Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Penn Ignores Key Points About Haiti in WSJ

If people don’t know the facts about Haiti, there is no accountability and progress cannot be made. A recent article by Sean Penn in the Wall Street Journal provided a very optimistic view that was unfortunately inaccurate and left out some key points. The article below highlights some of those inaccuracies and the actual situation in Haiti–economically, in housing and in elections. Sean Penn’s ‘Corner’ in Haiti: Don’t believe the hype Haiti Information Project June 25, 2014 There are regular demonstrations in Haiti demanding the resignation of President Martelly, protests against the leveling of homes in downtown Port au Prince, protests against the confiscation of lands on the island of Île à Vache for tourism projects, protests demanding new national elections, protests against the high cost of living and yet more protests on the horizon.  Police fired tear gas at protesters and live ammunition into the […]

Flashpoints Radio Special Report on 20th Anniversary of Haiti’s Brutal 1991 Coup D’etat, with IJDH Board Chair Ira Kurzban (HIP)

20th anniversary radio special observing the brutal 1991 military coup in Haiti By: Haiti Information Project (HIP) Flashpoints on Pacifica Radio takes an in-depth look back to September 30, 1991 when the US-backed Haitian military overthrew Haiti’s first democratically elected president in a brutal coup. Special guests Ira Kurzban and Burt Wides join us from Miami and Washington D.C…. but first this update from Port au Prince with independent journalist Ansel Herz. Mr. Kurzban is former Counsel for the Governments of Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama. He is also an adjunct faculty member in Immigration and Nationality Law at the University of Miami School of Law and Nova Southeastern University School of Law and has lectured and published extensively in the field of immigration law, including articles in the Harvard Law Review, San Diego Law Review and other publications. He […]

Remembering a Champion of the Poor in Haiti by Kevin Pina The international community and the Preval administration recently ignored the anniversary of the brutal assassination of Father Jean-Marie Vincent in Haiti once again contributing to the perception of two distinct Haitian realities. On one hand there exists the Haiti of the wealthy elite, the UN, foreign profiteers, NGOs, diplomats, and their clients in the Preval government. On the other hand there is the Haiti of the majority of the poor who are trapped in the grind of constant poverty with an experience, history and memory uniquely their own. Haiti’s poor remembered the anniversary of the assassination of Father Jean-Marie Vincent on August 28, 1994 in small solemn ceremonies at his grave site in Port au Prince and the small town of Jean Rabel in northwest Haiti where he founded a peasant rights organization Tet Kole Ti […]

Human rights activists under fire in Haiti

HIP – Port au Prince, Haiti – Amnesty International released it’s third human rights alert this month on behalf of community-based human rights advocates in Haiti. It comes five months after the abduction of psychologist and human rights leader Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine last August 12. Wilson Mesilien, the interim coordinator of Mr. Pierre-Antoine’s group the September 30th Foundation, was recently forced into hiding. Mr. Mesilien and his family left their home for an undisclosed location on December 19 after receiving numerous threats according to Amnesty International. Amnesty’s most recent alert focused on threats of violence made against Franztco Joseph and his family close to the neighborhood of Martissant in Haiti’s capital. Franztco is the president of the Grand Ravine Community Council for Human Rights. Yveson Piton, a supporter of the group and a local school teacher, was also cited as a […]

Human rights defender forced into hiding in Haiti

HIP – Port au Prince, Haiti – A human rights worker whose colleague was abducted last August has been forced into hiding after receiving new threats. Wilson Mesilien has been serving as the interim head of the September 30th Foundation, a human rights organization based in Port-au-Prince. He assumed the role of interim director of the organization after the abduction and disappearance of the it’s founder�Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine over four months ago. Pressure has mounted in recent weeks for the safe return of Mr. Pierre-Antoine as friends and supporters have stated they believe he is still alive and being held against his will in Haiti. In a recent interview from London, heard on a Berkeley, CA radio program Flashpoints, Selma James of the�Global Women’s Strike described a mounting�international campaign on behalf of Mr. Pierre-Antoine. Mrs, James, widow of the renowned author […]

One Lavalas Official Freed in Haiti, Second Remains Missing (Haiti Information Project)

By. Haiti InformationProject (HIP) (Winner of the Censored 2008 Real News Award for investigative journalism) An official with ousted president Jean Bertrand Aristide’s Lavalas political movement was released this morning after being held for three days by unknown captors. Dr. Maryse Narcisse was taken at gunpoint on Saturday from in front of her home and was the second high-profile figure of the Lavalas movement abducted in the past three months. Mr. Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine was last seen on the evening of August 12 after meeting with a US human rights delegation visiting Haiti. He was abducted following his announcement of his intention to file as a Lavalas candidate in the next round of parliamentary elections in Haiti. He has not been heard from since. Haiti’s largest political movement and party known as Lavalas has endured much since the ousting of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004. While the Bush administration […]

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