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Canada Haiti Action website fundraising campaign

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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. These and other upgrades will allow the site to function on smartphone platforms and other devices, and will allow editors to relaunch a regular, monthly email news bulletin with a format to accommodate all web browsers and email services. 

The total cost for these changes is estimated at CAN$1,500 (app US$1,200). We are asking regular readers of the website and newsletter as well as Haiti advocates and solidarity activists who value a news source dedicated to the interests of the Haitian people and their political sovereignty to contribute. We welcome any amount of contribution and thank you in advance.

To donate please visit our Go Fund me page

Member of popular progressive organization MOLEGHAF murdered by police officers while others face death threats

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CHAN editor's note:

Last week, David Oxygene, a Haitian revolutionary leader and organizer was threatened at gun point by a police officer. The same police officer is one of the individuals accused of murdering  Davidtchen Siméon, an activist of the popular progressive organization MOLEGHAF. MOLEGHAF is dedicated, in part, to removing the UN's occupying force known as MINUSTAH from Haiti. 

The original description of events can be found on David Oxygene's Facebook page in Kreyol. It was posted on August 22, 2016. A copy of the original message is available below the following article. 

 

Call to trade unions, popular organisations, and political parties dedicated to democracy and the defense of human rights

Published in Haiti Liberté, August 24, 2016

On Sat., Aug. 13 at 3:30 p.m., in the popular district of Fort National, as he was leaving a meeting of the Movement of Liberty, Equality of the Haitians for Fraternity (Mouvement de Liberté, Égalité des Haïtiens pour la  Fraternité) (MOLEGHAF), a group of armed men cowardly assassinated Davidtchen Siméon, a young 23 years old activist of the popular progressive organization MOLEGHAF, deeply engaged in the fight against the occupying  forces of the UN (MINUSTAH), imperialism and the oppression of workers by transnational capital.

It is important to point out that a few days before this despicable killing, on Wed., Aug. 8 and Thu. Aug. 11, Davidtchen had been violently attacked and threatened by police officers.

New internal report slams UN cholera cover-up

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By Kim Yves, Haiti Liberté, August 24, 2016

UN officials are frantically fending off questions about their organization being to blame for importing cholera into Haiti following the leak last week of an internal Special Rapporteur draft report which slams their “existing approach of simply abdicating responsibility [as] morally unconscionable, legally indefensible, and politically self-defeating.”

On Aug. 18, the day after freelance reporter Jonathan Katz (the AP’s former Haiti correspondent) leaked excerpts of New York University law professor Philip Alston’s draft report in the New York Times, a New York State Appeals court upheld a lower court decision granting the UN “immunity” from a class-action suit being brought on behalf of Haitian cholera victims. (Alston’s full report was published in the New York Times Magazine on Aug. 20).

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq stated that the UN “needs to do much more regarding own involvement in the initial outbreak," stopping short of admitting responsibility or specifying what exactly “much more” is.

Poor sanitation persisted at U.N. missions long after Haiti cholera crisis

Protesters marching to the United Nations base housing Nepalese peacekeepers in Mirebalais, Haiti, on Oct. 29, 2010.

By Rick Gladstone, New York Times, August 19, 2016

Years after medical studies linked the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti to infected United Nations peacekeepers, the organization’s auditors found that poor sanitation practices remained unaddressed not only in its Haitian mission but also in at least six others in Africa and the Middle East, a review of their findings shows.

The findings, in audits conducted by the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services in 2014 and 2015, appear to reflect the organization’s intent to avoid another public health crisis like cholera.

But the findings also provide some insight into how peacekeepers and their supervisors may have been either unaware of or lax about the need to enforce rigorous protocols for wastewater, sewage and hazardous waste disposal at United Nations missions — despite the known risks and the lessons learned from Haiti, where at least 10,000 people have died from cholera and hundreds of thousands have been sickened.

Haiti Senate report claims graft in use of Venezuela funds

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By Makini Brice, Reuters, August 19, 2016

A Haitian Senate report has called for charges to be brought against two former prime ministers and several ministers for alleged embezzlement, abuse of authority and forgery stemming from the use of funds in a Venezuelan oil loan program.

The executive summary of the report, dated Wednesday, said heads of ministries granted multimillion-dollar projects to firms while bypassing the public bidding process and signed contracts that were not under their authority. The full report has not been released.

The Senate report will add to concerns about billions of dollars of aid promised to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Much of the money went to directly to aid organizations, with results on the ground mostly unimpressive. Aid flows have slowed as memories of the devastation fade.

Venezuela's PetroCaribe program, by contrast, funneled money directly to the Haitian government’s coffers. The program, which Haiti joined in 2006, allowed Caribbean nations to pay low prices for oil from Venezuela, part of which would be financed upfront, with the balance put in a fund to finance social and economic projects.

Transforming Haiti with an endless local resource

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By Carolyn Barnwell, National Geographic, August 18, 2016

Everyone poops. But not many people really think about what happens to it. We flush the toilet and it is out of sight and out of mind. Sasha Kramer, on the other hand, has poop on her mind all the time. She is a sanitation revolutionary helping to transform human waste into fertile organic compost for agriculture and reforestation in Haiti. “Arguably,” Kramer says, “the most important thing in nature is soil, that’s where all life comes from.”

Kramer is an ecologist, human rights advocate, National Geographic emerging explorer, and the executive director of Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL). SOIL primarily focuses on promoting the use of ecological sanitation, a process that uses naturally occurring microbes and heat to convert human waste to rich compost. Ecological sanitation at SOIL means dry composting toilets, which can be simple and low cost so that it works even in crowded, informal settlement communities where there is little infrastructure.

Seven human rights violators buying Canadian military goods

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By Stefan Labbé, OpenCanada, August 18, 2016

Canada’s military exports have come under increasing scrutiny over the past year, with criticism of the Canadian government’s rewording of human rights checks and, more recently, questions over deliveries to South Sudan and Libya.

As The Globe and Mail reported late last month, the Trudeau government recently released two years of data outlining the export of Canadian military goods to foreign buyers and, in a series of edits, quietly thinned its commitment to avoid deals overshadowed by shady human rights records.

New wording states Global Affairs Canada “may include” a previously required step of “wide-ranging consultations” meant to address human rights, international security and defence on any given deal. “The devil is in the details,” said Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of Project Ploughshares, a non-government organization that promotes disarmament and peace-building. “Every word matters in these things.”

The report follows the controversial $15 billion sale of over 900 light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia — a country with an abysmal human rights record aggravated by evidence suggesting it has used LAVs to not only quash dissent at home but in neighbouring Bahrain and Yemen as well.