Grassroots International

Haiti | Página 11 de 14

  • Does Being Robbed of Economic Rights Lead to Violence?

    Reading the international press, it's easy to conclude that Haiti is a hopelessly violent place. The crushing poverty and claims of a "culture of violence" steer Haiti into a spiral from which it cannot escape. Certainly the poverty is a horrible, unfair burden. Is it "crushing"? Crushing implies inaction, certainly not the case in Haiti.

  • Upriver in Haiti

    Editor's Note: Daniel Moss sent this post from Jacmel, a city south of Port au Prince on the Caribbean coast. They visited the small town of La Fond on 21st, the day of the national parliamentary elections.

    Please join me in a jeep bumping over river stones with Vigot, an agronomist from KROS, the Regional Coordination of Southeast Organizations. As part of its Resource Rights Initiative, Grassroots International staff visited this remote area to observe up close the work of Haiti's regional peasant associations.

  • Haiti’s Hidden Beauty

    Haiti, as one person told me, is a country of contrasts. This person also told me to be careful that I present all of Haiti with all of its contrasts.

    For example, as we drove up mountain after mountain visiting the Haitian countryside, there were farmers moving around doing the business of daily life. They were tilling fields on the side of a mountain with hoes. Their backs and arms were bent at angles that made them seem more like acrobats and dancers than farmers. There were women and children smiling as they fetched water and carried it in buckets on top of their heads.

  • Haiti: The Colors of Hope

    Editor's note: Grassroots' staff members Daniel Moss and Azalia Mitchell have traveled to Haiti to visit with our partners and allies and to assess the situation on the ground after this winter's Presidential elections and this week's parliamentary run-offs. Azalia has sent along her first impressions of Haiti (below) and we hope we will hear more from them in the coming days.

    In Port au Prince there are obvious signs letting a visitor know that presidential elections were recently held. Hanging from buildings, telephone wires and poles are huge banderoles reading: "Rene Preval: President" and "Everyone in Agreement: Magnigat for President." The Preval banners, as it turns out, proclaim the results of the election, while the Magnigat are reminders of his supporters' disappointment.

  • Elections in Haiti: One Small Step Toward Democracy

    Grassroots International applauds the relatively peaceful manner in which Haiti's elections were carried out on February 7th. The long lines of people, determined to vote, who waited more than eight hours for their turn at the polls are a sign of the hunger of Haitians for meaningful democratic participation. We believe that the elections in Haiti as an important step on the road to democracy and one of the only ways for Haiti to move forward out of the current political impasse.

    We are pleased to present to our readers this report prepared by the electoral observers from the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) in Haiti (a member of Grassroots partner, POHDH–Haitian Human Rights Platform) summarizing their first hand observations with regard to yesterday's elections.

  • Deputy Commander of the United Nations Military Force in Haiti Accused of Committing Human Rights Violations under Pinochet

    The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), its Chilean member Human Rights Defense Committee (CODEPU) and its partner organization in Haiti, the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) together demand the immediate suspension of General Eduardo Aldunate from his post as Deputy Commander in the military force of the United Nations Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

    General Aldunate belonged to the National Intelligence Agency (DINA), the political police force during Pinochet's regime (1973-1990). The DINA was responsible for 3,000 extrajudicial executions, 1,200 disappearances and the torture of 30,000 political prisoners. General Aldunate is also suspected of having been a member of the "Mulchen Brigade", which was responsible for the illegal confinement and assassination of Mr. Carmelo Soria in July 1976. Mr. Carmelo Soria was a Spanish diplomat then in charge of the United Nations Economic Commission in Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) in the Santiago headquarters.

  • Remembering Jacques Roche: Haitian Journalist and Activist Murdered

    On July 14, the body of Haitian journalist and activist Jacques Roche was found. Roche had been kidnapped, tortured and killed. (Read the Reuters report here.)

    This week, a coalition of human rights organizations, alternative development groups, public health advocates, women's groups and other civil society organizations have issued a statement emphasizing Roche's contributions as an activist--for example, he organized traveling art and photography exhibitions to educate communities and to encourage resistance to privatization and free trade schemes like Haiti's Zona Franca on the border of the Dominican Republic, which replaced some of the last productive, fertile land on the Maribahoux plain with sweatshops.

  • Terror in the Caribbean: The Challenge of Human Rights in Haiti

    With just a few months to go before this fall's scheduled elections, voting officials in haiti are several million registered voters behind schedule. At the same time, hundreds of Haitians are taking to the sea in an attempt to escape the crushing poverty and violence of their home, the poorest country in the western hemisphere. (See Jim Lobe's "Another Regime Change in Trouble," for details.) While a wave of kidnappings of foreign nationals have made headlines and cued the U.S. and Canada to send all non-essential diplomatic personnel home, for the vast majority of Haitians, the lack of food, water and work at livable wages are just as terrifying.

  • Haiti: The View from Atop a Composting Toilet

    I'm switching the channel from Palestine back to Haiti. I had meant to file this massive missive while still in Haiti but lack of electricity thwarted my efforts and then soon thereafter a vicious bug that accompanied me home laid me flat in the hospital. Typing with IV tubes in your arm is harder than you might think.

    It turns out it's actually not so very far from Palestine to Haiti. About a year ago, I reported from Palestine on these very pages. Now on this recent journey to Haiti, I was amazed to discover the similar challenges that both Haitians and Palestinians face — a highly militarized conflict, a weak to absent state, shaky water and land security and remarkable grassroots organizations working for social change - just to name a few.

  • The UN in Hinche

    For our last night in the central plateau, we went down the hill from Papaye to Hinche for an evening in town. Since we arrived here, it's been easy to forget that the country is in the middle of a very dangerous political moment, and that there are forces afoot that would like to tear the country apart. Strolling through Hinche, the capital of the Central department, we came upon courtyard surrounded by accordion wire.

    Peering through the fence we could see a few white jeeps and row after row of tents--portable, nylon roofed Quonset huts, really. The Courtyard was the headquarters of the UN contingent here in Hinche and as we walked up the street and approached the gate, a trio of soldiers popped their heads out of a sand-bagged watch tower. They were smiling and saying "MINUSTAH," which is the name for this UN mission to Haiti.

    We tried to speak to them in Creole, in French, in Spanish and in Portuguese (most of the UN troops here are from Brazil), and we finally figured out that they were from Nepal, and that they didn't have any language in common with us or with the people that they are here to help.

  • One Finger Alone Can’t Eat Okra

    This morning we visited Kopa Koladè, the Koladè cooperative outside of Hinche. It was an amazing example of what a small group of people can accomplish if they work together.

    The MPP is focusing its agricultural development work on three themes: agro-silvaculture (an integrated approach to farming, re-forestation and resource management), water and alternative energy. The three are all essential components of a sustainable rural development platform. Without trees, it is hard to capture rain water for crops or drinking and precious topsoil is washed away. Without water, you can't grow trees or crops. Without alternative energy, you can't prevent peasants from cutting down trees for fuel.

  • A Little Water Goes a Long Way in Haiti

    This morning we visited the community of Lawob, where, with a grant from the European Union, the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) has constructed a small dam to capture the water from an intermittent stream.

    This deep into the drought there was not sign of the stream, anywhere. When we arrived at the site, we saw a small blue and black rowboat sitting under a mango tree in the middle of what looks like a desert. The lake was out of sight until we walked down a winding path, but before we got could even see the water, it was obvious that there was something special about this place.

    Flitting through the air were half a dozen Antillean Palm Swifts, tiny little insect eaters with pointy wings. They are supposed to be ubiquitous in Haiti, and these were the first I had seen after three days of looking. Downstream from the small lake was a lush garden that was greener than anything we've seen since we arrived in Haiti. (Most of the plants we have seen are covered with a fine layer of dust.)

  • Visiting our Partners

    During the next two weeks, Grassroots Staff will be traveling to Haiti and Palestine to visit our partners. This is always one of the most exciting times of year for us, as we get a chance to see first hand the inspiring work they do under extremely challenging conditions. Daniel Moss and I will be traveling to Haiti, where we will divide our time between Hinche and Port-au-Prince from March 30-April 6. Jennifer Lemire and Stephanie Sluka Brauer will be traveling to Palestine, where they will visit a variety of communities throughout the occupied territories from April 1-April 12.

    As always, we are committed to sharing our impressions of these visits and the perspectives of our partners with you. We will be posting those impressions here from the field as often as we can, given the local infra-structure and our schedules.

    Stay tuned.

  • The Kennedy School Lends a Hand

    This morning, I went to the Lt. J.P. Kennedy Memorial School in Hyde Park, MA to speak about Grassroots International's program in Haiti. The Kennedy School is a Catholic School providing a K-6 education to youngsters in a predominantly working class neighborhood of Boston. The school has always seen service to immigrant youngsters as an important part of its misson. It was founded by Polish sisters to serve Polish immigrants to the area. Today, about one-third of the school's students are Haitians.

    As part of its effort to increase the entire school's knowledge of Haiti and its appreciation of Haitian culture, the school held some community conversations last spring. I represented Grassroots at one of those discussions and spoke about our program in Haiti, especially the Creole Pig Repopulation Project.