Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Halliburton in Haiti

By Nicole Lee, The Washington Informer Opinion/Editorial The company Halliburton is the emblem of the military industrial complex. During the Iraq war, Halliburton gained a reputation synonymous with crooked dealing. Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s relationship to the company as its former CEO is symbolic of the misuse of the government funds for private gain and public destruction. And the criticism was well earned. During the Iraq war, Halliburton was awarded multimillion dollar contracts to “rebuild” the country. These “no bid” contracts billed the American people for, in many cases, overpriced goods. US soldiers and private security forces, akin to Blackwater, were used to protect convoys of Halliburton goods. Halliburton regularly employ imported labor and the laborers have reported poor pay and treatment tantamount to slavery. US soldiers reported that Halliburton even provided them inferior services. Despite their track record […]

Security Council authorizes extra police for UN force in Haiti

UN News Centre Female police officers serving in UN peacekeeping operations in Haiti The Security Council today authorized the deployment of additional police officers to serve with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti as part of efforts to help boost the capacity of the country’s national police to deal with the myriad challenges in the wake of January’s catastrophic earthquake. The deployment of 680 further officers as a result of today’s Council resolution will bring the total number of UN Police (UNPOL) serving with the UN mission, which is known as MINUSTAH, to 4,391. Just one week after the devastating quake struck Haiti on 12 January, the Council backed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for additional troops, adding 2,000 military personnel and 15,000 UNPOL. More than 200,000 people were killed in the magnitude-7.0 earthquake, which left 1.3 million more homeless […]

Secretary-General requests rapid boosting of Haitian mission’s technical capacity

UN News Centre Peacekeepers search for survivors under rubble at UN headquarters in Haiti Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the Security Council to endorse a rapid strengthening of the technical capacity of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to enable it provide better support to recovery efforts following January’s earthquake in the Caribbean island nation. In his report to the Council, the Secretary-General noted that much of the required “surge” can be achieved by scaling up activities within the current mandate, while a few areas of the mission should provide greater technical, operational and logistical assistance to Haiti’s Government and State institutions. “Whereas before the earthquake, the mission was entering a period of consolidation, a surge effort is now needed for the next 18 months to two years, in which the mission will help the Government preserve the […]

Haiti’s police struggle to control ravaged capital

By JONATHAN M. KATZ (AP) PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A police inspector taunted the gangster they call “Obama” through the bars of a downtown lockup. Stuffed into a tiny cell with nine other men, the 23-year-old inmate looked panicked, exhausted and freshly beaten. It’s guys like this, the pudgy cop said, who threaten to upend Port-au-Prince three months after the earthquake, exploiting the continuing chaos to commit murder, assaults and kidnappings just as the international community arrives with billions of dollars to rebuild the ravaged capital. Fears of such insecurity have prompted the U.S. government to invest millions in stabilization and security to protect its post-quake development programs. More than $422 million of U.S. aid has come from the Defense Department. The United States is expanding a pre-quake anti-crime effort — which focused on building infrastructure, community ties and police controls […]

Haiti Looking More and More Like a War Zone

by Ansel Herz PORT-AU-PRINCE – On an empty road in Cite Militaire, an industrial zone across from the slums of Cite Soleil, a group of women are gathered around a single white sack of U.S. rice. The rice was handed out Monday morning at a food distribution by the Christian relief group World Vision. Uruguay’s Navy soldiers stand in formation after their arrival in Haiti to join the UN peacekeeping mission in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, March 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton) According to witnesses, during the distribution U.N. peacekeeping troops sprayed tear gas on the crowd. “Haitians know that’s the way they act with us. They treat us like animals,” said Lourette Elris, as she divided the rice amongst the women. “They gave us the food, we were on our way home, then the troops threw tear gas at us. We […]

Haiti: From the Ground Up

From Refugees International The devastating earthquake that struck Port-Au-Prince in January radically altered the lives of the Haitian people, as well as the international community’s engagement with the country. Billions of dollars in government and private donations have been provided from around the world. However, millions of Haitians are still desperate for food, water, shelter and protection from abuse and exploitation. Moving forward, the U.S. and UN must quickly improve its efforts for displaced Haitians by connecting with Haitian civil society groups and streamlining bureaucratic processes. The U.S. must also ensure that government-assistance programs for Haiti are not funded at the expense of other international humanitarian emergencies Policy Recommendations: The U.S. and UN must urgently connect and coordinate their humanitarian, reconstruction and development initiatives with Haitian civil society groups. UN agencies should create liaison positions to these groups. The current […]

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