While it is too early to tell whether or not Jean Claude Duvalier will appear in court today to face charges for embezzlement and corruption, it is important, whatever the outcome, to highlight that Guatemala’s arduous 14-year struggle to prosecute former military dictator Efrain Rios Montt for crimes against humanity provides an important template for Haiti moving forward.
For decades Jean Claude Duvalier brutally ruled over Haiti—leading to the murder, dissapearance, and torture of tens of thousands. However, the recent decision by an appeals court on February 7 demanding Duvalier appear in court or face arrest is a small but extremely important step toward gaining justice for his many victims.
On January 8, 2013, Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation—and head of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)—blindsided Haiti, the United States, and the United Nations by announcing through the media that he would be freezing any further distributions of development aid.
On December 11, the United Nations announced a long overdue initiative to end the cholera epidemic which has devastated Haiti for more than two years—taking over 7,750 lives and infecting 600,000 more. While the announcement by the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is a welcome and much needed step, the ten-year plan is not without controversy.
Renowned linguist, political analyst, and activist Noam Chomsky offered his thoughts on the hemisphere and the role of the United States last month. Among his many observations, he considered Honduras as "a kind of a horror story," and Haiti "an NGO dependency."
Despite widespread opposition from the Haitian people and many of their political representatives in parliament, the renewal for the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is set to occur on October 15. However, MINUSTAH's renewal should not be regarded as a step towards increased security and stability in Haiti, but rather an investment in the suppression of pro-democracy forces.
The media's behavior in the lead-up to Venezuela’s elections has been overwhelmingly disgraceful. The Hall of Shame that follows is a sampling of some of the most typical distortions, gratuitous slurs, and incorrect predictions that readers have been exposed to over the past few weeks.
Given the waves of anti-government protests which have recently engulfed Haiti, one would have thought that Haitian President Michel Martelly would have found refuge from controversy while visiting the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Yet this was not the case.
Guest post by Ansel Herz: In the Christian Science Monitor, the head of a prominent think tank advocates for a continuation of the UN's military presence in Haiti. To do so, he must avoid the UN's responsibility for the country's cholera epidemic, assaults and killings of civilians, and its corruption of Haiti's democratic institutions.
What MINUSTAH’s near certain renewal on October 15 essentially means is another year of impunity for MINUSTAH, whose mandate entrusts them with the protection of the Haitian people on paper, but routinely and unapologetically violates their human rights in practice. Better options are available but are not considered. Why?