Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The parallels between Martelly’s presidency and Trump’s campaign

In a thought-provoking piece, Jonathan Katz compares Martelly’s (whose presidential mandate ended on February 7th) campaign in 2011 to the current Donald Trump campaign. In addition to both being pop stars before turning to politics and being considered “jokes” at the start of their campaigns, Martelly and Trump garner their support from frustrated men who feel dismissed by establishment politics. Katz suggests that there might be disastrous consequences if Trump accesses power, based on Martelly’s calamitous record as a president between 2011 and 2015. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. What Happens When a Celebrity Becomes President Jonathan M. Katz, The Atlantic February 9, 2016 With his country descending into its worst political crisis since a 2004 coup d’etat, and thousands of people demanding his resignation in the streets, Haiti’s embattled outgoing president, Michel Martelly, went back […]

How Law Schools Are Changing Haiti’s System

One of Haiti’s major problems is limited access to justice for the majority of the population, which is poor. Even those who can afford lawyers often don’t understand legal proceedings because they’re conducted in French. Haiti also has a shortage of lawyers due to overwhelming obstacles post-law school. A few Haitian law schools, in partnership with US law clinics and public interest lawyers like at BAI, are fighting to change these norms. A new law clinic opening up in Jeremie will help speed the process even more. Establishing the Rule of Law in a Country Where Justice Hardly Exists Advocates are on a quest to improve the quality of life in Haiti through legal education. Jessica Carew Kraft, The Atlantic April 22, 2015 The president of the Haitian Bar Association, Carlos Hercule, knows that the rule of law in his country […]

Why the U.N. Should Take Responsibility for Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak

Celso Perez & Muneer Ahmad, The Atlantic August 16, 2013 Despite much evidence to the contrary, for nearly three years, the United Nations has categorically denied that it introduced cholera into Haiti after the country suffered a devastating earthquake in 2010. Since then, cholera has killed more than 8,000 people and infected more than 600,000, creating an ongoing epidemic. As new cases continue to emerge, and the U.N.’s legitimacy continues to erode, it is time for the organization to apologize and take responsibility for the consequences of its actions and its inaction. In a new report, Peacekeeping Without Accountability, which was released Tuesday, members of the Transnational Development Clinic at Yale Law School (YLS) and the Global Health Justice Partnership, an initiative of YLS and the Yale School of Public Health, provide scientific evidence showing that the U.N. brought cholera to Haiti […]

How the U.N. Caused Haiti’s Cholera Crisis — and Won’t Be Held Responsible

By Armin Rosen, The Atlantic Febuary 26, 2013 The organization is functionally above the law — and victims of Haiti’s cholera outbreak aren’t the only ones paying the price. If a multinational corporation behaved the way the U.N. did in Haiti, it would be sued for stratospheric amounts of money. And that’s just for starters: Were Unilever or Coca-Cola responsible for a cholera outbreak that killed 8,000 people and infected 640,000 more, and for subsequently covering up its employees’ failure to adhere to basic sanitation standards, it is likely their executives would have difficulty visiting countries claiming universal legal jurisdiction. They would have to contend with Interpol red notices, along with the occasional cream pie attack. And the companies themselves would go into damage control mode, akin to BP’s post-oil-spill public relations blitz, or Wal-Mart’s pivot toward promoting American-made products. They’d acknowledge the need to convince […]

The Reporter and the Rape Victim

By Max Fisher, The Atlantic July 25, 2011 When an American journalist and a cadre of aid workers in Haiti set out to tell a horrible story, they thought they were on the same side. But it didn’t turn out that way.  On September 17, 2010, magazine reporter Mac McClelland climbed into a car in Port-au-Prince. The driver, a Haitian man named Alain Charles, was speeding a young rape victim and her mother to the hospital, and had invited McClelland along. Parts of the Haitian capital had disintegrated into chaos following the earthquake earlier that year, and the sprawling refugee camps were producing stories of horrific and frequent sexual violence. McClelland, on assignment from Mother Jones, where she works, had come to investigate. Within two days of arriving in Haiti, McClelland linked up with Charles, whose work as a driver and […]

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