Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Former Haitian Mayor Hiding in Massachusetts Sued for Human Rights Violations

Jean Morose Viliena fled Haiti when he was indicted on murder, battery and property destruction charges by Haitian courts in 2009. Since then, he has apparently been working as a licensed school bus driver and an Uber driver in Massachusetts, despite his history of silencing political dissidents in the town he oversaw. Instead of being prosecuted for his crimes, the Martelly government appointed Viliena mayor of Les Irois in 2012. Now that there is a case against Viliena in the U.S., this will be a test for Haiti’s new government to see whether it will allow human rights abusers to continue getting away with their crimes. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Boston bus driver and former mayor in Haiti sued for human rights abuses in U.S. court Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 23, 2017 A […]

U.N. Secretary-General Recommends ‘Gradual’ Withdrawal of Military Peacekeepers

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres submitted a report detailing his suggestions for MINUSTAH’s gradual withdrawal from Haiti. He suggests phasing out the military component, and replacing it with a smaller mission to focus on strengthening the Haitian police force, the judiciary and human rights. Haiti is still in a period of transition, marked by a new and politically-inexperienced government and recovery from years of vulnerability to natural disasters. Guterres urges partners and U.N. member states to remain committed to supporting Haiti, leading up to and after MINUSTAH’s withdrawal, in order to ensure continued progress in Haiti. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. U.N. secretary general: Time for peacekeeping mission in Haiti to end Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 17, 2017 It’s time for the United Nations’ 2,300 blue-helmet soldiers in Haiti to head home after 13 years, the head […]

Death of Former President Préval Shocks Nation

The death of former Haitian President René Préval comes as a shock to many. The political figure served two presidential terms, from 1996-2001 and 2006-2011, and he was the incumbent during the devastating 2010 earthquake. Opinions may vary, but President Préval certainly set precedent for the nation; in 2011, he was the first Haitian president to peacefully transition power to the opposition party, and he is the only president to have served two full terms in office. His death comes at a time when many questions are still left unanswered regarding the future of Haitian politics. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Rene Préval, two-time president of Haiti, dead at 74 Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 3, 2017 The evening before he died, two-time Haitian President René Garcia Préval, who led Haiti during food riots and its worst natural […]

President Moise selects Dr. Lafontant as his pick for prime minister

Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant has confirmed that he is President Moise’s pick for prime minister of Haiti. Lafontant is not well-known in Haitian politics, but is a close friend and supporter of the new president. The selection comes as a surprise to many, and the doctor now awaits official confirmation from parliament. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Obscure doctor tapped to lead Haiti as prime minister Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald February 22, 2017 An obscure physician who heads the Petionville Rotary Club has been designated as Haiti’s next prime minister by President Jovenel Moïse. Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, a gastroenterologist and member of the American College of Physicians, confirmed to the Miami Herald that he had been tapped and was “awaiting official confirmation.” Cholzer Chancy, the president of the Lower Chamber of Deputies, also confirmed […]

New questions arise in response to money laundering allegations

Haiti’s Central Financial Intelligence Unit initiated an investigation on President-elect Jovenel Moise in 2013, but new details are coming to light in the weeks leading up to his scheduled swear-in. The investigation covers his transactions from 2007 to 2013, including the purchase of 45 vehicles and large cash deposits. Additionally, Moise faces a second allegation by the Unit for the Fight against Corruption, which highlights two delinquent loans totaling over $1 million that were approved outside of standard procedures. Many Haitians now fear that these money laundering allegations will hinder Haiti’s ability to receive foreign assistance and work with established banks outside of the country. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE to read the full article. Before Haiti’s president-elect even takes office, he’s battling money-laundering suspicions Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald January 24, 2017 A Haitian judge is investigating a report by the […]

New Strategy to Raise Funds for UN Cholera Plan

David Nabarro, the British doctor put in charge of helping the United Nations raise funds for its new cholera plan, will bring the plan up at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The plan is for $400 million but so far, only a few countries have promised to contribute, for a total of around $7 million. Nabarro admits that it has and will be a slow process but is optimistic about getting more contributions. He will also build a high-level consortium to finance longer-term water and sanitation needs in Haiti, but stresses the importance that the funding come soon before cholera is worsened by the rainy season again. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti’s cholera fight hits global stage at World Economic Forum in Davos Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald January 17, 2017 The […]

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