Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Immunity with Impunity

Trinidad Express Newspaper March 13, 2013 IT was bad enough for the United Nations to bring cholera into earthquake-stricken Haiti via its troops. But to give itself legal immunity against victims’ claims for damages is simply outrageous. In just one sentence, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has severely damaged the confidence that the people of Haiti has reposed in the UN ever since the Duvalier dictatorship fell, making room for a greater UN presence in this Caribbean country. We therefore share the outrage expressed by former prime minister of Jamaica, Percival Patterson who, having served as Caricom’s special adviser in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, would know Haiti’s pain first-hand. The UN’s reputation as a well-meaning, honest broker to the world now stands to be savaged by this decision to refuse compensation to the 5,000 Haitian claimants […]

The Haitian People are Dying: Part 1

By Myrtha Désulmé, Trinidadexpress Oct 7, 2012 Part I On August 24, Tropical Storm Isaac pummelled Haiti, resulting in floods, mudslides and storm surges, downed trees and power lines. The storm threatened the lives of millions, particularly the more than 400,000 homeless Haitians, still living in flimsy tents, exposed to the elements like sitting ducks, two and half years after the January 2010 earthquake. Painful images of tent-dwellers bracing against fierce winds, with a background of flying tents containing all of their worldly possessions, were beamed on CNN between news of another US shooting incident and the joys of Australian river rafting. Adding to the crisis was the fear of an ensuing surge of the cholera epidemic introduced into Haiti by the UN forces. The initial death toll from Isaac is reportedly at 24, but this number could spike due to […]

Puzzling US Stand on Haiti’s Aristide (Trinidad Express)

Rickey Singh, Trinidad Express March 19, 2011 As Haitians trek to polling stations across that Caricom partner state today for the second round presidential run-off, there remains a puzzling political question for clarification: Why has the United States administration of President Barack Obama been so intense within the past month in urging the former Haitian president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, to not consider returning to his homeland ahead of today’s election? Well, at the time of writing, Aristide, the former popular Roman Catholic priest, who was thrice freely elected president of Haiti—and thrice ousted from power by coups in a period of some 13 years (between 1991 and 2004)—had defied US official “advice” and was back in Haiti on Friday. He had travelled with his family the previous day from South Africa, the country of choice for his forced exile that lasted […]

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