Toronto Haiti Action Committee

Solidarity. Not Charity. Never Occupation

Toronto Haiti Action Committee - Solidarity. Not Charity. Never Occupation

In the News: A glittering industrial park in Haiti falls short

by Jonathan M. Katz. Originally posted at Al Jazeera America

A cornerstone of post-earthquake ‘reconstruction€™’, the Caracol park is not living up to its backers’ lofty promises

caracolCARACOL, Haiti — The young men playing dominoes in this tin-roofed fishing village used to have high hopes for the industrial park being built up the road. They had heard of the U.S. government’s plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a part of Haiti where most people are barely scraping by, and promises from a South Korean garment manufacturer to create tens of thousands of jobs.

But less than a year after Caracol Industrial Park’s gala opening — with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Sean Penn, designer Donna Karan and Haiti’s current and former presidents among the guests — the feeling these days is disappointment. Hundreds of smallholder farmers were coaxed into giving up more than 600 acres of land for the complex, yet nearly 95 percent of that land remains unused. A much-needed power plant was completed on the site, supplying the town with more electricity than ever, but locals say surges of wastewater have caused floods and spoiled crops.

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Al Jazeera on MINUSTAH

I was looking around on YouTube for some new videos to highlight on THAC’s new WordPress blog, and I stumbled upon this video by Al Jazeera about MINUSTAH:

I confess that I’m usually fond of Al Jazeera’s coverage. In the days after the earthquake, they were one of the few news agencies to really hone in on the relationship between the last decade of destabilization and Haiti’s lack of readiness or capacity to respond to the disaster. But this video left me feeling somewhat dissatisfied.

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In the News: UN peacekeepers not about to leave Haiti

Originally posted at Al Jazeera’s blog

Port-au-Prince, Haiti – A bas Kolera, a bas Minista,– Creole for “down with cholera, down with MINUSTAH,” the United Nation peacekeeping force in Haiti – can be seen spray-painted across Port-au-Prince. One national newspaper headline recently read, “MINUSTAH must go.” And the refrain of a popular song by the Haitian band Brothers Posse mocks UN soldiers.

After years of scandal, including allegations of sexual abuse and accusations of introducing cholera into the country, many Haitians want the UN’s third-largest peacekeeping force to leave.

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