Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti’s New Prime Minister Seeks to Unite and Heal Country

After confirmation by the Haitian Senate and Chamber of Deputies, physician Guy Lafontant rose to second-in-command in the Haitian government. As the new Prime Minister, he urged the country to unite and build bridges between polarized, unequal and marginalized communities. Lafontant also stressed the importance of major reforms, and, like President Jovenel Moise, he committed the new administration to prioritizing agricultural investments. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article. New prime minister urges Haitians to heal deep divisions David McFadden, Associated Press March 22, 2017 Haiti’s new prime minister on Tuesday urged this deeply polarized country to bridge divisions, and he vowed to bring steady advances even while acknowledging that the struggling nation has no shortage of accelerating problems. Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, a physician and political outsider approved as Haiti’s No. 2 official after clearing a final parliamentary hurdle […]

20-0 Vote in Haitian Senate Approves Prime Minister

Haitian president Jovenel Moise’s pick for Prime Minister, Guy Lafontant, was approved in the Haitian Senate by a 20-0 vote, with 7 abstentions. This marks his first step forward in pursuit of office, after the Senate confirmation hearing was delayed last Monday. The physician has been criticized for his delinquent tax history; he paid five years worth of taxes only after being nominated. Next, the decision will move on to the lower house, which must also approve the designate before he is to take office. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Haiti’s Senate Approves Prime Minister-Designate Voice of America March 16, 2017 Haiti’s prime minister-designate has cleared the first major hurdle toward reaching office. Jack Guy Lafontant was approved early Thursday in the Senate by a vote of 20-0, with seven lawmakers abstaining. He still has to be approved […]

12 Congresspeople Urge Trump Administration to Keep Haiti State Department Office

A bipartisan group of 12 lawmakers wrote to President Trump urging the administration to keep the State Department office dedicated to providing assistance to Haiti. This office has overseen $4.6 billion in humanitarian relief since it was created in 2010. The letter was spurred by the Trump administration’s current consideration of budget cuts to the State Department. Lawmakers urge Trump administration to keep Haiti office Kevin Freking, The Washington Post March 13, 2017 WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers asked the Trump administration on Monday to maintain an independent State Department office dedicated to assisting poverty-stricken Haiti even as it weighs major budget cuts for the department. The letter from a dozen lawmakers noted that Haiti has been struck by several natural and man-made disasters in recent years. A 2010 earthquake displaced more than 1 million Haitians and killed many thousands. […]

Controversial UN Peacekeeping Mission to Leave Haiti

The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, which is known by its French acronym MINUSTAH, is likely to significantly downsize its presence in Haiti in the near future. Over 2,000 soldiers from 19 contributing countries will be sent home, although the plans for foreign police officers and civilian staff remain uncertain. Some suggest that civilian staff will remain in Haiti alongside the UN police, an unprecedented move in UN peacekeeping history. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. After lengthy mission, UN peacekeeper pullout looms in Haiti David McFadden, Associated Press March 9, 2017 A few dozen Brazilian troops wearing the blue helmets of the U.N. military force stroll through a dense warren of shacks in Haiti’s most notorious slum, facing no greater threat than a few barking dogs along some of the same streets where pitched gunbattles […]

Haitian Politician Seeks Political Immunity for U.S. Drug Charges

Recently-elected Haitian politician Guy Philippe was arrested only days before he was to officially take office, and Philippe’s attorney argues that he cannot be prosecuted due to his status as a foreign state official. Philippe now seeks political immunity during the six years of his term in the Senate. He has pleaded not guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering conspiracy charges, and he currently awaits trial scheduled for April in the United States. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Haitian Politician, Coup Leader Seeks Immunity From US Case Associated Press March 3, 2017 A former Haitian coup leader who was recently elected to that country’s Senate is seeking immunity from U.S. prosecution in a drug case. Court documents recently filed by Guy Philippe’s attorney contend he cannot be prosecuted because he’s a foreign state official due to […]

Death of Former President Préval Shocks Nation

The death of former Haitian President René Préval comes as a shock to many. The political figure served two presidential terms, from 1996-2001 and 2006-2011, and he was the incumbent during the devastating 2010 earthquake. Opinions may vary, but President Préval certainly set precedent for the nation; in 2011, he was the first Haitian president to peacefully transition power to the opposition party, and he is the only president to have served two full terms in office. His death comes at a time when many questions are still left unanswered regarding the future of Haitian politics. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Rene Préval, two-time president of Haiti, dead at 74 Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 3, 2017 The evening before he died, two-time Haitian President René Garcia Préval, who led Haiti during food riots and its worst natural […]

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