Recent Feature Articles

In Brazil as elsewhere in Latin America, social infrastructure and access to state-provided, decommodified goods and services are growing at uneven tempos, exacerbating inequalities that are more difficult to measure than raw labour-income disparities. Patchy state provision of basic public goods, coupled with rising wage earnings, have encouraged private spending in education and health. Indeed, healthcare is a prime example of how a universal right has been damaged by the rationale of finance-led capitalism.

Lena Levinas, New Left Review 84, November-December 2013

Detailed account of proposed coup against Préval, overturning of Haitian elections, following 2010 earthquake

By Center for Economic Policy Research, February 25, 2014

Washington, D.C.- In 2010, a secret “core group” of foreign dignitaries sought to force the president of Haiti out of office in a coup. They also engineered an intervention in Haiti’s presidential elections that year that ensured that the governing party’s candidate would not proceed to a runoff. These are the revelations being made by the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Special Representative to Haiti at the time, Ricardo Seitenfus. In an exclusive interview published by Dissent Magazine, Seitenfus – who was present at some of these meetings - describes these and other bombshells detailed in his new book being published in his native Brazil, titled International Crossroads and Failures in Haiti.

Statement by Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, Feb 21, 2014 

Dear Reader,  

Yesterday the Court of Appeals handling the Jean-Claude ”Baby Doc” Duvalier case in Haiti made history by reinstating the charges against Mr. Duvalier, and declared that under international law binding on Haiti, the statute of limitations cannot protect people accused of crimes against humanity (see our press release for more details).

Eight articles and video stories enclosed. To read each of the full articles, go to the web links provided.

1. Outsourcing Haiti: How disaster relief became a disaster of it

​​Terrific article by Jake Johnston, published in Boston Review, January 16, 2014

By Jake Johnston, published in Boston Review, January 16, 2014

Across the country from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, miles of decrepit pot-holed streets give way to a smooth roadway leading up to the gates of the Caracol Industrial Park, but no further. The fishing hamlet of Caracol, from which the park gets its name, lies around the bend down a bumpy dirt road. Four years after the earthquake that destroyed the country on January 12, 2010, the Caracol Industrial Park is the flagship reconstruction project of the international community in Haiti. Signs adorn nearby roads, mostly in English, declaring the region “Open for Business.” In a dusty field, hundreds of empty, brightly colored houses are under construction in neat rows. If all goes as hoped for by the enthusiastic backers of the industrial park, this area could be home to as many as 300,000 additional residents over the next decade.

By Haiti Grassroots Watch, Nov 19, 2013

Reforestation and soil conservation programs costing many hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Petit-Goâve region have resulted in hundreds of small ledges built of straw or sacks of earth. Eight to ten months later, in certain areas the earthworks seem to be lasting. But in many others, these little “shelves” have disintegrated.

The construction and destruction of the anti-erosion ledges – all made with development assistance and humanitariandonations – offer an example of how at least some of Haiti’s reforestations projects turn out. In some cases, at least, they could be considered vicious circles.

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberte, Nov 20, 2013

Huge demonstrations in Haiti calling for President Michel Martelly to step down are growing in size, scope, and frequency. On Nov. 7, a march of many thousands, called by the Patriotic Force for Respect of the 1987 Constitution (FOPARC), marched up the Delmas Road from La Saline and burst through the barricades which Haitian police had erected to prevent the crowd from marching through the tony streets of Pétionville.

“We proved today that we don’t need a visa, we don’t need a passport, to go to Pétionville,” said demonstrator and journalist Wendel Polynice after the symbolically powerful victory.

By Roger Annis, Nov 14, 2013

A very informative and revealing story about the lawsuit against the United Nations over cholera in Haiti was broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s national evening news program, The World At Six, on November 13. The report began, “The United Nations is among those leading the effort to get aid to the Philippines. But even as it helps out with this natural disaster, it is haunted by the ghosts of another.”

By Roger Annis, October 14, 2013

Stephen Lewis, a former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations who has also served at the world agency in several other prominent postings, says the international organization must accept responsibility for the cholera epidemic that broke out in Haiti in October 2010. He says he supports the legal action against the UN that was formally launched in New York City on October 9 on behalf of the victims of the epidemic.

October 9, 2013, New York- Attorneys from the human rights groups Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), and civil rights law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzelli & Pratt (KKWT), announced today the filing of a class action lawsuit against the United Nations (UN) on behalf of victims of the deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti. Since October 2010, when the UN contaminated Haiti's principal river with cholera-infected human waste, the disease has killed over 8,300, sickened more than 650,000, and continues to kill about 1,000 Haitians per year.

Speaking from Geneva, where he is being honored as a finalist for the Martin Ennals Human Rights Award, BAI Managing Attorney Mario Joseph said: "The filing of this lawsuit marks a critical step towards justice for Haiti and all those who have suffered and are suffering because of cholera." Joseph is co-counsel on the case and has led the fight for justice for cholera victims since 2011.