Below is the second piece in Other Worlds’ Haitian land rights series, featuring an interview with Ricot Jean-Pierre. Jean-Pierre discusses how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.
The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History
Beverly Bell, Other Worlds
January 13, 2016
Yesterday, January 12, on the sixth anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake, Haitians mourned the countless lives lost. Among the many aftershocks they face is disaster capitalism, in which the Haitian elite and foreign corporations – backed by the US government, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank – are grabbing lands for extraction and mega-development projects. Ricot Jean-Pierre, social worker and program director of the Platform to Advocate Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA), tells how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.
Today we live in a crucial moment in which peasants are confronting challenges as they grapple with global warming, with the power of multinational companies over what they eat and how they live, and with an agricultural model that can’t provide them livelihood. Among the risks and catastrophes the peasants confront are lack of quality and quantity in food production, and their right to live as human beings. They also face a challenge in accessing the basic resources they need to produce, especially seeds and water.
The biggest problem has to do with access to land. Land defines social relations and economic systems in communities and countries. The right to land is linked with the agricultural system peasants want and to the kind of economic model that can buttress it. We see this in Haiti as all over in Latin America, Africa, and other parts the world.
Click HERE for the full text.