Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Push-Back Over UN Aid to Haiti after Matthew

Tensions have been rising in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, as international aid continues to be inadequate.  Nicole Phillips, staff attorney for the IJDH, and others speak on the possibilities for providing worthwhile and timely aid to Haiti after their most recent natural disaster. Part of the article is below.  Click HERE for the full article. Why the United Nations is facing push-back as it tries to help Haiti Zhai Yun Tan, The Christian Science Monitor  October 14, 2016 Tensions are high in Haiti after the country was hit by category 4 hurricane Matthew last week, as thousands continue to seek aid amid collapsed homes and infrastructure. The increased friction has led to reports of United Nations peacekeepers firing at people attempting to ransack truck convoys carrying food. On Thursday, some Haitians protested and barricaded blue-helmeted peacekeepers, claiming a UN truck had […]

Will the United Nations’ Legacy in Haiti be all about Scandal?

Kathie Klarreich, The Christian Science Monitor June 13, 2012 The accomplishments of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti have been overshadowed by scandals, from a cholera outbreak to sexual abuse cases. How will this affect future missions? GONAIVES, HAITI When the United Nations deployed peacekeepers to Haiti in 2004, its troops were charged with restoring order following the tumultuous departure of then-president Jean Bertrand Aristide. Their presence brought a much-needed calm after months of violence and political unrest. In the years that followed, they provided security for two democratic elections and, after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, pitched in with recovery and reconstruction efforts. But that’s not the only legacy MINUSTAH, as the peacekeeping mission is referred to here, has created. Once popular, the UN mission now is viewed by many as a poor use of money and an unnecessary presence – a result in part of […]

How strong are charges against Haiti’s Jean-Claude Duvalier? Very, say experts. (Christian Science Monitor)

Alice Speri and Ezra Fieser, Christian Science Monitor Jan 19, 2011 Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier (aka ‘Baby Doc’) was charged in court Tuesday with embezzlement, corruption, and misappropriation of funds. ‘It’s fairly easy to pursue legally,’ says one expert. During his 15 years in power, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier is said to have brazenly robbed Haiti’s treasury of hundreds of millions of dollars. He is accused of going as far as stealing checks intended for the poor to help him amass hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign accounts that allowed him to live luxuriously while in exile. But the same disregard for the law that made him a multimillionaire could make the case against him relatively easy to prosecute, observers tell the Monitor. “He was fairly careful to hide the assets abroad, but he was not that careful to […]

Haiti cholera outbreak ‘stabilizing’ – but could affect election

By Stephen Kurczy, Christian Science Monitor The speedy official response to Haiti’s cholera outbreak has been hailed as a relative success story, but 10 months after the earthquake Haitians are frustrated with a lack of relief. Haiti’s cholera outbreak is “stabilizing,” with the United Nations and Haitian government thus far preventing the disease from spreading to the capital’s sprawling tent camps of 1.3 million people. A speedy official response in containing the outbreak is seen as a relative success. But with elections only a month away and the public already fatigued by a lack of relief 10 months after January’s earthquake, the cholera outbreak comes at a sensitive time. In addition to political ramifications, it has raised concern about how quickly disease can spread in Haiti, where many communities have long lacked access to potable water in part because the […]

Haiti election commission under scrutiny for ties to President René Préval

By Alice Speri and Hannah Armstrong, Christian Science Monitor Haiti holds its first presidential debate Saturday, even as President René Préval’s ties to the election commission has observers asking whether the CEP rejected candidates based on politics. As Haiti gears up for its first-ever internationally televised presidential debate Saturday, confidence in the government’s ability to hold a credible poll is being undermined by allegations that President René Préval is attempting to sway the election. Details of an Aug. 16 meeting between Mr. Préval and members of Haiti’s election commission (CEP) has observers questioning whether the CEP rejected candidates based on politics instead of the Constitution. The meeting came days before the CEP disqualified hip-hop star Wyclef Jean and 14 other candidates from running. It was confirmed by multiple sources and, while not in itself unprecedented or a sign of political manipulation, puts […]

Wyclef Jean appealing Haiti election ruling, says ‘trickery’ used

By Alice Speri, Christian Science Monitor Wyclef Jean’s lawyers announced the hip-hop star is appealing the ruling that barred him from running for president. The Haiti election commission’s political independence has been questioned before. Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Wyclef Jean is appealing the ruling that excluded him from running for Haiti president, his lawyers announced in a press conference today in Port-au-Prince. Joining in the appeal is his uncle, the former ambassador to the United States, who was another of the 15 presidential hopefuls to be rejected Friday. “Mr. Wyclef’s rights have been violated,” said Jean Ronel Senatus, one of eight lawyers representing Jean. The Haiti election commission (CEP) gave no reasons for rejecting the candidates. It is believed that Jean was excluded because he has not lived in Haiti consistently for the past five years, which is a constitutional requirement for all presidential […]

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