Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haitian Government Seeks to Rebuild National Military

In the wake of the UN’s decision to withdraw its military peacekeepers from Haiti, the Haitian government is now faced with questions about what, if any, military force should replace them to avoid a security vacuum. Haiti’s national army has been disbanded for 22 years, and, for many Haitians, the thought of reconstituting an army brings back memories of the political repression and destabilization associated with the prior military regime. Thus, while many Haitians do support the idea, others fear it will quickly become politicized and thwart Haiti’s democratic progress. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. With End of UN Mission Ahead, Haiti Seeks to Revive Its Military Voice of America (Associated Press) April 19, 2017 GRESSIER, HAITI — Their heads held high and chests puffed out, nearly 100 Haitian men in camouflage fatigues do jumping jacks or march around […]

Lawyers Urge Investigation to Determine Cause of Plaintiff’s ‘Suspicious’ Death

Nissage Martyr, one of three plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against the former Haitian mayor Jean Morose Viliena, died one day after filing the lawsuit. The plaintiffs’ lawyers describe the death as “suspicious,” given the timing and Martyr’s apparent health. Martyr suddenly collapsed while watching a football game in Les Irois, Haiti, but little else is known as to the cause. His lawyers urge the Haitian government to immediately investigate and complete an autopsy to determine the cause of Martyr’s death. Additionally, they urge the protection of Martyr’s family and the two remaining plaintiffs in the case. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Lawyers: Death of Haiti plaintiff in US suit ‘suspicious’ David McFadden, Associated Press March 31, 2017 Lawyers in a U.S. lawsuit against the former mayor of a remote Haitian town called Friday for a full investigation into the […]

Criminal Haitian Mayor Loses His Massachusetts Jobs

Jean Morose Viliena managed to become a school bus and Uber driver in Massachusetts despite being accused of murder, arson and crimes against humanity in Haiti. Viliena had been charged with crimes in Haiti but escaped before his co-defendants were convicted, and passed criminal background checks due to his low profile in the U.S. After stories came out about Viliena’s crimes, the school bus company fired him and Uber has said he no longer has access to the service. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. School Bus Driver Certificate Suspended For Malden Man Accused Of Murder In Haiti David Boeri, WBUR March 29, 2017 A school bus driver from Malden accused of murder, arson and crimes against humanity as a former mayor in Haiti has now lost his job in Massachusetts. The owner of the […]

MA Resident Sued After Escaping Haiti’s Justice System for Years

Three plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit against the former Mayor of Les Irois, Haiti in an attempt to bring justice against the man accused of murdering political opponents, burning 36 houses and using terror and violence during his term in office. Jean-Morose Viliena was elected Mayor in 2006, but fled to Massachusetts three years later after criminal investigators began looking into his behaviors. Since then, he has failed to show up to criminal trials and manipulated the already-weak justice system in Haiti, escaping prosecution for his crimes. This lawsuit was a step in the right direction to bring justice against him. However, on Friday, one of the three plaintiffs died in a sudden and unexpected manner, raising questions about the plaintiffs’ safety and Viliena’s lasting influence in Haiti. The Center for Justice and Accountability and IJDH are leading the efforts against Viliena, and they urge Haitian officials […]

Haitian Nationals Sue Former Mayor in U.S. Court

Three Haitian nationals are taking to the U.S. federal court system to seek justice years in the making. They sued Jean Morose Viliena, the former mayor of their village in Haiti, for murdering his political opponents and committing routine human rights abuses during his time as mayor. Viliena fled from Haiti after the courts launched investigations into his behaviors in office, and the plaintiffs are now hoping that the U.S. court system will help them accomplish what could not be done in Haiti. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Former Haitian mayor sued in Boston over human rights abuses Scott Malone, Reuters March 23, 2017 Three Haitian nationals sued the former mayor of their rural village on Thursday, accusing him in Boston federal court of murdering, torturing and burning the homes of his political opponents. Lawyers for […]

Haiti’s New Prime Minister Seeks to Unite and Heal Country

After confirmation by the Haitian Senate and Chamber of Deputies, physician Guy Lafontant rose to second-in-command in the Haitian government. As the new Prime Minister, he urged the country to unite and build bridges between polarized, unequal and marginalized communities. Lafontant also stressed the importance of major reforms, and, like President Jovenel Moise, he committed the new administration to prioritizing agricultural investments. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article. New prime minister urges Haitians to heal deep divisions David McFadden, Associated Press March 22, 2017 Haiti’s new prime minister on Tuesday urged this deeply polarized country to bridge divisions, and he vowed to bring steady advances even while acknowledging that the struggling nation has no shortage of accelerating problems. Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, a physician and political outsider approved as Haiti’s No. 2 official after clearing a final parliamentary hurdle […]

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Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
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