In the News: Wyclef’s Haiti Charity Is Now Defunct After Mishandling $16M In Donations

by Aly Weisman. Originally posted at the Business Insider

Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Haiti charity, once what the singer said was the country’s “greatest asset and ally” is now defunct and in debt.

The charity’s collapse comes after years of accusations of mishandled funds, which amounted to a reported $16 million following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Continue reading In the News: Wyclef’s Haiti Charity Is Now Defunct After Mishandling $16M In Donations

Amnesty International: Lawyers in Haiti Threatened and Intimidated

Amnesty International Urgent Action release, UA: 279/12 Index: AMR 36/009/2012 Haiti Date: 4 October 2012

Three lawyers in Haiti are reporting an increase of threats and intimidation against them in recent months. They believe they may be targeted for their activism and criticisms against the Haitian government.

On 28 September, the Chief Prosecutor of Port-au-Prince, Jean Renel Sénatus, was interviewed at local radio station, where he discussed his dismissal by the Ministry of Justice because he refused to implement a ministerial order to arrest 36 political opponents. It is not clear on which grounds these arrests had been ordered. The Ministry of Justice denied having given such orders.

Mario Joseph of BAI
Among the 36 political opponents were the names of lawyers Mario Joseph, Newton St-Juste and André Michel. Mario Joseph is a prominent human rights lawyer who is involved in sensitive judicial cases such as proceedings against former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, complaints against the UN for their alleged involvement in spreading the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and cases of forced evictions of people made homeless after the earthquake. As head of the International Lawyers Office (Bureau des Avocats Internationaux), he addressed the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights last July, requesting to visit Haiti to investigate human rights violations. Newton St-Juste and André Michel, also lawyers, recently filed criminal grievances against the wife and the son of the President of the Republic of Haiti for corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

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In the News: Signs Point toward Controversial Renewal of MINUSTAH’s Mandate in Haiti

by Kevin Edmonds, NACLA

According to a report released on August 31 by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon regarding the United Nations Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH by its French acronym), it appears that the renewal of the highly controversial mission will occur once again without any meaningful debate. Moon’s report effectively acts as a rubber stamp of approval for the occupation, stating that he was “Reaffirming my commitment to continue to focus the activities of the Mission, I recommend that the Security Council extend its mandate of one year, until 15 October 2013.”

MINUSTAH’s reputation and credibility as a stabilizing force has been shattered since the introduction of cholera into the island by the negligence of both the troops and shoddy base infrastructure in October 2010. Up until the deployment of Nepalese troops in the Artibonite Valley that October, Haiti had never experienced a cholera outbreak. According to the latest figures, the cholera epidemic has killed over 7,500 people, infecting another 590,000.

To date, the United Nations has refused to take responsibility for their role in the epidemic, despite “irrefutable molecular evidence” that the Haitian strain was virtually identical to the Nepalese strain. Reports from American medical researchers at the Center for Disease Control, in addition to separate French and Danish teams, have all confirmed that the MINUSTAH base in Mirebalais was the source of the cholera strain.

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Haitian activist to speak in U.S. demanding housing rights for the country’s 400,000 displaced

Press release, September 11, 2012

Housing activist Reyneld Sanon is beginning a speaking tour to key cities in the United States. The tour will raise awareness about Under Tents, the international campaign for housing rights in Haiti. The campaign is a joint initiative of Haitian grassroots groups and more than 30 international organizations that are demanding a solution for Haiti’s homeless.

Sanon will visit New Orleans (Sept 14 -15), Houston (Sept 16 -17), Washington D.C. (Sept 18-20), New York City (Sept 21-24) and Miami (Sept 25-26).

The January 2010 earthquake killed an estimated 300,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless. In its wake, survivors spontaneously created more than a thousand temporary encampments throughout Port-au-Prince. There has been no long-term planning for a solution to the country’s housing crisis, and the Government of Haiti has no comprehensive plan to relocate the majority of people into safe, permanent homes. Indeed, fewer than 6,000 houses have been constructed since the earthquake. Nearly 400,000 Haitians are still living in displacement camps, where they face high rates of gender-based and other violence, forced evictions, lack of clean water and toilets, and cholera.

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In the News: The Directorate General of Taxation (DGI) is “wrong” in the case of André Apaid

by Valery Daudier and Cadet Carl Henry, Le Nouvelliste, published September 7, 2012

The fiscal situation of the industrialist Michel André Apaid has been regularized without the latter paying a dime in taxes, contrary to what had been said by members of the government after the lifting of the travel against him. According to the head of the section for large taxpayers of the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI), Joseph Salime Montinor, Mr. Apaid has a deductible benefit of 15 years for his business. DGI was not aware!

Michel André Apaid whose passport was confiscated Monday (Sept 3) at the Toussaint Louverture airport as he was preparing to fly out of the country was presented to the press on Friday with his council composed of attorneys Gervais Charles, Carlos Hercules and Stanley Gaston. The ban has been lifted, but this was not a favor by authorities to the businessman. He does not owe taxes on the company in question.

“The tax slips were simply canceled by DGI. It was a private company since 2005. So there was never any payment due, contrary to what former Senator Joseph Lambert and spokesman of the Presidency, Lucien Jura, said,” reported Attorney Gervais.

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In the News: Miami billboard promotes Haiti as vacation spot

Originally posted at

MIAMI — There’s a new Caribbean destination being promoted to travelers passing through Miami.

A billboard promoting Haiti was installed last week above Interstate 95 in Miami. The message “Live the experience – Seize the opportunities” is printed across an image of a tropical coastline and clear blue waters.

Haiti’s ministry of tourism and its consulate in Miami put up the billboard in the hopes of attracting tourists and investors to the country. Political instability, chronic poverty and disasters such as the 2010 earthquake have long crippled tourism and development in Haiti.

Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, which boasts many popular resorts.

Consul General Francois Guillaume says the billboard is the first in a series of media campaigns to boost Haiti’s image.