Tuesday, April 5, 2016

As Demonstrators Demand Audits: Haiti Sees Sixth CEP in Four Years

by Yves Pierre-Louis and Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

After installing a new government led by Prime Minister Enex Jean-Charles, Haiti’s interim president Jocelerme Privert has now passed a second hurdle: setting up another Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) on Mar. 30, 2016. This is the sixth CEP formed in the past four years.
            The new CEP has as its president Léopold Berlanger, formally the representative of the National Association of Haitian Media (ANMH) and the Association of Haiti’s Independent Media (AMIH). Berlanger is also the informal representative of Haiti’s bourgeoisie and the so-called “Core Group,” the ambassadors who follow U.S. leadership in Haiti.
            The CEP’s vice-president is lawyer Carlos Hercule, who represents the Catholic Church of Cardinal Chibly Langlois and Bishop Patrice Aris.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Women Farmers and Land Grabs in Haiti: An interview with Iderle Brénus

From an interview by Beverly Bell

PAPDA, a coalition of nine Haitian organizations, supports rice cooperatives like this one in Northern Haiti as part of its commitment to women's leadership in local agricultural production against the backdrop of increasing land and resource grabs throughout the Caribbean nation. Image courtesy of Salena Tramel, for Grassroots International.

In Haiti, the majority of the people working the land are women. Not only are they there during planting, weeding and harvesting, but they also play a role in transforming and marketing food products. They’re involved in the entire agricultural production process. This is why we call women the poto mitan, central pillar, of the country.

When a family is dispossessed of its land, women are victims. Rural women are the first to feel the pain. Ways that land theft and expulsions are affecting them need to be put on the table so the impacted women can be made a priority. There needs to be social, educational, technical, and economic support, and a lot of community organizing. The world needs to see what women suffer under land grabs and the neoliberal policies behind them.

No Land Rights for Women

Our constitution very clearly says that those who work the land have the rights to the land, but this has never been the reality. Haiti’s poor continue to be victims of land expropriation for the profit of others, which give a tiny minority rights over the riches of this country.  

Today multinational corporations and other interests are taking cultivable land that used to produce food, and giving it to industries to make textile factories or other businesses that have nothing to do with food production - and in a country that is experiencing so much hunger. Those who are running the country profit, too. Elite landowners, who don’t even live in the country, own many thousands of hectares of land. The [Catholic] church, too is one of the institutions that owns a lot of land historically, and [rarely] does anything with it.

The problems around land ownership, occupation, and expropriation of land for the profit of multinational corporations - with the complicity of the government of Haiti - are especially grave for women. This isn’t anything new. These issues have always existed for peasant families, but it is taking on new dimensions. We see women – who already lacked access to and control of land, and who didn’t have control over production in economic terms – suffering even more.

Consequences of Land Grabs on Women

Even though a woman doesn’t hold the title to property - it’s rare to find one who has a title - she will work the land that her husband owns. She lives with, supports, and collaborates with the [husband or father’s] family to make sure that she and her children can eat, that her children can go to school, that she can pay for their health needs, for everything. All this is because in Haiti the population is mainly on its own; the state doesn’t provide any basic social services. The social services that had been there, even though they were minimal, have disappeared for the profit of neoliberal politics that have been applied in the country over the last 20 to 25 years.

Haiti Rises: A Time for Solidarity


by Nia Imara and Robert Roth*

Reflecting on struggles everywhere, we came to the conclusion that a people can’t be sovereign if they don’t have the right to vote. No people can retain their dignity if their vote does not count.” 
From a Statement Issued by 68 Haitian Grassroots Organizations on January 22, 2016

The voice of Haiti’s popular movement at this critical period in the country’s history has never been clearer.  For the past several months, since the discredited legislative and presidential elections of last August and October, mass, vibrant protests for the right to a free and fair vote and against foreign intervention have been a relentless force, in the face of heavily-armed and well-financed adversaries and mounting repression.  The influx of articles and editorials in recent weeks by leading U.S. media outlets depicts the situation in Haiti as a confused, incomprehensible, morass of violence and dysfunction, with all sides being equally unreasonable in their demands.  This misleading portrayal of Haitian politics and culture—indeed, of Haitian people—by American mainstream media is not new. Rather, it is a continuation of a historical pattern of obfuscating the underlying reasons for the grievances of Haiti’s mass movement, which has consistently denounced foreign intervention and the suppression of Haiti’s sovereignty.  

The popular revolt in Haiti has forced the postponement of the January 24 presidential run-off election, to the dismay of the U.S. State Department and the current Haitian government of Michel Martelly, whose handpicked candidate had been declared the frontrunner.  And now, on February 7, it has forced the end of the rule of Martelly himself, who has had to step down rather than oversee the next stage of the electoral process.

These are major victories for the people’s movement in Haiti. But already there are signs that the next round will be just as difficult as the fight has been already.  The popular movement has made it clear that they have no interest in a top-down solution that excludes the participation and voices of the tens of thousands of Haitians who have risked their lives nearly every day in the fight for democracy.  They have raised the fundamental question: How can elections proceed to a second round if the first round was hopelessly illegitimate? How can elections move forward without a thorough investigation and repair of the fraud that already took place?  These are the critical issues being fought over today as Haitians celebrate the end of the Martelly dictatorship.

Background to the Revolt: 
Twelve Years Since the Coup, Twelve Years of Occupation

The revolt in Haiti has not emerged overnight. It is now almost twelve years since the U.S.-orchestrated coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and removed over 8,000 elected officials, and exiled, jailed, raped and murdered thousands of supporters of the Fanmi Lavalas Party.  The coup was enforced by a United Nations military occupation that still exists today.  It has been five years since Michel Martelly, a supporter of the brutal Duvalier dictatorships and their death squads, was selected as president; only 17% of eligible Haitian voters turned out in an election that excluded the most popular political party, Fanmi Lavalas. Hillary Clinton, then the U.S. Secretary of State, flew to Haiti to dictate to Haitian officials that Martelly be placed in the election runoff after initial results had left him only in third place. His U.S.-backed reign has featured one corruption scandal after another, intimidation of the judicial system, the return of death squads, torture of political prisoners, selling off of oil and mineral rights to foreign corporations, and rule by decree.  

Haitians have had enough of this.  As they watched this latest election being stolen and a Martelly minion emerge as the leading vote getter, they took to the streets by the tens of thousands. As they saw ballot boxes burned and “observers” with 900,000 government-issued credentials vote over and over again, they declared the election an “electoral coup.” As they were turned away from one polling place after another, and told that they were not eligible to vote, they declared fraud.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

As Martelly Steps Down: Parliament, With OAS Coaches, Forms Provisional Government Denounced by Demonstrators and Opposition

by the Haiti Elections Blog

This Sun., Feb. 7 marked the 30th anniversary of Jean-Claude Duvalier’s departure and the end of President’s Michel Martelly’s term. A last-minute negotiated deal secured Martelly’s departure, but it may not succeed in producing a long-term solution. Tensions leading up to Feb. 7 provoked violent confrontations between pro-government paramilitaries and opposition protestors in Port-au-Prince, resulting in one dead, as well as the cancellation of the first day of Carnaval. And while foreign diplomats welcomed the accord, a number of opposition parties raised objections to the agreement.
            On Feb. 6, Martelly publicly signed a political accord with Chancy Cholzer and Jocelerme Privert, the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, respectively. The agreement confirmed that Martelly would leave office and laid out a process for establishing a transitional government to take over. As de facto Prime Minister Evans Paul stays on, the Parliament will supposedly select a new provisional president within five days following the end of Martelly’s term. The new president will then engage in consultations to appoint a consensus prime minister and “redynamize” the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). Once a new government is in place, the accord stipulates, it is responsible for implementing the “technical recommendations” of the Evaluation Commission and “restarting” the electoral process begun in 2015. The interrupted elections are to resume on Apr. 24, definitive results to be announced on May 6, and a new President sworn in on May 14. [However, all of these dates would have to be established by the new CEP, the independent institution which governs all electoral matters. - HL]
            In his final speech as President on Sunday, Martelly expressed satisfaction with the political accord, saying lawmakers “gave me a guarantee that the country is going to be stable.” Martelly also directly referred to the electoral impasse, admitting that although he had the sense of “a job well done,” there was also “a mission that is not yet completed.” A small group of Haitian Bald-Headed Party (PHTK) supporters greeted the outgoing president outside the parliament, wearing pink shirts with the words “Je Suis Martelly” (I Am Martelly). Thousands of anti-Martelly protesters also took to the streets in the capital, the mood a mix of defiant celebration and uncertainty as to what comes next.
            The international community were unanimously favorable toward the accord, emphasizing the need to complete the elections as quickly as possible. The Core Group welcomed the signing of the accord, seeing it as “a crucial step towards overcoming the political challenges Haiti faces.” The Core Group statement described the agreement as “a solution in keeping with the Constitution” and invited “the actors concerned to implement all the commitments entered into,” especially “the continuation of the electoral process within the timeframes indicated.” The U.S. State Department also hailed the accord for ensuring “the continuity of governance and the completion of the ongoing electoral process.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon likewise celebrated the accord for “providing a roadmap to the swift conclusion of the electoral cycle underway.”
            The opposition’s Group of Eight (G-8), on the other hand, immediately condemned the accord as anti-democratic and unconstitutional. The G-8 denounced the large role given to parliament in the accord, given the questionable legitimacy of many members of parliament. Instead, the G-8 suggested an alternative solution by handing the power to a judge of the Supreme Court and called for the establishment of an electoral verification commission that would examine both the Oct. 25 and Aug. 9 elections. Fanmi Lavalas made a similar call for an investigation of both the presidential and legislative elections, as did other parties such as FUSION, Kontrapèpla, and OPL. The G-8 statement, however, was only signed by Samuel Madistin; although officially still part of the G-8, Jude Célestin and his party LAPEH have not yet made any statements regarding the accord.
            The accord was concluded on the heels of a tense day in the capital and other cities. On Fri., Feb. 5, groups of armed militia men claiming to be ex-soldiers from Haiti’s disbanded military patrolled menacingly through Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, and other cities. In Port-au-Prince, the appearance of pro-government paramilitaries coincided with a demonstration calling for Martelly’s resignation. Paramilitaries fired shots at the demonstrators near Champs de Mars, who responded by attacking the ex-soldiers with stones, resulting in the death of one paramilitary. After Feb. 7, one paramilitary member warned, “all illegal arms will become legal!” Neither UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH) troops nor Haitian National Police (PNH) officers made any attempt to control the paramilitaries.
            MINUSTAH condemned the violence in a statement issued the following day and “noted with concern the organized presence of several dozen people in green uniforms, some of whom were armed.” Although it was unclear who was in charge of the armed men, former paramilitary leader and Senate candidate Guy Philippe had recently threatened to have his supporters march on Port-au-Prince. “We are ready for war,” Philippe said in a radio interview on Jan. 24. The G-8 pointed out the coincidence of the political accord and the deployment of paramilitaries, criticizing the signatories for ignoring this “serious event” and the threat it represents for democracy.
            Earlier in the week, protests against the controversial arrival of an Organization of American States (OAS) Special Mission had continued, with a sit-in held outside the U.S. Embassy on Feb. 4. In a statement released on Thursday, the Coordination Europe-Haiti (CoEH), for their part, urged the European Union to support Haitian democracy, strongly criticizing the EU’s Electoral Observation Mission for taking “the position of defending the legitimacy of the Oct. 25 election outcome, even  after  the  Government  of  Haiti’s  decision  to  postpone  the  second  round indefinitely.” The EU Observation Mission was the only international mission to explicitly take this stance. CoEH urged the Mission to “prove its independence and professionalism” and “stop minimizing the ‘serious’ irregularities, verging on fraud, as observed by the BCEN and the  CEEI  during  their  verifications, and  denounced  by  a  large  majority  of  civil society and the political opposition.”
            Despite strong opposition among Haitians to foreign intervention, some foreign commentators claimed prior to the accord that a Haitian-led solution was impossible. The Washington Post insisted in a Feb. 3 editorial that “a strong international hand is required, one that can encourage or, if necessary, coerce the country’s political, civic and business leaders to come to terms on a Haitian resolution.” The OAS Special Mission, which was present during both the negotiations leading to the accord and the signing ceremony on Feb. 6, judged that its presence had “a favorable impact on the search for a consensus formula among the various groups.” The State Department also highlighted the “constructive role” played by OAS Special Mission in fostering a “spirit of consensus.”
            Following, Martelly’s verbal harassment of Liliane Pierre-Paul, a journalist from Radio Kiskeya, women’s organizations and civil groups organized a gathering in support of Ms. Pierre-Paul, Jean Monard Métellus, from Radio Television Caraïbes, and the country’s independent media.

            While Martelly may be gone, the resolution of Haiti’s electoral crisis is far from guaranteed. Martelly departed as he came, as one headline put it (in reference to his contested 2010 electoral victory): amid uncertainty and disorder.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Statement from Haiti's popular movement


In this statement, written right before the postponement of the January 24th presidential “run-off” election, 68 grassroots organizations in Haiti issue an urgent call for solidarity with their struggle for free and fair elections, dignity and justice.
The statement was written as tens of thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets—braving assassination, tear gas, beatings, and police torture—demanding the annulment of the fraudulent elections that gave the lead positions in the legislative and presidential races to the hand-picked candidates of President Michel Martelly.
The postponement of the presidential election was a dramatic and hard-won victory for the people’s movement, which had insisted that no election take place until it could be free and fair and democratic.
The struggle for the right to vote and for all Haitians to participate in the political process continues.
WE ArE hONOrEd TO cIrcULATE ThIs POWErfUL mEssAgE
Haiti Action Committee

A Call for Solidarity from Haiti’s Popular Movement
Reflecting on the voting rights struggle led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many other courageous fighters for justice fifty years ago in the US; on the one person one vote struggle led by Mandela’s comrades in South Africa; reflecting on struggles everywhere, we came to the conclusion that a people can’t be sovereign if they don’t have the right to vote. No people can retain their dignity if their vote does not count. As clearly stated by President Aristide: “If we don’t protect our dignity, our dignity will escape us!” That is why we struggle and ask that people the world over with a history of struggle stand in solidarity with us.

Six years after the earthquake that jolted the country, causing the death of hundreds of thousands of Haitians, we, Haitian organizations, in the context of reflection, take our hats off and humbly say to the people all over the planet who opened their hearts to us, “We have not forgotten your acts of solidarity”. The sharing impulse manifested by people the world over, should have helped the Haitian people to rebuild their environment, rebuild their lives. Pity! To this day, the people’s lot has not changed. Adding insult to injury, shameless characters, local slave owners, empowered by various international organizations, hijacked the reconstruction funds.

Right after the earthquake, the internationals took advantage of our momentary state of helplessness to occupy the political space. Today, the Haitian people are engaged in an all out struggle to reclaim that space and to exercise their right to vote. The very ones who hijacked the reconstruction money want to prevent the people from choosing their government, in a wide scale conspiracy to continue the looting of the country’s resources. Subsequent to many schemes designed to remove the people from the political equation, local colonialists joined forces with international colonialists to force the people to accept choices against their best interests. Illegitimate officials implemented urban removal plans and land grabs, assaulting both the middle-class, as well as the poorer classes, putting the country on the brink of collapse. The people’s resistance slowed down the “terror apparatus,” prevent- ing it from completing this program. Now they want to put more false officials at the helm of the government to continue their assault.

The blatant violence perpetrated in Ile-a-Vache, the hideous massacres perpetrated on the people of Arcahaie, the continuous massacre of the people of Cité Soleil because they manifest a will to vote, various acts of aggression perpetrated throughout the country, in the context of land-grab or voter suppression, convince the Haitian people that they are in a fight for their very existence. We say NO, WE WILL NOT OBEY ILLEGITIMATE OFFICIALS. Self-defense is a legitimate universal law. Civil-Disobedience is an accepted universal right when a people confronts an illegal regime. The right to elect a government is uni- versally accepted as a way for people to protect its existence. Today, confronted by the danger presented by local and international colo- nialists, the Haitian people have started a RESISTANCE FOR EXISTENCE movement. They ask for people to people solidarity from everywhere on the planet. The local and international colonialists plan is not an earthquake, yet it has caused far more damage to the country.

Our experience of the six years since the earthquake is no different than the experience of other small countries with natural and human resourc- es. The internationals loot, have an orgy, while the international media turns a blind eye to lies spread by “their” ambassadors in their country’s name. The Haitian army, now being rebuilt to oppress the people, is a gift to the Haitian people by the Organization of American States (OAS). The Cholera epidemic and the blood thirsty and corrupt Haitian Police, were United Nations (UN) gifts to the Haitian people. The Media is mute, as the country nears total collapse. We say NO, WE WILL NOT OBEY. We will not dig our own graves. We’d rather tell the truth and expose the conspiracy. n

List of Signers
Action Nationale des Chauffeurs (ANC)
Aide Humanitaire
Alternative Syndicale pour le Transport Moderne (ASTM)
APMS: Action des Paysans de Masson Sion
APTN: Association pour le Développement Terre Noire
Association Professionelle des Enseignants Haitiens pour l’Avancement de l’Education (APEAE)
APSAB: Association Planteur Savane Dubois Asosiyasyon Fanm Senlwidisid (AFS) Asosiyasyon Fanm Vanyan Okay (AFVO) Asosiyasyon Machann Aken (AMA) Asosiyasyon Peyizan Gwomaren (APG)
BPN (Baz Popile Nord)
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Aken
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Anike
CEGBD
CHANJE LESON
CURO: Comité Usager Rodaille
COSCOB
CRCSPFL (Cellule de Reflexions des Cadres Socio Professionnels de Fanmi Lavalas)
CUREH (Cercle Universitaire pour le Renouveau d’Haiti)
DEMELE FANM
G.R. (Gwoup Refleksyon)
FAJEP (Fanm an Aksyon pou Jistis ak Pwogre)
FANM LENTO
FANM WOZO
FASA
Groupe Alternative pour Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (GRAPME)
Gwoupman Plante Senlwidisid (GPS) JOFAP
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Kanperen
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Kavayon Kodinasyon Peyizan Sid (KPS)

KPDS (Konbit Planteur pou Devlopman Sanyago) KORE MAP KORE W
Le PHARE
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Maniche

MOFUP
MOJIDMA: Mouvement des Jeunes Intègres pour le Développement de Marigot
Mouvement d’Opposition Citoyenne (MOC) Mouvman Tet Kole Kavayon (MTKK)
OBMP
Oganizasyon Devlopman Solon (ODS) Oganizasyon Fanm Vanyan (OFAV) OGANIZASYON LEVE KANPE

OJFS
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Okay
Organisation 30 Septembre
OPG: Organisation Paysan de Grande Rivière Organisation Sans Bloff (OSB)

OPDPS: Òganizasyon Pou Devlopman Peyizan Sarazin
OPPB: Organisation Paysan Platon Blan
Plateforme Nationale des Syndicats de Transports Fidele (PNSTF)
POGRES (Oganizasyon Planteur pou Devlopman Sanyago)
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Port Salut
Pou Solèy Leve
Regroupement des Enseignants Normalien Haitien (RENOH)
RFDP (Rasanbleman Fanm pou Devlopman Petitans)
Rasanbleman Militan Pwogresis (RMP)
RASSINE (Rasanbleman Sitwayen NORD AK NORD EST)
SDDC (Societe d’Encadrement pour le Developpement Communautaire)
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Senlwidisid Solidarite Jenn Kavayon (SJK) SOPU- FANM pou FANM
S.O.S Transport Federee

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Tibiron
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Torbec
Union du Mouvement Syndical de Transport Public (UMSTP)
UJDSB:Union des Jeunes pour le Developpement Savane du Bois. 

“NOU PAP OBEYI”


Vwa oganizasyon anndan Ayiti 
Nan refleksyon n fè sou lit pou vòt Dr. Martin Luther King te fè ozetazini sa gen 50 lane; nan lit “one man one vote” kanmarad Mandela yo te mennen an Afrikdisid; nan refleksyon sou lit divès lòt pèp, nou wè pa gen pèp ki souvren si yo pa gen dwa vòt yo. Pa gen pèp ki gen diyite si vòt yo pa konte. Jan Prezidan Aristide di: “Sinoupasovediyiten,diyitenapsovekiten!”Sesakfènaplite e nou mande solidarite tout pèp ki konn lite pou dwa vòt yo.
Sis lane apre goudougoudou ki te sakaje peyi an, kote plizyè santèn milye Ayisyen mouri, noumenm, òganizasyon Ayisien, nan kad refleksyon
nou, n ap mete chapo n byen ba pou n di pèp toupatou sou planèt lan
ki te louvri kè yo ban nou, nou pa bilye zak solidarite yo. Elan pataj pèp tout kote te manifeste, te dwe ide pèp Ayisyen rekonstwi anvironman

yo, rekonstwi lavi yo. Domaj! Jouk jounen jodi a, kondisyon pèp lan pa chanje. Ki di plis, zago loray yo, kolon lokal yo, met tèt ansanm ak divès òganizasyon entènasyonal pou fè dappiyanp sou kòb rekonstriksyon an.
Entènasyonal lan pwofite moman Pèp lan dezanpare an pou l okipe espas politik lan. Jounen jodi a, se gwo batay pou pèp Ayisyen ka ekzèse dwa vòt li. Sila yo ki fè dappiyanp sou èd lan vle anpeche pèp lan chwazi moun li vle pou dirije peyi an, nan kad yon gwo konplo pou yo kontinye koupe rache resous peyi a. Apre divès magouy ki wete pèp lan nan ekwasyon politik lan, kolon lokal mete ak kolon entènasyonal pou foure yon remèd chwal nan gòjèt pèp lan. Fo reprezan ak dirijan, vini ak yon plan deposesyon ki agrese klas mwayèn ak sa k pi pòv
yo, jouk peyi an vanse depafini. Rezistans pèp lan ralanti avansman machin laterè a, anpeche l deposede popilasyon an nèt ale, sa ki fòse yo setoblije rapouswiv ak you lòt fo gouvèlman remèd chwal ankò.
Ekzanp maspinay gouvèlman an fè nan kad deposesyon ilavach, zak maspinay sou moun Akayè, zak maspinay ki pa janm sispan pou pini moun Site Solèy pase yo vle vote, divès zak maspinay ki fèt toupatou nan peyi an nan kad vòlò tè oubyen vòlò vòt, pèp Ayisyen sèten li nan yon lit inevitab pou ekzistans li. Nou di NON, NOU PAP OBEYI FO DIRIJAN. Dwa lejitim defans, se dwa tout moun genyen pou pwoteje tèt yo. Dwa reziste lòd ilegal, se dwa tout pèp genyen pou pwoteje
tèt li. Dwa chazi dirijan l, se dwa tout pèp genyen pou pwoteje tèt li. Jounen jodi a, anfas danje kolon lokal ak kolon entènasyonal yo, pèp Ayisyen antame yon REZISTANS POU EKZISTANS. Yo mande solidar- ite tout pèp sou la tè. Plan malfektè kolon lokal ak kolon blan yo se pa goudougoudou, men l kraze peyi an pi mal pase goudougoudou.
Eksperyans n ap fè depi si zan goudougoudou an pa diferan ak sa pèp ti peyi ki gen resous fè. Entènasyonal ap piye, ap banbile, pandan medya yo fèmen je yo, sou manti anbasadè ap fè sou non pèp. Lame k pare pou kraze zo pèp lan, se òganizasyon eta Ameriken ki bannou l. Kolera ak lapolis sanginè kowonpi an, se loni k bannou l. Medya bèbè, pan- dan peyi a ap depafini. Nou di NON, NOU PAP OBEYI. Nou pap fouye pwòp twou tonb nou. N ap di laverite, met kaka chat lan deyò. 


Oganizasyon ki siyen mesaj sa a
Action Nationale des Chauffeurs (ANC)
Aide Humanitaire
Alternative Syndicale pour le Transport Moderne (ASTM)
APMS: Action des Paysans de Masson Sion
APTN: Association pour le Développement Terre Noire
Association Professionelle des Enseignants Haitiens pour l’Avancement de l’Education (APEAE)
APSAB: Association Planteur Savane Dubois Asosiyasyon Fanm Senlwidisid (AFS) Asosiyasyon Fanm Vanyan Okay (AFVO) Asosiyasyon Machann Aken (AMA) Asosiyasyon Peyizan Gwomaren (APG)
BPN (Baz Popile Nord)
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Aken
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Anike
CEGBD
CHANJE LESON
CURO: Comité Usager Rodaille
COSCOB
CRCSPFL (Cellule de Reflexions des Cadres Socio Professionnels de Fanmi Lavalas)
CUREH (Cercle Universitaire pour le Renouveau d’Haiti)
DEMELE FANM
G.R. (Gwoup Refleksyon)
FAJEP (Fanm an Aksyon pou Jistis ak Pwogre)
FANM LENTO
FANM WOZO
FASA
Groupe Alternative pour Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (GRAPME)
Gwoupman Plante Senlwidisid (GPS) JOFAP
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Kanperen
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Kavayon Kodinasyon Peyizan Sid (KPS)

KPDS (Konbit Planteur pou Devlopman Sanyago) KORE MAP KORE W
Le PHARE
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Maniche

MOFUP
MOJIDMA: Mouvement des Jeunes Intègres pour le Développement de Marigot
Mouvement d’Opposition Citoyenne (MOC) Mouvman Tet Kole Kavayon (MTKK)
OBMP
Oganizasyon Devlopman Solon (ODS) Oganizasyon Fanm Vanyan (OFAV) OGANIZASYON LEVE KANPE

OJFS
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Okay
Organisation 30 Septembre
OPG: Organisation Paysan de Grande Rivière Organisation Sans Bloff (OSB)

OPDPS: Òganizasyon Pou Devlopman Peyizan Sarazin
OPPB: Organisation Paysan Platon Blan
Plateforme Nationale des Syndicats de Transports Fidele (PNSTF)
POGRES (Oganizasyon Planteur pou Devlopman Sanyago)
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Port Salut
Pou Solèy Leve
Regroupement des Enseignants Normalien Haitien (RENOH)
RFDP (Rasanbleman Fanm pou Devlopman Petitans)
Rasanbleman Militan Pwogresis (RMP)
RASSINE (Rasanbleman Sitwayen NORD AK NORD EST)
SDDC (Societe d’Encadrement pour le Developpement Communautaire)
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Senlwidisid Solidarite Jenn Kavayon (SJK) SOPU- FANM pou FANM
S.O.S Transport Federee

Baz Fanmi Lavalas Tibiron
Baz Fanmi Lavalas Torbec
Union du Mouvement Syndical de Transport Public (UMSTP)
UJDSB:Union des Jeunes pour le Developpement Savane du Bois. 

FANMI LAVALAS STATEMENT ABOUT JANUARY 19 POLICE TORTURE OF YOUNG PROTESTERS

Fanmi Lavalas Statement on Police Atrocities - English translation
Port-au-Prince, 20 January 2016


The word DIGNITY is written in large letters in the everyday vocabulary of the Fanmi LavalasPolitical Organization. Respect for human dignity is one of the guiding lights of Lavalas, and when dignity is under assault we cannot remain silent.

During the day on 19 January, in a national police station in Port-au-Prince, officers whose motto is “Protect and Serve” were allowed to commit odious acts on young people who had been arbitrarily arrested during demonstrations earlier that day demanding that their votes be respected.

Images from a video that has been circulating both in Haiti and overseas, show young men tied up and defenseless, being abused and mistreated by officers of a well-identified police unit. These shocking images show abuse and degrading acts being inflicted by the police on our young compatriots.

The right to humane treatment is an absolute and fundamental right that does not permit any infringement. Neither the law nor the authorities can abridge or limit this right in any way. Moreover, Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is incorporated into the Constitution of 1987, states as follows: No one will be subjected to torture, nor treatment or punishment that is cruel, inhumane or degrading.

Fanmi Lavalas forcefully condemns the repressive and inhuman comportment of these police officers and demands that the guilty ones be identified, brought to justice and punished.

Fanmi Lavalas invites human rights organizations to render assistance to these young people who have been assaulted in their flesh but especially in their dignity.

Fanmi Lavalas, while supporting the demands of these young people and of the population as a whole against this electoral coup d’etat being perpetrated by the “Tet Kale” (Skinhead) authorities, empathize with the suffering of these young people and extend to them our deepest sympathies.

LINK TO VIDEO HERE - GRAPHIC CONTENT
LINK TO FLASHPOINTS REPORT ON INCIDENT WITH DENNIS BERNSTEIN AND KEVIN PINA HERE.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

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

By Joshua Steckley and Beverly Bell

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

#ESSAY, Haiti and the UN’s Endless Peacekeeping Mission: Is UN a Curse for Haiti’s Democracy?

BY WADNER PIERRE

IMG_0720Introduction
Three presidential elections have been organized under the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission watch; all of them had been either marred with irregularities or massive frauds. In 2006, Haitian people had to gain the streets for several weeks to abort an electoral coup pre-engineered by United States-backed de facto government Gerard Latorture. In 2010, right after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ravaged the country’s western part, Haiti’s then President Rene Preval was forced to abide by a U.S.-backed Organization of American States’ electoral commission result asking him to remove his handpicked candidate Jude Celestin to replace him with U.S.-preferred candidate, Michelle Joseph Martelly.
In 2010, Haitians reject CEP’s contentious and tainted preliminary results for the presidential elections. Nearly two months since Haiti’s Conseil Electoral Provisoire (Electoral Provisional Council), know as the CEP, announced the final results for the first round presidential elections, second round legislative and local elections that plagued with massive frauds. The controversial results for the presidential elections placed Haiti’s ruling Party candidate, Jovel Moïse at the first place with over 34 percent of the popular and the former 2010 presidential candidate Jude Celestin in second place. Since then protest against those tainted results have been widened throughout the country. The question one may ask is, is UN a curse for Haiti’s democracy?

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

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

Edited by Natalie Miller, Other Worlds
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.
Members of a peasant organization heading to community meeting to discuss their rights. Photo: Roberto (Bear) Guerra.
Members of a peasant organization heading to community meeting to discuss their rights. Photo: Roberto (Bear) Guerra.
The January 2010 earthquake provided a perfect opportunity for many to come and do business in Haiti. Even prior to the earthquake, Bill Clinton led the discussion on developing Haiti through corporate investment. President Martelly turned that approach into a credo: “Haiti is open for business.”

Monday, December 21, 2015

Opinion: Haiti’s Electoral Shambles, CEP Officials Can Either Fix the Mess or They Go to Jail

By WADNER PIERRE

This opinion article was originally published by UnlessWeCare
Fanmi Lavas supporters protest in the streets of the Port-Au-Prince in support to their candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse. Photo from Fanmi Lavalas presidential  Dr. Maryse Narcisse Facebook page.
Fanmi Lavas supporters protest in the streets of the Port-Au-Prince in support to their candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse. Photo from Fanmi Lavalas presidential Dr. Maryse Narcisse Facebook page.
For too long, people paid by Haitian people to do their job have not been held accountable. Now, it’s the time for the Haiti’s electoral officials – the Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) – to either fix the electoral mess or go to jail.
It is despicable that a CEP official threatened to shut down the whole electoral process instead of collaborating with a government-backed commission to investigate massive electoral frauds that they fail to avoid. Marie Carmelle Paul Austin, a member of the electoral council, told a radio in Haiti’s capital that the electoral council members are ready to depart in bloc “If this commission’s purpose is to redo or verify the work that the CEP has already done, the council members will resign.” What Madame Austin did not say is that when you betray your people, violate your country’s laws and contribute to social and political destabilization you should be in jail.
For too long, Haitian people have been struggling for participative democracy and social justice. They’ve been ignored by Haitian officials who primarily seek to satisfy the interest of their international backers like the United States, Canada and France by either plotting electoral coups. Although the Martelly administration finally established a commission to address the latest electoral disaster, it is uncertain that anything will come of it.
Martelly himself was a beneficiary of an electoral fiasco. How can one believe he will accept any recommendation asking the removal of his handpicked candidate? This move reminds me of an article by Haiti’s renowned author Edwidge Danticat: Sweet Micky and the Sad Déjà Vu of Haiti’s Presidential Elections.
For too long, the business elites have been exploiting Haiti’s masses for the sake of becoming wealthier than they had ever before. They have involved in concocting the invasion of Haiti by the U.S. in 1915, as well as the occupation of Haiti by powerful international players under the banner of United Nations (U.N.). Thanks to their loyalty to the U.S. transnational corporate class, they have been able to succeed in imposing their free-market-based economic plan, and their neoliberal-style democracy on Haitian people through different electoral masquerades. Together with U.S. States Dept., in 2010, they orchestrated an electoral coup by threatening to depose Haiti’s then President Rene Preval should he refuse to swallow U.S.-backed Organization of American States’ electoral de facto results.
For too long, the United States has been undermined democracy in Haiti by either supporting dictatorship or electoral coups. Now, it’s the time for American taxpayers to hold U.S. officials accountable for using their dollars to fund coups and flawed elections. In a first ever democratically organized election on Dec. 16, 1990, Haitian people elected a former priest and liberation theologian, Jean-Bertrand Aristide as the country’s first democratically elected president just to see him overthrowing in bloody military coup supported by the U.S. and financed by the Haitian business elite seven months after he took office on Sept. 30, 1991. Some the coup leaders were trained at U.S. military school and were under Central Intelligence Agency ‘s (C.I.A) payroll. In Nov. 2000, in another presidential elections marked by high turnout, Aristide won a second term and his Fanmi Lavalas party won the majority of the seat in both Haiti's higher and lower chambers. On Feb. 29, 2009, he was forced to leave the country aboard a U.S. military plane to Central African Republic then South Africa where he and his family spent 7 years in exile. His party was also banned from participating at the electoral process during those years.
As Brian Concannon wrote, the U.S. has been religiously supported Martelly since he ascended to power using its diplomatic and financial leverage to legalize the president’s unconstitutional decisions. The U.S. spent over $30 million for the organization of long overdue elections, now it’s the time for Obama administration to use its diplomatic and financial leverage to make his man in Port-Au-Prince do the right thing.
The clock is ticking; Haitian people have been patient, resilient and vigilant throughout the democratic process, and they have showed no sign that they will validate a 2010-style electoral coup. Now, it’s time for the CEP officials to do their job or go to jail.
Wadner Pierre is a Haitian award-winning Photojournalist based in Shanghai, China. He is the founder of UnWelessWeCare.org and co-founder of Haiti Analysis blog. He completed a Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, with a focus on International Security and Human Development.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Haiti: Govt. Formed an Electoral Commission to End Electoral Deadlock; Will the CEP Reschedule the Runoff?

BY WADNER PIERRE
This article was originally published by UnlessWecare.org
Since the CEP published its tainted and most controversial results for the presidential, second round legislative and local elections early last November, thousands have been demonstrated in the streets of Haiti’s largest cities to reclaim a recount of their votes. Religious leaders and international human rights and advocacy groups have also urged the CEP to investigate irregularities and massive electoral frauds that are no longer mere allegations.
Photo Credit: CEP_Haiti Twitter Account.
Photo Credit: CEP_Haiti Twitter Account.

As protests widening, diplomatic talks failed and G8 candidates remaining steadfast in their position, to remedy the situation, Haiti’s PM Evans Paul in an one-page letter sent to the President Michel J. Martelly, proposed a formation of an electoral commission to ensure the credibility of the already festered electoral process.
The commission according to the Prime Minister’s letter will have three days to produce recommendations to the government and the Conseil Electoral Provisoire (Electoral Provisional Council), known as the CEP. The head of the government stated,“ …it is necessary to organize credible, transparent, participative and inclusive elections,” as well as “to do whatever it takes” to create a climate of trust for the actors involving in the process.
The CEP shows no sign that it will abide by the recommendations of the government-formed commission. One of its members Marie Carmelle Paul Austin told a radio in the Haiti’s capital that the electoral council members are ready to depart in bloc should the commission interfere in their work. “If this commission’s purpose is to redo or verify the work that the CEP has already done, the council members will resign,” implied council Austin.
One thing Council Austin failed to admit is that the CEP could have avoided this electoral crisis and save the country from the upcoming political quagmire had it verified the alleged electoral frauds when one of its members brought it to the council’s attention. Instead of taking time to verify the alleged massive electoral frauds, the CEP’s negligent President Pierre-Louis Opont proceeded to the already contentious results. Now, it is the time to fix this mess.
In 2010, the U.S. State Department and Haiti’s private sector elected Martelly in highly flawed presidential runoff with less than one million votes. When then President Rene Preval refused to accept the U.S.-OAS’s fabricated electoral results that demanded the removal of his handpicked candidate Jude Celestin. It was later reported that the U.S. and the rest of the international community threatened to depose him should he resist the OAS’s electoral commission’s recommendation.
Today, nearly all the polarized figures, notably U.S. former ambassador to Haiti and current State Dep. Special Envoy to Haiti Kenneth Merten, who were involved in imposing a president to Haitian people, are part of the diplomatic negotiating team aiming at constraining the same Jude Celestin and other candidates to validate the CEP’s Opont infected results.
It is important to point out that Merten is a closed friend to Martelly and one of the foreign diplomats who plotted the 2010-style electoral coup. By choosing Merten as his Haiti’s go-to person, President Barack Obama, once again, signals that there is no shift in U.S. policy towards Haiti.
Meanwhile, Haitians have continued to remain vigilant against any possible flawed elections, and are ready to thwart another 2010-style electoral debacle. Within less than two months the CEP has to organize credible, fair and democratic elections for Haitian people to elect a new president to succeed Martelly. Under Haiti’s constitution, Martelly’s term ends on Feb. 7, 2016 and forbid to run for a consecutive term.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Haiti: CEP Failed to its Mission, But an Electoral Miscarriage Can Be Avoided

By Wadner Pierre

This Article was originally published by UnlessWeCare
Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 6.34.24 AMIt has been over a month since Haiti’s Conseil Electoral Provisoire (Electoral Provisory Counsel), known as CEP, published its foreknown controversial fraudulent results for the first round presidential and second round legislative elections. The CEP’s preliminary results for the presidential elections placed President Michel Martelly’s hand-picked candidate Jovenel Moise of Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale, or P.H.T.K in the first place with 32.8 percent of the popular votes. Jaccéus Joseph, a member of the electoral council, qualified the results as unacceptable.
 Miami Herald’s Jacqueline Charles reported, Joseph refused to sign “the presidential and legislative preliminary results” because of irregularities and frauds that plagued them. Joseph thought his refusal to endorse the results would prompt the Tabulation Center to verify “the allegations of electoral fraud, including checking the voter registration lists against the ballots cast in the Oct. 25” elections to avert an unnecessary electoral crisis.
Joseph said, “We asked the director of the Tabulation Center did he have enough time to thoroughly verify if there was fraud.” According to Joseph, the director told them, “[H]e didn’t have enough time for that.”
Despite Joseph’s insistence on verifying and correcting the irregularities and frauds  threatening the credibility of the results, CEP’s President Pierre-Louis Opont decided to publish the tainted results.  The electoral crisis that was avoidable is now becoming an inevitable crisis. This man-made electoral dispute could further derail the political and social stability of the country.
Following the electoral process, eight presidential candidates known as G8 filed  complaints before the electoral court. The court confirmed that there have been frauds, and the CEP agreed. To address the electoral frauds, the CEP proposed to meet with the G8 to listen to them and address their concerns. During the meeting, the candidates denounced the irregularities and massive frauds that tarnished the credibility of the preliminary results; they demanded that an independent commission be formed to investigate the alleged frauds before scheduling the presidential runoff. Opont declined the request, concluding that the electoral result is final and the runoff is straight.
Fanmi Lavalas presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse whose CEP’s result put in fourth place, argued that the results were marred with frauds and demanded that the CEP investigate them. The Le Bureau du Contentieux Electoral National (National Electoral Complaints Bureau) (BCEN) allowed her to go to the Tabulation Center and randomly pick 78 tally sheets from more than 13,000 sheets. The candidate discovered irregularities in some of the sheets, and others were completely fraudulent. The frauds and irregularities were in favor of the ruling party candidate. The CEP jettisoned the 78 tally sheets. Dr. Narcisse insisted that Moise be removed from the process according the electoral laws. But the CEP has rejected her call.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Can Haiti’s Corrupt President Hold On to Power?

Michel Martelly is trying to impose a successor amid widespread public anger at government repression and failure to rebuild after the earthquake.

By James North (The Nation)

In another week or so, Haiti could explode, and the disastrous American policy of supporting the country’s violent and corrupt president will be a big part of the reason. Michel Martelly, prevented from continuing in office by term limits, is trying to impose a successor, and the United States has not spoken out against his ruthless, undemocratic strategy. On or after November 3, Haiti will announce the top two finishers in the first election round, held on October 25, and if Martelly’s man is one of them, thousands of enraged citizens will surge into the streets.

The United States is already widely blamed here for supporting Martelly, and the ambassador until recently, Pamela White, is singled out bitterly and publicly for her alleged closeness to him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Other Refugee Crisis

By France François (originally for Ebony)

Yanique’s Dominican neighbors, the same people she had lived and worked side by side with for decades, pounded on her door in the middle of the night chanting violent demands for her to leave the country. Pregnant and terrified, Yanique grabbed all that she could carry as she ran out of the back door. She left town in the dead of the night, hidden in the back of a pickup truck. The following morning, she found herself standing amidst a dusty camp made up of makeshift tents cobbled together with tarp, plastic and tin. When all that she had lost suddenly hit her, she dissolved into a panic attack. Her twins were delivered stillborn three days later.

Militarized police & new army trained as protests grow in Haiti

Mounting protests against sham elections and corruption, newly trained paramilitary police units and the upcoming deployment of a new military force trained in Ecuador. Listen to the recent radio interview with Haiti Information Project's Kevin Pina.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Op-Ed: Thoughts on the Refugee Crisis on the Dominican-Haitian Border

John A. Carroll, MD --  HaitiHearts

As most of us know nothing is as simple as it seems. Everything is not
usually black or white. There is some gray and maybe even some blue.

But I want to be clear.  There is a huge “human rights violation” occurring
on the Haitian-Dominican border right now. People I have visited in the
camps just outside of Anse-a-Pitres are being treated like animals.  Many
of these folks have told me that no one cares about them. And they are
right. They are being treated like animals.

Their essential rights to protection, food, water, and medical care are not
being upheld. They are held captive to their daily need to survive and they
are not viable members of any society except their camp society where they
exist day-to-day.

This is all a man-made disaster and has been created on both sides of the
Haitian-Dominican border. Both Dominican and Haitian authorities are guilty
of these human rights violations.  And the deaths and the misery of the
people imprisoned in these camps are on their shoulders.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Anatomy of an Electoral Coup

Marred by outright fraud, massive voter suppression in the form of intimidation, and violence, the August 9th Haitian legislative election was rejected by the people of Haiti. Yet, in a cynical re-write of history, the OAS, United States, and European Union put their stamp of approval on the election as a “step forward” for democracy.
As usual, the Haitian people resist. They insist on their right to fair elections. Angry protests across Haiti demand that the August 9th election be annulled.  Haiti Action Committee fully supports this demand.
Fanmi Lavalas, the party of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, immediately declared the sham election “an electoral coup,” calling for its annulment, and demanded that a commission be convened to investigate. Other political parties soon joined this call. Many candidates throughout the country have formed “candidates’ collectives” to defend the Haitian people’s right to free and fair elections. 
Below are some examples of the nation-wide pattern of disruption, voter suppression and terror that occurred during this sham election. 

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