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The Honduran coup’s ugly aftermath

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Armando Escalon Airbase in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on June 1, 2009—just weeks before the military coup..jpg

By Jonathan Marshall, consortiumnews.com, August 19, 2015

Imelda Marcos will forever be remembered for her hoard of 3,000 pairs of shoes, an ostentatious symbol of the billions of dollars in spoils she amassed as First Lady of the Philippines. Now shoes are again emerging as a symbol of corruption, this time in Honduras, where prosecutors are investigating allegations that a former first lady improperly purchased, or never distributed, 42,100 pairs of shoes for the poor, at a cost to the state of $348,000.

The allegations are just the latest to surface in a wide-ranging corruption investigation that has reenergized grass-roots politics and triggered a nationwide protest movement in Central America’s original “banana republic.”

Haiti, chronicle of an electoral crisis

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By Catharine Charlemagne, Haiti Liberté, August 6, 2015

Note from Haiti Liberté’s editor: For the past 67 weeks, Haïti Liberté columnist Catharine Charlemagne has written in French a series of articles entitled “Haiti, Chronicle of an Electoral Crisis.” We present here the English translation of her report from last week’s Aug. 19 edition.

"Even if Haitian leaders had a hundred years and a hundred billion dollars to prepare for the elections, the result would have been the same. It is not a question of time or resources. It is a question of incompetence." This is how a member of a group of international observers, with whom I monitored Haiti’s election day on Sun., Aug. 9, 2015, summed up the fiasco.

Guatemala: Protestors call for President Molina to resign / Canadian owned mines threaten indigenous communites

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Four articles:

Amy Goodman reports on the massive protests demanding President Otto Perez Molina step down.

Canada’s mining industry threatens democracy & the environment in Guatemala. 

Palm oil industry in Guatemala causes massive fish die-off. 

High levels of violence have created an unceasing demand for new burial spaces have forced Guatemala's poor to bury their murdered children in mass graves next to municipal dumps. 

A sweet deal: The royal family of cane benefits from political giving

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By Amy Bracken, Al Jazeera International, July 23, 2015

This is the second story in a two-part series. Read the first story, about the working conditions of the cane cutters on Dominican sugar plantations violating labor law, here

Charlotte Ponticelli used to work for the State Department, but when she describes a recent visit to sugarcane plantations in the Dominican Republic, she ditches the diplomat speak.

“What I saw made me sick,” she says of the laborers’ living conditions. “[The cane workers] were skeletons wearing rags. One old man told us, ‘We have no access to anything from our pensions.’ They had worked for 40 to 50 years, and nothing … I wanted to cry all the way home. I thought, ‘After … all this work, this is how these people live?’”

Full breakdown of preliminary legislative election results in Haiti

By Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), August 21, 2015

After not showing up to its own scheduled press conference on Wednesday, Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced on Thursday that they would be re-running the first round legislative elections in 25 towns throughout the country. The CEP also announced participation rates at the national level and for each of the 10 departments during the press conference. However, no results were announced, instead, the CEP directed people to its website where results were supposed to be posted. The website was down until around 4 AM Friday morning when official results were finally made available.

“A political coup” – Interview with Youseline Augustin Bell, Cap-Haïtien

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By Sokari Ekrine, Propaganda Press, August 19, 2015

Youseline Augustin Bell is an educator, psychologist, and attorney. In 1995 together with her husband Bell Angelot they opened the College Bell Angelot in Cap-Haïtien  which presently has 1,000 K-12 students. A well known human rights activist and a member of Fanmi Lavalas, Mdm Bell successfully ran for Senator of Haiti Nord in the 2000 elections.

The ugly reality of Canadian aid to Haiti

By Yves Engler, Rabble.ca, August 21, 2015

Reading the comments below a recent Toronto Star op-ed reminded me of an important, if rarely mentioned, rule of Canadian foreign policy. The more impoverished a nation the greater the gap is likely to be between what Canadian officials say and do.

In a rare corporate daily breakthrough, solidarity activist Mark Phillips detailed a decade of antidemocratic Canadian policy in Haiti. But, a number of readers were clearly discomforted by the piece titled “Hey Canada, stop meddling in Haitian democracy”. “Money pumped into this dysfunctional country, is money down a rat hole,” read one. Another said, “Yes — let's stop ‘meddling’ and while were at it — let's stop sending them our hard earned money!!!!.”