Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

MA Resident Sued After Escaping Haiti’s Justice System for Years

Three plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit against the former Mayor of Les Irois, Haiti in an attempt to bring justice against the man accused of murdering political opponents, burning 36 houses and using terror and violence during his term in office. Jean-Morose Viliena was elected Mayor in 2006, but fled to Massachusetts three years later after criminal investigators began looking into his behaviors. Since then, he has failed to show up to criminal trials and manipulated the already-weak justice system in Haiti, escaping prosecution for his crimes. This lawsuit was a step in the right direction to bring justice against him. However, on Friday, one of the three plaintiffs died in a sudden and unexpected manner, raising questions about the plaintiffs’ safety and Viliena’s lasting influence in Haiti. The Center for Justice and Accountability and IJDH are leading the efforts against Viliena, and they urge Haitian officials […]

Lengthy Indictment of Guy Philippe Not Enough to Throw Out Case

After over 11 years under indictment, Haitian Senator-Elect Guy Philippe awaits federal trial after a Miami judge delayed the trial until May 1st. The judge criticized US federal authorities for not making a “consistent effort” to arrest Philippe during this 11-year span, although she stopped short of throwing out the case. Philippe was ultimately taken into U.S. custody on January 5, 2017, mere days before he was to swear in to the Haitian Senate, and the judge ruled that his status as Senator-Elect at the time of the arrest precludes political immunity. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Miami judge won’t toss drug charges against ex-Haitian rebel leader Guy Philippe Jay Weaver and Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 24, 2017 A Miami federal judge has rejected a motion to throw out a drug-trafficking indictment against Guy Philippe, a prominent public figure in […]

Suffering Continues Months after Hurricane Matthew as Death Toll Rises

Months after Hurricane Matthew, the levels of desperation and suffering are approaching a humanitarian crisis in Haiti. The storm left over 800,000 hungry, and many regions are still recovering in the aftermath of the storm. Severe food insecurity and the recent end of emergency response programs have impeded many Haitians’ access to basic needs, and major sources of income for some farmers, such as fruit and cacao trees, will be unable to produce this year as a result of the storm. The death toll due to starvation is rising, and many Haitians lack access to safe shelter, clean water and food. Aid workers warn that the situation could deteriorate rapidly, and more will continue to lose their lives if the food shortage is not addressed. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Desperate Haitians living in caves, eating toxic plants in […]

Haitian Nationals Sue Former Mayor in U.S. Court

Three Haitian nationals are taking to the U.S. federal court system to seek justice years in the making. They sued Jean Morose Viliena, the former mayor of their village in Haiti, for murdering his political opponents and committing routine human rights abuses during his time as mayor. Viliena fled from Haiti after the courts launched investigations into his behaviors in office, and the plaintiffs are now hoping that the U.S. court system will help them accomplish what could not be done in Haiti. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Former Haitian mayor sued in Boston over human rights abuses Scott Malone, Reuters March 23, 2017 Three Haitian nationals sued the former mayor of their rural village on Thursday, accusing him in Boston federal court of murdering, torturing and burning the homes of his political opponents. Lawyers for […]

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 […]

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 […]

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Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
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