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Bob Dodds | all galleries >> Galleries >> Haiti - Practical Action > CIA Evictions Flood Canaan, Jalousie, Toward Class High Ground: LL COIN Vote
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CIA Evictions Flood Canaan, Jalousie, Toward Class High Ground: LL COIN Vote

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Jalousie is unique in that its mountainside presence makes it visible to people living in the wealthy district of Pétionville. Critics have suggested that the choice of Jalousie is as much about giving the posh hotels of Pétionville a pretty view as helping the slum’s residents.

Mr. Bélizaire said,“People are sitting on the balcony… and you have all of Port-au-Prince at your feet", not to mention Petionville.

Jalousie has become a flashpoint for class controversy in Haiti recently. It is among many slums that have sprawled across the hills of Port-au-Prince in recent decades because governments past and present have failed to provide affordable housing and basic services. Many of the homes crash down the hills during the country’s rainy seasons.

Haiti’s class divisions spilled into the streets last year when more than 1,000 people from Jalousie protested in central Port-au-Prince. They threw rocks at a luxury hotel and criticized rich Haitians, threatening to burn down Pétionville if the government followed through with a plan to demolish their homes. Officials had wanted to tear down the homes next to a ravine to build a flood-protection project:

Haitian authorities were preparing to evict some 450 families living in the capital, Port-au-Prince, claiming their homes are at risk of landslide. They have not consulted the families, or offered them adequate alternative accommodation or adequate compensation.

The 450 families live in the Jalousie neighbourhood, in the municipality of Petionville on a hillside overlooking Port-au-Prince. They have not been consulted, and have not been offered adequate alternative accommodation or adequate compensation.

Ministry of Environment officials went into Jalousie with police officers on 21 June and marked 450 houses for demolition within 15 days. They did not present a court order for the eviction or any other legal notice, and told the residents nothing about why their houses were to be demolished.

The Minister of Environment subsequently went on Haitian radio to declare that the houses are in an area vulnerable to landslides. The residents have also heard that the authorities have apparently offered 100,000 gourdes (approximately US$2,500) to all those who own their houses and 20,000 gourdes (approximately US$500) to those who are renting.

Residents, many of whom have lived in Jalousie for decades, told Amnesty International that they themselves had built the community and its infrastructure, including roads, houses, businesses and access to electricity. They said that if there are environmental concerns, the government should engage them in meaningful consultation.

Death of a Judge: Martelly set up his wife and son as head of governmental projects, but with no parliamentary oversight. A Haitian citizen, Enold Florestal, filed suit with attorney Andre Michel before Judge Jean Serge Joseph, maintaining that the Martellys were siphoning off large amounts of state monies, which the Haitian Senate has no jurisdiction over. Judge Joseph moved the case to the next judicial level, which required depositions from the Martellys and various governmental ministers. Enraged, Martelly and Prime Minister Lamothe called two meetings with the judge (which they deny took place) to demand he kill the case, the second on July 11. The judge drank a beverage offered him at that meeting..

On July 12 Judge Joseph became violently ill and died on July 13. Haitian police arrested Florestal on August 16 after viciously beating him, and Haitian authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of Attorney Michel, who has gone into hiding. A commission of the Haitian Parliament is now calling for the impeachment of Martelly based on illegal meetings with the judge, interference in legal matters, and threats to those involved in the case..

Since then Enold Florestal and his brother, who’s completely uninvolved with the case, have been arrested and remain in jail.

Return of the Death Squads: Martelly has issued pink identity cards with a photo for $30 to selected supporters, promising many benefits to those who hold them, like jobs and impunity from prosecution. During the Duvalier period, every Tonton Macoute received a card that provided many privileges, like free merchandise from any store entered, entitlement to coerced sex, and fear and respect from people in general..

Senator John Joel Joseph has identified Senators that he claims are marked for assassination. He identified the people who have been paying the “hit squads” on behalf of Martelly. He denounced one of the men as an escaped criminal who had been caught red handed with a “near death” victim behind his vehicle. Said victim sent the police to a house where two more victims could be found. Senator Joseph identified the leader of the death squad and his vehicle, denouncing the group as the one which recently assassinated a grassroots militant. He accused the president and his wife of pressuring the chief of police to remove the senators’ security detail, in order to facilitate their assassinations. He denounced a previous instance when Martelly tried to pressure former police chief Mario Andresol to integrate a hit-man into the police, to assassinate Senator Moise Jean Charles..

Many assassinations are being performed by a revived CIA paramilitary culture.

One of Martelly’s campaign promises was to restore the Haitian Army, and now new Haitian troops are being trained by Ecuador and Brazil. In addition, well-armed former military and paramilitary personnel have occupied militia camps since early 2012, supported by Martelly..

Salin Sukar, an attorney and Mr. Lamothe’s advisor has many roles, and one of them is that of a gunrunner. He is the person charged with purchasing illegal guns because of his established relationship with gun sellers in Israel, Russia and other places around the world. Early in 2013, Mr. Sukar travelled to Israel to broker a weapon deal knowing fully well that there is a gun embargo on Haiti since at least 2004, which is why the FBI and the US State Department are looking into the purchase.

Mr. Sukar placed the first gun order in April of 2013 for a total of 1,600 Galil’s with infrared silencers and 9,000 automatic 9-millimeter handguns. These guns were shipped via Canada in partial shipments to Haiti with no more than 200 guns per shipment. According to the chief of the Haitian Police, he is neither aware of any orders for guns nor has he asked for guns. The Haitian Senate and the Minister of Finance Wilson Lalleau had not approved any money for guns in the 2013-2014 government budget, which raises many questions: Where did Lamothe get the money to purchase these weapons? Why is Lamothe buying military grade weapons when Haiti has not had an army since 2004? The FBI and the US State Department are asking the same questions.

However, the Haitian media both in Haiti and overseas has yet to investigate these illegal acts. Our sources in the Haitian Senate have informed us that Senate President Simon Dieuseul Desras is considering an interpellation of Laurent Lamothe to explain these purchases. But more important than this is the overt silence of the Haitian media.

In most democratic countries, the media is considered the fourth power. In Haiti, everything is for sale including dignity, personality, and blood. According to our sources Mr. Lamothe has been paying between 4,000 and 12,000 US dollars a month to Haitian media in Haiti. With the exception of Haiti Observateur and Tout-Haiti, most of the Haitian print media appear to have sold-out.

Martelly has appointed 140 mayors without voting. Municipal elections have been delayed for almost three years and senatorial balloting by almost two. Martelly will visit France and then travel to Rome, where the first Haitian Cardinal, Chibly Langlois, chief mediator during the political negotiations with 53 political parties, for 10 days of negotiations with Martelly over elections and governance. Both sides agreed on holding one election this year. Chibly Langlois will receive his gold ring and red beret from Pope Francis.

The two-round election that landed Martin Martelly in power was foreignfunded and inspired. The United States, Canada and Europe paid at least $29 million to finance it. The victor acknowledges his campaign costs – $1 million in the first round and $6 million in the second round – were largely covered by “friends” in the United States. He refuses to say who they are.

His campaign was run by the same Spanish public relations firm – Osto & Sola – that managed the successful but fraudulent election of Felipe Calderón as Mexico’s president in 2006.

This was an exclusionary political process. Haiti’s largest political party, the Fanmi Lavalas, was arbitrarily ruled off the ballot by Haiti’s unconstitutionally- formed Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). It was also a vast disenfranchisement of much of the Haitian electorate. Voter registration was partial for the first round of voting on Nov. 28, 2010. No additional registration was permitted for the second round vote on Mar. 20. Balloting was marked by fraud and irregularities not just in the first round, but also in the second.

The UN Secretary General’s deputy Special Envoy to Haiti, Nigel Fisher, voiced the Security Council’s satisfaction with the election outcome when he spoke to CBC Vancouver on Apr. 5. While acknowledging “quite a bit of fraud” in the Nov. 28 balloting, he said that all is forgiven in the second round.

The most damning evidence of all for the election’s absence of legitimacy is its exceptionally low participation rate. The CEP’s preliminary results, released on Apr. 4, show another record low voter turnout on Mar. 20, about equal to the 23% recorded on Nov. 28. According to the Center for Economic Policy Research in Washington, DC, these are the lowest voter turnouts for a presidential election in the Western Hemisphere since at least 1945.

Much of the world’s media has done an astonishing about-face in its coverage of these events. Whereas the fi rst round of voting was presented, rightly, as deeply and irredeemably fraudulent, the second round has, magically, become acceptable to North American and European media and governments. It was not acceptable, however, to the CEP, which is legally “the final arbiter” of all Haitian elections. Only four of its members, not the required five, voted to approve the second round.

Most importantly, Michel Martelly, the runner-up candidate to firstround front-runner Mirlande Manigat, was forced on the CEP to be in the run-off by the OAS and Washington. The CEP’s calculations showed that Jude Célestin, the candidate of President René Préval’s Unity party, placed second in the first round.

In Canada, the country’s largest circulation daily, the Toronto Star, published an editorial on Nov. 30, 2010 condemning the first round vote as a “fraud” and said the whole exercise should be rescheduled for a later date. CBC reporters on the ground in Haiti variously called the vote a “sham” or a “complete fraud.”

Martelly himself called the first round a “fraud” and, with 13 other candidates, called on Nov. 28 for the election’s annulment... only to backtrack the next day when Edmond Mulet, the head of the UN occupation force MINUSTAH, commanded by Brazil..favela painters themselves..

promised a UN Security Council seat if Brazil would help CIA-D(IACD) (paint favelas..) Manage Haiti, told Martelly in a phone call that he might win it. Jude Célestin, the candidate of President René Préval’s Unity party, had actually placed second in the first round, rather than Martelly, who was thus excluded, except for UN favela painter intervention.

Only 16.7% of the electorate, at most, voted for Martelly in the run-off.

Meanwhile, the return from exile of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family on Mar. 18 was met with near silence in Canada’s print and broadcast media. Perhaps it believes the words of Canada’s ambassador in Haiti last year, that the former president is “yesterday’s story.” But 65,000 Haitians flooded into the streets around the Port-au-Prince airport to welcome the Aristides home, belying this claim.

Martelly’s accession constitutes an electoral coup d’etat. It continues the aims of the 2004 paramilitary coup, namely, to exclude the Haitian people from their own political institutions and to further weaken their aspirations for social justice, so eloquently voiced by Aristide on his arrival in Haiti.

More than 200 families were forcibly evicted between 7-10 December 2013 from Mozayik, a sector of an informal settlement known as Canaan, located on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. A justice of peace (juge de paix) from the municipality of Croix-des-Bouquets carried out the eviction, accompanied by police officers and a group of armed men. They used excessive force, as the police reportedly used tear gas grenades and fired shots into the air to intimidate residents who tried to resist the operation. A dozen people were assaulted, including a woman who was four months pregnant. The eviction reportedly occurred in execution of a court order issued in June. However, residents stated that they were never notified the order nor received notice for the eviction.

The land where the settlements of Mozayik, Village Grâce de Dieu and Village des Pêcheurs are located is reported to have been identified by local entrepreneurs for the construction of a gas terminal.

Canaan, an informal settlement several kilometres away on the northern outskirts of Port-au-Prince, has no running water or sanitation and continues to grow as more victims of forced evictions arrive. It is located on an extensive tract of land that former president René Préval declared for “public use” two months after the January 2010 earthquake. But in 2012 a second decree was issued by the government of president Michel Martelly which reduced the area declared for public use. Therefore, the status of the land remains unclear and the families resettled there do not have any security of tenure. Many, including residents of Camp Mozayik, were forcibly evicted from an internally-displaced persons (IDP) camp or moved out of an under threat camp in order to seek a more secure place to live. Many residents of Canaan face forced eviction from people claiming ownership of the land, including residents of Lanmè Frape.

Four years after the devastating January 2010 earthquake, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimate that 146,573 individuals are still living in makeshift camps. A third of them are under risk of forced eviction. However, this figure does not include 52,926 residents of Canaan which the IOM removed from its list of IDPs in September 2013, due to the fact that the Haitian government believes the area to be “new neighbourhoods needing urban planning with a long term view” and not IDP sites.

The destruction of the community’s water source is of particular concern given the ongoing cholera epidemic, which has scientifically proven to have been caused by UN MINUSTAH occupation troops from Nepal. The latest available figures from Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population from 17 January show that there have been 363,117 cases of cholera and 8,539 deaths since the outbreak started in October 2010. According to the World Health Organization “provision of safe water and sanitation is critical in reducing the impact of cholera and other waterborne diseases.”

Of the nearly US $400 million spent by USAID in Haiti at the time of publication, only 0.02% of the procurement contracts went to Haitian firms. On the opposite side of the procurement spectrum, U.S. firms concentrated in the Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland area were rewarded with an astounding 77.46% of the contracts.

Dady Chery: International aid began to arrive in Haiti with the 1972 inauguration of Jean-Claude Duvalier as president, one year after the death of his father Francois Duvalier. USAID, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, required that Haiti’s economy be changed from a sustainable domestically-oriented economy into an export-led economy – to benefit the U.S. The motivations for foreign aid to Haiti remain the same today.

USAID predicted that, if successful, its aid policies would cause famished farmers to migrate from the Haitian countryside into urban areas, and this would in turn cause the population of Port-au-Prince to double to 1.6 million by the 21st century.

In a 2007 report, the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) said that reforestation would likely only be achieved(ALLOWED!!!) in Haiti when the rural population leaves the hillsides and finds work in lowland areas and coastal cities. This means that, “For the countryside to be sustainable[sic], cities have to become sustainable[sic],” said Levy. “We need manufacturing and service jobs in much bigger numbers than we have now.” So the Côte Sud Initiative is also concerned about other job-creation opportunities, such as enlarging a small airport in the south to accommodate international flights, which would open the area up to tourism and export business; and expanding Haiti’s role in the vetiver (the PRIMARY reforestation option native to Haiti--a plant that produces an essential oil used in cosmetics) industry from simple cultivation to processing and manufacturing.

The aid agencies provided funds to wealthy Haitian landowners on condition that they switch large tracts of Haitian land from production of foods for the domestic market to the production of fruits and vegetables for the U.S. market. Because the U.S. market was nearby, the foods could be sold fresh there while in season; alternatively, they would be processed for export. Based on growth of GDP, the aid policies would look like a roaring success.

The expected consequences for Haitians are elaborated in numerous USAID and World Bank reports. Briefly, famine would ensue for Haitian peasant farmers and they would be displaced in huge numbers from the rural areas to the urban centers.

When the rate of urbanization proved slower than predicted, the Haitian creole pig was wiped out as part of a $23 million eradication and restocking program. This was the first major blow to the peasant subsistence economy, for which this pig had traditionally served as a savings account.

Another blow came with flooding of the Haitian market with cheap Arkansas rice during the Clinton years.

Yet a more recent blow came with the U.N.-introduced cholera epidemic, traced to Nepalese troops, caused a large migration from the most fertile region of the country – the Artibonite river valley. Currently, less than 40 percent of the food for Haitian consumption is produced locally; as recently as 1986, this was 80 percent.

"Once upon a time, trees were sacred things in Haitian/African culture, looked upon as living energies that provided strength to the people. Thus, cutting down trees was relatively a taboo. But these core Africanist values were scorned and desecrated by the influences of Western colonialism and Christian missionaries on traditional Vodun. These core values were uprooted during the anti-Vodun Rejete campaigns (1940-41) as a means for the Catholic Church to get rid of Vodun as its rival religion and philosophy in Haiti and as a way for the US to clear peasant Haitians off lands they wanted to acquire for their agricultural initiatives in Haiti in the 1940s during the post-U.S.-occupation presidency of Elie Lescot (1941-46).

The Catholic Churches' brutal anti-superstition campaigns in the 1940s, which made it alright to destroy trees that holds up not only the land but a culture, adds to deforestation in Haiti. For, once these core values were broken down and substituted with foreign ideals (senility?) - foreign psychology irrelevant to Haitian survival, things in Haiti for the vast majority, as Chinua Achebe, would put it: began to "fall apart..." (Ezili's HLLN on the Counter-Colonial Narrative on Deforestation, See also - HLLN on the Causes of Haiti deforestation and poverty and Avatar parallels: Warrior Mother, Vodun and the Sky People)


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