Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Duvalier’s Victims Are Still Seeking Justice

Besides the murders, forced disappearances, and violence that were rampant during Duvalier’s regime, the former dictator stole hundreds of millions from Haiti. This article uses the story of one man who sought reparations from Duvalier to demonstrate how victims of that brutal regime still want justice. Although Duvalier is dead, victims, their lawyers, and human rights advocates still plan to pursue his accomplices and finally give some closure to those who suffered. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Duvalier’s Passing Does Not Wipe Away Victims’ Misery Vania Andre, The Haitian Times October 11, 2014 Etzer Lalanne is not a man you’d expect should be nearly a millionaire. His large glasses hang over his small eyes, surrounded by bags and wrinkles – evidence of the hard long years of working as a cab driver in New […]

Why Aristide Allegations Always Resurface Before Elections

This article does a great job outlining the current allegations against Aristide and how the Haitian and other foreign governments could use it to undermine elections. Bringing widespread media attention to Aristide’s arrest warrant is a tactic his opponents have used many times in the past, to lower public opinion of Aristide and his party (Fanmi Lavalas) before elections. Haiti’s Fragile Democracy Lauren Carasik, Jurist August 31, 2014 The latest chapter in a long series of preliminary legal actions against Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has generated a series of standoffs. Outside Aristide’s house in the suburb of Tabarre, his supporters have gathered several times in the past weeks to protest announced efforts to arrest him and have usually been dispersed with tear gas by Haitian police and UN soldiers. Inside the Courthouse Judge Lamarre Belizaire insists that the police execute an arrest warrant […]

Aristide Criminal Investigation Suspiciously Coincides with Upcoming Elections

Although former Haitian President Aristide has never been charged for any crimes, there have been a few criminal investigations opened against him, seemingly always in time for elections. Aristide’s popular party, Fanmi Lavalas was banned from past elections and has opposed by the United States government. The current criminal investigation against Aristide seems another political maneuver to discredit or eliminate Fanmi Lavalas from the upcoming elections in Haiti. Will Former President Aristide be Arrested? After 10 Years of Investigations, He Has Never Been Charged Center for Economic and Policy Research August 14, 2014 A judge in Haiti has reportedly issued an arrest warrant for former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, saying that Aristide failed to appear for questioning following a summons issued earlier in the week. While some outlets reported that Aristide is facing “charges relating to acts of corruption, money laundering, […]

UN Impunity for Haiti Cholera Weakens Its Credibility

This post chronicles the cholera epidemic in Haiti, from when grassroots organizations first started making noise about it to IJDH; BAI; and law firm Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzelli & Pratt decided to file a suit against the UN, all in hopes of the UN taking responsibility. The post also emphasizes how the UN’s lack of accountability is undermining their goals to promote human rights and the rule of law around the world when the organization itself isn’t respecting human rights. UN Accountability for Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic Ira Kurzban, Beatrice Lindstrom, Shannon Jonsson, AJIL Unbound April 3, 2014 Editor’s note: The following is the second in our series of posts covering a recent panel discussion held at the American Society of International Law’s headquarters in Washington, DC. * * * A lawsuit pending in U.S. courts against the United Nations for its responsibility for […]

United States Chooses UN Immunity over Justice in Haiti Cholera Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., IJDH Director, brian@ijdh.org, +1-617-652-0876 (English, French, Kreyol) United States Chooses UN Immunity over Justice in Haiti Cholera Case Advocates regret missed opportunity to stand up for justice (BOSTON, March 10, 2014)—The U.S. government submitted a statement of interest late last Friday in a lawsuit seeking accountability for the United Nations’ (UN) catastrophic introduction of cholera to Haiti, arguing that the case should be dismissed because the UN is immune from suit. The epidemic has killed more than 8,500 and injured nearly 700,000 people to date. “We are disappointed that the United States government has foregone this opportunity to stand up in support of justice for the victims,” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel and Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Brian Concannon, Jr. “The UN’s immunity is a two-way street. In […]

UN Expert Calls for Accountability as Organization Ducks Cholera Suit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:   Beatrice Lindstrom, IJDH; beatrice@ijdh.org; +1-404-217-1302 (English, French and Kreyol) UN Expert Calls for Accountability as Organization Ducks Cholera Suit Says UN Should Be First to Honor Accountability Principles (BOSTON, February 28, 2014)—Gustavo Gallón, the United Nations (UN) Independent Expert on Human Rights in Haiti, said in his recent report on the state of human rights in the Caribbean nation that victims of the cholera epidemic in Haiti should be compensated for the harm they have suffered. The statement comes at a time when the organization faces similar claims from cholera victims in a U.S. federal class-action lawsuit filed in New York. “Diplomatic difficulties must be overcome to ensure a prompt end to the epidemic and provide full compensation for the damage suffered by the Haitian people,” the Independent Expert wrote. A growing chorus of voices from current […]

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