Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Former Haitian Mayor Hiding in Massachusetts Sued for Human Rights Violations

Jean Morose Viliena fled Haiti when he was indicted on murder, battery and property destruction charges by Haitian courts in 2009. Since then, he has apparently been working as a licensed school bus driver and an Uber driver in Massachusetts, despite his history of silencing political dissidents in the town he oversaw. Instead of being prosecuted for his crimes, the Martelly government appointed Viliena mayor of Les Irois in 2012. Now that there is a case against Viliena in the U.S., this will be a test for Haiti’s new government to see whether it will allow human rights abusers to continue getting away with their crimes. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Boston bus driver and former mayor in Haiti sued for human rights abuses in U.S. court Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 23, 2017 A […]

Investigative Report Highlights Systemic Nature of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in MINUSTAH

While instances of sexual exploitation and abuse have been widely documented in the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission, a new investigative report suggests that the number of formal allegations drastically underrepresents the extent of the crimes; sexual exploitation and abuse in MINUSTAH indicates a systemic problem in both the peacekeeping mission and the UN’s approach to bringing justice to the survivors. UN actions to address issues of sexual exploitation and abuse have been inadequate to affect real change, and have even deterred more people from reporting. This report highlights the preliminary findings from a 27-day investigation by independent investigator Mark Snyder, and strongly urges the UN to launch an immediate and in-depth investigation into the abuses. Click HERE to watch a new Fault Lines documentary entitled “Haiti By Force: UN Sex Abuse.” Part of the introduction to the investigative report is shown below. Click HERE for the full […]

Impunity for UN Peacekeepers Who Rape Women in Haiti

In talking to women around Haiti, Al Jazeera Fault Lines found only one in twelve women who reported being raped by a United Nations peacekeeper. The one woman who filed the report never heard back Neither did BAI’s Mario Joseph, who sent legal notices to the UN last summer regarding paternity claims. Women in Haiti feel that the decades of UN impunity show there is no point in reporting this abuse because they will not get justice. Mario is trying to change that, though child support from UN peacekeepers is a rare occurrence. Al Jazeera English will air this story at 2230 GMT / 2330 WAT on 22 March 2017 and repeat it on 25 March 2017 at 1630 GMT / 1730 WAT / 1830 CAT / 1930 EAT. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. […]

UN Falls Short of Promises to Cholera Victims

The apology from former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and announcement of the “New Approach” to combat cholera in Haiti raised hopes that justice would be done in response to the horrific outbreak, which was brought to the country by Nepalese peacekeepers. However, the reality sends quite a different message; the UN has raised only a fraction of the promised, and necessary, funds. Current political contexts deemphasizing foreign aid, uncertainty over effective UN policies and donor fatigue have contributed to the fundraising failure. However, the time is past for excuses, and those affected by the deadly outbreak deserve more than empty promises from the UN. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Click HERE to read IJDH and BAI’s letter to the UN Secretary-General. After Bringing Cholera to Haiti, U.N. Can’t Raise Money to Fight It Rick Gladstone, New York Times March 19, 2017 […]

U.N. Secretary-General Recommends ‘Gradual’ Withdrawal of Military Peacekeepers

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres submitted a report detailing his suggestions for MINUSTAH’s gradual withdrawal from Haiti. He suggests phasing out the military component, and replacing it with a smaller mission to focus on strengthening the Haitian police force, the judiciary and human rights. Haiti is still in a period of transition, marked by a new and politically-inexperienced government and recovery from years of vulnerability to natural disasters. Guterres urges partners and U.N. member states to remain committed to supporting Haiti, leading up to and after MINUSTAH’s withdrawal, in order to ensure continued progress in Haiti. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. U.N. secretary general: Time for peacekeeping mission in Haiti to end Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 17, 2017 It’s time for the United Nations’ 2,300 blue-helmet soldiers in Haiti to head home after 13 years, the head […]

Haitian Senate Urges Immediate Return of Guy Philippe in New Resolution

The majority of the Haitian Senate voted in favor of a resolution that strongly condemns the arrest and extradition to the United States of elected Senator Guy Philippe. The resolution describes Philippe’s arrest as unconstitutional and cites an agreement dated October 17, 1997 as the source of the conflict. It urges the Haitian government to take the necessary steps for Philippe’s immediate return to Haiti and to assist Philippe and his family. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. The Senate votes a resolution in favor of Guy Philippe HaitiLibre March 16, 2017 19 out of 24 Senators voted a resolution strongly condemning the arrest and extradition of their colleague, the elected Senator of Grand’Anse, Guy Philippe, on January 5 http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-19721-haiti-flash-senator-guy-philippe-extradited-to-the-usa.html In this resolution (proposed by Senators Carl Murat Cantave, Jean-Marie Ralph Féthière, Jean-Marie Salomon, Jean Renel Sénatus, Jean […]

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