Haiti News Updates on Wednesdays and Fridays (may change to one day a week).
This week in Haiti: 1.Cholera is out of control and NGOs left with the media and the donations. Now many NGOs claim they are out of money 2.Oxfam's Haiti director stepped down because of allegations (will not say what) of misconduct. 3.Calls for UN Troops (MINUSTAH) to leave Haiti grow amid new allegations of sexual abuse and allegations of dumping sewage in a River. 4.Martelly has yet to name a third candidate for prime minister. His first two ultra right-wing candidates were rejected. The Haitian government remains in flux with no prime minister.
- BBC News - Head of aid agency Oxfam in Haiti resigns amid inquiry:
The director of Oxfam's operations in Haiti has resigned amid an inquiry into allegations of misconduct by staff.
The UK-based aid agency said Roland Van Hauwermeiren felt he needed to resign as he had been in charge at the time.
A small number of Oxfam workers in Haiti have been suspended, pending the outcome of an inquiry, it added.
- New report says cholera in Haiti is not being properly addressed-Ansel Herz
- Not Doing Enough: Unnecessary Sickness and Death from Cholera in Haiti | Relief and Reconstruction Watch:
The present health crisis did not originate as a natural byproduct of the January 2010 earthquake’s devastation—the organism was virtually alien to the country. Its inadvertent introduction is the result of the negligence of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which has maintained an international, military troop presence in Haiti since 2004. A Nepalese contingent of UN peacekeeping forces is believed to have spread the illness by contaminating the Artibonite region’s water supply through a leaky sewage system and inadequate waste disposal. The specific strain of V. cholera in Haiti is identical to a particularly virulent one endemic to South Asia. It infects the small intestine, provoking severe diarrhea and vomiting that, if left untreated, can fatally dehydrate a healthy adult within a matter of hours....
NGOs raised an astonishing $1.4 billion for Haiti relief efforts from the U.S. alone, yet many some have failed to disburse funds despite the dire situation on the ground. The international community pledged over $5 billion for Haiti, yet over a year later, less than 40 percent has been disbursed, while far less has actually made an impact on the ground. The U.S., having appropriated over $1 billion for Haiti, has only disbursed $180 million. International financial institutions (e.g. World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank), NGOs, and donor countries should use this opportunity to redouble their efforts to address the cholera epidemic and commit to assisting the Haitian government in carrying out projects for water and sewage treatment—the same infrastructure projects which have rendered cholera essentially nonexistent in most of the world.
- Ezili Danto and Nation of Islam Bring Purified Water to Thousands in Haiti
BOIS CAIMAN, Haiti (defend.ht) - On Sunday, Ezili's Haitian Lawyer Leadership Network (HLLN), the Nation of Islam (NOI) and the indigenous Haitian army stood in solidarity with the victims of the cholera outbreak providing the community with a 30,000 gallon-per-day water purification system.
August 14 2011, the 200th anniversary of the Ceremony at Bois Caïman, the NOI/HLLN partnership gifted the first of two purification units to "well-established and connected-to-the-people" Haitian grassroots women organizations to manage and distribute the water to their local communities.
- The State of Cholera, and Water, in Haiti
- Cholera numbers remain high after surging in June | Partners In Health
- Haiti: cholera death toll rises
- Foreign Interests and Puppet President Martelly
- Bishop Kébreau’s Ungodly Advice to President Martelly:
Did Catholic Bishop Louis Kébreau, President of the Haitian Episcopal Conference, call on Haitian President Michel Martelly to be ruthless and dictatorial?
That is what many Haitians believe after Kébreau, the only bishop to attend Martelly’s inauguration, urged the president to “put his Sweet Micky pants on” in order to “put Haiti back on track,” in a recent interview with Radio Vision 2000. He later said that he was calling on Martelly to enforce “law and order and discipline.”
- Haiti: Between a Rock and a Hard Place:
More than two months after the Tèt Kale regime’s installation, nothing yet has moved towards crystallizing a definite policy that favors putting the country onto another path, towards a new horizon. Everything that’s been done up to now shows that the forces in power are nothing but troublemakers, elements hostile to the change so desired by the Haitian people.
It is not from this perspective that the “international community” has hurried to come and dictate the rules of the game to the different protagonists, but rather from one of not letting the situation degenerate so as not to lose control. Thus, U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten has stressed the impatience of the “international community.” Henri-Paul Normandin of Canada, for his part, has considered that the political crisis that prevails since Michel Martelly’s arrival in power has grave consequences for Haiti’s cooperation with these “friendly” countries.
- Foreign Interests Mar Haiti's Recovery:
Martelly’s provocative conduct outstrips his feeble mandate. The election that hoisted him to power was marred by many obstacles to voter participation, including the massive disruption caused by the earthquake, inadequate and fraudulent voter registration, and an insufficient number of voting stations (a fraction of what existed in previous elections). Haiti's largest political party – the Fanmi Lavalas of former president Jean Bertrand Aristide – along with smaller parties were banned from running. In the end, less than 25% of the electorate participated.
- evictions and Recovery
- 100 days into Michel Martelly’s presidency: Survey reveals government’s closure of camps conflicts with durable housing solutions proposed in housing plan (IJDH-BAI):
The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission pledged $78 million this week to fund President Martelly’s housing plan. The plan could have significant benefits for displaced communities, assuming the government keeps its promises made in the plan. While implementation in accordance with the stated plan has yet to begin, two of the six camps have already begun the closure process. Stade Sylvio Cator was completely closed and all residents evicted last month by the government in direct contrast to the “durable solutions” and “improved living conditions” promised in the Martelly plan.
- Victims of Forced Evictions at Camp Django Interviewed
- Population in Camps Housing Haitians Left Homeless by the 2010 Earthquake Drops Below 600,000Latest CCCM DTM figures July 2011: 594,811 people living in 894 displacement camps Haitians in #camps below 600k due to rain, crime & evictions not new housing
- Reconstruction and Bill Clinton's Commission (CIRH) Declared Fraud!
- Haiti, stuck in the mud - The Washington Post:
Mr. Martelly shares the blame. Rather than seeking reconciliation and new allies following bruising, deeply flawed elections, he has continued to rely on a small circle of friends and advisers. His first pick for prime minister, an intelligent American-educated entrepreneur, had no more political experience than Mr. Martelly. His second, a former justice minister remembered chiefly for reprisals and repression directed at his ideological enemies, stood no chance of confirmation — as Mr. Martelly was repeatedly and publicly warned.
- Clinton’s CIRH Commission Declared a Fraud By Haitian Senate Port-au-Prince | CIRH taking credit for and claiming funded projects done by Haiti's Ministry of Public Works and Transportation Communications (MTPTC).
...The Haitian Senate is cooler still to Martelly’s next project of renewing the mandate of the illegally created CIRH (Commission Interimaire pour la Reconstruction d’Haiti): a brainchild of Mr. Clinton and his wealthy friends. Below, a recent report of the Senate’s Public Works Committee gives a hint of things to come....
Committee Chairman, John William Jeanty said that the meeting with Minister Gabriel shed light on what he calls the "bluffs" of the CIRH.
According to the understanding of the 2nd Senator from the Nippes Department after the meeting, "A set of projects that the CIRH claims to have financed for the MTPTC have instead been funded by donors like the European Union and the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) before the formation of the Commission."
- the first loan from @ClintonTweet Haiti development fund came over one year after the program was actually launched HaitiAidWatch Haiti Watch Blog
- Haiti reconstruction panel announces $78M project to rebuild quake-damaged neighborhoods- The Washington Post: Haiti has been evicting IDPs at alarming rates since Martelly took office. Clinton's plan doesn't mention how it will help them?
I want to take this moment to remind the international community to fulfill the promises they made. We need a lot of money,” Martelly told reporters.
Earlier Wednesday, Clinton held a closed-door meeting with the board of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. He also met with members of Haiti’s Parliament, which has rejected Martelly’s first two picks for prime minister.
- 16 Neighborhoods - 6 Camps Project
- Prime Minister
- Wilson Laleau and Daniel Supplice fuel the rumors... Have to look them up?
- Interview with Moise Jean Charles Jeb Sprague 2006 interview with then former Mayor, now one of the Senators who is fighting Martelly's right wing PM picks.
- Martelly wants to secure a majority in parliament before the appointment of a Prime Minister
However, this commission is ignored by MPs, stressing that under the Constitution, the procedure for appointment of a Prime Minister must be led by the president through consultation with the presidents of both chambers.
The two characters already chosen by the Presidency, the businessman Daniel Gerard Rouzier and former Justice Minister (2004 - 2006) Bernard Gousse Honorat were ousted in turn by the Chamber of Deputies on June 21 and the Senate August 2, 2011.
- Calls for MINUSTAH to leave grow MINUSTAH accused of sexual abuse and dumping sewage in river Again!
- Port-Salut Demands Withdraw of MINUSTAH for Sexual Abuse and Prostitution of Minors
Contacted by the Haiti Press Network (HPN) , Ernso Valentin, a CREDOP official said the local contingent, consisting mostly of Uruguayan soldiers were guilty of various abuses.
"They are engaged," Valentin says, "in prostitution, they have, inside their base, sex with disadvantaged children, they take advantage of the situation of poverty. And the worst is that they take pictures of the naked children on their phones to show other soldiers."
- UPDATE: This is not the first time MINUSTAH troops accused of sexual abuse: Peacekeepers accused of abuse in Haiti | Reuters
More than 100 Sri Lankan peacekeepers have been accused of sexual exploitation and abuse in Haiti and will be sent home on Saturday, the United Nations said, in the latest sexual abuse scandal involving U.N. peacekeeping missions.
- UN Peacekeepers Charged With Sexual Abuse in Haiti, Ban Ki-moon Silent,:
- Of course being caught doesn't stop MINUSTAH from denying they dumped feces in Haiti river, AGAIN
"It turned out that the allegations were unfounded," said MINUSTAH in a communication a few days after news of the dumping mobilized the authorities of Hinche in disdain.
Citizens, government officials and journalists had examined areas near the Guayamuc river where feces had been deposited in several places not many meters away from the river....
Mayor of Hinche, André Renaud, rejected the denials of MINUSTAH, and saying he was forced to conduct an operation, Wednesday, August 10, 2011, to try to eliminate, by fire, waste he considers dangerous to the people of his city.
- Brazilians Discuss Haiti and MINUSTAH: The case for leaving: Bye-Bye MINUSTAH!
The troops started arriving in June 2004, barely one month after Aristide’s kidnapping, to buttress the illegal administration that followed the coup. The first MINUSTAH commander, a Brazilian, complained of the pressure to use violence and resigned his position by fall 2005. The second commander, another Brazilian, committed suicide by January 2006. The force has continued to grow, with the Brazilian contingent now numbering 2,160 men, although in Brazil this military adventure has been controversial from the start. Mr. Amorim attributes his sudden change of heart to Haiti’s “growing economy and gradual return to democratic normalcy.”
There are many reasons why MINUSTAH should go, but Mr. Amorim’s justifications do not qualify for my top-ten list:
MINUSTAH continually harasses and humiliates Haitians. MINUSTAH’s favorite activities include pepper spraying Haitians and capriciously confiscating drivers’ licenses and computers.
Common criminals in MINUSTAH enjoy immunity from prosecution. Though over 100 troops have been expelled from Haiti for child prostitution and related charges, MINUSTAH soldiers have enjoyed immunity for most of their crimes, including numerous rapes and the suffocation in August 2010 of a Haitian teenager working on a Nepalese MINUSTAH base.
MINUSTAH subverts democracy. Together with the U.S., Canada, and France, MINUSTAH fixed elections that excluded 80% of the Haitian electorate and brought a duvalierist, Michel Martelly, back into power in May 2011....
- Michel Martelly wishes a change of mandate of the Minustah
...we met with the officials from the Ministry [Argentine] of the defense and public safety [...] they wanted to know three things, the position of the Government Martelly on the issue of the Minustah, we said that the Minustah is important, that it is not here to stay for life and when we will have our force, to bring security, the Minustah will leave gradually. The second thing they wanted to know is if the President Martelly is interested in a change in the mandate of the Minustah, we said that the President Martelly is very clear on this issue, he said several times that the Minustah can not remain a mission of peace keeping in Haiti because in haiti there are not a special situation that requires a military presence [...] the enemy of the country is the underdevelopment, hunger and misery so it would be interesting to transform the force of the Minustah in a force of development to make roads, canals, bridges that would be most helpful to us. The third point they raised, as we had said that we wanted a national defense force is to explain what we had in mind, we said it's very simple, there are two aspects in question, an aspect of national defense and an aspect of public safety. Public safety is the responsibility of the National Police of Haiti, national security is the responsibility of national security forces, the name is a detail, but it is necessary that this force is a paramilitary body [...] they agreed and it is clear that it is necessary that there are two forces and indeed the Constitution provides this case...
- Defense Minister Amorim Supports Withdrawal of Troops from Haiti – But When?:
- WikiLeaks Reveal: U.S. and UN Officials Oversaw Integration of Ex-Army Paramilitaries into Haiti’s Police Force:
- WBAI, New York - 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio - Haiti: The Struggle Continues: This makes keeping up w/ Haiti news easy! Thursdays at 9-10 pm Est (except 3rd Thurs of month)
- Interviewed on the radio station WBAI, New York (99.5 FM) on US/UN supervision of ex-army paramilitary integration into Haiti's police force: begins at 6mins & 15secs.
- Immigration Rights
- Check this video out -- Justice for Haitian Immigrants Rally in Miami, 8/11/11
- For past News Update diaries here
- Dominique Esser (twitter @ dominique_e_ ) excellent list of Haiti news and history: Haiti Links
- AID FACTS ON HAITI, as of June 2011 | Canada Haiti Action Network:
- Human Rights Reports
- WikiHaiti File:
|Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti:
IJDH Does amazing work in Haiti. I donate to them whenever I can. Please support IJDH's work.
IJDH draws on its founders’ internationally-acclaimed success accompanying Haiti’s poor majority in the fields of law, medicine and social justice activism. We seek the restoration of the rule of law and democracy in the short term, and work for the long-term sustainable change necessary to avert Haiti’s next crisis.
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|The Aristide Foundation for Democracy (AFD) was created in 1996 by former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (the first democratically elected president of Haiti) with a simple principle in mind: "The promise of democracy can only be fulfilled if all sectors of Haitian society are able to actively participate in the democratic life of the nation."
|Haiti Emergency Relief Foundation (HERF):
Haiti’s grassroots movement – including labor unions, women’s groups, educators and human rights activists, support committees for political prisoners, and agricultural cooperatives – are funneling needed aid to those most hit by the earthquake. They are doing what they can – with the most limited of funds – to make a difference. Please take this chance to lend them your support. All donations to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund will be forwarded to our partners on the ground to help them rebuild what has been destroyed.
|Partners in Health At its root, our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.|
|Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods(SOIL)
Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti. We believe that the path to sustainability is through transformation, of both disempowered people and discarded materials, turning apathy and pollution into valuable resources.
- Excellent review of Damming The Flood: Bursting the Dam of Containment by Justin Podur
- princss6 has an important diary series called Slavery in the United States - History
- ojibwa has written excellent essays about Haiti: Haiti's Pact with the Devil; And related topics Indigenous Puerto Rico; Indians 101: The Great Debate
- Denise Oliver Velez Aristide speaks from South Africa. Denise's Diary Haitians fought in our Revolutionary War...we turned our backs on theirs, inspired me to learn more about Haiti.
- I donate to Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti for Haiti.