By Staff, AFP via AsiaOne | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Bangladeshi soldiers serving as UN “peacekeepers” have sent home nearly US $1.24 billion during the past three years. In 2010 Bangladesh sent its first female MINUSTAH contingent — a group of 110 — to Haiti to support the military occupation that followed a US-France-Canada coup against democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
By Roberson Alphonse, Le Nouvelliste | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. According to Dieuseul Anglade, director of the Office of Mines and Energy in Haiti (Bureau des Mines et de l’Energie, BME), the outlook is encouraging, and during the negotiations for exploitation, the Haitian state will keep close watch to ensure that the citizens of Haiti benefit from the country’s mineral wealth. Meanwhile, the region’s mayors have been dismissed, depriving the citizens of a voice in their local government, and land prices have skyrocketed. (English | French)
By staff, AHP | Translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | AlJazeera, YouTube. Nineteen year-old Johnny Jean from Port-Salut was heard on Thursday May 10, 2012 by Uruguayan Judge Guido Alejandro. Jean identified in court the soldiers he accuses of having raped him in a Port Salut base of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). (English | French)
By Staff (EJ), Radio Metropole | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The mandates of one third of the Haitian Senate and various municipal executives expired in mid-January 2012, and the mandate of another third of the Senate expired on May 8. Mayors and local officials have been dictatorially replaced by presidential decree, and no administrative provision has been made to assemble a new electoral body to organize new elections so as to replace the elected parliamentarians whose terms have expired. (English | French)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Plans are under way for Canadian and US corporations to mine Haiti’s northeast area near Caracol, which has been discovered to contain a wealth of silver and gold, in addition to copper. As in the Dominican Republic’s Pueblo Viejo project, construction of the mines will involve dynamiting of mountains, and the ore will be extracted by an opencast (or open-pit) mining process that contaminates large volumes of water with cyanide. In addition a deep-water port is slated for construction in Caracol. UPDATES: May 7 (Le Matin) Martelly formally announces construction of a “modern port” in Fort Liberte, near Caracol. December 21/28 (AP/VCS Mining) Haiti Mining Director Ludner Remarais issues mining permits to the US’ VCS Mining LLC and Canada’s SOMINE SA, without any environmental impact assessment (EIA).
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery (English) | Renaud Piarroux and Claire Hedon, Priorite Sante (French). Contrary to the daily predictions of mayhem from the mainstream press about Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Dr. Renaud Piarroux, who has access to up-to-date medical information and laboratory results about the epidemic, says it is waning and now exists only as a series of clusters in the North of the country. Based on his extensive experience in controlling epidemics of tropical diseases, he adds that cholera could be completely eradicated from Haiti in a few months, but not by the oral vaccination campaign promoted by Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population. (English | French)
By Tiken Jah Fakoly, You Tube (courtesy of KZoubeidi) | Wikipedia (biography) | Ados (lyrics) | Introduction by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Tiken Jah Fakoly is a musician who originates from the Ivory Coast and describes his mission as being “to wake up the consciences.” His lyrics speak for the voiceless. This fantastic song came to Haiti Chery’s attention via reader HenryG, in response to news of Haiti’s vaccine trial on poor women and children, along with the message “MINUSTAH (THE NGO TRASH CAN!!!)”. Indeed: we get it. It’s all very clear.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The epidemiological information about Haiti’s cholera outbreak is brought together with up-to-date molecular biology evidence, in an article by Dr. Renaud Piarroux and his colleagues, to make an ironclad scientific case about a United Nations (UN) MINUSTAH Nepalese base being the source of Haiti’s cholera contamination. The epidemic is attributed directly to the inadequate medical surveillance of 1,280 UN personnel who were taken to Nepal to train during an epidemic and the unsanitary practices at the base to which they came, upriver from the towns of St. Marc and Mirebalais, Haiti.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. It is hardly worthwhile to entertain some notion that the U.N. force MINUSTAH and the new paramilitary gangs are somehow at odds with each other. Both are supported by the U.S. and France, and both prey on the Haitian population and National Police. MINUSTAH’s abuses are given as the reason why a “Haitian army” is needed to defend the national sovereignty, and the threat of abuse by paramilitaries serves to justify MINUSTAH’s continued stay. UPDATE: June 11, the supposed Haitian army is quietly inaugurated as the “Agency for National Security.”
By Rachelle Charlier Doucet, AlterPresse | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. A massive industrial park is scheduled to open in the Caracol Bay area of Haiti, although no plan is in place to mitigate the park’s impact on a region that has been proposed as a World Heritage Site for its ecological, historical, and archaeological importance. The park’s manufacturing and textile dyeing alone will require pumping 6,000 cubic meters of water daily from the groundwater and ejecting toxic wastewater into the Trou du Nord River and, ultimately, Caracol Bay. Electricity will be produced from oil, resulting in heavy and toxic wastes. Construction of 5,000 homes for a predicted migration of 30,000 to 300,000 people is expected to result in bantustanization of the area and neighboring communities. (English | French)
By Haitian Speaker of the Senate and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, AlterPresse | Translated by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. “You stood up in 1804, 1934, 1986 and 1990. Stand up today for respect for the preamble to the 1987 Constitution and respect for the laws passed by Parliament! Stand up and call for the President of the Republic to respect his oath and faithfully follow the Constitution and the laws of the Republic! Stand up to back democratic gains, and demand free and fair elections within the time prescribed by the law and the Constitution!” – Joint statement from Simon Dieuseul Desras and Levaillant Louis-Jeune.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Thirteen Haitian mayors were dismissed and replaced on Feb 18th by presidential decree. In a press conference, one mayor said that a new individual recently arrived claiming to be his municipality’s new mayor, and two days later he got a letter telling him to assist this person in taking inventory of the region’s heritage. Another mayor wrote in open letter on Feb 3rd that his life is under threat. Secretary of the Interior Georges Racine is thought to be behind the wave of illegal dismissals. UPDATES: HPN Mar 23, AHP Mar 28, Protesters in St Marc block entry to municipal buildings to prevent installment of Martelly appointees.Radio Kiskeya Jul 9, Haiti Libre Jul 10, The Minister of the Interior confirms that nearly all 120 of Haitian mayors will be dismissed. Le Matin, Le Nouvelliste Jul 19, A man wanted by police for arson and murder is appointed Deputy Commissioner for the Limbe District in the Northern Department. (English | Portuguese)
Music by Don Kato, Boukman Eksperyans, Vwadezil, You Tube | Introduction by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Nearly every Haitian Carnival 2012 song is an indictment of the current state of affairs — corruption, cholera, rapes, MINUSTAH. We dance to it all. We’re not partying to forget but to remember. The truth does not take away our joy. By all means, drop all inhibition and get those hips rolling. (songs in Creole)
By staff, AHP | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The Haitian Senate has strongly condemned the latest rape of a boy on Jan 20th by Pakistani UN soldiers and noted that in such cases it is the law of the place where the crime is committed that should prevail. Given the more serious crime of 7,000 cholera deaths, of which the UN is accused, a broader resolution calling for a general lifting of immunity from all MINUSTAH personnel would be appropriate and welcome. UPDATE on March 13th: UN announces it has tried the most recent rapists in a court martial and “repatriated them to their home” to serve out a 1-year prison sentence.