Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Mario’s Cholera Work in Der Spiegel

Mario’s work fighting cholera in Haiti is having a global impact! Der Spiegel, a very well-known German weekly magazine, posted an interview with Mario and a cholera survivor on their Facebook page. Below is a translation of the video by one of our Legal Fellows, Katharina Rall. The title of the video means “Travelling with human rights lawyer Mario Joseph.”

Unterwegs mit dem Menschenrechtsanwalt Mario Joseph.

Der Spiegel
July 11, 2014

– Mario: We have a disease, an epidemic that the UN brought to Haiti through Nepalese soldiers.
– Mario: As of today, more than 8000 people have died and more than 750000 have been sickened by this disease.
– Mario: Oh you didn’t know I was coming here? You knew? Hi everyone, how are you?…
– Journalist (Samiha Shafy): We are in Bocozelle, in the North of Haiti, together with the human rights lawyer Mario Joseph. We just visited one of his clients, Felicia Paule, 40 years old, and one of the victims of cholera.
– Felicia: It’s my strength that’s already gone, understand? I was very weak. My strength, the strength I had before is gone. Sometimes, I can’t walk at all. I see black, I feel very weak. Sometimes, when I am working, I have to put a foot on the ground to regain some strength or bend down to regain some strength. I feel like ever since I had cholera, I don’t have strength. The strength I used to have is gone.
– Journalist: Felicia Paule fell sick around three years ago. She had already lost her sister who was one of the first victims who died. Felicia survived because she had access to a hospital. Her daughter brought her to the hospital and she received treatment. But many others died and so far they have not received any help.
– Felicia: Ever since November, ever since cholera struck, Mario has been talking about cholera. He’s leading the fight but the fight isn’t successful. He’s leading the fight but the fight isn’t successful because we are many. So many people died in this village. You would have to visit our cemetery to see the strength of cholera. My sister didn’t even have a funeral. The government said we should get black bags from the hospital for the bodies. They just dug a hole and threw the dead bodies in.

– Mario: I decided to represent the victims because MINUSTAH’s own study revealed that the peacekeepers were the source of the disease. They wanted to make excuses and said that the disease had spread so quickly because Haiti lacks proper sanitation infrastructure. But the UN can’t use this excuse. Before they brought their soldiers to Haiti, they should have known that Haiti is weak and they should have been more cautious so this disease wouldn’t have entered the country.


Click HERE for the video.

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