Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

UN Accountability Questioned After Criminals Escape Justice

In December, footage was released of UN peacekeepers shooting at unarmed civilians who were protesting the Martelly government. Although the UN claimed the two peacekeepers were under investigation, it seems no progress has been made. Now, accused kidnappers affiliated with President Martelly have been acquitted by an accelerated procedure and the UN remains silent. The article below questions the UN’s lack of participation in these cases. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. On Haiti, UN Does If-Asked on Release of Martelly Cronies, Withholds Report Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press April 22, 2015 UNITED NATIONS, April 22 — When cronies of Michel Martelly in Haiti were quickly released on serious charges, the UN in Haiti said nothing. So on April 21 at the UN noon briefing (transcript here) Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane […]

Haiti: Frequency of kidnappings for ransom; groups targeted by kidnappers; measures taken by the authorities to fight kidnappings (2010-2012)

1. Kidnappings for ransom In correspondence with the Research Directorate on 27 April 2012, the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), a human rights organization in Boston that provides legal aid in Haiti (n.d.), explained that almost all kidnappings in Haiti are committed for ransom money. Also, two other sources indicated that most kidnapping cases are resolved by paying a ransom (U.S. 11 Mar. 2012; Canada 1 Mar. 2012). Moreover, several sources indicated that kidnapping victims may be subjected to other forms of violence, including physical (France 16 Feb. 2012; U.S. 11 Mar. 2012) and sexual assault (ibid.), death (ibid.; Canada 1 Mar. 2012) or disappearance (ibid.). 2. Number of kidnappings According to correspondence from the IJDH director, kidnappings have become less frequent since the 2004-2006 period, but they are still “fairly frequent” (27 Apr. […]

BRIEFING: Haiti’s image of fear ‘a big myth’ to some

By PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti � U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti say they are battling an image of fear that is keeping the Caribbean nation mired in hunger and disease, with little hope of attracting foreign visitors and investment. Forbes magazine has named Haiti one of the world’s 10 most dangerous destinations, along with Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. The Associated Press has called Port-au-Prince the kidnapping capital of the Americas. The U.S. government maintains a perpetual travel warning on Haiti, while diplomats, journalists and aid workers spend much of their time holed up in fortified hotels. The image stems largely from two violent years after the 2004 U.S. ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide when the slums of Port-au-Prince erupted in gunbattles between gangs, Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers, plus a wave of kidnappings. Today, Haiti’s reputation is undeserved, say security analysts and officials […]

Patrick Elie Comments on latest UN Massacre, CKUT Radio (transcript) CKUT Radio: Haiti – A Rough 2007 Patrick Elie comments on the latest UN massacre Patrick Elie interviewed by Aaron Lakoff December 31, 2006 CKUT Radio Aaron Lakoff (AL): I’m joined on the line right now with Patrick Elie. Patrick is a long time human rights and political activist. He joins us from Port au Prince, Haiti. Good evening Patrick. Patrick Elie (PE): Good evening Aaron. AL: So, what we’ll be talking about is recent events that have just happened in Port au Prince. We have reports, I guess it’s gone out quite a bit now, that the UN was engaged in quite a large attack in Cit� Soleil, in Port au Prince, on Friday December 22nd. Patrick can you tell me a little bit about what you know about what happened on December 22nd in Cit� Soleil? PE: […]

UN Operation in Cite Soleil Leaves at Least 10 Killed, Dozens Injured, AHP, December 21, 2006

UN Operation in Cite Soleil leaves�at least 10 killed, dozens others� injured�during the night of Thursday December 21. UN spokesperson de Lacombe claims the operation was aimed at apprehending kidnappers in Bois Neuf and bringing them to justice. However local residents say the victims were ordinary citizens whose only crime was that they live in the targeted neighborhood. Detonations could be heard for miles. De Lacombe denies that a UN armored vehicle was seized by bandits. �Some radio stations in the capital have been justifying the attack in Cite Soleil by the fact that local residents had set fire to a UN tank that had been abandoned by UN soldiers who had fled.� In addition to the dead and injured, residents report very serious property damage and there are concerns that a critical water shortage may now develop because water […]

Fewer kidnappings, improved security – but life remains harsh on the streets of Haiti, The Independent,

By Andrew Buncombe in Port-au-Prince Sheltering from the sun beneath a tattered piece of plastic in the crowded streets of Salamoun market, Jacqueline Charles shrugged when asked whether life had improved under the government of the man she voted for. “We are thinking life will be better. Maybe one day,” said the 60-year-old, who was selling rice. “[So far] there has been no real change. Only God knows. I voted for change but things cannot change right away.” Anyone looking for signs of improvement in Haiti has a frustrating and arduous task and this teeming market in the centre of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where some of the city’s most beleaguered residents try to scrape out a living, may not be best place to start. But six months after Ren� Pr�val was sworn in as president of the poorest country in […]

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