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Haiti's promised rebuilding unrealized as Haitians challenge authoritarian rule

Independence Day, Jan 1, 2015, photo by Haiti Liberté.jpg

By Travis Ross and Roger Annis, published in the 'Speakout' feature section of Truthout.org, Monday, January 12, 2015 (This article was translated and published in Spanish in Uruguay. Find the Spanish version here.)

Five years following the January 12, 2010 earthquake that struck the capital city of Haiti, the loudly-trumpeted reconstruction of the country is still an unrealized dream. The beginning of the year 2015 finds Haitians engaged in a massive movement of political protest and empowerment seeking to renew, against all odds, their 210-year old nation-building project. Winning a renewal means setting aside the false promises and cruel betrayals of the past five years by the big governments and aid agencies of the world.

Haiti earthquake relief funds unaccounted for amid pervasive human misery

By John Marion, wsws.org (World Socialist Web Site), January 20, 2015

Raymond Joseph, a former Haitian representative to the Organization of American States and Haiti’s ambassador to the United States at the time of the devastating 2010 earthquake, recently declared on Bloomberg TV’s “Money Makers” program that “we don’t know where the money has gone.” Joseph was referring to the billions of dollars in foreign aid—including $4 billion pledged by the United States—for earthquake relief in Haiti.

US court dismisses 8,700 Haitian lives

By Joe Emersberger, telesurtv.net. January 22, 2015

Throughout its history, Haiti has received lessons in savagery from the world’s big imperial powers. The latest lesson was delivered about a week ago by a U.S. court that said the UN cannot be held accountable for criminal negligence that has killed 8,700 Haitians from cholera since 2010. The Obama administration, needlessly worried that the court might take the side of common decency, formally urged the court to rule the way it did. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) noted that “Despite calls from around the world — including from the UN’s own human rights chief — that the UN must provide remedies to the victims of cholera, the organization has persistently refused.”

The search for justice for Haiti’s cholera victims

By Fran Quigley, counterpunch.org, January 21, 2015

Earlier this month, on the eve of the 5th anniversary of Haiti’s tragic earthquake, a U.S. District Court judge ruled against Haitians’ class action suit asking the United Nations to take responsibility for the deadly cholera epidemic it triggered in October of 2010. Viewed from both narrow and broad perspectives, the decision in Delama Georges, et al, v. United Nations, et al, was the wrong one, and it will be appealed.

Is USAID helping Haiti to recover, or US contractors to make millions?

Haitian man works on constructing a house next to a building destroyed by the 2010 earthquake.jpg

By Jake Johnston, thenation.com, January 21, 2015

The corrugated metal fences surrounding construction sites in downtown Port-au-Prince are covered with a simple message: “Haiti ap vanse,” or “Haiti is moving forward.” Where once many thousands of people made tattered tents and makeshift shelters their home, now massive concrete shells and cranes stand tall amidst the rubble. Returning to Haiti, along with much of the world’s major media, for the fifth anniversary of the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 and displaced 1.5 million, it’s impossible not to see some signs that Haiti is in fact “moving forward.” The large camps of internally displaced persons, the most visible sign of the quake’s lasting impact, have for the most part been cleared, though certainly some remain. But beneath the veneer of progress, a more disturbing reality is apparent.

Haitians worry World Bank-assisted mining law could result in “looting”

road to Baradares in north central Haiti..jpg

By Carey L. Biron, ispnews.net (Inter Press Service News Agency), January 13, 2015

With Haiti’s Parliament having dissolved on Tuesday, civil society groups are worried that the Haitian president may move to unilaterally put in place a contentious revision to the country’s decades-old mining law.

UN in Haiti: When protectors turn sexual predators

UN in Haiti 100 Reporters_0.jpg

By Kathie Klarreich, published on 100 Reporters, Jan 12, 2015

We recommend reading this article at the original publisher's website link in order to view the extensive photos, maps and graphs that accompany the article. Please note, we do not share the assessment of 100 Reporters in its introduction to the article nor that of the author of the article as to how the MINUSTAH military occupation mission of the UN Security Council came to be installed in Haiti beginning in June 2004. We continue to consider this mission as illegal under international law and a violation of Haiti's sovereignty. It came to Haiti in order to consolidate the illegal, paramilitary coup of Feb. 29, 2004 against the elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and government of Haiti.—CHAN website editors.

Introduction, by 100 Reporters
“United Nations forces in Haiti have become as familiar as the country’s barren hillsides,” writes Kathie Klarreich in the opening of a new 100Reporters series on the conduct of UN troops in Haiti. The international troops first arrived in 1993 and have been there on and off ever since. Most recently, they came in 2004 to quell post-election violence. The blue helmets managed to restore a measure of stability, but critics say they have fostered a culture of exploitation and impunity.