Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One Thousand Days of Cholera : Almost 8,200 Killed and Still No UN Apology

by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

A sad milestone has passed: it has now been 1,000 days since Haiti’s cholera outbreak began. Even though U.N. troops from Nepal have been linked to the outbreak through study after study, and even though U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton admitted the troops were the “proximate cause” of the epidemic, the U.N. has yet to apologize. And its cholera eradication plan remains woefully underfunded, as we noted last week.
The Economist writes today of the U.N.’s continuance in dodging responsibility:

Cholera Tightens Grip on Haiti As Sanitation Funding Slows to a Trickle

by Haiti Grassroots Watch

Lack of financing for a ten-year cholera eradication plan means that the disease will likely be endemic to Haiti for years to come.
            Cholera bacteria are spread by contaminated food, water, and fecal matter. One of the essential parts of the US$2.2 billion National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti is the financing for sanitation systems nationwide.
            The majority of Haitians – about eight million people – do not have access to a hygienic sanitation system. They defecate in the open, in fields, in ravines, and on riverbanks. The capital region produces over 900 tons of human excreta every day, according to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Made in Haiti, Dumped in Haiti

Global demand for cheap clothing sabotages local garment trade, workers' rights

In Haiti, people wear T-shirts bearing unlikely English messages: "We're the 2% who don't care," says one; a respectable-looking grandmother dons a T-shirt emblazoned with "Crack is Whack!"; a little boy without shoes or pants wears a "Save Darfur" T-shirt; while training an illegal militia, a tough former army lieutenant sports a "Varsity Cheerleader" T-shirt.
The absurd messages on these garments—by-products of globalization—are often lost in translation for Haitians, but the crueler irony is that decades of neo-liberal measures have pushed Haiti to expand its apparel industry to export T-shirts to US markets. Garments are then branded with various designs, sold, consumed, discarded, and shipped back to Haiti, along with other used clothes, for resale in local markets, undercutting and decimating Haitian tailors and their trade in traditional-style clothing.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Where are the Mosquito Nets in Haiti?

by John M. Zervos (Haiti Liberte)

During a recent visit to Haiti, I visited homes at internally displaced persons locations throughout Port-au-Prince and noticed a general void of mosquito nets. In fact, I did not see one. This was perplexing; with the rest of the world, I had read and watched the extensive news coverage of the 2010 earthquake, including the distribution of hundreds of thousands of mosquito nets to these same communities I was now visiting.

A Haitian Sweatshop Worker Speaks: “Mrs. Clinton Can Have Her Factories”

by Beverly Bell (Haiti Liberte)

The following is an interview Beverly Bell conducted with Marjorie Valcelat, an assembly work who ran an embroidery machine in a factory from 2005 to 2008. She says the experience made her so sick and weak that she’s not felt able to work since then.

I had three children I had to take care of; their father had left. And since I hadn’t had enough schooling, I didn’t have the skills to do much. So I said to myself, “I’m going to work at a factory.” When I got there, they showed me how to run the machines to embroider slips and nightshirts. I spent a month training, but during that time they didn’t pay me; I had to pay them for the training.

What Lies Behind the Arrest of Martelly-Confidant Jojo Lorquet?

Was he previously involved in money laundering with Martelly? Is this the beginning of a larger round-up and more revelations?

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

Outlandish television host Joseph “Jojo” Lorquet is one of the Haitian president’s closest friends and was a New York promoter who booked “Sweet Micky,” the chief of state’s former musical stage persona, in cities around the U.S. for almost two decades.
            “Nobody is closer to Michel Martelly than Jojo Lorquet,” Lorquet told Haïti Liberté in a Brooklyn restaurant in December, shortly before he returned to Haiti to work in the Haitian First Lady Sofia St. Rémy Martelly’s Aba Grangou program, a supposed anti-hunger campaign. “Anything he’s going to do, I’m the first to know.”

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ecuador and Brazil Training New Haitian Army

By Charlie Hinton - Originally published by the Haiti Action Committee

The February 29th, 2004 kidnapping/coup d'etat began a brutal ongoing US/UN occupation that aimed to suppress Haiti's people’s movement and roll back the hard-won democratic gains since the ouster of Baby Doc Duvalier in 1986. The elimination of the traditional repressive and coup-fomenting Haitian military during the democratic period in 1995, one of the most popular actions of Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s presidency, forced the direct and overt involvement of US, French and Canadian troops in the destruction of Haiti’s democracy. Soldiers from other nations, including Ecuador and Brazil, later joined this occupation army, named MINUSTAH, which currently numbers 9,357 uniformed personnel.

Stop Attacks on President Aristide and Haiti's Grassroots Movement

(from earlier in 2013)

By: Haiti Action Committee

The people of Haiti stand for justice, but they are against the misuse of the justice system for political persecution. That is why they have come out by the thousands today, in support of former President Aristide.

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