Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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 […]

President Moise selects Dr. Lafontant as his pick for prime minister

Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant has confirmed that he is President Moise’s pick for prime minister of Haiti. Lafontant is not well-known in Haitian politics, but is a close friend and supporter of the new president. The selection comes as a surprise to many, and the doctor now awaits official confirmation from parliament. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Obscure doctor tapped to lead Haiti as prime minister Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald February 22, 2017 An obscure physician who heads the Petionville Rotary Club has been designated as Haiti’s next prime minister by President Jovenel Moïse. Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, a gastroenterologist and member of the American College of Physicians, confirmed to the Miami Herald that he had been tapped and was “awaiting official confirmation.” Cholzer Chancy, the president of the Lower Chamber of Deputies, also confirmed […]

San Francisco Lawyers Guild Denounces Haiti Election Process, Voter Repression

The San Francisco branch of the National Lawyers Guild is speaking out against the voter repression and attacks on the right to assemble seen during Haiti’s most recent round of elections. Though Haiti’s new president was sworn in early this month, these lawyers  call on the U.S. government (which makes many decisions in Haiti), the United Nations and the Organization of American States to end their support for this new administration.. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco Stands in Solidarity With Haitian Grassroots Movement We Say No! To Stolen Elections National Lawyers Guild – San Francisco February 2017 For well over a month, tens of thousands of Haitians have been demonstrating daily to protest yet another stolen election and another denial of their right to determine their own […]

Political “Stability” Over True Democracy in Haiti

Haiti just elected a new president, Jovenel Moïse, after over a year of delays and even a rerun of the elections that originally placed Moïse as the front-runner. Unfortunately, and to the concern of many, Moïse was chosen by less than 10% of the electorate with only 20% of voters even participating at all. The complicated reasons for this lack of voter participation have been decades in the making, including consolidation of power on the right; coups against a popular Haitian leader; and interference by the international community. As IJDH Director Brian Concannon describes, much of the weaknesses and limitations on the left “can be explained by the undermining and overthrowing of the Lavalas governments, which prevented them from demonstrating how democracy can work, and the killing, jailing, and exiling of important leaders.” Frustrated with all this, most Haitians cannot picture their […]

U.N. may remove MINUSTAH military peacekeepers from Haiti

A United Nations official has said that the MINUSTAH peacekeeping operation in Haiti is under review, and this might lead to the removal of military peacekeepers from Haiti. The U.N. mission has been heavily criticized since its arrival in Haiti, from issues involving sexual abuse to the introduction of cholera in Haiti. The U.N. Security Council is expected to make its decision in April. Part of the article is posted below. Click HERE for the full article. U.N. considering removing military peacekeepers from Haiti: official Makini Brice, Reuters February 9, 2017 The United Nations is considering removing military personnel from its peacekeeping mission in Haiti, a U.N. official said on Thursday, indicating a possible scaling back of one of the body’s longest-running and widely-criticized missions. The U.N. mission in Haiti, often locally called by its French acronym MINUSTAH, has been in the country since […]

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