Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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Inflation rises from November to December 2016

February 1, 2017 - 10:56

Inflation in Haiti has been on the rise, indicating a 1.2% increase from November to December 2016. The increases are evident across various indices, including “Food, Beverages and Tobacco” and “Health.” The inflation results in Haitians continuing to pay higher prices for major food items and medicines, among other necessities.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article.

Haiti – Economy : Inflation to 14.3% (December 2016)


February 1, 2017

For the month of December 2016, the General Index of Consumer Prices (base 100 in August 2004) amounted to 288.9 against 285.5 in November 2016 and recorded a monthly change in monthly inflation of + 1.2 % And 14.3% year-on-year.

Click HERE for the original article.

Citizenship & ESOL Classes at Irish International Immigrant Center

January 30, 2017 - 13:28

The 10 week course is designed for immigrants who wish to become US Citizens, and who need assistance in meeting the required level of English.  The course will help students improve their English, and confidence while preparing for the naturalization exam and interview. The course includes preparing for the questions that will be asked at the interview, and 1×1 tutoring services are also available.

Please pass the flyer on to any person or organization that might be interested. The IIIC is also happy to print and hand-deliver any amount of flyers. Contact Marisa Bennett at or 617-542-7654 if you have any questions.

See the flyer here.

Haiti’s 2015 electoral cycle comes to an end

January 29, 2017 - 07:37

Haiti’s long and drawn-out 2015 electoral cycle ended on January 29, 2017, with municipal elections and the last round of legislative run-offs. Balloting was reported to be mostly calm across the country, and a strong police force and U.N. officers were deployed to oversee the peaceful process. However, voter turnout was especially low in parts of the country, where some urge their fellow Haitians: “We should make our voices heard.”

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article.

Haiti Holds Final Round of Election Cycle Started in 2015

David McFadden, Associated Press

January 29, 2017

Haiti held a final round of legislative contests as well as long-overdue municipal elections on Sunday, closing a repeatedly derailed electoral cycle that started in 2015.

President-elect Jovenel Moise’s political faction and its allies are hoping to increase their majority in Parliament with eight legislative runoffs. Voters were also choosing 5,500 district authorities in local elections whose tardiness over a decade has exasperated many.

Alix Pierre, a Port-au-Prince lawyer and one of hundreds of voters gathered at a polling station in the Canape Vert section of Haiti’s capital, said he was relieved the 2015 electoral cycle was finally concluding.

“It took such a long time to get here,” he said after casting his vote.

Click HERE for the original article.

U.S. immigration policies lead Haitians to seek refuge in Mexico

January 29, 2017 - 07:18

Concerned about resumed deportations and uncertain immigration policies in the United States, more than 7,000 Haitians in the Mexican state of “Baja California,” and over 10,000 Haitians in the entire country, are seeking refugee status in Mexico. However, many are blocked from continuing with the administrative process because they do not have access to the office of the Mexican Commission of Assistance to Refugees, at which they must apply for the refugee status. Fearing a return to their home country, thousands of Haitians are now locked in a state of immigration limbo.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full article.

More than 7,000 Haitians seeking refugee status in Mexico


January 29, 2017

In fear of the migratory measures that the new US President, Donald Trump, wants to apply, more than 7,000 Haitians locked in the state of “Baja California”, in Mexico, seek refugee status in Mexico, more than 10,000 in total in Mexico

Click HERE for the original article.

Overwhelmed shelters in Mexico house thousands of Haitian migrants

January 27, 2017 - 10:18

Mexico’s border towns are struggling under an influx of immigrants, who no longer view the United States as an option to seek refugee status. Most Haitians have had to find shelter and food in the unknown territory, relying on more than 30 shelters providing for Haitians in Mexico. However, none of these shelters are government-run, and civil society groups and individuals face significant obstacles in meeting the refugees’ basic needs.

The article is shown below in its entirety. Click HERE for the original article.

As Migrants Strain Border Towns, Pressure Builds on Mexico to Act

Kerk Semple, New York Times

January 27, 2017

Haitian migrants during an evening prayer at Iglesia Central del Nazareno, a church sheltering Haitian women and children in Tijuana, Mexico.


Even before President Trump decided to build the wall, this Mexican border city was already overwhelmed.

So many Haitian migrants, traveling across the Americas, began arriving here last year with hopes of crossing into the United States that churches, community halls, after-school programs, rehabilitation centers and private citizens have opened their doors to house, feed and clothe them.

In one shelter, about 250 migrants — men, women and children — share two toilets and one shower. Four hundred are crammed into a church. A soup kitchen sleeps hundreds in hallways, a pantry and a lot out back.

Now, some officials and advocates worry that Mr. Trump’s plan could spur immigration crises in towns and cities all along the border and, indeed, throughout Mexico.

The Mexican government, they say, may not be able to handle it.

Mr. Trump is seeking to tighten the border, restrict immigration and increase deportations from the United States. In announcing his actions this week, the president said they would “help Mexico by deterring illegal immigration.”

“Going to be very, very good for Mexico,” he declared.

Yet some international officials and advocates envision a potential nightmare for the country.

A growing number of people have been streaming north from Central America, fleeing violence and poverty in their homelands. Nearly 409,000 were caught trying to cross the southwestern border of the United States illegally in the 2016 fiscal year, a 23 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, according to American government statistics. And the trend has continued over the past few months.

Iglesia Cristiana Embajadores de Jesus, a church on the outskirts of the city that has opened its doors to nearly 400 Haitian migrants.


As more migrants are blocked at the American border and more undocumented immigrants are deported from the United States, border communities in Mexico could be overwhelmed, migrant shelters could overflow, the ranks of the unemployed could swell, and Mexico will bear the strain, officials and advocates say.

“It’s worrying us,” said Christopher Gascon, chief of the Mexico office for the International Organization for Migration. “How Mexico can handle that is going to be a whole new area of concern. I don’t think the absorptive capacity is there.”

Even before this week, Mexico was facing extraordinary migration pressures. The waves of Central Americans heading north were severely testing Mexico’s border patrol in the south of the country and led to a sharp increase in the number of people applying for asylum in Mexico, with applications more than doubling from 2015 to 2016.

Mexican officials were also scrambling to develop a strategy in case Mr. Trump made good on his promises to increase deportations of undocumented immigrants, a population that includes millions of Mexicans. An intergovernmental group began on Monday to study ways to help integrate deportees into Mexican society.

Beyond that, recent changes in American policy during the Obama administration had already contributed to the surge in Haitian migrants, as well as to a separate wave of Cuban migrants. Thousands of Cubans found themselves stranded in Mexico and Central America this month after the Obama administration ended a longstanding policythat favored Cubans.

Under American pressure, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico had been trying to stanch the flow of migrants heading through his country, starting the Southern Border Program in 2014 in an attempt to control the movement of people and goods crossing the border with Guatemala. The plan contributed to a doubling of deportations between 2013, before it was enacted, and 2016. Nearly all the deportees in recent years have been from Central America.

But the country’s borders remain highly porous. The International Organization for Migration estimates that between 400,000 and 500,000 undocumented migrants transit through the country every year, about 90 percent of them Central Americans.

Here in the state of Baja California, the migrant crisis has highlighted the Mexican government’s limited capacity to deal with the challenges.

The breakfast line on Wednesday at Desayunador Salesiano Padre Chava, a soup kitchen and shelter in downtown Tijuana. At one point it housed more than 500 people, many of them Haitian migrants.


Haitian migrants, traveling from Brazil, began arriving in this border city last spring. For a while, the Haitians had little trouble crossing into the United States. In recognition of the troubles in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake there, American border officials allowed undocumented Haitians to enter under a humanitarian parole provision, with permission to stay for as long as three years.

The migrants filled the handful of longstanding migrant shelters and cheap hotels in Tijuana while they waited, often for weeks, for their appointments with American border officials.

Then in late September, the Obama administration suddenly announced that it was fully resuming the deportations of Haitians, hoping the policy change would dissuade more Haitians from migrating. Still, the Haitians kept coming.

As the Haitian migrant population has ballooned — there are now about 4,500 Haitians in Tijuana and elsewhere in northern Baja California — the Mexican authorities have resisted pleas to open a government-run emergency shelter.

More than 30 shelters are providing for the Haitians, yet none are government-run. Most of the burden of sheltering, feeding, clothing and caring for the nonstop stream of Haitians has fallen to civil society groups and individuals, who have accused the government of doing too little too late.

This month, a coalition of the main shelters in Tijuana and Mexicali sent a letter to Mr. Peña Nieto demanding a more robust federal “intervention” to address the crisis. The shelters have yet to receive a reply, they said.

Advocacy and humanitarian groups in Tijuana filed a complaint this week with the National Human Rights Commission alleging that federal officials had violated the migrants’ human rights “in a widespread and repeated manner” by failing to address the crisis.

Federal officials have rejected the criticism that they have been neglectful.

“Is there room to do more? Yes,” Rodulfo Figueroa Pacheco, chief of the Baja California office of the federal migration agency, said in an interview last week, before the complaint was filed. “It’s been a struggle.”

Francine Charles and her daughter Yviana Montsinas at one of the spillover locations for people staying at the longstanding shelter Movimiento Juventud 2000. The migrant population has soared to about 250 at the shelter, which expanded its capacity from about 25.


“But,” he added, “it isn’t true that the governments have been unresponsive.”

The crisis, now in its ninth month, has been a crushing burden on the shelters.

The migrant population at one longstanding shelter, Movimiento Juventud 2000, with capacity for about 25 people, soared to about 250, many of them living in donated tents in an adjoining lot that becomes a swale of mud when it rains.

Iglesia Cristiana Embajadores de Jesus, a church situated in a denuded ravine on the western edge of Tijuana, was sheltering hundreds of people even though it was not connected to the municipal water supply and had to refill its tanks with a water truck.

Administrators at Desayunador Salesiano Padre Chava, which had for years served as a soup kitchen, repurposed nearly the entire building, including corridors and the pantry, into a sprawling dormitory that at one point housed more than 500 people.

Claudia Portela, coordinator of Padre Chava, which recently opened a smaller second shelter, estimates that donations have provided for 98 percent of their needs during the crisis.

Government officials, while acknowledging that the bulk of the humanitarian assistance has come from civil society, insist that they have provided crucial services but have been sorely limited by budgets that were already under strain amid Mexico’s economic malaise.

“Our deployment has been very, very small,” Mr. Figueroa said. “Institutional capacities are not as robust as we’d like.” But despite the limitations, he said, government agencies had donated more than $280,000, about 445,000 meals, thousands of blankets, hundreds of mattresses and many other goods and services since late October.

State and federal officials, he said, were still discussing the possibility of opening a shelter, but the proposal raised difficult practical and philosophical questions.

Migrants living in donated tents in an adjoining lot at Movimiento Juventud 2000.


“Will we be building something we can’t unbuild?” he said.

Ad hoc networks of humanitarian groups have scrambled to help.

“For me, the worst part is the omission of the federal government,” said Soraya Vazquez, one of nine women who run the Comité Estratégico de Ayuda Humanitaria Tijuana, a local group formed in September. “The government has to recognize it as a humanitarian crisis.”

On a recent morning, she and her colleague, Adriana Reyna, jumped into Ms. Reyna’s sport utility vehicle and took a tour of several shelters in Tijuana to assess their needs.

At Iglesia Cristiana Embajadores de Jesus, the church in the ravine, a 1½-year-old Haitian girl had fallen. Her parents worried she had fractured a bone. So the women drove the child and her father to a nearby clinic where they arranged for a free evaluation, then swung by a pharmacy to pick up some medicine to treat the pain and swelling.

At another shelter, the women lined up doctor’s appointments for a man with an infected leg wound and for two migrants who were experiencing complications with their pregnancies. They also strategized about setting up a piñata workshop that would give migrants employment.

A message arrived, saying that an art-house cinema had about 30 pillows to donate. With a phone call, the women found a taker: a shelter in central Tijuana.

At Iglesia Central del Nazareno, which had been converted into a shelter, the coordinator asked the women whether they had heard anything new about how Haitian migrants were being received at the United States border. Were they being deported?

It was the day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, and rumors were flying.

“I hope they’ll all be able to cross. I hope they’ll be O.K.,” said the coordinator, Ruth Gaxiola, fighting back tears. She looked exhausted. Ms. Vazquez opened her arms, and the women embraced.

Click HERE for the original article.

With TPS Expiring, Haitians Fear Imminent Deportation

January 26, 2017 - 12:31

Haitians were granted Temporary Protected Status in 2010 after the earthquake but President Obama’s administration resumed deportations to Haiti before he left office. Prospects for Haitian immigrants now seem even worse, as the Trump administration has vowed to deport millions of immigrants. IJDH’s Steve Forester explains that deportations are particularly inhumane with Haiti still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and the government unable to help more people.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haitians in US Dreading Deportation


January 26, 2017

NEW YORK, United States, Thursday January 26, 2017 –Haitian-born Bernedy Prosper and his son Harold have called the United States for more than a decade now, but deportation is now staring them in the face.

A broken Prosper, 52, laments that this is worst thing possible, even suggesting that death awaits his 23-year-old son if they are forced to return to the homeland they fled in search of a better life.

Harold is one of more than 4 000 Haitians awaiting deportation after former US President Barack Obama decided last year that Haitians no longer qualified for Temporary Protection Status (TPS) which is reserved for victims of natural disasters.


Click HERE for the full text.


02/01/17: Above the Law? Holding the UN Accountable for Cholera in Haiti [EVENT]

January 26, 2017 - 11:28

The cholera crisis and efforts to hold the UN accountable raise critical questions in emerging areas of international law, including the responsibility of international organizations, the right to an effective remedy, and whether individuals should be able to sue the UN in national courts. Join Beatrice Lindstrom, Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and lawyer for the victims, in a discussion of how lawyers are innovating new strategies to strengthen UN accountability and secure justice for victims.


Classroom F

University of Chicago Law School
1111 E 60th St, Chicago, IL 60637


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Une résolution de l’affaire de blanchiment avant l’inauguration de Jovenel Moïse?

January 25, 2017 - 08:30

Le président élu d’Haïti, Jovenel Moïse, est sous enquête pour le blanchiment d’argent. Mercredi, il a répondu aux questions du juge d’instruction Breddy Fabien mais il n’est pas encore clair dans quel délai l’affaire peut être résolue. La cérémonie d’investiture du président élu est le 7 février prochain. Selon l’auteur de cet éditorial, “il est dans l’intérêt du président élu que le juge Breddy Fabien rende cette ordonnance avant la cérémonie d’investiture pour mettre un terme à ce dossier.”

Partie de l’article est ci-dessous. Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

L’ordonnance du juge Breddy Fabien sera-t-elle rendue avant le 7 février ?

Lemoine Bonneau, Le Nouvelliste

25 janvier 2017

Editorial –

Le président élu Jovenel Moïse a répondu, mercredi, aux questions du juge d’instruction Breddy Fabien, dans le cadre de l’enquête ouverte par le magistrat sur les accusations de blanchiment portées contre lui dans le rapport transmis au parquet par l’Unité centrale de renseignements financiers (UCREF). Après avoir interrogé des personnes jugées nécessaires dans le cadre de cette instruction, le juge, qui poursuit son enquête, a entendu le président élu dans ce dossier sensible, fait inédit dans l’histoire politique du pays.

En possession du dossier depuis octobre dernier, le juge a pris le temps qu’il faut pour rassembler les éléments utiles afin de rendre son ordonnance dans le délai légal. Personne ne peut déterminer quand le juge mettra fin au suspense qui entoure ce dossier. Entre-temps, les préparatifs vont bon train pour la cérémonie d’investiture le 7 février prochain du président élu. Le comité de transition met les bouchées doubles pour respecter certains délais. Les lettres d’invitation aux différents chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement des pays amis sont déjà arrivées à destination.


Cliquez ICI pour le texte complet.

India Contributes $100k to New UN Cholera Plan

January 24, 2017 - 13:34

India has joined three other countries – France, South Korea and Liechtenstein, in contributing to the United Nations’ new fund to eliminate cholera from Haiti. The new fund was detailed at the end of last year when Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized to the people of Haiti for the UN’s role in the cholera epidemic. The $400 million dollar fund is expected to come from donations by UN member states. India will contribute $100,000.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

India contributes USD 100,000 to UN for Haiti cholera relief

The Indian Express

January 24, 2017

India has contributed USD 100,000 to a UN trust fund designed to support Haiti in recovering from the ravages of the 2010 Cholera epidemic and building improved sanitation and health systems in the country. First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ashish Sinha last week handed over USD 100,000 cheque for the UN Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

The fund is aimed at supporting the country in overcoming the epidemic and building sound water, sanitation and health systems. It aims “to significantly improve access to care and treatment in short term and also to address issues of water and sanitation and health systems in long term.”

India is the fourth contributor to the Fund, along with France, South Korea and Liechtenstein. Haiti has been dealing with a cholera outbreak since October 2010, blamed on peacekeepers from Nepal, some nine months after it suffered a devastating earthquake.


Click HERE for the full text.

New questions arise in response to money laundering allegations

January 24, 2017 - 07:41

Haiti’s Central Financial Intelligence Unit initiated an investigation on President-elect Jovenel Moise in 2013, but new details are coming to light in the weeks leading up to his scheduled swear-in. The investigation covers his transactions from 2007 to 2013, including the purchase of 45 vehicles and large cash deposits. Additionally, Moise faces a second allegation by the Unit for the Fight against Corruption, which highlights two delinquent loans totaling over $1 million that were approved outside of standard procedures. Many Haitians now fear that these money laundering allegations will hinder Haiti’s ability to receive foreign assistance and work with established banks outside of the country.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE to read the full article.

Before Haiti’s president-elect even takes office, he’s battling money-laundering suspicions

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 24, 2017

A Haitian judge is investigating a report by the government’s financial crimes unit indicating that incoming President Jovenel Moïse may have laundered millions of dollars through at least one local bank, and a separate claim that he received special treatment to obtain thousands of dollars in business loans.

Just two weeks before Moïse, 48, is set to be sworn in on Feb. 7, Judge Brédy Fabien has begun hearing testimony “that it is possible Mr. Jovenel Moïse manipulated funds that have nothing to do with his businesses,” according to a 68-page report by Haiti’s Central Financial Intelligence Unit.

The investigation was initiated in 2013 after a bank contacted the financial crimes unit about suspicious transactions, said Sonel Jean-François, head of the unit that investigates money laundering. The administrative report was first leaked in the fall during Haiti’s presidential campaign.

…Click HERE to read the original article.

Assessment shows food insecurity still widespread in Haiti

January 20, 2017 - 10:11

The Haitian government and its UN partners have made significant improvements to alleviate the nation’s food insecurity, but the work is far from over. A recent assessment shows uneven progress across the country, noting that the areas least affected by Hurricane Matthew are now facing greater challenges of food insecurity.

Part of the article is posted below. Click HERE for the original article.

Three months after Hurricane Matthew, 1.5 million Haitians face hunger

Caribbean News Now!

January 20, 2017

While the number of Haitians facing hunger in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew has declined steadily in the three months since the deadly storm ripped through the tiny island nation, more than 1.5 million people nevertheless remain food insecure, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

The UN World Food Programme released findings from a joint assessment conducted in December with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and Haiti’s National Coordination for Food Security (CNSA).

“The results of the assessment show the very positive impact of our collective efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, but also the pressing need to continue and redirect assistance to new areas with higher levels of food insecurity, as well as initiate recovery interventions,” said Ronald Tran Ba Huy, WFP’s representative in Haiti.

Click HERE for the full article.

President-elect Moise denies government’s money laundering allegation

January 20, 2017 - 09:12

Mere weeks before Haiti’s President-elect, Jovenel Moise, is to take office, he faces resurfacing claims of money laundering from the country’s Central Unit of Financial Intelligence. Moise denies the allegation, describing it as “a political maneuver” to challenge his legitimacy.

Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti’s president-elect hit with money laundering allegation

Makini Brice, Reuters

January 20, 2017


President-elect Jovenel Moise has pledged to stamp out corruption and strengthen Haiti’s legal institutions, but even before taking office on Feb. 7, he faces a government allegation of money laundering.

A political newcomer, Moise was declared winner of the long-delayed election on Jan. 3 for the Bald Heads Party of Haiti’s last elected president Michel Martelly, although opponents have said they will not accept his victory.

The Central Unit of Financial Intelligence (UCREF), a government institution, concluded in a report there were indications Moise had laundered money through a personal account he held with his wife.

Click HERE for the full article.

Haitian President-Elect Promises ID Cards for Migrants in DR

January 18, 2017 - 15:47

In 2013, a ruling by a Dominican Court left many Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless or in limbo. Regulations passed in attempts to mitigate the problem were unsuccessful in part because many of the people affected lacked national ID cards. Haiti’s president-elect has promised to provide national ID cards to the migrants in this group  so that they can apply for residency in DR. He has been meeting with the Dominican president and other officials this week.

Haiti leader promises IDs for migrants in Dominican Republic

Associated Press

January 18, 2017

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — Haiti’s president-elect is pledging to provide national ID cards to migrants in the neighboring Dominican Republic so they can apply for a legal residency program.

Jovenel Moise told reporters Wednesday at the Dominican national palace that his administration will expedite delivery of the documents. A previous delay by the Haitian state prevented thousands from seeking authorization to reside in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican government launched the special residency program in 2014. Less than 20,000 people were approved.

An estimated 460,000 Haitian migrants live in the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

Moise won Haiti’s Nov. 20 presidential election and takes office Feb. 7. He has been visiting the Dominican Republic since Monday and meeting with President Danilo Medina and other officials.

Click HERE for the original article.

UN Advisor Plans Consortium for Water and Sanitation in Haiti

January 17, 2017 - 14:07

UN Special Advisor David Nabarro is calling for a consortium to help with the new United Nations plan to fight cholera in Haiti. This consortium would be committed to improving Haiti’s water and sanitation systems, in line with Track One of the new plan.  Nabarro said he will make sure Haitians are in charge of the consortium but there will be “backup,” and that donors to the UN plan want to be sure that the strategy will be “pursued to the finish.” So far, France, Korea and Canada have donated to the plan.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Donor ‘consortium’ needed to bolster Haiti’s long-term recovery and eradicate cholera, UN adviser says


January 17, 2017

17 January 2017 – A senior United Nations adviser called today for a new “consortium” of donors committed to improving Haiti’s water supply and sanitation services to help finally eradicate cholera from the island, in support of the newly-elected President Jovenel Moïse.

Dr. David Nabarro, the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, will on Wednesday take this message to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he aims to secure support from donor countries, development banks and the private sector for Haiti’s long-term recovery.

“I want to see if it’s possible to get that support in the form of a consortium, making certain that Haitians are in charge […] but ensuring there is backup,” he told UN News in an interview, adding that donors want to be sure that “we are going to stick with this and make certain that the strategy is pursued to the finish.”


Click HERE for the full text.

New Strategy to Raise Funds for UN Cholera Plan

January 17, 2017 - 12:50

David Nabarro, the British doctor put in charge of helping the United Nations raise funds for its new cholera plan, will bring the plan up at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The plan is for $400 million but so far, only a few countries have promised to contribute, for a total of around $7 million. Nabarro admits that it has and will be a slow process but is optimistic about getting more contributions. He will also build a high-level consortium to finance longer-term water and sanitation needs in Haiti, but stresses the importance that the funding come soon before cholera is worsened by the rainy season again.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

Haiti’s cholera fight hits global stage at World Economic Forum in Davos

Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald

January 17, 2017

The British doctor in charge of helping the United Nations raise millions of dollars to support Haiti’s anti-cholera efforts is taking his case to some of the world’s most deep-pocket power brokers.

David Nabarro arrived at the World Economic Forum in in Davos, Switzerland, this week with a plan to introduce Haiti’s plight “into the minds and hearts of people of power and influence, and people who wish to do good in key places.”

“It’s a golden opportunity to raise interest and support for the challenges Haiti faces in regard to cholera and sanitation,” said Nabarro, who on Wednesday will lead a high-level session on building a consortium to finance long-term water and sanitation needs in Haiti.

…Click HERE for the full text.

Vigilante Justice Used to Bypass a Broken System in Haiti

January 17, 2017 - 10:28

Vigilante justice is a problem in Haiti but the average citizen often seems either indifferent or approving of these types of lynchings, viewing them as necessity for justice due to the broken justice system. Nicole Phillips, an IJDH Staff Attorney, explains that if the government prioritizes improving the justice system, and if Haitians know how to use the justice system to enforce their rights, this will not be such a problem.

UN mission says vigilantes have impunity in Haiti

David McFadden, Associated Press, Yahoo! News

January 17, 2017

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A report issued Tuesday by the U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti rebukes local authorities for a losing battle against vigilante violence and displaying passivity or even tolerating mobs taking the law into their own hands.

The human rights section of the U.N. mission, known by its French acronym Minustah, said there has been only one conviction in a lynching case out of 483 incidents and 59 arrests reported between 2012 and 2015.

Frederic Gouin, coordinator of a legal analysis unit in the U.N. mission, told The Associated Press that researchers found that “inaction is merely a result of lack of will more than lack of resources or capacity.”

The report calls on Haiti’s justice ministry and judiciary to clearly instruct police, prosecutors and judges on their obligation to protect victims of lynching and take on cases instead of looking the other way.

“A lot could be achieved through very simple means,” Gouin said.

The findings and various recommendations have been submitted to Haitian Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles, but his office has not made any comment. Haitian National Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers told AP he could not speak about the report because he had not read it yet.

Vigilante attacks in Haiti have long been seen as a response over a dysfunctional justice system that all but ignores those living outside the crowded capital of Port-au-Prince.

But the new research suggests that lynching is mainly an urban phenomenon in Haiti. Some 70 percent of all reported lynching deaths between 2009 and 2015 occurred in the densely populated West department which includes Port-au-Prince.

Vigilante justice accounts for 11 percent of killings in Haiti, where homicide rates have long been far below the rates of many other countries in the hemisphere. Since 2009, there has been a slight increase in lynching deaths, with 7.5 per month in 2009 to 8.1 per month in 2015. There was a peak of 10 per month in the first half of 2014.

Nicole Phillips, a human rights lawyer with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, said lynchings and other crimes will continue to go unsolved until the government prioritizes improvements to the justice system. She said pervasive corruption must be rooted out.

“Haitians must also understand how to enforce their legal and human rights within the justice system, rather than reverting to their own form of justice,” she said.

Citizens interviewed by the AP often appear indifferent to or approving of vigilante justice, arguing that the absence of a fair and efficient legal system gives people no choice but to take the law into their own hands.

The U.N. report says a precise breakdown of killing methods in 80 per cent of the reported lynching cases remains unknown since that level of detail is missing in most police reports. But stoning, machete attacks and decapitations are reported by witnesses and AP journalists in Haiti have gone to the scenes of numerous lynchings over the years.

The large majority of Haitian lynching victims are male theft suspects. Twenty-five percent of women targeted for vigilante violence are suspected of being witches, according to the U.N. report.


Click HERE for the original article.

Haitian Farmers File Complaint Against Land Grab During “Recovery” Efforts

January 12, 2017 - 20:40

A collective that represents hundreds of Haitian farmers filed a complaint with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) regarding the land grabs that occurred during the 2010 earthquake recovery efforts. This complaint was filed on the 7th anniversary of the earthquake, as Haitians continue to face the consequences of the creation of the Caracol Industrial Park (CIP) after the quake. Initially, IDB and Caracol promised to provide replacement land to the farmers who were displaced by the CIP but ended up, instead, providing a small cash compensation package. Now, the farmers are struggling to survive food and financial insecurity, particularly with the CIP being placed on the most fertile land in the area. The collective is seeking accountability and a remedy for the suffering initiated by the IDB and CIP.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

On 7th anniversary of earthquake, Haitian farmers file land grab complaint highlighting harm caused by disaster “recovery” efforts

Accountability Counsel

January 12, 2017

Today, the Kolektif Peyizan Viktim Tè Chabè, a collective representing hundreds of Haitian farmers, filed a complaint to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) about its role in a case of land grabbing. In 2011, approximately 3,500 people the lost their livelihoods when they were forced off their land to make way for the Caracol Industrial Park (CIP), a major business project funded by the Bank and other international donors, with post-earthquake disaster funds. The Bank funded the CIP from its earliest stages and will eventually provide more than US$242 million in support of its construction, operation and expansion. The Kolektif, supported by Accountability Counsel, ActionAid and local partners, is calling for fair compensation and for the IDB to address the many environmental and social problems linked to the industrial park.

The Kolektif filed the complaint on January 12, 2017, the seventh anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. The IDB and other international donors heralded the CIP as a key earthquake reconstruction project: it would provide jobs and economic benefits while encouraging population migration to the less affected north of the country. The project was fast-tracked, with the Bank claiming that the “urgency” of the situation required shortcuts.

These shortcuts came at the grave expense of local communities. In January 2011, almost a year to the day after the earthquake struck, at least 442 smallholder farmers and their families found that their plots of land – incredibly fertile land that had been cultivated by some families for generations – had been seized to make way for the CIP. Fences were hastily erected to prevent their access. Crops and buildings were destroyed. Some had only a few days warning that they were losing their land, while others had no warning at all. Almost overnight, these families, over 75% of whom lived below the poverty line, lost their primary source of food and income.

Click HERE for the full text.

Why President Obama Should Support Cholera Victim Compensation

January 12, 2017 - 17:02

United Nations peacekeepers sparked a deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti in 2010, the first time Haiti had cholera in at least a century. For six years after that, the UN stonewalled and dodged responsibility by hiding behind its immunity, while over 10,000 Haitians died and at least 800,000 became ill from cholera. Before President Obama leaves office, he has a chance to help make this right by committing U.S. funds to the victim compensation fund and cholera elimination plan. This would be more than fair, as it appears that the U.S. was a major reason the UN took the “stonewalling position” to begin with.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.

President Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera Are Compensated

Mark Weisbrot, The Huffington Post

January 12, 2017

Seven years after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, President Obama has a chance to see justice done in Haiti before he leaves office, and help address one of the island nation’s lasting humanitarian crises. That is the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 10,000 Haitians and infected at least 800,000 ― or about 8 percent of the population. Families of the victims have demanded compensation from the United Nations, which brought this deadly epidemic to Haiti; and President Obama can help ensure that they receive it.

Prior to 2010, Haiti did not have cholera ― a bacterium that can kill people within hours from dehydration due to diarrhea and vomiting ― for more than a century. Then, in October that year, UN troops from Nepal leaked some of their fecal waste into Haiti’s Artibonite river, the country’s largest supply of drinking water.

I visited a cholera treatment center in Mirebalais in 2011, and watched as victims ― some too weak to walk ― were taken into a large tent for rehydration. They were luckier than many rural residents not far away who could not get to a treatment center in time. The ones that I saw survived, but so did the cholera bacteria; the number of infections will rise this year due to the devastation brought by Hurricane Matthew in October.


Click HERE for the original article.

Seven Years after the Earthquake: Haiti in an unprecedented humanitarian, food, and climate crisis

January 12, 2017 - 09:47

Press Contact: Nicole Phillips, Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) Nicole (510) 715-2855

Seven Years after the Earthquake: Haiti in an unprecedented humanitarian, food, and climate crisis

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.

January 12, 2010 Earthquake

The earthquake and the more than 59 aftershocks that followed took the lives of an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 people, displaced 1,300,000, and directly affected 3,000,000. Despite the billions in aid offered, thousands remain homeless. As of September 2016, the International Migration Organization (IOM) estimated 55,000 people remain in spontaneous or organized camps. For hundreds of thousands of other Haitians “Building Back Better” left them in precarious ‘permanent’ housing vulnerable to natural disasters and the effects of climate change to which Haiti is ranked one of the most vulnerable countries.

Hurricane Matthew on October 4, 2016

The Category 4 Hurricane with winds reaching up to 145 mph tore through the country, causing widespread destruction of buildings, agriculture, infrastructure and human lives, directly affecting 1,400,000 people, taking an estimated 546 lives, displacing 175,500, and pushing 806,000 into extreme food insecurity.

The Haitian government, along with civil society, responded to Matthew with prior evacuations and warnings. Various Haitian agencies are now coordinating the hurricane response with civil society actors and international agencies, but funding is greatly needed. The government and UN’s Flash Appeal for $21 million to provide food assistance to 800,000 people over three months still lacks 44 percent of the needed funds.

Many Matthew victims continue to live in temporary shelters or shelters pieced together with scrap aluminum, tarps, and wood. Approximately 750,000 Haitians are without safe water, causing the number of cholera cases to double in some of the hardest-hit areas. An estimated 80-100 percent of the crops and 50 percent of livestock were destroyed in the country’s south and southwest. These livestock not only provide food, but are the savings bank for many who reside in the countryside – producing a decapitalization in rural Haiti reminiscent of the 1980’s Kreyol Pig eradication.

The devastation of the 2016 hurricane season follows on the heels of the worst drought Haiti has seen in 15 years. The opportunity to replant certain crops during winter planting season was largely missed due to insufficient access to seeds. The ripples of this are felt across the country with the Grand Anse department, the ‘bread basket’ producing 60 percent of the locally produced food. The damage to the Grand Anse renders communities dependent on imported food and increased food prices by 15 – 25 percent.

Haiti’s Future

Although the earthquake, drought and hurricane may make Haiti appear condemned to suffer from natural disasters, in fact the country’s extreme vulnerability to natural disasters is the product of human policies that can be reversed. The international community has today a unique opportunity to support Haiti in breaking free from its cycle of extreme vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change, and to move away from aid dependency.

In the short-term, houses, hospitals, roads and schools still must be rebuilt. Haiti also urgently needs support to control and respond to the surging cholera crisis that took 420 lives and sickened 39,329 in 2016 alone. The UN’s new two-track cholera response announced December 1, 2016, promises to reduce cholera transmission and improve access to care and treatment. If funded, the response should control the outbreak in Matthew-affected areas as well as other parts of the country, and also promises to provide material assistance to victims of the epidemic introduced by UN peacekeepers in 2010.

The international community must also be reliable over the long term. A key priority must be to fully fund the UN’s cholera response, which proposes to build the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to eliminate cholera from the country over the next 10-15 years. Haiti will also need reforestation and crop support to ensure long-term food security and address environmental degradation and climate change. Furthermore, ongoing support for disaster mitigation and preparedness is badly needed. Preparation is by far the best form of disaster response.

We encourage greater accountability and transparency of international actors in Haiti. With President-elect Jovenel Moise set to take office on February 7, 2017, any intervention in Haiti must reinforce the capacity of the government and local institutions, and include participation in project design and execution from aid recipients. This type of approach will make aid more effective and sustainable, and allow Haitians to move towards autonomy.

In solidarity with the grief suffered by families of victims of the 2010 earthquake and hurricane Matthew, we honor the memories of those who have passed by translating lessons into action. We can and must do better to address the current humanitarian, food and climate crisis.



Diaspora Challenge Initiative (DCI) Symposium [EVENT]

January 11, 2017 - 09:34

The Diaspora Challenge Initiative (DCI) sponsored by the LEAD Program of the Pan American Development Fund (PADF) invite you to a celebration and award ceremony presented to honor/congratulate all the winners of the Challenge.

Please join them in recognizing the great work of these brilliant champions and Innovators who responded to the call, leading the way in the Haitian Diaspora’s pursuits and actions for a better Haiti

Learn more about the DCI at:

For all questions or to submit your application, email the DCI team at:


MIT Conference Center

50 Memorial Drive

Cambridge, MA 02142


Saturday January 21, 2017

9am to 4pm


For more info or to register for this event, click HERE.