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Update: Canada Haiti Action Network website fundraising campaign

Protesters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, chant anti-government slogans during a protest Monday against President Michele Martelly’s government to demand the cancellation of the Jan. 24 elections. Dieu Nalio Chery AP.jpg

CHAN readers & supporters,

(Version Francaise ci-dessous) 

The website of the Canada-Haiti Action Network is undergoing an upgrade and needs your support.

The website mandate will continue to focus on providing news and analysis of the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Accordingly, the name is being changed to The Canada-Haiti Information Project.

In addition, the website needs technical upgrades, including crucial security and formatting upgrades. 

Seven years after the earthquake: Haiti in an unprecedented humanitarian, food, and climate crisis

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By Jake Johnston, Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), Jan. 12, 2017

To mark the 7th anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a number of organizations belonging to the Haiti Advocacy Working Group released the following statement. For a full list of sponsoring organizations, click here

January 12, 2017 – Washington, DC –  On the seventh anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, human rights groups, faith-based organizations, policy institutes and humanitarian organizations would like to honor those who lost their lives in the earthquake, as well as those who lost their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Haiti’s vulnerability to natural disasters is the result of human policies, which can be changed. As the election crisis comes to an end, and President-elect Jovenel Moise is set to take office on February 7, 2017, there’s a unique opportunity for sustained change now.

Human rights lawyers call Haitian electoral court’s verification a lost opportunity

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By Mario Joseph & Nicole Phillips, The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Jan. 10, 2017

The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) are disappointed in the incomplete verification conducted by Haiti’s electoral authorities, which fell far short of the comprehensive inquiry ordered by the National Electoral Challenges Bureau (BCEN).  The verification panel’s January 3rd decision ignored legitimate demands of the process raised by political parties and observer groups, putting at risk the credibility of the recently-announced presidential results.

Senator-elect and former paramilitary leader Guy Philippe arrested on drug charges

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By Jake Johnston, Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), Jan. 5, 2016

UPDATE 1/6/2017: The federal indictment against Philippe has been unsealed. It is available here

Guy Philippe, a paramilitary coup leader and DEA most-wanted fugitive who was elected to Haiti’s Senate late last year, was arrested on Thursday, just days before he would have been sworn into office and obtained immunity. Philippe has been wanted under a sealed drug indictment in the United States for years, but previous attempts at arresting him failed. Last year, the DEA confirmed to me that they maintained “apprehension authority” for Philippe, but would not confirm if any active efforts were underway to do so. He will now be extradited to the United States to face charges, though no indictment has been unsealed as of Thursday night.

Canadian embassy in Haiti investigating $1.7M fraud

By Matthew Kupfer, CBC News, Jan. 11, 2017

The Canadian government has fired 17 local recruits from its embassy in Haiti after uncovering a system of fraud that cost the diplomatic mission $1.7 million over 12 years, Global Affairs Canada says.

The majority of that staff, 12 people, worked for Global Affairs Canada. The other five worked for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Global Affairs told Radio-Canada, CBC's French-language service, the investigation began in spring 2015 and uncovered "inadequate practices" at the embassy in Port-au-Prince.

Investigators found the staffers inflated bills, diverted and stole materials and colluded with local suppliers between 2004 and 2016.

Former Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe arrested

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By Jacqueline Charles & Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, Jan. 5, 2017

Former Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe, who has been wanted for more than a decade on drug charges in the United States, was arrested Thursday in Haiti and federal agents were bringing him to Miami.

Philippe, 48, was arrested after he left a Haitian radio station, local media reported. Police fired several shots during the 10 minutes it took to take him into custody outside Scoop FM in Petionville. Late Thursday, he was transferred to the custody of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

The record low voter participation in Haiti’s 2016 election

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By Catherine Charlemagne, Haiti Liberté, Dec. 28, 2016

After polls closed on the evening of Nov. 20, 2016, all the actors involved in Haiti’s presidential and legislative elections that day profusely complimented the authorities who organized them. Later, however, some of the candidates began contesting results that were not favorable to them.

In any case, after all the praises sung for the government and the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and the doubt that arose a few days later, we decided to take a closer look at why so few Haitians actually took part in the vote or were even interested in these elections.

It is not enough to simply trumpet that elections were conducted well and didn’t have massive fraud and irregularities for a polling to be representative. What gives full weight and legitimacy to any election is the electorate’s turnout. In these general elections, the CEP had assessed the Haitian electorate at about 6.2 million potential voters. Unfortunately, Haitian electoral law does not provide for a threshold of participation for an election to be validated or canceled.