Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Newly Released Emails Incriminate Top US Officials in UN Unaccountability for Cholera

Newly revealed emails indicate that high-level American officials knew about the United Nation’s role in causing the cholera epidemic in Haiti from the beginning of the outbreak. Thus began a cover-up to protect the reputation of both the U.N. and the U.S., incriminating a wide range of people. The emails suggest that the investigation was flawed and “unenthusiastic,” despite growing evidence of the U.N. peacekeepers’ roles. It took six years from the outbreak of the disease for the public to hear an official apology from the U.N.; six years in which cholera killed more than 9,500 people and crippled Haiti’s healthcare system, infrastructure and access to clean water. Experts suggest that the real death toll could even be 2-3 times higher than this estimate, and cholera continues to kill approximately one Haitian per day. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article. What […]

How the Cholera Cover-Up in Haiti Resulted in Excessive Deaths

When an infectious disease first breaks out, identify the source is a crucial step in stemming the spread of the disease and helping those who are already affected. When cholera broke out in Haiti, however, experts like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that they could not or did not need to identify the source. This lead to a rapid and very deadly spread of cholera, which Haitians had no immunity to because it had never been experienced in Haiti’s history. Well-known epidemiologist Ralph Frerichs discusses his new book on the cover-up. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. The Story Behind The Outbreak Investigation Of Cholera In Haiti Officials Accused Of Covering Up The Source Of The Outbreak French Epidemiologist Anointed As “Modern Day John Snow” The […]

CDC Promotes “Revisionist History” of Cholera in Haiti

The CDC’s in-house museum has a graphic comparing the cholera epidemic brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers with the 1854 cholera epidemic in London. The problem with the graphic is that it ignores both the source of the cholera epidemic, and the still-ongoing deaths and illnesses from cholera five and a half years later. Towards the beginning of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, the CDC claimed that finding and citing the source of the epidemic was counterproductive. Now that the UN has spent five and a half years dodging accountability to its victims, why is the CDC still loath to mention the UN role? Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. The Killer Hiding in the CDC Map What caused Haiti’s cholera epidemic? The CDC museum knows but won’t say. Jonathan M. Katz, Slate April 14, 2016 Last Friday, a friend […]

Should the UN Have Immunity from Cholera Claims?

This article describes the hearing that took place on October 23, 2014 in the ongoing case against the UN for its negligent introduction of cholera to Haiti in 2010. It notes that the resulting epidemic, which is ongoing, is the worst in recent history. In spite of this, the US government argued in US federal court that Judge J. Paul Oetken should dismiss the lawsuit on grounds of UN immunity, asserting that such immunity is absolute. Arguing on behalf of plaintiffs, Beatrice Lindstrom, IJDH Staff Attorney, maintained that the UN should not be able to assert immunity when it has refused to set up a process whereby victims could file claims and access a remedy. The US Government argued that the only time the UN can be hailed to court is when it expressly waives its immunity. A decision by […]

Cholera: From the Origin to Legal Developments

This article details both the theory that cholera in Haiti was triggered by environmental factors, as well as the evidence showing that United Nations peacekeepers triggered the epidemic through negligent sanitary practices. The author then describes the actions BAI and IJDH took to seek justice for cholera victims, from the 2011 petition demanding UN accountability through the 2013 complaint filed in the Southern District of New York. He also outlines some of the legal arguments against the UN’s response, as well as outside reactions to the case (including former UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s). The introductory paragraph is below. Click HERE for a pdf of the full article. Cholera in Haiti: A Perfect Storm of Scientific and Legal Uncertainty Guy R. Knudsen, Natural Resources & Environment Summer 2014 To date, the Haitian cholera epidemic that broke out in 2010 has killed more than […]

Chikungunya Virus Spreads in Haiti, US Possibly Next

The mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus is spreading rapidly across Haiti, with epidemiologists saying it’s probably heading for the US next. Although it’s extremely painful, the virus usually lasts for a few days and doesn’t come back because one develops immunity. Currently, the only official treatment is Tylenol. Mosquito-Borne Breaking Bone Disease Spreads In Haiti Peter Granitz, NPR May 19, 2014 Transmitted by mosquitoes, the chikungunya virus causes rash, fever and excruciating joint pain. It has no cure. The good news: It’s rarely fatal. Epidemiologists say the virus is headed to the U.S. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: A mosquito-borne virus is spreading across the Caribbean. It’s called Chikungunya. It’s hardly ever fatal but it does hurt, causing severe joint pain. And public health officials expect the disease to eventually reach the U.S. Reporter Peter Granitz takes us to Haiti, the country with […]

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