Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Will impunity for violent Haitian mayor continue?

Last month, three plaintiffs sued former Haitian mayor Jean Morose Viliena for human rights violations in Haiti, including an attack on a radio station that caused one of them, Nissage Martyr, to have a leg amputated. Viliena was appointed mayor of Les Irois by ex-president Michel Martelly despite an open case against him in Haitian courts. Now that a case has been opened against Viliena in U.S. courts, and an investigation is underway for the mysterious death of Martyr after the suit was filed, many are looking to see whether the new Haitian president will continue this pattern of impunity. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti’s Violent Politics Are Taken to Court. In Boston Frances Robles, The New York Times April 1, 2017 A mysterious death, a decade-old murder and a human rights lawsuit in federal […]

Political “Stability” Over True Democracy in Haiti

Haiti just elected a new president, Jovenel Moïse, after over a year of delays and even a rerun of the elections that originally placed Moïse as the front-runner. Unfortunately, and to the concern of many, Moïse was chosen by less than 10% of the electorate with only 20% of voters even participating at all. The complicated reasons for this lack of voter participation have been decades in the making, including consolidation of power on the right; coups against a popular Haitian leader; and interference by the international community. As IJDH Director Brian Concannon describes, much of the weaknesses and limitations on the left “can be explained by the undermining and overthrowing of the Lavalas governments, which prevented them from demonstrating how democracy can work, and the killing, jailing, and exiling of important leaders.” Frustrated with all this, most Haitians cannot picture their […]

Timeline of Key Events in 2016 Haiti Elections

Below is part of the Center for Economic & Policy Research’s timeline for Haitian elections. It provides some important background information for understanding the elections scheduled for Sunday, November 20. Read the full article HERE. Haiti Election Primer, Part 1: Timeline of Key Events Jake Johnston, Center for Economic & Policy Research November 15th, 2016 Less than a week from now, on November 20, Haiti heads to the polls to choose a new president as well as dozens of legislative seats. The electoral process started in 2015 but has been repeatedly delayed and postponed due to post-election protests, candidates’ boycotts, and more recently Hurricane Matthew. The results of last October’s first-round presidential election were thrown out on the recommendation of an independent investigative commission that identified significant levels of fraud and other irregularities. Below is a timeline that traces the major […]

Were hurricane deaths in Haiti preventable?

Hurricane Matthew killed more people in Haiti than anywhere else nearby and cholera cases have spiked in the south. The World Socialist Web Site makes the case that many deaths were caused by other factors: United Nations peacekeepers’ pollution and introduction of cholera, neglect by neighboring U.S. administrations, and Haiti’s lack of infrastructure. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. Hundreds of preventable deaths caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti by John Marion, World Socialist Web Site October 10th, 2016 The scope of the disaster left in Haiti by Hurricane Matthew is becoming clearer, with hundreds of people dead, tens of thousands without shelter, and many areas still unable to communicate with the outside world nearly a week after the storm made landfall at the town of Les Anglais in the Sud Department. The storm’s winds […]

Will Haiti’s Current Fight for Democracy Lead to Real Change?

In this op-ed, famous actor and humanitarian Danny Glover tracks the progress Haiti has made towards democracy during the current, long-delayed election cycle. While voter participation has been declining in Haiti, Haitians took a stand against international interference in the elections that were originally scheduled in 2015. There was so much backlash against that election process that the results were discarded and it was rescheduled to October 9, 2016. Now, Haitians have a chance at truly electing their next leader and pushing for a more progressive government that responds to the needs of Haiti’s poor majority. ——– Haiti’s First Free Elections In Years Hold Promise Of Bold Progressive Change Danny Glover, The World Post September 19, 2016 The United States isn’t the only country in the midst of a drawn out election campaign marked by voter discontent and demands for bold, new policy […]

DEA Fugitive Philippe Enters Political Alliance With Ambitions

As President Privert’s mandate expires, Guy Philippe, a notorious paramilitary leader who led attacks in 2004 prior to the coup d’état, has joined a political alliance. Alongside former president Martelly and his political allies, they are lobbying for the removal of Privert in what many perceive as a move vying for the presidency. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Martelly Bloc Formalizes Alliance with DEA Fugitive Guy Philippe Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch June 23, 2016 Days before the June 14 end of provisional president Jocelerme Privert’s mandate, a coalition of political parties close to former president Michel Martelly formalized an alliance and began advocating for Privert’s removal. Led by former de facto prime minister under Marelly, Evans Paul, the “Entente Democratique” (ED) or “democratic agreement” as they have called themselves, have denounced the “totalitarian tendencies” of […]

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