June 7, 2005
Thank you for everyone who responded to last week’s appeal to support political prisoner Yvon Neptune. Our pressure is having an effect–on June 6 the 14 countries of CARICOM called Neptune’s prolonged unjustified detention symptomatic of wider due process problems. On June 3 Prime Minister Latortue said the court would reach a decision over the weekend, and the head of the MINUSTAH military forces, Brazilian General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro said Neptune’s case is a very serious political problem, and there is great pressure…for him to be either released or tried.
But PM Latortue was wrong: Neptune is still in prison. So if you are not yet part of the great pressure for his release, please follow last week’s action alert at http://www.ijdh.org/articles/article_halfhourforhaiti_may-31-05.htm.
This week’s alert is educational: reading a report titled Spoiling Security in Haiti by the International Crisis Group (May 31, 2005), available at http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?l=1&id=3485. The report is far from perfect–it underplays the historical context essential to understanding Haiti today, and declines to examine the International Community’s contributions to Haiti’s downward spiral.
But Spoiling Security in Haiti does provide a balanced analysis of the current security problem in Haiti, and, like few other reports, acknowledges the complexity of the violence, especially the roles of the traditional monopoly-based business sector and the relatively new narcotraffickers. Like even fewer reports, especially from such an establishment source (ICG’s Trustees are almost all current and former top government and corporate officials),Spoiling Security links today’s violence to the acute social and economic inequalities which have historically marked the country.
The report is 20 pages long, so it may take more than half an hour to download and read it all. But after thirty minutes you’ll get the gist of it, and know whether you want to keep going for extra credit.
For more information about the Half Hour For Haiti program or human rights in Haiti, see www.ijdh.org.