Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The fight against cholera: “In deep shit?”

Ayiti Kale Je July 24, 2013 Port-au-Prince – Lack of financing for a ten-year cholera eradication plan means that the disease will likely be endemic to Haiti for years to come. Cholera bacteria are spread by contaminated food, water and fecal matter. One of the essential parts of the US$2.2 billion National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti is the financing for sanitation systems nationwide. The majority of Haitians – about eight million people – do not have access to a hygienic sanitation system. They defecate in the open, in fields, in ravines and on riverbanks. The capital region produces over 900 tons of human excreta every day, according to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). “Haiti is the only country in the entire world whose sanitation coverage decreased in the last decade,” said Dr. Rishi Rattan, a member […]

Gangs become father, mother to Haiti’s forlorn orphans

By Clement Sabourin (AFP) PORT-AU-PRINCE — They’ve been forced to swap school books for pistols, homework for hold-ups and drug-dealing: with no parents, some of Haiti’s earthquake orphans have turned to slum gangs as ersatz family in a hard-scrabble bid to survive. Square meals and the comforts of home are part of the past for thousands of youngsters who lost their mothers, fathers and other relatives in the January 12 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and traumatized the country. And for some orphans in the capital’s desperately poor shantytowns, roving gangs are filling the void. In the notorious Cite Soleil, or Sun City, a clutch of youngsters trail behind a scruffy gang leader named “Toutou Soleil 19” and members of his band, darting around makeshift huts and clotheslines strung across filthy alleyways in the capital’s biggest slum. Toutou, a 31-year-old who […]

Haiti Looking More and More Like a War Zone

by Ansel Herz PORT-AU-PRINCE – On an empty road in Cite Militaire, an industrial zone across from the slums of Cite Soleil, a group of women are gathered around a single white sack of U.S. rice. The rice was handed out Monday morning at a food distribution by the Christian relief group World Vision. Uruguay’s Navy soldiers stand in formation after their arrival in Haiti to join the UN peacekeeping mission in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, March 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton) According to witnesses, during the distribution U.N. peacekeeping troops sprayed tear gas on the crowd. “Haitians know that’s the way they act with us. They treat us like animals,” said Lourette Elris, as she divided the rice amongst the women. “They gave us the food, we were on our way home, then the troops threw tear gas at us. We […]

Taking Guns Off the Street

Taking Guns Off the Street  On July 6th, just 500 miles from Miami, 27 civilians were killed or injured during a UN operation to stop gang violence. These civilians weren’t wielding guns or threatening UN soldiers. One man was shot while brushing his teeth. Another woman died from the same bullet that passed through her infant son. They were not gang members. They were innocents whose homes of tin and cardboard were no match for flying bullets.   If the Miami police killed 20 innocent people during an operation to stop gang violence, there’d be riots in the streets. Because in a country with a working democracy, authorities must explain their mistakes.   Though we Americans disagree about many things, most of us believe in democracy. U.S. leaders and U.S. citizens alike believe promoting democracy justifies our involvement in other […]

The Coup five years on Haiti’s harsh realities

By YVES ENGLER Haiti can teach you a lot about the harsh reality of social affairs. From the grips of the most barbaric form of plantation economy sprung probably the greatest example of liberation in the history of humanity. The 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution was simultaneously a struggle against slavery, colonialism and white supremacy. Defeating the French, British and Spanish empires, it led to freedom for all people regardless of color, decades before this idea found traction in Europe or North America. Unfortunately, Haiti’s history also demonstrates how fluidly Europe (and North America) moved from formal colonialism to neo-imperialism. Technically “independent” for more than two centuries, outsiders have long shaped the country’s affairs. Through isolation, economic asphyxiation, debt dependence, gunboat diplomacy, occupation, foreign supported dictatorships, structural adjustment programs and “democracy promotion” Haiti is no stranger to the various forms of foreign […]

City-By-City Report: International Day in Solidarity With the Haitian People- 60 Actions in 50 Cities

1 City-by-city Report: Worldwide protests Huge march in Port au Prince! 60 actions in 50 cities denounce the Feb. 29, 2004 coup in Haiti! END the foreign military occupation! FREE the political prisoners! END THE EXILE of President Aristide! At least 50 cities on 4 continents — in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and North America � participated in the February 29th International Day in Solidarity with the Haitian People, marking the 4th anniversary of the US-engineered, Leap-Year-Day coup d��tat. From street protests and marches�.to street theater and street murals�.to vigils, film showings and public meetings�.to shutting down a US Marines recruiting station for one day � each city found its own way to express solidarity with Haiti�s struggle for justice, democracy and self-determination. Everywhere, new people are becoming involved, inspired by the resistance of the people in Haiti. […]

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