Recent Feature Articles

By David McFadden, Associated Press, May 24, 2017

Factories making T-shirts, pants and other apparel in an industrial park in Haiti's capital were closed on Monday, three days since thousands of garment workers took to the streets demanding pay increases.

Industrialists and government officials met in the Port-au-Prince park, where a police presence was heavy and the dozen assembly factories were empty. Roughly 18,000 workers are employed in the factories.

Garment workers say their wages are not enough to support their families amid a depreciating currency and a rising cost of living. A Friday protest which first shuttered the factories occurred days after a significant increase in the price of gasoline.

Workers are demanding 800 Haitian gourdes per eight-hour work day. Based on current exchange rates, that's roughly $12.47 per day. They now earn 300 gourdes, or $4.67. "It's gotten to the point where I can't take care of my son. I don't see any future like this," said Esperancia Mernavil, a garment worker who belongs to the Gosttra union.

By Lisa Nikolau, Humanosphere.org, May 23, 2017

Health experts say the international community has turned a blind eye to widespread food insecurity in Haiti, where communities across nearly every region of the island are approaching risk of famine.

In March, a report from the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated that of the 2.1 million Haitians affected by the hurricane last October, 1.4 million still don’t have enough food or safe drinking water.

More recently, statistics from the European Commission indicated that eight out of Haiti’s 10 departments have reached “crisis” levels of food insecurity. The EU institution said that three of those regions would likely be in a state of emergency or famine had they not received humanitarian assistance.

According to health experts from the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, one of several in-country actors locating and treating people suffering from malnutrition, the food insecurity crisis has received little attention from international policymakers and organizations.

By Jeb Sprague, Haiti Liberté, May 10, 2017

Subtitle: Selections from “Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti” - Part 2 of 3

Last week, we learned how a cabal of Haitian police chiefs, who had been trained in Ecuador (therefore known as the “Ecuadorians”), attempted to organize a preemptive coup in October 2000 to prevent former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s reelection in November 2000 and return to power in February 2001

By: Roger Leduc & Kim Ives interview Jeb Sprague, May 1, 2017

On the May 1, 2017 edition of WBAI-FM’s “Lanbi Call,” Jeb Sprague, author of “Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti,” talks about paramilitary leader Guy Philippe, who pleaded guilty on April 24, 2017 in Miami to money laundering in connection with drug trafficking. Philippe’s real crime, however, is the murder of Haitian democracy and of hundreds of Haitians in the 2004 coup d’état against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Jeb Sprague lays out about this bloody paramilitary legacy. With Kim Ives and Roger Leduc, “Lanbi Call” co-hosts.

By Darlene Dubuisson & Mark Schuller, Huffpost, April 25, 2017

“With TPS, it’s like you live under fear,” thirtysomething aspiring nurse Michaëlle explained. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. I live with stress because of that.” Michaëlle’s situation just got worse on April 20, when Trump’s immigration agency recommended an end to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 50,000 Haitian people living in the U.S.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, President Obama granted temporary relief status to undocumented Haitians who had arrived in the U.S. before 2011. Given the slow pace of recovery efforts and subsequent disasters – notably the cholera epidemic that has killed over 10,000 and counting, and Hurricane Matthew that hit Haiti last October – TPS has been extended several times. The latest TPS is set to expire on July 22, 2017.

In essence, the Trump administration’s policy would amount to kicking out 50,000 people who have, despite their fear, put their faith in the U.S. government to legalize, like fifty something child care provider Wideline. She recalls that “[We were told to] tell all fellow Haitians they don’t need to fear because they are going to give Haitians who are illegal in this country papers so they can work.”

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, April 24, 2017

Former Haitian paramilitary leader and Senator-elect Guy Philippe sealed a plea bargain today with the U.S. Attorney’s office to get a lighter sentence in return for pleading guilty to just one count of money laundering.

In return, the U.S. government dropped its other two charges of “Conspiracy to Import Cocaine into the United States,” which carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison, and “Engaging in Transactions Derived from Unlawful Activity,” which carries a 10 year sentence.

The charge to which Philippe, 49, pleaded guilty – “Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments” – carries a 20 year maximum sentence, but as part of the deal, prosecutors recommended Philippe be sentenced to only nine years. Judge Cecilia Altonaga will set Philippe’s sentence in Miami on Jul. 5, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.. As in most plea deals, she will likely follow the U.S. Attorney’s recommendation.

By: Sputnik News interviews Camille Chalmers, April 19, 2017

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) can be described as 13 years of suffering and violations of fundamental human rights, Haitian political analyst Camille Chalmers told Sputnik Brazil.

In an interview with Sputnik Brazil, Haitian political analyst Camille Chalmers commented on the upcoming completion of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which she bitterly described as 13 years of suffering and the violation of fundamental human rights.

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, April 24, 2017

Former Haitian paramilitary leader and Senator-elect Guy Philippe sealed a plea bargain today with the U.S. Attorney’s office to get a lighter sentence in return for pleading guilty to just one count of money laundering.

In return, the U.S. government dropped its other two charges of “Conspiracy to Import Cocaine into the United States,” which carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison, and “Engaging in Transactions Derived from Unlawful Activity,” which carries a 10 year sentence.

The charge to which Philippe, 49, pleaded guilty – “Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments” – carries a 20 year maximum sentence, but as part of the deal, prosecutors recommended Philippe be sentenced to only nine years.

By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post, April 18, 2017

For news of the world, peel away from those who follow the daily offerings of bombings and supposed terror attacks, as bulls in the ring chase a red cape to their ritualistic slaughter. Look instead in places like Haiti, where it is easy to discern the lies from the truth. In such places, where no one appears to be watching, the sanctimonious missionaries do not hide their faces as they morph into kidnappers and pedophiles. The bribes are publicly offered and accepted.

The unorthodox affairs between supposed adversaries, or between politicians and foreign agencies, are consummated in broad daylight. It is easy to tell, in other people’s countries, which statements to the press and international bodies are made with tongue in cheek. In other people’s countries, like Haiti, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, anything can be bought and degraded. The corruption is so casual, it seems almost innocent.

By Yves Engler, Huffington Post, April 18, 2017

Last week the UN Security Council finally voted to end its military occupation of Haiti. Instigated by the U.S., France and Canada, MINUSTAH has been responsible for countless abuses during the past 13 years.

At the same time as the Security Council voted to draw down its military force (a police contingent will remain), the Associated Press published an in depth investigation confirming widespread sexual abuse by UN troops in Haiti. The foreign soldiers had sex with minors, sodomized boys and raped young girls. An internal UN report uncovered by AP implicated 134 Sri Lankan troops in a sex ring that exploited nine children from 2004 to 2007. None of the MINUSTAH soldiers were imprisoned.

In early 2012 video footage came to light of five Uruguayan soldiers sexually assaulting an 18-year-old Haitian. In that case as well the soldiers were sent home, but no one was punished.