Favela Rocinha Occupation by Haiti-Trained Troops, Photo Essay

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What happens in Haiti doesn’t stay in Haiti

By Dady Chery
Haiti Chery | SF Bay View

Yesterday’s attack on Brazil’s Rocinha neighborhood and its ongoing occupation by MINUSTAH-trained soldiers together with Brazilian police is a dramatic case of a peacetime merger of military and police to make war on their country’s poor. It is not the first, and it certainly won’t be the last.

For an excellent background on the events that led to the occupation of Brazil’s favelas, see: Human Rights Abuses in Brazil’s Favelas Ahead of World Cup and Olympics.

If your country has contributed soldiery to UN (de)stabilization missions, sit up and take notice. Blue helmets are coming home to roost.  Here, for example, is the roster of the troop contributors to Haiti’s MINUSTAH [United Nations (de)Stabilization Mission in Haiti]:

Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Japan, Jordan, El Salvador, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, South Korea, Sri Lanka, the U.S., and Uruguay.

The ‘peacekeepers’ are the fastest-growing branch of the UN, with a budget of $8 billion and over 110,000 troops serving 15 operations.  Ten percent of this budget is spent on Haiti — a small country that is not at war — to train foreign troops for future warfare against their own civilians.

Another instance of violence first practiced on Haiti (Gonaives after hurricanes Ike and Jeanne), exported to the U.S. (New Orleans after hurricane Katrina) and returned to Haiti (Port-au-Prince after the earthquake), was the rampant corruption that thwarted reconstruction efforts despite huge sums of charitable donations.

Yet another attack on Haiti was the removal of its democratically elected leaders and their replacement by a succession of IMF, World Bank, and now U.N. sycophants.

Later, in the west, some might have glanced at their flat-screen televisions in between jokes and sips of wine, as UN ‘peacekeepers’, together with France, forcibly replaced Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo with IMF economist Alassane Ouattara, five months after Laurent Gbagbo was declared the winner of his country’s elections.

And now… [Gasp!]

Western prime ministers are summarily removed and exchanged for financiers.  Former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos has replaced Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, and Mario Monti, an international adviser to Goldman Sachs, will probably replace ousted Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

And yeah… the tainted waters and vaccines will come your way too… unless you help us to stem their flow in Haiti.

It is not charity that Haiti needs, but solidarity against the imperial machine and a prudent sense of self preservation.

Infantrymen patrol a street on board Brazilian Navy’s armoured vehicles during the occupation of the Rochina slum as part of the police operation on 13 October 2011. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Brazilian Navy’s armoured vehicles patrol the streets during the occupation of the Rochina slum as part of the operation on 13 October 2011. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Brazilian policeman inspects a man during the occupation of the Rochina slum as part of a police operation on 13 October 2011. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

A Brazilian Navy armoured vehicle patrols the streets during the occupation of the Rochina slum as part of the operation on 13 October 2011. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

An helicopter of the Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police flies over Rochina slum during it’s occupation as part of the police operation on 13 October 2011. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Brazilian policemen on a street during the occupation of the Rochina slum as part of a police operation on 13 October 2011. EPA/Marcelo Sayao

Saturn devouring his son, by Francisco Goya.

Sources: Haiti Chery | Marcelo Sayao (EPA, photos) | Goya painting, Wikipedia

Copyright © 2011-2013 by Dady Chery. All Rights Reserved. Dady Chery is a journalist, playwright, essayist and poet, who writes in English, French and her native Creole. She is the Editor of Haiti Chery.

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