Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Electoral Crisis Shows that “Corruption in Haiti is legal”

When Michel Martelly didn’t make it into the presidential runoff elections in 2010, he cried fraud and his supporters took to the streets until the Organization of American States, Hillary Clinton and the United Nations changed the results. Now in the 2015 elections, with ample evidence of fraud in favor of President Martelly’s party, nothing seems to be changing. The international community has endorsed the results and the party, PHTK, seems poised to elect the majority of parliament and mayors, as well as President. Other presidential candidates (including the second-place finisher), civil society groups, and average Haitians are all speaking out and protesting the results but the impact of their efforts remains to be seen. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Sweet Micky and the Sad Déjà Vu of Haiti’s Presidential Elections Edwidge Danticat, The New Yorker December […]

Land Disputes Cause Major Problems in Haiti

Land disputes in Haiti have not only economic, but also human rights implications. Due to factors starting during the colonial period, land ownership is unclear in much of Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake, this caused many problems for groups hoping to build developments for the displaced. Now, it’s causing problems for residents of Ile-a-Vache, whose land is being taken by the government in hopes of bringing tourists to the island off Haiti’s coast. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Who Owns What in Haiti? Jacob Kushner, The New Yorker January 18, 2015 The island of La Tortue, off the northern coast of Haiti, has become best known as a place where Haitians facing hard times set sail for lot bo dlo—the other side of the water. When President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was first ousted, in 1991, […]

Haitians Need Closure After Duvalier’s Death

This article discusses US support for both Duvalier regimes, the negative economic and social effects, and how Haitians might deal with the lack of accountability left by Jean-Claude Duvalier’s sudden death. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. How Will Haiti Reckon with the Duvalier Years? Laurent Dubois, The New Yorker October 6, 2014 In January, 2011, one year after an earthquake killed tens of thousands of people (by some estimates, hundreds of thousands), Jean-Claude Duvalier landed unannounced in Haiti following twenty-five years of exile in France. In the years between his return to the country and his death on Saturday at the age of sixty-three, he circulated freely about Port-au-Prince, meeting with old friends, dining at fancy restaurants, and occasionally accepting invitations to government events. For Haitians who had suffered imprisonment or torture under his regime, or who had […]

Top Ten Reasons to Install Clean Water in Haiti

In an interview with NPR, Jonathan Katz noted that lack of proper sanitation and water access contributes to the persistence of cholera in Haiti. In celebration of World Water Day, the team at IJDH has put together an additional ten reasons to focus on clean water initiatives in Haiti. 1. Eliminate cholera that the United Nations brought to Haiti and put an end to the epidemic sickening and killing people (Reference: NPR) 2. Save 4000+ lives every year from waterborne disease related deaths (Reference: Human Rights Watch) 3. Revolutionize access to basic human rights and dignity (Reference: Special Rapporteur submission) 4. Yield a fivefold return on investment through improving health, education, and creating jobs in establishing an adequate sanitation system. Consequently, inadequate infrastructure can sap as much as 7% of G.D.P. per year. (Reference: Jonathan Katz, New Yorker) 5. When asked if compensating victims and […]

Haiti Needs Better Sanitation Infrastructure NOW

Bayakou in Haiti have a tough job–cleaning out the human waste from latrines and cesspools at night, when nobody can see them. But this job is crucial given Haiti’s lack of sanitation infrastructure. Despite the economic and health (i.e. eradicating cholera) benefits of improving it, the international community has done little to help Haiti take the necessary steps. HAITI’S SHADOW SANITATION SYSTEM Jonathan M. Katz, The New Yorker March 12, 2014 Russell Leon works under the cover of darkness as part of a small crew sworn to secrecy. He is a bayakou, a manual laborer who empties the cesspools that collect deep bogs of human waste under Haiti’s back-yard latrines. In a country with no working sewers and roads that are often too ramshackle for tanker trucks, he is the sanitation infrastructure, charged with climbing down into concrete or earthen holes and […]

Neighbors’ Keeper: A woman feeds her community in Port-au-Prince.

by Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker Nadia François walks miles to town from a ravine in the hills in search of supplies. Photograph by João Pina. On the morning of Monday, January 18th, I set out with Frantz Ewald, a Haitian-born painter, to drive into Port-au-Prince from the hilltop suburb of Pétionville, where I was staying. It had been six days since the earthquake struck, and the city was still in chaos. As rescuers hacked at the rubble, looking for survivors, residents were out on the streets searching for water, for food, and for fuel. In Pétionville, a gas station had opened for business, and that morning a long line of cars formed; mixed among them were men and women on foot, holding plastic jerricans and waiting anxiously for their turn at the pump. An elderly woman came up […]

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