Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Land Disputes Cause Major Problems in Haiti

Land disputes in Haiti have not only economic, but also human rights implications. Due to factors starting during the colonial period, land ownership is unclear in much of Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake, this caused many problems for groups hoping to build developments for the displaced. Now, it’s causing problems for residents of Ile-a-Vache, whose land is being taken by the government in hopes of bringing tourists to the island off Haiti’s coast. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Who Owns What in Haiti? Jacob Kushner, The New Yorker January 18, 2015 The island of La Tortue, off the northern coast of Haiti, has become best known as a place where Haitians facing hard times set sail for lot bo dlo—the other side of the water. When President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was first ousted, in 1991, […]

Haitians Need Closure After Duvalier’s Death

This article discusses US support for both Duvalier regimes, the negative economic and social effects, and how Haitians might deal with the lack of accountability left by Jean-Claude Duvalier’s sudden death. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. How Will Haiti Reckon with the Duvalier Years? Laurent Dubois, The New Yorker October 6, 2014 In January, 2011, one year after an earthquake killed tens of thousands of people (by some estimates, hundreds of thousands), Jean-Claude Duvalier landed unannounced in Haiti following twenty-five years of exile in France. In the years between his return to the country and his death on Saturday at the age of sixty-three, he circulated freely about Port-au-Prince, meeting with old friends, dining at fancy restaurants, and occasionally accepting invitations to government events. For Haitians who had suffered imprisonment or torture under his regime, or who had […]

Ex-Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier Dead

Jean-Claude Duvalier, notorious for the corruption and human rights abuses that reigned during his presidency, died of a heart attack this weekend. Some fear that justice for Duvalier’s victims can’t be served now that he’s died but many hope that the prosecution will continue with others who were involved in Duvalier’s human rights abuses. Click HERE for the original article. Ousted Haitian Dictator ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier Dies Evens Sanon & Trenton Daniels, ABC News October 4, 2014 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Jean-Claude Duvalier, who presided over what was widely acknowledged as a corrupt and brutal regime as the self-proclaimed “president for life” of Haiti until a popular uprising sent him into a 25-year exile, has died. He was 63. Duvalier died Saturday from a heart attack at the home of a friend in Port-au-Prince where he had been staying, said his lawyer, Reynold […]

Former Dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier Dead

This article describes former dictator Duvalier’s rise to power, presidency, and exile from Haiti. The Duvalier regime was marked by embezzlement, violence, murders, and forced disappearances. Originally supported by the US, Duvalier’s gross human rights violations and corruption lost him US support and played a large role in his exile. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Jean-Claude Duvalier, ex-Haitian leader known as Baby Doc, dies at 63 Stephanie Hanes, The Washington Post October 4, 2014 Jean-Claude Duvalier, the second-generation “president for life” who plunged one of the world’s poorest countries into further despair by presiding over widespread killing, torture and plunder, died Oct. 4 at his home in Port-au-Prince. He was 63. He had a heart attack, his lawyer, Reynold George, told the Associated Press. Despite a brief, hopeful window when it appeared that the overweight, overwhelmed […]

Duvalier Party Candidates Will Run in Haiti Elections

The National Unity Party, created by former Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier, is set to run in the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Francois Duvalier’s son and successor, roams Haiti freely despite charges against him for crimes committed during his own dictatorship. Old Duvalier party plans to run in Haiti election Evens Sanon & Trenton Daniel, Yahoo News April 24, 2014 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The old political party founded under the Duvalier dictatorship says it plans to enter candidates in Haitian elections that are supposed to be held by year’s end, a party member said Thursday. Friteau Marc, a coordinator for the National Unity Party, told The Associated Press Thursday that the candidates will run “at all levels” in the legislative and local vote, which has not yet been scheduled. The political party on Tuesday inaugurated the first of what will […]

Haitian Ex-Dictator Is Questioned in Court Over Reign

Isabeau Doucet and Randal C.Archibold, The New York Times Feb 28, 2013 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former dictator known as Baby Doc accused of bearing responsibility for the deaths, torture and the disappearance of hundreds of people, walked into a muggy, packed courtroom here on Thursday, sat down next to shocked victims and for the first time answered questions in a court of law about his brutal, 15-year reign. The hearing, one he had avoided three times before but attended under renewed pressure from a judge, provided few answers about the violent period in Haiti that eventually ended with his downfall and the first, halting steps toward democracy. But few here ever expected the spectacle of a former dictator, dressed in a blue suit and gray tie, giving patient if evasive, and occasionally inaudible, responses while being called to account […]

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