Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Mass Funeral for Haitians Who Died from Deplorable Prison Conditions

This article describes the scene at and context for a mass funeral the Port-au-Prince chief prosecutor put on for people who died at the National Penitentiary. Already known for the worst overcrowding in the world, Haiti’s prisons are facing even more of a hunger and malnutrition crisis lately. The majority of the prisoners have never been seen by a judge, including most of the ones in the mass funeral. Haiti’s government has a responsibility to offer basic services to its prisoners, and the problem of pre-trial detention urgently needs to be addressed. Mass funeral held for 20 Haitians who died in dismal prison David McFadden, ABC News February 21, 2017 Relatives wailed in grief or stared stoically as flowers were placed on 20 caskets at a mass funeral for the latest group of inmates who died miserably in Haiti’s largest prison, […]

Matthew Reminds Us of UN Role in Haiti Cholera Epidemic

This story tracks cholera in Haiti, from when United Nations peacekeepers first brought the previously-unknown disease to Haiti in 2010 to the UN finally admitting involvement in the epidemic in 2016. When the epidemic first began, the UN tried to cover up its involvement and the World Health Organization helped by saying that the focus needed to be on stopping the disease rather than finding the origin. For years, the UN denied involvement and also dodged responsibility in court, using immunity against the lawsuit IJDH filed against it. Now that Hurricane Matthew has brought more water into Haiti, the risk of cholera spiking has increased. What will the UN do about it? The UN’s Role in the Devastating Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Gillian Mahoney, ABC News October 20, 2016 As Hurricane Matthew churned off the coast of Haiti earlier this month […]

Ex-Soldier Killed in Clash with Election Protesters

On Friday, a group of former soldiers had an altercation with anti-government protesters which resulted in one ex-soldier’s death. While president Martelly has long promised to revive Haiti’s army, opponents are concerned about the army’s past involvement in repression and toppling governments. Former Soldiers Clash With Protesters in Haiti; 1 Dead David McFadden, AP, ABC News February 5, 2016 A band of former Haitian soldiers clashed Friday with a far larger gathering of anti-government demonstrators in the troubled country’s capital, resulting in the killing of an ex-member of the abolished military amid an ongoing political crisis. About 100 veterans of Haiti’s disbanded military and some younger supporters paraded through downtown streets of Port-au-Prince on Friday. A number wore faded green uniforms and carried rifles and pistols. When the ragtag group of ex-soldiers in pickup trucks passed near an anti-government protest with […]

Final List of Haiti Presidential Candidates

While about 70 people registered for Haiti’s presidential race, many of them were contested because they hadn’t obtained the clearance (décharge) needed by Parliament, before Parliament became inactive in January 2015. Now, the highly-anticipated list of accepted candidates has been released, excluding the most famous of those who hadn’t received a décharge, former Prime Minister Lamothe. Haiti Releases Final List of Presidential Candidates Associated Press, ABC News June 12, 2015 Haiti’s electoral council has released a final list of presidential candidates allowed to participate in the upcoming general elections. Officials released the list of 58 names on Friday after rejecting 13 candidates. Excluded from the list is former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. A judicial panel previously ruled that he failed to receive a government document certifying that he handled public funds appropriately while prime minister from 2012 until late 2014. Haiti […]

Ex-Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier Dead

Jean-Claude Duvalier, notorious for the corruption and human rights abuses that reigned during his presidency, died of a heart attack this weekend. Some fear that justice for Duvalier’s victims can’t be served now that he’s died but many hope that the prosecution will continue with others who were involved in Duvalier’s human rights abuses. Click HERE for the original article. Ousted Haitian Dictator ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier Dies Evens Sanon & Trenton Daniels, ABC News October 4, 2014 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Jean-Claude Duvalier, who presided over what was widely acknowledged as a corrupt and brutal regime as the self-proclaimed “president for life” of Haiti until a popular uprising sent him into a 25-year exile, has died. He was 63. Duvalier died Saturday from a heart attack at the home of a friend in Port-au-Prince where he had been staying, said his lawyer, Reynold […]

Haiti 2 Years Later: Half a Million Still in Camps (Trenton Daniel, Associated Press)

Trenton Daniel, ABC News January 8, 2012 Days after the earthquake killed his little girl and destroyed much of his house, Meristin Florival moved his family into a makeshift tent on a hill in the Haitian capital and called it home. Two years later they’re still there, living without drains, running water or electricity. A few kilometers (miles) away, Jean Rony Alexis has left the camp where he spent the months after the quake and moved into a shed-like shelter built on a concrete slab by the Red Cross. But he’s not much better off. The annual rent charged by a landlord who lives in a nearby camp jumped from $312 to $375, and he too has no running water. “This is misery,” said Florival, whose 4-month-old daughter was crushed to death in the quake-stricken family home. “I don’t see […]

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