Recent Feature Articles

By Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Feb. 7, 2016

Thirty years after beginning its frail democracy with the fall of President-for-Life Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, Haiti entered another period of uncertainty Sunday.

With no elected successor because of a disputed presidential vote, former President Michel Martelly gave his final farewell to the nation before passing the blue and red presidential sash to Senate President Jocelerme Privert during a special National Assembly ceremony. The sash is now headed to the national museum.

“I was here, I am here and I will always be here for you,” a somber Martelly said in the almost 19-minute address in which he said the twice-postponed presidential vote to elect a successor was “my biggest regret.”

By Joshua Steckley & Beverley Bell, Other Worlds, Jan. 21, 2016

This report is based on extensive interviews, on-site and via phone, with more than 20 government officials, economic development professionals, peasant farmers, and community organizers, between July 2015 and January 2016. We reached out to Agritrans for comment, but they did not respond.

The only man running in Haiti’s fraudulent presidential election run-offs on January 24, 2016, Jovenel Moïse, dispossessed as many as 800 peasants - who were legally farming - and destroyed houses and crops two years ago, say leaders of farmers’ associations in the Trou-du-Nord area. Farmers remain homeless and out of work. The land grabbed by the company Moïse founded, Agritrans, now hosts a private banana plantation.

By Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Jan. 29, 2016

Human rights advocates welcome a new study by Yale University published this week in the renowned medical journal PLOS Medicine, which provides new evidence that the United Nations (UN) is not using the most effective measures available to prevent initiating another cholera disaster in peacekeeping host countries.

By Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), Feb. 3, 2016

Less than three percent of Haitians would have voted in the planned January 24 election, according to a new survey. As political leaders and international officials meet and discuss a way out of Haiti’s current political crisis, the survey sheds light on what the Haitian people would like to see happen.

Released today by the Brazilian Igarape Institute, the report, co-authored by Athena Kolbe and Robert Muggah, shows a tremendous lack of faith in the current electoral process, but indicates that it could be restored if certain actions are taken. Three quarters of all respondents said they would vote if they believed elections were free and fair. Getting there will be the tough part.

By Brian Becker & Kim Ives, Sputnik News, Feb. 1, 2016
 
 
Haiti is in the midst of a political crisis, with protesters demanding new elections amid allegations of fraud in the first two rounds of elections held on August 9 and October 25. A third round was scheduled for January 24, but was canceled after tens of thousands of protestors flooded the streets of the capital city of Port au Prince.
 
Ives, co-founder and editor of the international weekly newspaper Haiti Liberté, said in an interview with Radio Sputnik's "Loud & Clear" that last week's uprising marked the "beginning of a revolutionary period in Haiti." However, he added, the government of outgoing President Michel Martelly, who is scheduled to leave office on February 7, may resort to "death squad tactics" to resolve the current crisis.

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, Jan. 27, 2016

On Jan. 22, many thousands marched over ten miles up Port-au-Prince’s Delmas road to Pétionville then back down the Bourdon road to the capital’s central square to demand new elections and denounce a government ban on demonstrations that was to begin that midnight.

The marching, chanting multitude scared the daylights out of Haiti’s Pétionville elite, loudly pouring into the narrow, tony streets of the wealthy mountain enclave while young men scattered large rocks and telephone poles across roadways and set aflame cars and columns of tires. The tumultuous day forced Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), six of whose nine members have now resigned in disgrace or disgust, to indefinitely cancel the third round of widely denounced elections, which had been scheduled for Jan. 24.

By Mark Weisbrot, Al Jazeera America, Jan. 29, 2016

Journalists are taught in school to avoid euphemisms. When someone dies, they write that she “died” instead of “passed away.” But one euphemism that has become a fixture in U.S. news reporting is “the international community.” This is generally a substitute for the U.S. government, with or without some input from some of its allies.

Perhaps this is nowhere more true than in Haiti, where Washington has long exercised a veto over the country’s most important decisions. But last week the “international community” suffered a rare defeat when Haitians rejected Washington’s plans for a deeply flawed presidential runoff election to take place on Sunday, Jan. 24.

By Greg Grandin, The Nation, Jan. 26, 2016 

“As in the past, the United States is taking great interest in how elections in Haiti are unfolding,” a State Department spokesperson announced a few days ago; “The United States reaffirms its support for credible, transparent, and secure elections that reflect the will of the Haitian people.” George Orwell couldn’t have said it better: “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.” And we have always supported democracy in Haiti.

By Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Jan. 22, 2016

Amid escalating violent protests and attacks on electoral offices around the country, Haitian elections officials Friday afternoon abruptly canceled Sunday’s planned presidential and partial legislative runoffs.

“Jan. 24 is no longer opportune for having elections considering the threats against the electoral infrastructure and on the population who would have to go vote,” Pierre-Louis Opont, the president of the country’s beleaguered Provisional Electoral Council said in a five-minute 2 p.m. news conference at the council’s headquarters in Petionville.

Minutes earlier, officials had halted the distribution of ballots and other voting materials and began recovery of those that had already gone in day rapidly spiraling out of control as two more elections council member confirmed their pending resignation, and elections offices around the country came under violent attack.

The “violent acts” and the verbal threats against elections officials, left the council known as the CEP, with no choice, Opont said as he listed more than a dozen infrastructure that had either been set on fire, or where attempts were made. Among them, he said, was the communal electoral bureau in the northern city of Limbe. It was torched Friday morning. So was the private residence of the top elections official in the nearby city of Pignon.

By Alexis K Barnes, medium.com, Jan. 20, 2016
 
For 14 years, forty-year old Marline Jean did not have a toilet in her home. When she needed to relieve herself, she used one of the methods popular among toilet-less Cap-Haitien residents. Some days, when she was in a public setting, she would get to use a pit latrine, similar to one you may find at a campsite. Other times, she would find a quiet spot in a field. When she was running short on time, she’d use a “flying toilet,” meaning that she’d throw an excrement-filled plastic bag into ditches or trash piles.