Another Haiti is Possible

Haiti’s Fraudulent Presidential Frontrunner Seizes Land for His Own Banana Republic

January 21, 2016

By Joshua Steckley and Beverly Bell

The frontrunner in Haiti's rigged election grabbed land from peasant farmers to grow bananas for export. Photo: Joshua Steckley.

This report is based on extensive interviews, on-site and via phone, with more than 20 government officials, economic development professionals, peasant farmers, and community organizers, between July 2015 and January 2016. We reached out to Agritrans for comment, but they did not respond.

 

The only man running in Haiti’s fraudulent presidential election run-offs on January 24, 2016, Jovenel Moïse, dispossessed as many as 800 peasants - who were legally farming - and destroyed houses and crops two years ago, say leaders of farmers’ associations in the Trou-du-Nord area. Farmers remain homeless and out of work. The land grabbed by the company Moïse founded, Agritrans, now hosts a private banana plantation.

Over 140 Haitian-American Groups & Leaders Warn Kerry: Going ahead with fraudulent elections “a recipe for unrest"

January 20, 2016

Reposted from Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

Originally shared on January 19, 2016

43 Haitian-American diaspora organizations, 34 political, religious and community leaders, and 66 other individuals wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry today criticizing “the unhelpful role the State Department has been playing in Haiti’s election crisis” and calling for a change of U.S. policy. The letter demonstrates the deep concern felt by Haitian-Americans about this crucial issue for Haiti’s future.

The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History

January 13, 2016

From an Interview with Ricot Jean-Pierre

By Beverly Bell

In this photo, Haitian farmers maximize productivity in small lots by utilizing a technique - adapted from Nicaragua - of planting in recycled tires. Photo: Roberto (Bear) Guerra.

Yesterday, January 12, on the sixth anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake, Haitians mourned the countless lives lost. Among the many aftershocks they face is disaster capitalism, in which the Haitian elite and foreign corporations - backed by the US  government, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank - are grabbing lands for extraction and mega-development projects. Ricot Jean-Pierre, social worker and program director of the Platform to Advocate Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA), tells how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.   

“The Struggle for Land Justice Knows No Borders”: Corporate Pillaging in Haiti

December 22, 2015

An interview with Nixon Boumba, Democratic Popular Movement (MODEP) and American Jewish World Service

Edited by Natalie Miller 

Members of a peasant organization heading to community meeting to discuss their rights. Photo: Roberto (Bear) Guerra.

Since the earthquake of January, 2010, Haiti has increasingly become a target of extraction and private business development by Haitian and foreign investors. Income and trade - if the wages are livable and the trade is fair - would, of course, be helpful for the poverty statistics-topping nation. This would be especially important for the majority of the population who survive on agriculture. However, much of the new business is being planned or executed on lands those farmers’ families have lived on since they were enslaved, leaving them landless and without livelihood.

This article debuts a new series, “Land Rights and Food Sovereignty in Haiti,” to run every other week. The series will feature interviews with those directly impacted, investigation by scholars and other experts, and analysis from Haitian activists. The pieces will examine the problems; the role of the US and UN; and solutions, spotlighting food sovereignty.

Will Washington Greenlight Another Coup in Haiti?

December 15, 2015

After December's elections, Haiti could have yet another U.S.-backed president with a weak democratic mandate.

By Natalie Miller 

Originally posted on Foreign Policy in Focus on December 8, 2015

Photo courtesy of Haiti Innovation / Flickr

In October, Haitians went to the polls in a critical election for nearly 5,000 political positions, including the presidency. The preliminary results named Jovenèl Moïse, a member of outgoing President Michel Martelly’s party, as the frontrunner — though by a small enough margin that a runoff vote is planned for December 27th.

Unfortunately, evidence of overwhelming fraud discredits these results. If the putsch is successful, Haiti could have yet another U.S.-backed president with a weak democratic mandate.

The United States has a long legacy of destructive intervention in Haiti — whether through direct military occupation, support for heinous dictators, facilitation of coups d’état, or manipulation of the electoral process.

Enter for your chance to win a free copy of Fault Lines!

November 30, 2015

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fault Lines by Beverly Bell

Fault Lines

by Beverly Bell

Giveaway ends December 09, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

 

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As Cholera Resurges in Haiti, the UN’s Commitment to Prevent It Fails

November 5, 2015

Reposted from PassBlue

Originally Released on October 18, 2015

By Nancy Young

Street displays of photos featuring Haitians affected by cholera were recently mounted in Port-au-Prince, the capital, above, and near the United Nations in New York and Geneva. The occasion? The fifth anniversary of cholera being inadvertently brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers. Photo courtesy of INSIDE OUT.

HINCHE, Haiti — We were driving back from watching a soccer game here in central Haiti when my friend instinctively rolled up his window. It can get dusty on Haitian country roads, so I rolled up mine, too, even though I didn’t see anything in the air.

Haitian Cholera Victims Tell UN to “Face Justice”

October 14, 2015

New Campaign Brings Victims’ Portraits to UN for Five-Year Anniversary

GENEVA, NEW YORK, PORT-AU-PRINCE, October 13, 2015—On the morning of October 14, activists will be erecting large portraits of cholera victims outside the United Nations (UN) offices in New York, Geneva and Port-au-Prince to commemorate the 9,000 lives lost from cholera brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers five years ago.  The portraits are a part of a new campaign, Face Justice, which calls on the UN to hear victims’ calls for justice.  The campaign demands that the UN accept responsibility for causing the epidemic through faulty waste management, provide reparations, and invest in water and sanitation to eliminate cholera.

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