Recent Feature Articles

By TeleSUR, Jan. 27, 2017

Bolivian President Evo Morales called on Mexico to look southward and help strengthen Latin American integration, in the wake of various announcements from U.S. President Donald Trump targeting Mexico as well as migrants and refugees in the United States.

"I call on our Mexican brothers to look more towards the south, to jointly build unity based on our (shared) Latin American and Caribbean heritage," Morales posted on Twitter.

The message comes just hours after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled an upcoming meeting with his U.S. counterpart after Trump announced that the imminent building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, with White House officials adding that Mexico would pay for it "one way or another."

By Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Jan. 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.

Moïse, a banana farmer and auto parts dealer who campaigned on rooting out corruption and strengthening Haitian government watchdogs like the financial crimes unit, has repeatedly dismissed the money-laundering suspicions.

By Catherine Charlemagne, Haiti Liberté, Jan. 18, 2016

Humans, unlike other animals, possess what philosophers call reason. Without entering into philosophical analysis - that is not the purpose of this chronicle at this point in the Haitian electoral process - it is now urgent that all people endowed with this faculty use their common sense.

Using reason, let’s examine the final results of the Nov. 20, 2016 general elections, results which were challenged by the three main presidential candidates and some candidates for seats in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

The presidential candidates – Dr. Maryse Narcisse of Fanmi Lavalas, Jude Célestin of LAPEH, and Moïse Jean-Charles of the Pitit Dessalines Platform – began protesting even before the results were published, giving a first round victory to their competitor, Jovenel Moïse of the Haitian Bald Headed Party (PHTK). But there was not just one election that day. There were also partial legislative elections (senators and deputies) and municipal races.

In principle, we should begin to challenge when we have in our possession all the results. But in Haiti, politicians live by different rules. They challenge first, then see what happens later.

By Jake Johnston, Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), Jan. 12, 2017

To mark the 7th anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, a number of organizations belonging to the Haiti Advocacy Working Group released the following statement. For a full list of sponsoring organizations, click here

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.

By Mario Joseph & Nicole Phillips, The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Jan. 10, 2017

The Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) are disappointed in the incomplete verification conducted by Haiti’s electoral authorities, which fell far short of the comprehensive inquiry ordered by the National Electoral Challenges Bureau (BCEN).  The verification panel’s January 3rd decision ignored legitimate demands of the process raised by political parties and observer groups, putting at risk the credibility of the recently-announced presidential results.

By Jake Johnston, Center for Economic & Policy Research (CEPR), Jan. 5, 2016

UPDATE 1/6/2017: The federal indictment against Philippe has been unsealed. It is available here

Guy Philippe, a paramilitary coup leader and DEA most-wanted fugitive who was elected to Haiti’s Senate late last year, was arrested on Thursday, just days before he would have been sworn into office and obtained immunity. Philippe has been wanted under a sealed drug indictment in the United States for years, but previous attempts at arresting him failed. Last year, the DEA confirmed to me that they maintained “apprehension authority” for Philippe, but would not confirm if any active efforts were underway to do so. He will now be extradited to the United States to face charges, though no indictment has been unsealed as of Thursday night.

By Jacqueline Charles & Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, Jan. 5, 2017

Former Haiti coup leader Guy Philippe, who has been wanted for more than a decade on drug charges in the United States, was arrested Thursday in Haiti and federal agents were bringing him to Miami.

Philippe, 48, was arrested after he left a Haitian radio station, local media reported. Police fired several shots during the 10 minutes it took to take him into custody outside Scoop FM in Petionville. Late Thursday, he was transferred to the custody of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

By Catherine Charlemagne, Haiti Liberté, Dec. 28, 2016

After polls closed on the evening of Nov. 20, 2016, all the actors involved in Haiti’s presidential and legislative elections that day profusely complimented the authorities who organized them. Later, however, some of the candidates began contesting results that were not favorable to them.

In any case, after all the praises sung for the government and the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and the doubt that arose a few days later, we decided to take a closer look at why so few Haitians actually took part in the vote or were even interested in these elections.

It is not enough to simply trumpet that elections were conducted well and didn’t have massive fraud and irregularities for a polling to be representative. What gives full weight and legitimacy to any election is the electorate’s turnout. In these general elections, the CEP had assessed the Haitian electorate at about 6.2 million potential voters. Unfortunately, Haitian electoral law does not provide for a threshold of participation for an election to be validated or canceled.

By Catherine Charlemagne, Haiti Liberté, Dec. 21, 2016

It is an unmistakable sign. Long before the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and the Haitian government gave their assessment of the Nov. 20, 2016 presidential and legislative elections, all electoral observation organizations (both Haitian and foreign) had made it clear that they felt everything had gone well.

These organizations felt that the electoral results proclaimed by the CEP also reflected the atmosphere that day. These institutions are generally very cautious about recognizing the good conduct of an election in Haiti, especially the results.

Virtually all civil society organizations clearly dubbed the election a success and congratulated the CEP for its achievement. For the Oct. 25, 2015 elections, many had deemed the voting to be acceptable, if tainted by irregularities, but others withheld their assessment,  an attitude that foreshadowed the eel under the rock. We know what happened next. The elections were deemed fraudulent.

By Andrew Kennedy & Tracy Kijewski-Correa , Weather Underground, Dec. 16, 2016

This post is by Dr. Andrew Kennedy and Dr. Tracy Kijewski-Correa, associate professors in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. From November 17 to 25, a reconnaissance team led by Kijewski-Correa visited the most-affected regions and evaluated Matthew’s effects on buildings, infrastructure, and the people of Haiti. Below, Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Kijewski-Correa give us a preliminary account of their trip, which took them to areas seen by relatively few outside observers since the hurricane. 

On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall near the town of Les Anglais, Haiti, as a strong Category 4 storm with estimated sustained winds of 145 mph (65 m/s) (Fig. 1). The landfall region in the western Tiburon Peninsula, more than 150 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, sustained extreme damage to buildings and vegetation. The Haitian government reported 546 fatalities from Matthew, while other sources reported at least 1600 unconfirmed deaths. Rainfall in the peninsula was extreme, estimated by NASA to be 10-20 inches over the course of the storm.