobilizing resources to take… to help support the sanitation system and the… dealing… and helping Haiti deal with the aftermath of cholera has continued under the auspices of the UN country team. So it’s not as if the UN is not active on this front.

Inner City Press: I guess my… if… if on the issue of sexual abuse and exploitation there’s a move towards setting up a trust fund to compensate victims? In this case, the families that were supported were left with nothing, so I’m wondering, has the UN done anything in that regard?

Spokesman: The UN country team and Mr. Medrano had tried to raise funds to deal with the aftermath of the cholera.

Inner City Press: Only the water issues.

Spokesman: What’s your CAR question?…


Click HERE for the full article.

5 ans plus tard, les victimes du choléra continuent de réclamer justice

October 14, 2015 - 10:34

BAI, IJDH et nos alliés avons lancé une campagne pour rappeler a l’ONU que les victimes du choléra méritent la justice. Nous avons afficher des photos du victimes du choléra a l’ONU en Port-au-Prince, New York, et Genève. En Haïti, Le Nouvelliste a parlé à quelques-uns des victimes et militants.

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

5 ans déjà, le choléra…

Quelques dizaines de victimes de l’épidémie de choléra et des organisations du mouvement social haïtien ont organisé une exposition de photos des victimes de la maladie pour continuer de réclamer justice et réparation.

Milo Milfort, Le Nouvelliste

14 octobre 2015

À la sortie de la base de la Mission des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti (Minustah) à Clercine non loin de la capitale, des organisations du mouvement social haïtien ont exposé, mercredi, quelques photos de victimes du choléra en vue de contraindre l’organisation des Nations unies (Onu) à assumer ses responsabilités dans la propagation de la maladie.

Des portraits en noir et blanc, d’hommes, de femmes, de jeunes et d’enfants, vous fixant du regard. Des clichés communiquant la souffrance endurée par les victimes. Parmi les clichés, se distingue celui d’une enfant qui a attrapé le choléra à deux reprises. Une petite fille qui a perdu ses deux parents, tués après avoir été infectés.

Cette activité se déroulait sous le regard impuissant d’agents civils et militaires dépêchés sur place, qui ne faisaient que constater la situation.

Par ailleurs, des souffre­douleurs de l’épidémie ont profité de l’occasion pour raconter les séquelles que l’épidémie laisse dans leur vie. Venus de différentes provinces qui ont été durement frappées par ce que l’ONU considère comme la plus sévère épidémie de choléra de toute l’histoire, certains disent perdre la mémoire, d’autres ont perdu certaines habilités physiques.


Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Haitian Cholera Victims Tell UN to “Face Justice”

October 14, 2015 - 06:00

Contact:  Kermshlise Picard, Communications Coordinator, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti,; +1-617-652-0876 (English, Kreyòl).

Haitian Cholera Victims Tell UN to “Face Justice”New Campaign Brings Victims’ Portraits to UN for Five-Year Anniversary

GENEVA, NEW YORK, PORT-AU-PRINCE, October 13, 2015—On the morning of October 14, activists will be erecting large portraits of cholera victims outside the United Nations (UN) offices in New York, Geneva and Port-au-Prince to commemorate the 9,000 lives lost from cholera brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers five years ago.  The portraits are a part of a new campaign, Face Justice, which calls on the UN to hear victims’ calls for justice.  The campaign demands that the UN accept responsibility for causing the epidemic through faulty waste management, provide reparations, and invest in water and sanitation to eliminate cholera.

“Every family in my community lost something because UN peacekeepers gave us cholera. I say to the UN: give us justice,” said Joseph Dade Guiwil, a cholera survivor whose portrait will be featured at the UN.

The photo exhibit is an Inside Out Group Action that features diverse faces of cholera’s toll, including nine-year old Pierre Louis Fedline who was orphaned by cholera, and Renette Viergélan who was herself hospitalized with cholera when her 10-month old baby contracted it and died.  Inside Out is a global participatory art project created by the artist JR to provide a platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.

“We are doing this to remind the UN that victims of cholera are not just numbers—they are real people. They could be my uncle, my father, my sister, my brother. My children.” Said Jimy Mertune, an activist with the Haitian diaspora group Collective of Solidarity for Cholera Victims.

In Haiti, several thousand people are expected to gather for a demonstration outside the UN Logistics Base on October 15.  Face Justice is also sending post cards to UN member states, which feature photos of victims and relay their appeals for justice.  Many others are calling on the UN to provide justice, including 154 Haitian-American diaspora leaders and groups that recently sent a letter to the UN and US Governments; and UN human rights officials that sent an official Allegation Letter to the Secretary-General expressing concern that the UN’s cholera response violates Haitians’ human rights.

“We hope these personal images and stories will cause more people at the UN to consider the human toll of cholera and to understand that the UN’s inadequate response ignores the dignity of each victim and the severity of their loss,” said Katharine Oswald, Policy Analyst and Advocacy Coordinator for the Mennonite Central Committee in Haiti, who worked with victims to document their stories.

Cholera cases continue to surge in Haiti five years since the disease was introduced. In the first half of 2015, the infection rate tripled over the same period last year.  746,000 people have fallen ill in the last five years. In 2013, Haiti had 46% of all reported cholera cases worldwide.  Clean water and sanitation is needed to end cholera’s killing, but funding remains inadequate.

“Water is life! With water, harvests are good, food can be prepared, vegetables can be grown that farmers can feed their families with and sell at the market, water is the most popular drink. It is because Church World Service accompanies rural families that are dependent on the land that it believes that it is so important to have a solution to this cholera crisis,” said Margot DeGreef, Haiti country representative for Church World Service, one of the organizational supporters of the campaign.

For more information about the campaign, visit  Photos from the portrait display will be available to the media on October 14.




Face Justice is a collaboration among victims of cholera, Haitian advocacy organizations, and international solidarity groups that support justice for victims’ of cholera.  The collaborators include Alternative Chance, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, Church World Service, Collective of Solidarity for Cholera Victims, Défenseurs des Opprimés, Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti, Haiti Justice Alliance, Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast, Haitian-Americans United, Inc., Haitians United for Development and Education, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Li!Li!Li!, Mennonite Central Committee, Mouvman Viktim Kolera, Other Worlds and Presbyterian Church (USA). The campaign was launched on the 5th anniversary of the UN’s introduction of cholera to Haiti to urge the UN to face the victims who continue to demand justice.  Face Justice is displaying portraits of victims outside the UN in New York, Geneva and Port-au-Prince through an Inside Out Project Group Action.  Visit for more information.



Inside Out is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images are made into posters and sent back to the projectʼs co-creators, for them to exhibit in their own communities.  Posters can be placed anywhere, from a solitary image in an office window, to a wall of an abandoned building, or in a full stadium. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and be made available online at  The Inside Out project is a creation of the artist JR, recipient of the 2011 TED Prize (watch JR’s TED talk here).



The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $1,000,000 and the TED community’s resources and expertise to spark global change. The award offers support to build a project’s core infrastructure quickly-so that others can add their own collaborative action.  The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by the world’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to change the world -one Wish at a time. What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED Community to spur global change has evolved into one of the most prestigious prizes. A TED Prize winner is a rare and powerful combination of someone who knows how to capture the imaginations and make a measurable impact, a visionary and a pragmatist, a dreamer and a doer. From Bono’s the ONE Campaign (’05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (’10 recipient) and JR’s Inside Out Project (’11 recipient), the TED Prize has helped to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance, improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and inspire art around the world. For more information on the TED Prize, visit

Five Years Later, Activists Still Seek Cholera Justice

October 13, 2015 - 18:15

On October 14, human rights activists will place portraits of cholera victims outside UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince, New York City and Geneva. This is part of a project commemorating the fifth anniversary of UN peacekeepers bringing cholera to Haiti. After five years, cholera victims and activists are still fighting for justice while the UN maintains immunity from accountability.

Click HERE for the original article.

Groups: UN must provide ‘justice’ for Haiti cholera victims

David McFadden, Yahoo! News

October 13, 2015

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Five years after cholera started a deadly march across this poor Caribbean country, international and Haitian human rights activists asserted Tuesday that the U.N. is failing to provide justice for the many Haitians who have died or been sickened.

Since October 2010, cholera has killed roughly 9,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. Scientific papers have suggested there is ample evidence to show that U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal inadvertently brought cholera to Haiti after human waste was dumped in the country’s biggest river at that time, some 10 months after an earthquake devastated much of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.

Amnesty International said Tuesday that the U.N. should properly investigate the ongoing epidemic’s impact and provide a plan to help victims who lost loved ones or who fell ill themselves after the disease raged through the country’s waterways and rapidly spread to all 10 administrative departments.

“The UN must not just wash its hands of the human suffering and pain that it has caused. Setting up general health programs and sanitation campaigns is important but not enough,” Amnesty said in a Tuesday statement.

On the grounds of a prominent human rights law firm in Port-au-Prince, similar calls were made by lawyers and a few dozen victims of the epidemic.

“I was very close to death after drinking infected water from the river near my home. It is not right that so many people died and were in such pain,” said 85-year-old Jean Saint Luc, who was sickened in Haiti’s Artibonite department in 2011 but recovered after eight days of treatment.

On Wednesday, activists will place portraits of cholera victims outside U.N. offices in Port-au-Prince, New York and Geneva to commemorate the thousands of Haitian lives lost from cholera.

The disease, spread by contaminated fecal matter, can be easily treated with rehydration or prevented outright by ensuring decent sanitation. But despite decades of development projects, many Haitians lack access to sanitation and clean water.

For years, the U.N. has declined to comment on lawsuits seeking compensation on behalf of Haitian cholera victims who blame peacekeepers for the epidemic, and a U.N. mission spokeswoman in Port-au-Prince did not respond to a Tuesday email for comment about the activists’ assertions.

The U.N. has repeatedly said it is committed to eradicating the disease from Haiti alongside the nation’s government. A few years ago, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a $2.2 billion initiative to eradicate cholera from the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but the program has not attracted sufficient foreign donors.

A U.S. judge ruled this year that the U.N. is immune from a lawsuit seeking compensation. In dismissing the case, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken noted that the U.N.’s charter provides broad legal immunity and it hadn’t waived it.


David McFadden on Twitter:


Click HERE for the original article.

How US Intervention Undermines Haitian Democracy

October 13, 2015 - 13:05

Haiti’s August 9th round of elections was deeply flawed and widely denounced by Haitian activists and human rights groups. Yet the United States, the Martelly government, and the Provisional Electoral Council essentially declared the election good enough to proceed with its results. This article examines the importance of this reaction, particularly from the US, in destabilizing Haiti. It compares this flawed election with that of 2010 (which is generally accepted as flawed though this round was worse) and discusses past US interventions in Haiti, concluding that fair and inclusive elections without interference are the only way for Haiti to advance.

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

Haiti: US interference wins elections

Kevin Moran and Azadeh Shahshahani, The Hill

October 13, 2015

Haiti’s sham election on Aug. 9, 2015 was characterized by extremely low voter turnout, with just 18 percent of registered voters going to the polls.  Additionally, 23 percent of all votes were never counted, due to fraud and violence on Election Day.  By comparison, in the deeply flawed 2010 election, the number of uncounted tally sheets was 12 percent.

The Martelly government, his PHTK party, and the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) nevertheless declared the electoral process to be broadly satisfactory and minimized the extent of irregularities.  The West, led by the U.S., also blessed this outcome.

In the opinion of the U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Pamela Ann White, results of the first round of legislative elections were acceptable, even if there was violence and irregularities.


Click HERE for the full text.

Five Years Later, UN Still Failing on Haiti Cholera

October 13, 2015 - 09:57

It has now been five years since United Nations (UN) peacekeepers first brought cholera to Haiti and the UN has yet to take responsibility, apologize to the victims, or provide the water and sanitation needed to fight the epidemic. Amnesty International wrote a statement to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging further action. In it, they emphasize that “Failing to take action will only undermine the UN’s credibility and responsibility as a promoter of human rights across the world.”

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

UN failing cholera victims in Haiti five years after outbreak

Amnesty International

October 13, 2015

The United Nations is miserably failing the victims of the cholera epidemic its personnel triggered in Haiti five years ago, with thousands left waiting for access to effective medical treatment and compensation, said Amnesty International.

“The UN must not just wash its hands of the human suffering and pain that it has caused. Setting up general health programmes and sanitation campaigns is important but not enough. What is needed now is a proper investigation into the full extent of the damages caused, and a detailed plan to help those who have fallen victim to this disease and the relatives of those who have died,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

“Failing to take action will only undermine the UN’s credibility and responsibility as a promoter of human rights across the world.”


Click HERE for the full text and HERE for the full statement.

61 Congresspersons Demand Fair Elections in Haiti

October 9, 2015 - 07:19

As Haiti approaches its next round of elections on October 25, members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs urge US support for making the elections free, fair and transparent. The August 9 round of elections was marred by violence, fraud and voter intimidation but there’s still a chance to make sure the presidential elections, which have a crucial role in Haiti’s future, will be better. In a letter to John Kerry, who visited Haiti October 6 to discuss elections, the members of Congress underscore the need for ensuring voter and candidate security in this round.


For Immediate Release
October 9, 2015

Press Office (Rep. Engel) 202-226-8467
Keith Fernandez (Rep. Ros-Lehtinen) 305-668-5994; 202-225-8200
James Lewis (Rep. Lee) 202-225-2661


WASHINGTON, DC—Led by Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair Emeritus of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a bipartisan group of 61 Members of Congress today called on Secretary of State John Kerry to offer a strong American commitment to free, fair, and transparent elections in Haiti set to take place later this month and again in December. The group also praised Secretary Kerry’s recent travel to Haiti and focus on this issue.

“We believe it is essential that these next two rounds of elections meet basic international electoral standards and are seen as free, fair and legitimate by the majority of Haitians. To that end, we urge you to continue to provide necessary assistance to the OAS and other international and national observation groups and to offer the full support of the State Department to a robust Haitian and international electoral observation effort,” the Members wrote in a letter to Secretary Kerry.

Haiti held legislative elections in early August which the Organization of American States (OAS) accepted as valid, but in which OAS and other observers found some irregularities and concerns of fraud, violence, and voter intimidation. Highlighting the longstanding United States-Haiti friendship, the Members underscored the importance of supporting Haitians as they vote in the first round of presidential elections, municipal elections, and run-off legislative elections scheduled for October 25th and in run-off presidential elections on December 27th.

Full text of the letter follows, and an image of the signed letter can be found here.

October 9, 2015

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

As longtime friends of Haiti in the United States Congress, we write to express our support for a strong United States commitment to free, fair and transparent elections in the country and to thank you for your recent travel there. As you know, Haiti is an important U.S. neighbor and partner in the Caribbean. After the country’s devastating earthquake in January 2010, the United States rightfully invested billions of dollars in reconstruction in the country. We must continue to provide Haiti with this crucial support.

Moving forward, we can continue to stand with the Haitian people by supporting the current electoral process. As past experience has demonstrated, a credible and inclusive electoral process is critical for stability in Haiti. We believe it is crucial for the Organization of American States (OAS) and other international institutions to continue to work with Haitian officials to ensure that upcoming elections take place without irregularities and free of violence. Voter intimidation and violence of any form cannot be tolerated.

As you know, on August 9th, Haiti held long overdue legislative elections. OAS electoral observers found some irregularities but determined that these matters were not sufficient to invalidate the results. Local electoral observers expressed concern, reporting numerous incidents of fraud, violence and voter intimidation. Looking ahead, the first round of presidential elections, municipal elections and run-off legislative elections will take place on October 25th. Run-off presidential elections will be held on December 27th.

We believe it is essential that these next two rounds of elections meet basic international electoral standards and are seen as free, fair and legitimate by the majority of Haitians. To that end, we urge you to continue to provide necessary assistance to the OAS and other international and national observation groups and to offer the full support of the State Department to a robust Haitian and international electoral observation effort. It is also critical that the State Department send a clear message to the Haitian government underscoring the need to guarantee the security of voters and candidates during the electoral campaign and on the day of the elections. For a number of years now, our government has helped Haiti strengthen its national police; now is the time for the national police to demonstrate that it is able and willing to protect Haitian citizens as they exercise their most fundamental democratic right.

Thank you very much for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to working with you to continue to stand with our friends in Haiti.


State Department Emails Show U.S. Changing Haiti’s 2010 Election

October 8, 2015 - 04:58

Emails released through the Freedom of Information Act have revealed how much the US State Department pressured the Haitian government to change the results of the 2010 elections. The State Department’s efforts, along with those of Haitian businessman Reginald Boulos, resulted in Jude Célestin being replaced by Michel Martelly in the 2nd round presidential runoff. In this year’s elections, the US has so far supported Martelly’s apparent efforts to influence the election results. Despite rampant fraud and violence (usually by Martelly affiliates) in the first round of elections, the U.S. has deemed the process acceptable.

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

Clinton Emails Reveal “Behind the Doors Actions” of Private Sector and US Embassy in Haiti Elections

Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch

October 8, 2015

Recently released e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s private server reveal new details of how U.S. officials worked closely with the Haitian private sector as they forced Haitian authorities to change the results of the first round presidential elections in late 2010. The e-mails documenting these “behind the doors actions” were made public as part of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

Preliminary results from the deeply flawed 2010 presidential and legislative elections were announced on December 7, 2010, showing René Préval’s hand-picked successor Jude Célestin and university professor Mirlande Manigat advancing to a second-round runoff. The same day, the U.S. Embassy in Haiti released a statement questioning the legitimacy of the announced results.

Behind the scenes, key actors were already pushing for Célestin to withdraw from the race, according to the e-mails.  Just a day after preliminary results were announced, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Kenneth Merten wrote to Cheryl Mills, Tom Adams and Daniel Restrepo, all key State Department Haiti staff. “Boulos + private sector have told RP [René Préval] that Célestin should withdraw + they would support RP staying til 7 Feb.” “This is big,” the ambassador added.


Click HERE for the full text.

N-Map Now Hiring Director of Development

October 7, 2015 - 08:15

Part of the job posting is below. Click HERE for more information.


Job Title: Director of Development

Location: New York

Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis

New Media Advocacy Project Description:

The New Media Advocacy Project (N-Map) is an innovative human rights organization that helps human rights lawyers and advocates integrate video and other media into their work. We help advocates throughout the world tell their stories in more compelling and powerful ways to tip the balance of power in the toughest cases and campaigns.

N-Map works on behalf of courageous clients in areas such as unlawful detention, gender-based violence, forced evictions, prison conditions, race discrimination, criminal justice, and more. We develop high-quality, tactically sophisticated media advocacy projects that can be used in the courtroom, in legislative offices, within our clients’ communities, and more broadly in public.

In 2014, Google Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, recognized N-Map as one of 10 organizations advancing the “New Digital Age.”

Job Overview

N-Map seeks an experienced and ambitious development professional to help take N-Map to the next level of growth. The Director of Development will report to the Executive Director to advance all aspects of N-Map’s fundraising and development work, including individual major gifts, foundation grants, and business development initiatives for client projects. The Director of Development will develop and help to implement an ambitious and diversified fundraising strategy and build internal systems to maximize our ability to pursue multiple avenues of development with a lean staff.


Click HERE for more information.

How to Improve Peacekeeping Worldwide

October 6, 2015 - 08:41

It seems like more often than not, peacekeepers around the world have hurt local populations more than they have helped. This article discusses why that happens–usually by peacekeepers being out of touch with the local population–and how that can change. The solutions are simpler than one might think.

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

Trouble in PeacelandBy operating from a fortified bubble, dismissing local knowledge, and not speaking the language, peace missions are actually hindering the people they’re trying to help.

Severine Autesserre, Foreign Policy

October 6, 2015


May 2010, in an attempt to bring state authority back to war-torn parts of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) began helping the Congolese police deploy officers to particularly volatile villages. Aided by other international peacebuilding organizations, the U.N. built new police stations and flew in officers from other parts of the country — part of a strategy to avoid corruption by introducing detached and uncompromised ranks. Once the police were established and the area was secured, or so the plan went, other government representatives would soon follow. After the deployment process had finished, U.N. officials in New York claimed that an important step had been accomplished toward fulfilling their mandate to stabilize Congo and return peace.

In reality, however, it only made the situation much, much worse.

To begin with, the new police had to compete with remnants of rebel groups and militias for control. Far from establishing law and order, the introduction of an additional force made the area less stable. And being from far away, the police not only had no support within the community, they had no stake in making it better. When the government refused to pay, feed, and house the officers — it considered them “UNOPS police” and so the U.N.’s responsibility — the police took what they needed from the community. By the end of the disastrous affair, the government, the police, and the community all felt the U.N. was to blame.


Click HERE for the full text.

CEP, Martelly et Kerry ignorent des questions importantes pour les élections

October 6, 2015 - 06:16

John Kerry, le secrétaire d’Etat américain, a rencontré le président Michel Martelly en Haïti cette semaine. Kerry a denoncé la violence et les intimidations mais son discours a laissé plusieurs questions sans réponse. Cet article décrit certaines de ces questions, et souligne l’importance de les élections du 25 octobre.

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

Kerry, Opont, Merten et Martelly doivent donner plus de garantie

Frantz Duval, Le Nouvelliste

October 6, 2015

Le secrétaire d’Etat américain a visité Haïti mardi. Son message est simple et clair : cap sur les élections, non à la violence et aux intimidations.

De son côté, le président Michel Martelly, comme une promesse, a indiqué lors de la conférence de presse conjointe avec John Kerry que «l’accompagnement donné à la police sera renforcé en vue d’une meilleure efficacité le jour du vote». Il confirme qu’il s’en ira le 7 février et présage une alternance démocratique.

En parlant de violence, la première situation à dénoncer est cette prime accordée par le CEP et la PNH aux fauteurs de trouble du 9 août. L’incapacité de sanctionner les agités, les agitateurs et les têtes pensantes peut inspirer d’autres débordements le 25 octobre. Non à la violence et une police plus efficace, cela sera­t­il suffisant pour faire la différence entre ce qui s’est passé le 9 août et ce qui nous attend le 25 octobre ?


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Rep. Maxine Waters Urges Fair Elections in Haiti

October 5, 2015 - 18:40

Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ office has issued a press release urging Secretary of State John Kerry to support democratic elections in Haiti. As Secretary Kerry visits Haiti October 6 to discuss the elections, it is a chance for the US State Department to leverage its influence to make sure that perpetrators of violence, fraud and voter intimidation are sanctioned and that Haiti’s Electoral Council will take steps to regain voters’ trust. Congresswoman Waters has abundant experience with Haiti and stresses the importance of the next round of elections, which include both the presidential and 2nd round legislative elections.

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


For Immediate Release
Contact: Twaun Samuel
Phone: (202) 225-2201


Congresswoman Waters Urges Secretary Kerry to Support Free, Fair and Democratic Elections in HaitiCalls for Investigation of Election Violence, Fraud and Voter Intimidation

October 5, 2015

Washington, DC,  – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, expressing deep concern about Haiti’s 2015 elections and the impact they will have on Haiti’s future if the Haitian people do not perceive them to be credible. According to the State Department, Secretary Kerry will be visiting Haiti tomorrow. 

Congresswoman Waters’ letter urges Secretary Kerry to take all necessary and appropriate action to support free, fair and democratic elections in Haiti.  The letter specifically calls on him to make a clear statement that the violence, fraud and voter intimidation witnessed in the first round of the elections should be thoroughly and independently investigated, that the individuals and parties responsible for the violence must be sanctioned, regardless of political party affiliation, and that the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) must make the reforms necessary to establish public trust.  A copy of the letter was sent to Kenneth Merten, the State Department’s Haiti Special Coordinator. 

During Congresswoman Waters’ thirteen terms in Congress, she has visited Haiti many times, and she has worked with her colleagues in Congress, State Department officials, Haitian political leaders, and Haitian civil society to promote political stability, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and economic and social development in Haiti.  Following the 2010 earthquake, she introduced the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act (H.R. 4573), which was passed and signed into law by the President.


Click HERE for the full text.

Secretary John Kerry Can Help Turn Haiti’s Elections Around

October 5, 2015 - 15:50

US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Haiti on October 6 to discuss elections, of which the next round is scheduled for October 25. So far, neither the US nor the international community has done enough to dis-incentivize the crimes that allowed certain parties to succeed in the first round of elections on August 9th. Many voters walked hours to reach their polling centers but were turned away by armed thugs once they arrived. For legitimate presidential elections on October 25, more votes need to be counted. Violence, ballot stuffing and other fraud needs to be discouraged. John Kerry’s State Department has the economic influence to help make that happen.

Part of the op-ed is below. Click HERE for the full text.

(Traduction non-officielle au fond.)

Instill integrity in Haiti’s election

Brian Concannon, Miami Herald

October 5, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Haiti Tuesday with a chance to help avoid what the Herald Editorial Board warned may be “another disastrous train-wreck” of an election. There is still time to switch Haiti’s elections onto an acceptable track, and the United States can play an important role in that process. But fair elections will only happen if Kerry ensures that the Martelly administration and the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) make fundamental changes to restore voter confidence.

As most observers — the Haitian and international press, and Haitian human-rights and electoral observation groups — have noted, Haiti’s Aug. 9 first-round legislative elections featured systematic voter suppression. Thugs associated with political parties —especially President Michel Martelly’s parties — attacked voting centers early and often, closing many, destroying voting materials and convincing untold numbers of voters to stay safely at home.

Police systematically failed to intervene. Rural Haitians walked hours down mountain trails, only to be turned away by thugs outside voting centers or political-party representatives within. Eighty-two percent of eligible voters did not vote.



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Instiller l’intégrité dans les élections haïtiennes

L’intimidation des électeurs répandu durant premier tour d’août
John Kerry peut utiliser les subventions fédérales comme levier
par Brian Concannon Jr.

Le secrétaire d’État John Kerry se rend mardi en Haïti, où il aura l’occasion d’aider à éviter que les élections haïtiennes se terminent par un « autre déraillement désastreux », pour reprendre les termes de l’avertissement du comité de rédaction du Herald. Il est encore temps de remettre les élections haïtiennes sur une voie acceptable, et les États-Unis peuvent jouer un rôle important dans ce processus. Toutefois, les élections ne seront démocratiques que si le Secrétaire d’État Kerry s’assure que le gouvernement Martelly et le Conseil Électoral Provisoire (CEP) effectuent des changements fondamentaux afin de rétablir la confiance des électeurs et électrices.

Comme l’ont constaté la plupart des observateurs – les presses haïtienne et internationale, les groupes haïtiens d’observation électorale et pour les droits humains – une suppression de votes systématique a eu lieu lors du premier tour des élections législatives haïtiennes du 9 août. Des bandits associés aux partis politiques – surtout ceux du Président Michel Martelly – ont attaqué des centres de vote dès leur ouverture, et à plusieurs reprises. Plusieurs centres ont dû fermer, du matériel de vote a été détruit, si bien qu’un nombre incalculable d’électeurs ont décidé de rester en sécurité chez eux.

La police a systématiquement refusé d’intervenir. Des Haïtiens des régions rurales ont marché pendant des heures sur des sentiers de montagne, pour se faire renvoyer chez eux par des bandits à l’entrée des centres de vote ou par des représentants de partis politiques à l’intérieur des bureaux. Quatre-vint deux pourcent des électeurs admissibles n’ont pas voté.

Parmi les votes exprimés, près du quart n’ont pas été comptés parce que le procès-verbal du bureau de vote avait été détruit, perdu ou mise à l’écart.

Le développement peut-être le plus scandaleux est le refus du CEP, du gouvernement Martelly et de la communauté internationale de reconnaître ces problèmes que tous les autres observateurs ont constatés. Jusqu’à la clôture du vote – et la fin des méfaits – le 9 août, l’Union européenne a jugé le processus électoral « presque parfaitement normal », tandis que l’ambassadeure sortante des États-Unis Pamela White a déclaré que le processus était « imparfait, mais acceptable. »

Le CEP a annoncé, sous la pression, de nouvelles élections dans les circonscriptions où moins de 70 % des feuilles de pointage avaient été reçues et comptabilisées, ce qui signifie que là où 29 % des votes ont été rejetés – et où tant d’autres n’ont pas été exprimés en raison des violences – les résultats sont jugés valables.

Ces élections redéfinissent d’une manière désolante ce qui est « imparfait, mais acceptable », mais il y a plus : deux facteurs aggravent la situation. Premièrement, de l’aveu même des responsables de l’Union européenne, la destruction et l’intimidation semblent avoir été planifiées pour cibler les bastions des partis de l’opposition. Deuxièmement, le 9 août était le premier des trois tours d’élections prévus pour cette année et établit donc un précédent : le crime paie.

Il y a plusieurs raisons de penser que les deux prochains tours – dont le premier débute le 25 octobre – pourraient se dérouler différemment. Premièrement, les élections précédentes se sont mieux passées. Les présidentielles de 2006 ont fait l’objet de controverses, mais seulement 3 à 8 % des procès-verbaux ont été exclues et le consensus qui s’est dégagé fut que le vainqueur, René Préval, avait réellement eu le plus d’appuis. Deuxièmement, les électeurs haïtiens font preuve d’une grande vaillance s’ils croient que les élections seront justes. Les taux de participation des élections présidentielles de 2006 et 2000 ont été de 59 % et 78 %, respectivement. La semaine dernière, j’ai assisté à une conférence de presse présentant des habitants de la commune rurale de Saut d’Eau qui, après avoir marché pendant des heures, avaient été renvoyés à la pointe du fusil. Ils ont affirmé avec force que le gouvernement et le CEP devaient faire cesser l’intimidation et améliorer l’accès aux bureaux de vote, mais ils ont aussi promis de faire cette marche à nouveau le 25 octobre si des améliorations étaient apportées.

Le secrétaire d’État Kerry répondra avec raison que ce n’est pas lui qui conduit le train électoral haïtien, et que ce sont les responsables haïtiens qui doivent prévenir un éventuel déraillement. En revanche, M. Kerry sait que les États-Unis fournissent presque tout le carburant électoral – 25 millions de dollars jusqu’à présent, et plus encore pour la suite des choses. Le Département d’État de Kerry peut donc établir des incitatifs pour le CEP, le gouvernement et les partis politiques.

Ce mardi, le Secrétaire d’État Kerry aura une occasion historique d’établir de nouveaux incitatifs, et que le crime ne paiera plus, en encourageant la tenue d’élections justes et inclusives. Pour tirer pleinement partie de cette occasion de donner aux électeurs haïtiens les élections qu’ils méritent, M. Kerry devra rendre l’appui des États-Unis aux élections haïtiennes conditionnel à des promesses vérifiables de changements fondamentaux capables de rétablir la confiance des électeurs, trahie le 9 août.

Brian Concannon Jr., Esq. est directeur général de l’Institut pour la Justice et la Démocratie en Haïti. Il a été observateur accrédité de plusieurs élections haïtiennes passées, notamment avec l’Organisation des États américains.

Prosperity Catalyst Hiring Program Director

October 5, 2015 - 13:41

Part of the job posting is below. Click HERE for more information.

Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean

Job Description

Prosperity Catalyst (PCAT) is a non-profit (501©3) organization whose mission is to inspire, educate and support women entrepreneurs in places of conflict and natural disaster around the world. We seek to contribute to a global awakening in which women are recognized and valued as vital, empowered participants in creating the foundation for peaceful and prosperous societies. Prosperity Catalyst accomplishes this by empowering women as entrepreneurs, facilitating business and entrepreneurship education, and assisting women-owned enterprises in their initial creation and launch.

In the spring of 2013 Prosperity Catalyst launched its work in Haiti by supporting women apprentice entrepreneurs in the creation of a candle-making business, Fanm Limye. Since that time we have established Fanm Limye as a women-led social enterprise, focused on candle production, marketing, and sales both for local and international markets. In addition, we are currently building out our Haiti program to include a network of thirty-one businesses that employ women along the candle-making supply chain (beekeepers, artisans, street vendors, and recyclers).

Therefore we are now seeking to fill a newly created position: Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Program Director will be responsible for overseeing our current work in Haiti, as well as leading our efforts to expand our work into new areas in the region. The Program Director will play a vital role in managing the Haiti program’s field team, overseeing all program operations, managing the program and business finances, and leading all grant-related activities. The Program Director will also be responsible for working with our executive team to determine an expansion strategy into other areas within Latin America and the Caribbean and will lead all efforts related to establishing new women-led businesses in these areas under the Prosperity Catalyst program model.  The position will be supported by a Haiti Program Director, and will report directly to the Executive Director.

The role will be based in Cambridge, MA, though remote working in Washington DC could be possible for the right candidate. The start date is Dec 1st and the salary is $65,000 plus benefits.

Click HERE for more information.

How Current Presidential Candidates Can Improve Haiti

October 3, 2015 - 06:58

Haiti is gearing up for presidential elections happening later this month but given the violence, fraud and other irregularities that plagued the first round elections, and some questionable actions by the CEP, many are worried about the outcome of this round. This article makes some good recommendations on how the next president can improve Haitian politics in the future, including rejection of voting outcomes based on violence and institution of anti-corruption measures in the government.

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

Another chance to move Haiti forward

Editorial, Miami Herald

October 3, 2015

On the surface, Haiti’s presidential elections seem to be a robust competition. Fifty-four candidates are vying for the votes of 5.8 million registered voters, and they’re all debating their competing visions across the island — and even here in South Florida.

One of their debates takes place Sunday in North Miami, an acknowledgment of the importance of the local Haitian community and that the residents care deeply for their homeland.

This election is another chance to turn the page politically, to move the country forward. But one doesn’t have to look far to sense the uncertainty hovering over the Oct. 25 presidential vote, which is also the second round for the violence- and fraud-marred Aug. 9 elections. By many accounts, the vote may be headed for another disastrous train wreck


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Electoral Council Member’s Resignation Raises Concerns for Presidential Elections

October 2, 2015 - 10:43

After the resignation of one of the nine members of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), many are concerned that more will come. The CEP is already facing a lot of criticism for its handling of the August 9th round of elections, which were marred by violence, fraud, late starts and more. Meanwhile, presidential candidates are campaigning and electoral officials are making preparations for the 2nd round, which is scheduled for October 25.

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

Haiti election official resigns ahead of Oct. 25 vote

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

October 2, 2015

A member of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council resigned Friday, raising concerns about the possibility of more resignations from the embattled body and the fate of the Oct. 25 vote for president, mayors and members of parliament.

“I am not comfortable,” Néhémy Joseph told Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper, confirming the news that he had sent President Michel Martelly a letter announcing his resignation.

In the signed three-page resignation letter circulating on social media, Joseph addressed the criticisms dogging the council, and told Martelly that Haiti needs more than anything “inclusive and impartial elections.”

Martelly was headed back to Port-au-Prince on Friday from New York where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday morning.


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Ex-président Aristide soutient publiquement la candidate de son parti

October 1, 2015 - 10:43

Après quatre ans de silence, l’ancien président Jean-Bertrand Aristide est apparu publiquement pour soutenir Maryse Narcisse, la candidate de Fanmi Lavalas. Des miiliers de partisans du Fanmi Lavalas se sont réunis devant la résidence d’Aristide pour écouter son discours. Mais si cette apparence mènera au vote reste à voir.

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

Haïti: Jean-Bertrand Aristide appelle à voter Maryse NarcisseEn Haïti, pour la première fois depuis son retour d’exil, Jean-Bertrand Aristide s’est adressé directement à ses partisans. Et il appelle la population à élire comme présidente la candidate de son parti : Maryse Narcisse. Le premier tour de scrutin est prévu le 25 octobre.

Amélie Baron, RFI

1 octobre 2015

Les milliers de sympathisants Lavalas auront attendu des heures devant la résidence d’Aristide, pour enfin voir de leurs yeux celui qu’il surnomme leur « roi ». Et Jean-Bertrand Aristide est donc sorti de son silence.

Celui qui a par deux fois été obligé d’écourter ses mandats présidentiels et de prendre l’exil a appelé la foule à voter Maryse Narcisse, lors de l’élection présidentielle dont le premier tour se tiendra le 25 octobre.


Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

Human Rights Lawyering: Holding International Organizations Accountable

October 1, 2015 - 08:00

Beatrice Lindstrom currently serves as lead counsel on litigation that seeks to hold the United Nations accountable for introducing a deadly cholera epidemic to Haiti, one of the worst public health disasters in the world. She will discuss how to use lawyering in situations where there is no legal forum, the need to combine legal and non-legal strategies to do effective human rights work, and how to chart a career as a human rights lawyer.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Yale Law School, Room 129
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT

Click HERE for the event poster.

Ex-President Aristide Publicly Supports Fanmi Lavalas Candidate

October 1, 2015 - 07:43

For the first time in four years, former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide spoke publicly on September 30, the 24th anniversary of the first coup against him. He spoke out in support of the Fanmi Lavalas presidential candidate, Maryse Narcisse, and also demanded unity among the poor masses. Thousands of Fanmi Lavalas supporters gathered in front of Aristide’s home to hear him speak.

Former Haiti president Aristide breaks his silence

Yahoo! News

October 1, 2015

Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Haiti’s former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide has spoken in public for the first time since returning from exile in 2011, calling on Haitians to elect his party’s candidate as president.

Speaking from the back of a pickup truck outside his home late Wednesday, Aristide galvanized a crowd of about 2,000 followers who waited for hours to hear him speak.

“We must mobilize ourselves to vote democratically for doctor Maryse Narcisse’s arrival at the national palace,” he said referring to the candidate of his Fanmi Lavalas party.

The first round of the presidential elections are scheduled for October 25.

Narcisse, a physician and longtime Lavalas activist, is one of 54 candidates running to succeed Michel Martelly as Haiti’s president.

Reprising some of his best-known slogans, which followers repeated in chorus, Aristide, a firebrand former Catholic priest, called for unity among Haitians.

“You the victims of insecurity, of abuse, of hunger, of unemployment… and all Haitians who are victims of repatriations from Santo Domingo must mobilize together.”

“Rich and poor, we must understand each other to re-stitch the flag of unity.”

Aristide was speaking on an important day for his followers, for it was September 30, 1991 that he was forced out of office and into exile by a military coup just seven months after becoming Haiti’s first democratically elected president.

He returned to power from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2004, when he was chased from office by a popular revolt.

He went into exile for seven years until his return in March 2011.


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Haiti’s Elections: Ensuring a Legitimate Outcome

October 1, 2015 - 05:30
October 1, 20159:30am–11:00amCannon House Office Building, Room 44127 Independence Ave SEWashington, DC 20003RSVP requested

Haiti is in the midst of an unprecedented electoral cycle, with three elections scheduled in 2015. With legislative and local elections long delayed, the entire 118-member lower house, two-thirds of the Senate, the President and all local officials will be elected this year. The United States has already contributed $25 million for the process and has pledged an additional $5 million. The first round of legislative elections took place on August 9, though election day was plagued by extremely low voter turnout, violence and other irregularities. Nearly 25 percent of votes were never counted. The next round will include presidential elections and is scheduled to take place onOctober 25. This panel of Haitian and U.S. experts will examine the causes of the problems of August 9 and discuss steps that must be taken to ensure that the next two rounds of elections result in legitimately-elected authorities.


Pierre Esperance, Executive Director, National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) and national election observer

Yolette Mengual, Current Member, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) To Be Confirmed

Jake Johnston, Research Associate, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)