Recent Feature Articles

By Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), June 7, 2016

Haiti’s electoral council announced yesterday that new first-round presidential elections would be held in October after a commission found widespread fraud and irregularities in the previous vote. The prospect of the new vote — to be held alongside dozens of parliamentary seats still up for grabs, has raised questions about how it could be funded. The previous elections — determined to be too marred by fraud and violence to count — cost upward of $100 million, with the bulk of the funding coming from international donors.

But now, donors are balking. Last week the State Department’s Haiti Special Coordinator Ken Merten said that if elections are redone “from scratch” than it would put U.S. assistance in jeopardy. It “could also call into question whether the U.S. will be able to continue to support financially Haiti’s electoral process,” Merten added.

Nadia Kanji interviews Nikolas Barry-Shaw, REAL News, JUne 3, 2016

Hillary Clinton's responsibility for creating the ongoing political crisis in Haiti has not received sufficient attention during the 2016 presidential campaign, says Nikolas Barry-Shaw of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. Clinton's involvement in Haiti began before the 2010 earthquake, and the country soon became the "centerpiece" of State Department policy under her leadership.

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, June 1, 2016

The moment of truth had arrived. At least, some of the truth.

On the evening of May 30, Haiti’s Independent Commission of Electoral Evaluation and Verification (CIEVE) released its long-awaited report on the controversial Washington-supported elections of Aug. 9 and Oct. 25, 2015.

The bombshell report found that “the electoral process was marred by serious irregularities, grave inconsistencies, and massive fraud.” Only 9% of the votes in its sampling were found to be valid.

The five-member CIEVE, which reviewed 3,235 voter tallies (procès verbal) or 25% of the 12,939 total, recommended that October’s presidential first-round “restart from zero.”

By Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, June 1, 2016

The United Nations is showing the first signs of compromise over the Haiti cholera epidemic, after more than five years in which it has consistently refused to accept responsibility for a disaster that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Groups working with Haitian victims have greeted the apparent shift in the UN’s position as a potential breakthrough in a crisis that has devastated one of the poorest countries in the world and sapped the credibility of the very organization that was supposed to be helping it.

By Nikolas Barry-Shaw, Jacobin Magazine, May 27, 2016

Is Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid suffocating democracy in Haiti? A growing number of informed observers, both in Haiti and in the United States, think so. They contend that the former secretary of state’s political ambitions are having a profound effect on the Haitian electoral process.

The island’s deeply flawed elections — held last August and October, backed by over $33 million in US funding — triggered massive political unrest this past January.

Coming on the heels of Michel Martelly’s disastrous presidency, the elections spotlight how badly Clinton’s attempts as secretary of state to direct Haitian politics have backfired. The unrest caused the final round of balloting to be suspended and sent the US State Department into damage-control mode.

The department’s overriding — though unofficial — concern over the past year has been to finish Haiti’s elections before the US general election campaign begins in earnest this summer. It desperately wants to keep the results of Clinton’s involvement in Haiti out of the media glare.

By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post, May 20, 2016

It is Haiti’s good luck and surely the Clintons’ misfortune, that Charles Ortel, one of the world’s finest financial analysts, has got the Clinton Foundation in his sights. Mr. Ortel is a graduate of the Harvard Business School with decades of Wall Street experience. He is currently a private investor. He began to release on his website and from his Twitter account (@charlesortel), in early May 2016, a series of detailed reports that are damning to the Clintons and their various supposed charitable initiatives.

The Clintons are powerful, and they have squirmed their way out of many tight spots before, but what makes this particular case worthy of our utmost attention is that Ortel is not only outstanding at what he does, but also fearless and dogged in his pursuit of perceived financial malfeasance. If his analysis of General Electric, which is far more complex than the Clinton charities, successfully pegged GE as being overvalued before its stock plummeted in 2008, then we must hear out his case against the Clinton Foundation. I caught up with him earlier this week, and he graciously agreed to an interview.

By Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), May 19, 2016

As Canada re-engages with the UN and considers reasserting a leadership role in MINUSTAH's occupation of Haiti, questions of the UN's accountability for cholera, sexual abuse and more are particularly pertinent for the country's leaders. The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) has organized a panel to discuss these issues. 

Opening remarks were made by Allan Rock, President of University of Ottawa and former Canadian Ambassador to the UN. The panelists were BAI's Mario Joseph, IJDH's Beatrice Lindstrom, former UN Ambassadors Stephen Lewis and Peggy Mason.

By Yves Pierre-Louis, Haiti Liberté, May 18, 2016

In the hours before dawn on Mon., May 16, 2016, heavily armed assailants, dressed in green and camouflage army uniforms, attacked the main police station in Aux Cayes, Haiti’s third largest city. The toll was heavy. One policeman and four attackers were killed, and several were wounded on both sides.

At the station, the attackers killed police officer Tisson Jean Pierre, assigned to the Departmental Unit for the Maintenance of Order (UDMO), police said.

Another policeman, Wendy Dorléan, was seriously wounded and rushed to the hospital. Officer Pierre Jeannot and an agent of the National Penitentiary Administration (APENA) were slightly wounded. Other police officers were handcuffed and brutalized inside the police station. The assailants sacked the office of the station’s chief and hauled off heavy weapons, fleeing towards the town of Pestel, where paramilitary chieftain and Senate candidate Guy Philippe has holed up for years.

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, May 19, 2016

Every definable chapter of recent Haitian history seems to have one book which becomes the definitive reference for English speakers. Amy Wilentz’s “The Rainy Season” (1986-1989), Peter Hallward’s “Damming the Flood” (2000-2006), and Jonathan Katz’s “The Big Truck That Went By” (years around the 2010 earthquake) come to mind.

All of those examples, however, were written by foreigners. For the period of the rise and fall of President Michel Martelly (roughly 2010 to 2015), the definitive account at this point is surely “We Have Dared to be Free: Haiti’s Struggle Against Occupation” (News Junkie Post Press, 2015), written by Haitian scientist turned journalist Dady Chery.

By Beatrice Lindstrom, Boston Haitian Reporter, May 12, 2016

Men Anpil, Chay Pa Lou

Haitian cholera victims and diaspora leaders abroad are turning up the pressure on powerful governments around the world, asking them to use their influence to press the UN to provide justice and reparations to the hundreds of thousands who have suffered from the cholera that UN peacekeepers brought to Haiti in 2010. This targeted pressure is showing encouraging signs of new progress—in recent months, several governments have for the first time called for a just response, and UN member states are reportedly in conversation with the UN Secretariat about compensation for the victims.