Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

How did the cholera epidemic get so bad, and what’s next?

Journalist Kim Ives and IJDH’s own Sienna Merope-Synge discuss the United Nations’ role in the cholera epidemic in Haiti in a radio segment on black resistance. This includes discussion of a U.S. Appeals Court’s decision to uphold UN immunity in the lawsuit that seeks justice for the epidemic. The interview starts at about 17:10. Black August Commemorates Four Centuries of African American Resistance Brian Becker, Sputnik August 22, 2016   Click HERE for the original posting.

Leaked Report Adds to Embarrassment of UN Impunity [audio]

The denial of justice to Haiti’s cholera victims is becoming increasingly embarrassing for the United Nations, as a report has been leaked which shows that the UN knew that it was the source of cholera in Haiti, even as it continued to deny responsibility. While most people knew that the UN base near the top of Haiti’s main water source was the origin of the epidemic, this report reveals that the sanitation problems seen at that base were systemic across UN bases. This revelation comes on the heels of another report which estimates that the true death toll for cholera is likely four to ten times higher than what’s officially reported. Brian Concannon, IJDH Executive Director, explains these developments beginning at about 45:25. Haiti’s Cholera Crisis Sojourner Truth Radio April 6, 2016 Click HERE for original posting.

UN Waste Dumping in Haiti and US Support of Impunity

A leaked UN report shows that a month after the cholera epidemic erupted in Haiti, the UN was told about unsanitary practices across its bases: Over 10% of bases were dumping sewage into the local environment and 70% were dumping gray water (shower and kitchen water) that could also cause infections. Despite this strong evidence that peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti, the UN continued denying it and to this day, has never formally acknowledged its culpability. Our case against the UN for failing to provide the cholera victims access to justice is currently in the appeals process, with US government attorneys arguing the UN’s case in court. As the largest contributor to the UN, the US government could do so much to push the UN on justice and accountability. Instead, it is supporting UN impunity. Part of the transcript is below. […]

Audio Recording from Oral Argument in Georges v. United Nations (3/1/2016)

  Unofficial transcript of hearing based on official audio recording: For additional information on the circumstances prior to the hearing, visit:… NY Times article on the hearing: For further inquiries, email:

With a new interim president, what can we expect for Haiti elections?

Haiti now has an interim president whose mandate is to organize new elections before stepping down in 120 days. Many are worried that this won’t be enough time to give the previous problems with the elections the attention they deserve. In this interview, Jake Johnston of Center for Economic and Policy Research cautions against setting expectations without knowing how realistic they are. After all, the international community’s tendency to force such timelines is one of the reasons the political crisis has gotten so serious. Click HERE for the full posting and other guest interviews. With no sitting president, Haiti grapples with renewed political turmoil Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC Radio’s The Current February 15, 2016 It’s been 30 years since Haiti’s former dictator, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, was ousted and exiled, leaving a power vacuum at the top. Last week, the country found […]

Six Years Post-Quake and Not Much Change – Interview with Brian Concannon

Today, January 12, marks the sixth anniversary of Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake. Despite billions pledged and spent in Haiti since then, there is not much to show for it. IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon explains what went wrong, like not consulting Haitians on what their country needed and relying on expensive international experts. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and audio. Anger in Haiti over misspent aid, six years after the 2010 earthquake Christopher Woolf, PRI’s The World January 12, 2016 It’s six years since an earthquake devastated Haiti, and killed at least 200,000 people. In the immediate aftermath, the world rallied and pledged enormous amounts of assistance and development aid. But in Haiti today there is anger about the promises that have fallen short. The UN estimates that about $10 billion was pledged, and about […]

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