Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

July Haiti Justice Update: IJDH and BAI Focus Discussion of Haiti Fuel Increase Protests on Root Causes

Building stability and prosperity in Haiti through justice                                                                                 July 2018 IJDH and BAI Focus Discussion of Haiti Fuel Increase Protests on Root Causes IJDH and BAI influenced the discussion of Haiti’s July 6 civil unrest, in both Haiti and the U.S., to focus on the misery and corruption that left Haitians feeling that provocative demonstrations were the only way they could make their voices heard. BAI’s Managing Director Mario Joseph, in a press release, decried the Haitian government’s willingness to execute the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) unpopular and disastrous economic policy while ignoring the pain and the suffering that the policy will inflict […]

BAI/IJDH Response to Haiti Protests

                             Building stability and prosperity in Haiti through justice     Dear IJDH/BAI Community: As you know, this month Haiti is experiencing a wave of protests, some of them violent, and disruption of government (including the Prime Minister’s resignation) and daily life. We are relieved to report that the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) team in Haiti is safe, although some members spent a night in the office when they could not go home safely. The protests were sparked by the announcement of crippling fuel price increases required by an International Monetary Fund bailout agreement. But the unrest has deep roots in Haiti’s history of poverty, corruption and foreign manipulation, and more recent roots in the flawed elections of 2015-2016 and the ostentatious corruption of the current government. BAI responded […]

If Haiti’s government does not confront poverty, corruption, more unrest will follow

Brian Concannon, The Miami Herald July 17, 2018 Saturday’s resignation of Haiti’s Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, along with the suspension of controversial fuel price rises, will bring temporary respite from the latest social unrest in the country. But they will not resolve the problem underlying the protests — the Haitian people’s inability to demand better governance and basic services from its leaders. In a 1962 speech to the Organization of American States, President Kennedy urged the United States and “those who possess wealth and power” in the hemisphere’s less wealthy nations to enact reforms to allow the people of the Americas “to hope for a suitable standard of living.” Kennedy famously warned that. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” We did not need last week’s images of angry protests and burning cars to know that, […]

Haiti’s Army Is Making A Comeback 20 Years After Disbanding (HBO)

“…The past hangs over everything the new Haitian army is trying to do, and for good reason. The last time Haiti had an army, it participated in a series of brutal crackdowns and coups against the country’s democratically elected president.“ Narrator Late last year, Haitian president Jovenel Moïse announced that his country, the poorest in the Caribbean, would build a brand-new army. President Jovenel Moïse [translated from Haitian Creole] We’ll insist, so that all the Haitian people and the whole world can hear, the Haitian Army is not involved in politics and won’t be involved in politics. Narrator That plan isn’t just an expensive one. It’s a total about-face from the decision more than twenty years ago to get rid of Haiti’s military entirely. (00:41) You’re looking at pretty much all that exists of the new Haitian Army. Capt. Louisin […]

Human Rights Organizations Call on UN Secretary General to Engage Victims as Partners in the New Approach Plan

To read PDF versions click here: ENG FR July 16, 2018 Dear Mr. Secretary-General: We write to you as organizations that share the UN’s goal of promoting human rights to express our concern regarding the situation of cholera victims in Haiti, and their right to access effective remedies. For six years, the UN denied legal responsibility for sparking the Haiti cholera epidemic, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that UN peacekeepers had introduced the disease. This denial was rightly met with global outcry; the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights labelled it “morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.” The refusal to accept accountability in Haiti hurt both the victims and the UN’s credibility and standing worldwide. As organizations committed to the protection of universal rights, including the fundamental right to a remedy, we were pleased […]

Waters & 100 Members of Congress Urge United Nations to Fulfill its Obligation to Support Victims of the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 15, 2018 Contact: Twaun Samuel/Rykia Dorsey Phone: 202-225-2201 Waters & 100 Members of Congress Urge United Nations to Fulfill its Obligation to Support Victims of the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee and a strong advocate for Haiti in the U.S. Congress, led a total of 101 Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to the Honorable António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), urging him to ensure that the UN meets its obligations and effectively repairs the harms caused by the cholera epidemic in Haiti. “We write as friends of Haiti in the United States Congress to urge you to ensure that the United Nations complies with its legal and moral obligations to provide appropriate remedies to victims of Haiti’s devastating cholera […]

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