Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Reuters reporting ‘worst yet to come’ as information progresses

According to UNICEF, Haiti is facing its biggest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. As information has began to flow from isolated regions of Haiti, Reuters is reporting that as of Friday morning, at least 478 people have been killed due to Hurricane Matthew. Numbers are expected to climb as more information becomes available. Haiti: Hurricane Matthew leaves hundreds dead, ‘worst yet to come’ Madison Park, Angela Dewan, Elizabeth Roberts, CNN October 7, 2016   (CNN) – Haiti had only just begun rebuilding from a devastating earthquake six years ago when Hurricane Matthew tore through the small Caribbean nation on Tuesday, killing hundreds in its path and inundating entire villages. Once again much of the country is a disaster zone, with powerful Matthew shredding homes and engulfing communities in knee-deep water that is taking time to recede. At least 271 people have been […]

Stories of Dominicans and Haitians Affected by DR’s Discriminatory Citizenship Policies

Haiti and the Dominican Republic have had a tense relationship since colonial times but that tension began to boil over in 2010 and 2013 when discriminatory policies led to tens of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent becoming stateless. From a woman who quickly regained her citizenship to a man who can’t wait to get back to Haiti but can’t afford it, this article tells the stories of Haitians, Dominicans, and those who are now legally neither. Throughout, racism and discrimination and even imperialism play clear roles but remain un-addressed. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Faces of a divided island How centuries of racism and fear shaped the people of two nations — and echo through a modern-day crisis Mariano Castillo, CNN April 13, 2016 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (CNN) — The anti-immigrant rhetoric on the radio, in […]

Presidential Candidate O’Malley Stands for Cholera Justice

Democratic Presidential nominee Martin O’Malley has spoken out about UN accountability in Haiti’s ongoing cholera epidemic. In the op-ed below, O’Malley describes both the origin of the epidemic and the response since then, including a letter from 154 Haitian-American organizations and leaders demanding justice. O’Malley emphasizes both how the lack of UN response discredits the organization and that it is in the United States’ interests to demand accountability for the epidemic. U.N. should take responsibility for Haiti’s deadly cholera epidemic Martin O’Malley, CNN August 17, 2015 There is a humanitarian crisis happening in our own hemisphere, but it’s not likely you’ve heard of it. Thousands have died, threatening the economic and social stability of an entire country. And most tragic of all, it was inadvertently caused by a critically important international organization, which has not yet taken full responsibility for its […]

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Ask US Govt to Cease Aid to DR

Hundreds of returned Peace Corps volunteers who have served in the Dominican Republic since 1962 join together to demand the U.S. abide by its principles and pressure the Dominican government to ameliorate its citizenship crisis. In a powerful letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, 560 returned volunteers and 3 former country directors ask for the U.S. to act in accord with the Leahy laws, which call for suspension of aid to foreign security forces engaged in human rights violations. The letter notes as evidence the U.S. State Department’s own reports that Dominican security forces engage in rights violations, such as extrajudicial killings and torture. An excerpt from the article is posted below. Click HERE for the full article. Click HERE for the original letter. Ex-Peace Corps volunteers unite for U.S. action on Dominican immigration policies Mariano Castillo, CNN August […]

Sexual Abuse by Peacekeepers Isn’t a New Problem

United Nations (UN) peacekeepers sexually abusing those they’re meant to protect isn’t a new problem. What is new is how much it’s been in the public eye lately. When UN officials suspended a whistleblower who shared a report on peackeepers’ sexual abuse in the Central African Republic, more and more people started to pay attention. AIDS-Free World and some collaborators have launched the Code Blue Campaign to try to end the culture of impunity that allows peacekeepers to get away with these crimes.   Why do peacekeepers have immunity in sex abuse cases? Rosa Freedman, CNN May 25, 2015   Earlier this month in New York, the advocacy group AIDS Free World launched a campaign to end impunity for personnel who commit sexual abuse during U.N. peacekeeping missions. The rape and abuse of women and children has affected an untold […]

Haiti Cholera Cases Likely to Spike Again

Although progress has been made in fighting cholera, many more resources are needed and there’s a risk of cholera spiking soon, particularly in areas that haven’t experienced cholera before. Why Haiti’s deadly cholera epidemic ‘could strike again’ Edvige Jean-Francois, CNN April 23, 2014 Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) — In January 2010 a seven-point magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, killing more than 250,000 people and damaging its infrastructure, including some water systems. Even before the quake, Haiti’s water systems were fragile, and just months after the quake the country was hit with a devastatingcholera outbreak — the first in nearly a century. By the time the outbreak subsided, more than 8,000 people had died and hundreds of thousands more had become sick. Independent studies suggest the outbreak was caused by U.N. peacekeepers who improperly disposed of fecal matter that ended up in Haiti’s Artibonite River, a main tributary, where […]

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