Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Misplaced Priorities in Haiti Post-Quake

From the handling of aid in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, to the current handling of the cholera epidemic brought by UN peacekeepers, international priorities have often taken precedence over Haitian needs. The housing crisis that remains since the earthquake, failed education reform, and even the current political crisis can all be attributed to this. Haitians continue to stand up and fight for their rights and the respect they deserve.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Black Haitian Lives Matter: Haiti on the Fifth Anniversary of the Earthquake

Jesse Hagopian, Truthout
January 12, 2015

Manifestation - Protest March on Ile-a-Vache. Haitian peasants march against the attempted displacement of the inhabitants of Ile-a-Vache by the Martelly/Lamothe government, February 28, 2014.

Why have you come to save me?
Why have you come to save me?
You, Americans, have saved me
Who will save me now?
– Popular song during the American occupation of Haiti, 1994.

They were the longest 30 seconds of my life, and as they ticked off, I came to believe they would be my last.

When the Léogâne fault shifted under Haiti at 4:53 pm on January 12, 2010, a 7.0 earthquake opened up the earth. I pulled my wife and 1-year-old son into a sheltered spot in the bathroom of our hotel room. After 20 seconds or so, the sink jolted lose and water gushed on the floor, the mirror came crashing down, and our bed flew across the room. I clutched my wife and son in terror. I knew the building wouldn’t stand up if it lasted much longer. A great boom rang in our ears, quickly followed by screams from all directions.

The shaking finally stopped, and we trembled with relief to find our second floor room still where it belonged. While we somehow survived, an incomprehensible calamity was visited upon the people of Haiti, considered one of the worst disasters in modern history. Estimates of the dead ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands, with hundreds of thousands injured, and more than 2 million people rendered homeless.

 

Click HERE for the full text.

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