As an impoverished nation so close to U.S. shores, Haiti is at particular risk of becoming a target for business and extraction interests that may not align with respect for Haitian rights, especially land rights. This article outlines the ways businesses may take advantage of Haitians, and what is being done to resist these efforts. It is part of a new series on land rights and food sovereignty in Haiti.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.
“The Struggle for Land Justice Knows No Borders”: Corporate Pillaging in Haiti
Natalie Miller, Other Worlds
December 22, 2015
Since the earthquake of January, 2010, Haiti has increasingly become a target of extraction and private business development by Haitian and foreign investors. Income and trade – if the wages are livable and the trade is fair – would, of course, be helpful for the poverty statistics-topping nation. This would be especially important for the majority of the population who survive on agriculture. However, much of the new business is being planned or executed on lands those farmers’ families have lived on since they were enslaved, leaving them landless and without livelihood.
This article debuts a new series, “Land Rights and Food Sovereignty in Haiti,” to run every other week. The series will feature interviews with those directly impacted, investigation by scholars and other experts, and analysis from Haitian activists. The pieces will examine the problems; the role of the US and UN; and solutions, spotlighting food sovereignty.
The January 2010 earthquake provided a perfect opportunity for many to come and do business in Haiti. Even prior to the earthquake, Bill Clinton led the discussion on developing Haiti through corporate investment. President Martelly turned that approach into a credo: “Haiti is open for business.”
We understand the pretext for this so-called development. The concept of extraction isn’t very well known in Haiti, but the country has had a long history of pillaging by colonial and imperial powers.
Click HERE for the full text.