mercredi 30 septembre 2015


 Haiti’s presidential campaign is coming to South Florida.
Candidates in the Oct. 25 presidential elections will be presenting their programs to South Florida’s burgeoning Haitian community Sunday when Port-au-Prince-based Radio Television Caraibes (RTVC) and Friends of Haiti diaspora organization sponsor a presidential debate in North Miami.
It is the first such gathering of Haitian presidential candidates in South Florida. Two other similar forums were held in New Jersey on Sept. 12 and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 15.
While the Washington town hall came under fire because candidates were asked to speak in English as opposed to French or Creole, Magalie Theodore said, “this one is going to be in Creole.” It will begin at 4 p.m. at North Miami Senior High, 13110 NE 8th Ave.
Theodore, a member of Friends of Haiti, said candidates will be questioned by several well-known journalists including Valery Numa of Vision 2000; Jean Monard Metellus of Radio Caraibes and Robenson Geffrard, the lead elections reporter for Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper.
So far, about 10 of the 54 candidates seeking to replace President Michel Martelly, who is constitutionally barred from seeking back-to-back terms, have confirmed their participation, Theodore said.
 They are: Mario Andresol, Charles Henri Baker, Steven Benoit, Fred Brutus, Aviol Fleurant, Eric Jean-Baptiste, Moise Jean-Charles, Steeve Khawly, Samuel Madistin, and Michelet Nestor.

The debate takes place with less than a month to go before the , and as uncertainty and a lack of trust continue to dog the nine-member Provisional Electoral Council.
On Monday, the council, known by its French acronym CEP, published the long-awaited final results of the first-round final of the violence- and fraud-marred Aug. 9 legislative elections. Despite an earlier announcement that the vote needed to be re-run in certain constituencies, the council announced that two senators and eight deputies were elected of the 139 posts up for grabs. All others will head into a runoff on Oct. 25, CEP President Pierre-Louis Opont said at a news conference.
The decision and an elections tribunal’s method of calculating the winners in the Senate races has been denounced by several candidates and political parties.
“If the [CEP] has applied the same mode of calculation to all of the candidates, Verite would have had two senators and nine deputes elected in the first round,” the Verite political party said in a letter to Opont. As a result of the CEP’s decision, Verite has two candidates going head-to-head for the second Senate seat in the West department, which includes Port-au-Prince. Former government prosecutor Jean Renel “Zokiki” Senatus was declared a Senator for the West in the first round along with lawyer Youri Latortue for the Artibonite.
The ongoing controversy, and fears over the controversial calculations, which open the door for a messy presidential election, will be among the leading topics Saturday when politicians, pundits and critics show up for Haiti’s most popular political radio talk show, Ranmase. The show will broadcast live with a special elections edition, beginning at 8 a.m. from Moca Cafe and Lounge in North Miami, 738 NE 125th St.
Like the radio taping, the presidential debate is free. Organizers, however, say it will be first-come, first-serve and individuals should bring their event tickets from registering at Event Brite. For further information go to www.foh2010.com or email info@fohaiti2010.com. Doors will open at 2 p.m. It will also be broadcast live by Radio Television Caraibes and relayed by more than 50 Creole-language radio stations throughout the diaspora and Haiti.
Jacqueline Charles: @Jacquiecharles Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article36982800.html#storylink=cpy

Trump Tower: Dictators’ Home Away From Home

Are you a dictator looking to kick back and relax between exiles? Trump Tower has you covered.
Trump Tower may not be a safe space for the undocumented immigrants President Trump plans to deport. But it’s provided cozy shelter for supporters of some of the world’s nastiest regimes—including one of the most brutal dictators of the last half-century.
And while the mogul-turned-aspiring-holder-of-nuclear-codes has promised to be tough on freedom’s foes, he isn’t above selling them a sturdy roof and warm bed at night.
First off, there’s Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the now-deceased former dictator of Haiti who snagged a condo in New York City’s Trump Tower worth upward of $2.5 million. Duvalier was not a particularly nice person. For instance, he sold dead Haitians’ body parts to finance his fancy lifestyle (seriously!). Human Rights Watch’s dossier on Duvalier is as lengthy as it is gut-churning—incarceration of political foes in the horrific “Triangle of Death” prisons, lots of torture, and, naturally, disappearances and executions of dissenters.
The Haitian people eventually deposed Duvalier, and he moved to France. In the meantime, he accrued a variety of valuable assets, including—The Sunday Times of London reported in 1992—a $2 million yacht, at least $1.4 million in London and New York City bank accounts, and, of course, the neat little Trump Tower condo. The New York Times reported in 1989 that the Stroock & Stroock & Lavan law firm—hired by the Haitian government to search out assets Duvalier had stolen from the Caribbean island nation—only found out Duvalier owned Apartment 54-K because the dictator hadn’t paid his phone bill. The Haitian government put a lien on the property after he fled. The Sunday Times noted that Duvalier had trouble finding shelter (which happens when you sell people’s body parts), and that the president of Gabon explained his country would not accommodate the ex-dictator because it was “not a rubbish bin.” Duvalier ended up settling in France, where he managed to live a luxurious lifestyle despite the ocean separating him from his Trump Tower digs.
Then there’s the case of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator whom the United States would use military force against in 2011 because of the bloody Libyan civil war. In 2009, while Gaddafi was in New York City for a U.N. meeting, he sought to set up the large Bedouin-style tent he customarily took with him when traveling. After failing to receive permission to set up the tent in Central Park, he arranged to rent an estate owned by Trump.
The tent, which an ABC News helicopter filmed from the air, came “replete with rugs and patterned wall hangings,” and was set up on the Trump Organization’s 113-acre Seven Springs estate.
The tent was put up and taken down twice on said estate following legal threats from the town of Bedford, N.Y. Town attorney Joel Sachs threatened Trump with criminal prosecution if he and his organization didn’t dismantle the tent, according to the AP. Eventually it was dismantled. Gaddafi never personally came to Bedford.
At the time, the Trump Organization said it was unaware that Gaddafi had been the one behind the rental. But that didn’t stop Trump from bragging, years later, that he “screwed” the Libyan dictator.
“I rented him a piece of land,” Trump told Fox News. “He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for two years, and then I didn’t let him use the land.”
A representative for Brown Lloyd James, an international public relations firm that reportedly received more than $1.2 million from the Libyan government to help with “logistical support” for the U.N. visit in 2009, declined to comment when reached by phone by The Daily Beast.
This is all in addition to the love that Donald Trump has long showed dictators. He “loves the Saudis,” promised a “great relationship” with Putin, and supported Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea.
“Being a candidate who actually worked with a sanctions buster is going to be super awkward,” said Omri Ceren.
But it’s not just dictators themselves. Trump Tower apartments have also housed people who conspire with despots who don’t give a hoot about human rights.
Individuals like Reza Zarrab, an Iranian businessman who allegedly helped Iranians dodge Western sanctions—and who had office space in Trump Towers in Istanbul.
Zarrab was at the center of a complex scheme that helped the Islamic Republic get around Western sanctions that locked the country out of global financial markets. As the Jerusalem Post detailed in July, Zarrab helped the Turkish government use gold to buy oil and natural gas from Iran—an old-school way to handle financial transactions that the sanctions necessitated. The paper reported that Turkey sold Iran $20 billion worth of gold from 2012 to 2013, in exchange for fuel—violating international sanctions and providing much-need funds to a regime infamous for its nuclear ambitions and abysmal human rights record.

mardi 29 septembre 2015

Chef José Andrés on Giving and Getting Back in Haiti

The chef José Andrés at the Bassin-Bleu waterfalls in Haiti, 
a country he is promoting on a PBS special. 

What Took You So Long.org
The Spanish-born chef José Andrés, 46, has 21 restaurants around the country and in Puerto Rico, including the hot-ticket Minibar in Washington, D.C.
Lately, however, it’s his love for Haiti that is getting attention.
Mr. Andrés is the host of the new PBS one-hour special “Undiscovered: Haiti With José Andrés,” in which he explores the Caribbean island, sometimes with friends like former President Bill Clinton accompanying him.
The idea for the documentary, which is appearing on PBS stations this fall, came about when Mr. Andrés visited Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake in 2010. Since then, he has returned more than 20 times.
Below are edited excerpts from a conversation with Mr. Andrés.

Q. What was so unforgettable about your first trip to Haiti, and how did that trip lead to this documentary?
A. I loved the bustling streets of Port-au-Prince, the untouched coastlines and pristine beaches, the mountains and the lush forests. It’s a fascinating place, but most people relate it to the earthquake, poverty and other challenges. So I said, let’s change that and show the world the real Haiti. My hope is that through this documentary, people will see the country from a different, positive perspective and want to visit.

After your first trip, you established the nonprofit World Central Kitchen to help Haitians feed themselves. How exactly does it do that?
We empower five different communities around the country by giving them smart solutions to hunger.
A big goal is to educate them about clean cookstoves, which use solar and natural gas. In Haiti, when people use clean cooking fuels instead of firewood, they’re preserving forests, farming and fishing industries because when they use too much wood, deforestation happens, then rains come and wash away the soil farmers would use.
We also teach people how to cook so they can feed themselves sustainably and have a network of volunteer chefs from the United States and from Haiti who go into these communities and give lessons.

 Given that you’re a chef, food is a big focus of the documentary. What are your favorite dishes?
I have so many, like the djon-djon mushroom, especially with chicken. It’s a wild, earthy mushroom that gives the dish a deep black color and intense flavor. Then there’s a traditional soup called joumou, which is made of pumpkin and fried pork called griot. To drink, I like akasan, made of corn and coconut milk. It’s almost like a warm milkshake.

Besides food, what are your top adventures in the country that viewers can see in the documentary?
Visiting Citadelle Laferrière in Cap-Haïtien in northern Haiti. I was blown away by this incredible fortress that was built in the early 19th century during the slave revolution as a refuge for Haiti’s newly formed state. Sitting high up in the mountains and surrounded by green forests, you would not believe how stunning it is.

You want more tourism in Haiti. Why should travelers consider it for a getaway?
Why shouldn’t they? In a single day you can eat incredible food in the street, swim in a waterfall deep in the jungle, hunt for djon-djon mushrooms, and swim at the most perfect beaches that aren’t overflowing with people.
The history is also incredible. Haiti was one of the first places that Christopher Columbus landed in 1492 and is the only place in the world where slaves overthrew their masters, beat Napoleon’s army and established a republic.
And, given that Port-au-Prince is only a two-hour flight from Miami, and the prices of everything are affordable, it really is ripe for exploration.

lundi 28 septembre 2015


Le débat qui devrait avoir lieu maintenant en Haïti ou ailleurs c’est de démontrer combien il est difficile, voire impossible de réaliser des élections présidentielles avec plus d’une cinquantaine de candidats.
On discuterait de la mise en œuvre d’une politique avec un train de mesures efficaces visant à diminuer considérablement ce nombre qui pousse carrément à rire. Si rien est fait pour les élections à venir, le nombre de candidats connaîtra une croissance exponentielle. Car c’est dans l’air du temps d’être candidat à la présidence.
Comme le joueur de lotto qui se perd dans ses rêves qui s’émiettent après le tirage, beaucoup s’excitent et se grisent en se laissant appeler « président » par leurs partisans conditionnels.
Des élections avec un nombre aussi important de candidats est matériellement impossible. Haïti détient déjà le record dans ce domaine donc il faut absolument arrêter ce déferlement de candidats qui s’abat sur le pays comme la pire des diarrhées !
Ceux qui se lancent dans l’organisation de débats présidentiels feront bien d’expliquer comment organiser un débat sérieux avec 54 candidats !
Si par la magie des organisateurs cette liste a été réduite à un nombre plus décent et manipulable cela aurait voulu dire que le principe de neutralité n’est pas respecté et que les organisateurs s’éloignent de l’objectivité et influencent le sens des votes.
Une confrontation entre les élus qui se seraient extraits de cette mêlée en obtenant leurs tickets pour le second tour serait incontournable. Ce, même au niveau de la Diaspora ! Combattre c’est bien quand on sait choisir le bon combat. Se monter sur les fronts juste pour se montrer n’est d’aucune utilité !


Je me suis donné comme principe d'éviter le culte de la personnalité pour la simple et bonne raison de me garder d'encenser quelqu'un que je ne connais que partiellement.
Au lieu d'attribuer des caractéristiques trop dithyrambiques à quelqu'un que j'assimilerais à un ange, je préfère me dire que tout être humain est capable de vices et de vertus.
J'applaudis avec une ferveur égale au dédain mis en jeu quand je critique le comportement d'un être humain.
J'ai suivi avec un intérêt certain l'euphorie montée comme une vraie mayonnaise autour de la visite du Pape à Cuba et aux USA.
Le patron du Vatican n'a cessé d'étonner le monde catholique et les autres par ses prises de position et ses actes qui l'éloignent souvent du monde dogmatique conservateur et pincé de l'église catholique.
Souvent il tient tellement compte de l'humain au détriment du pur religieux, que j'oublie qu'il est le plus haut placé de la hiérarchie de l'église catholique.
Il me fait l'impression d'un humain imbu d'une sagesse universelle mise au service du bien-être de tous les hommes de la terre.
Souvent je me dis qu'il s'en fout des dogmes et que pour la première fois l'église est dirigée par un pape athé !
Plusieurs images sympathiques ont ponctué la visite très médiatisée du souverain pontife. On peut retenir en lieu et place de la papa mobile la petite fiat 500 faisant un drôle d'effet perdu dans les cortèges des grandes cylindrées.
Un ami à posté sur une page de réseau social une vidéo montrant le pape escalader seul un escalier le conduisant vers un avion.
Les commentaires tournaient autour du fait que le pape était tout seul et que le protocole aurait pu prévoir un accompagnement rapproché pour le au cas où.
J'ai pris du temps pour observer cette montée accidentée de l'escalier du chef de l'église.
J'ai eu l'impression que le pape faisait face à un vent qui soufflait assez fort et qui propulsait des éléments de son habillage vers son visage gênant ainsi sa vue et sa vision. Il trébucha une première fois sans tomber ni se lasser. Il poursuivit son ascension en trébuchant une deuxième fois…
Cette scène me rappela singulièrement celle de Jésus portant sa croix.
Aujourd'hui être chef d'église est loin d'être une charge facile dans un monde en ébullition ou le sacré entre en conflit avec l'évolution de la pensée humaine et se trouve dans un carrefour en pente glissante.
Cet homme âgé coiffé de ce grand titre et des responsabilités qui vont avec effectue constamment malgré lui une ascension difficile pour essayer de porter son message et sa voix vers l'humain dans son essence et dans sa souffrance.
Comme tout bon homme de Dieu dans la conception la plus humaine, il mérite respect et considération.
Jonas Jolivert

Obama Sends Merten Back to Haiti as New Election Crisis Looms

Georgianne Nienaber Become a fan
Writer and author
U. S. Presidents will sometimes scheme to preserve a legacy, but the media is strangely silent on the Obama administration's latest move in Haiti. With little fanfare from our shores, Kenneth Merten was appointed as the Haiti Special Coordinator in August 2015. Merten served as the United States Ambassador to Haiti from 2009 to July 2012. Why President Obama and John Kerry would want to return Merten to Haiti is anyone's guess, since his tenure as Ambassador did little to lift Haiti from the hell of the 2010 earthquake or the corruption that followed.
During Merten's time in Haiti, the country also faced allegations of a rigged Presidential election and misappropriation of earthquake relief funds. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs attributed some of the most egregious waste to USAID in blistering testimony: "Haiti: Is U.S. Aid Effective?" Included is a Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis of failures at the Caracol Industrial Park development, and other "programs that have been slowly implemented, more costly than planned, and of questionably lasting impact." Caracol is the creation of Hillary Clinton, her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and the Clinton Foundation.
Now, Merten returns to Haiti in the middle of another election crisis and an 18 percent August voter turn-out, which some observers think might be closer to 4-5 percent. The country's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has not yet released the final results from the August 9 legislative elections. The official website lists the population of each Department (similar to a province) and the number of votes cast, but no vote count by political party. The Haitian press has released "preliminary" results, but these have not been officially confirmed.
Last week, fifty of the more than 120 political parties and groups registered with the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) attended a meeting to determine why the CEP had not yet released a final vote tally. The meeting turned into a heckling fest, with attendees calling for the ouster of CEP President Pierre Louis Opont. According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Opont has lost all credibility.
Merten is a predictable choice to defend U.S. interests in the Haiti Parliamentary elections, since he was Ambassador to Haiti during the 2010-11 Haiti Presidential election cycle that installed musician "Sweet Mickey" Martelly. Results obtained by the CEP and the European Union-backed National Observation Council's (CNO) were switched, removing Jude Celestin from the runoff and advancing Martelly. It was essential to US interests that Martelly, and not Celestin, participate in the runoff.
In July 2015 CEP President Pierre Louis Opont said that the Unites States rigged the 2010 elections. As director general, Opont gave the official recount results to the international observers. He charged that Cheryl Mills, the Chief of State for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the observers from the Organization of American States (OAS) then gave results different than what were passed to them. People are angry that Opont did not speak up at that time and fear that he may once again be functioning as a puppet of the United States until "satisfactory" election results are obtained.
Election posters in October 2010, Port-Au-Prince (Photo Nienaber)
The release of emails from Hillary Clinton's private email server lends credence to Opont's story about 2010.
An email thread between Hillary Clinton and her Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills (Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05777664) was copied to Merten. In it, the Secretary of State participated in a heavily redacted discussion of a draft statement by the State Department on the elections. It appears that a defense was crafted that explained why the initial results released by the State Department were changed.
This is the statement we released late last night. Election results order Manigault, Celestin, Martielly (sic). May be good to have Tom Adams give you a quick update today.
In the email thread, on Tuesday December 7, 2010, Cheryl Mills instructs a staffer to "print the traffic" on a draft embassy statement that discusses something the "tabulation center" did not show in their first statement which quoted the CEP tabulations.
Current events are echoing the 2010 Presidential election under Merten's tenure while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Describing the August 2015 polling, the Miami Herald said, "Around the country, polling stations were attacked and ballots were stuffed after candidates and their partisans thought they were losing. Polls also opened late and political parties had problems getting credentials for their observers."
Haiti has been desperately seeking fair and credible elections since her formation, but meddling in elections has been a part of U.S. policy towards Haiti since at least 1915. At that time, forces opposed to his close ties with the United States assassinated Haitian President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. Sam had ordered his predecessor Oreste Zamor and 160 or so of his allies executed in Port-au-Prince.
U.S. Marines then took over the harbors in what amounted to a military invasion. The Haitian legislature was in session during this crisis and about to proceed to the election of a new president, when Admiral William B. Caperton, under orders from the U.S. State Department, "twice induced the Chambers to postpone the election." See "The Seizure of Haiti by the United States; A report on the military occupation of the Republic of Haiti and the history of the treaty forced upon her."
The State Department, "by the instruction of the President," requested the Navy Department to send a sufficient force of marines to control the situation absolutely, and Caperton was instructed that the United States favored the election of [Sudre] Dartiguenave.
History shows that U.S. "favored" elections are a sine qua non of Haitian election cycles.
The current President, Martelly, who cannot run for re-election, has dozens of candidates running throughout the country under his Haitian Tet Kale (Bald Headed) Party (PHTK).
The United States and others in the international community provided $38 million to the CEP to organize the August 9, 2015 elections. This amount is more than four times the amount spent by nations of similar to greater populations and circumstances, according to the Haiti Sentinel.
Election fixing is closely tied to USAID failures in Haiti.
Rewind the reels of history to November 2011 when Ambassador Merten stood with Bill Clinton, representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Korean apparel manufacturer Sae-A Co. Ltd., as they officially laid the foundation stone for the Caracol Industrial Park. Their protégée, the new Haitian President Michel Martelly, infamously said, "Haiti is open for business."
Merten hailed the Caracol Industrial Park and Sae-A's investment in Haiti as "a great victory" and said, "Investment is the real key to making the Haitian people more prosperous, which in turn will make the Haitian nation more independent and sovereign."
A lot has not happened at Caracol since 2011 when Merten claimed a "great victory" for the industrial park. The 2013 GAO analysis of failures there under Merten's tenure is epic and shows the folly of unaccountable USAID and Clinton Initiative programs in a region of Haiti that was untouched by the earthquake of 2010. A third or more of earthquake reconstruction funding was allocated to the industrial park, a power plant to run it, and a port facility to service the park.
Meanwhile Port-Au-Prince was rubble.
The 2015 GAO Report is not much improved from 2013. As of September 30, 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had allocated $1.7 billion to the Haiti reconstruction effort, but has dispersed only 54 percent or $911 million.
Merten has not said a word about the failure of USAID, but seems to be focusing on the unfolding election debacle. He urged "all parties to work together to solve the shortcomings observed during the elections on 9 August, to ensure that the elections of 25 October and 27 December next are conducted peacefully and credibly."
If it does not work out to his liking, Merten can always steal a page from history and request that the U.S. send in the Marines (again).
Follow Georgianne Nienaber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nienaber
MORE: Haiti Haiti Earthquake Usaid Kenneth Merten Hillary Clinton Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Clinton Initiative Foreign Policy Usaid Policy

Haiti, Indonesia join this year's International Folk Festival

Posted: Sunday, September 27, 2015 11:37 pm
By Paige Rentz Staff writer Fred and Nanoushka Sylvain just wanted to get their feet wet with their first booth at the International Folk Festival, and this was the weekend to do it.
"We did literally," said Nanoushka Sylvain from behind a table of bright arts and crafts handmade in Haiti. Her traditional Haitian dress had a rain-soaked ring of darker blue from spending Sunday afternoon in the misty Festival Park Plaza.
Fred, decked out in the red and blue of his nation's flag, celebrated his 36th birthday at the Fayetteville festival that is one year older than him.
The couple, both natives of Port-au-Prince, have lived in Fayetteville for 12 years and have been dedicated attendees. But their schedules always got in the way of making sure their own country was represented.
"This year we decided we're going to do it," he said.
The Sylvains said they want to make sure people see a side of Haiti other than the poverty and post-earthquake devastation often association with the Caribbean nation.
"A lot of people aren't seeing the beauty in Haiti, and this was the perfect opportunity to showcase that," Fred Sylvain said.
When people stopped by the booth, Nanoushka was ready to explain the cultural significance of every item and how it was made, from beaded purses with Voodoo symbols to painted houses representing the country's colonial era. This pride and collective spirit is what the festival is all about, said Bob Pinson, operations manager at the Arts Council, which organizes the event.
"Obviously the attendance was drastically impacted because of the weather," he said, adding that he didn't yet have an attendance estimate.
But from his standpoint, the event accomplished its goal.
"It's all about diversity and bringing the community together," he said.
The weather created plenty of opportunity for that. With the wind and rain after setup on Friday, vendors and staff arrived Saturday to find tents blown across the park, even into the creek.
Vendors stepped up to help their own competition, restaking tents or solving other problems.
"Just that whole spirit of cooperation and working together really drove home what this festival is all about," he said.
With all the work that goes into putting on the festival, it's certainly preferable to have the 100,000-plus crowds, he said.
The festival has grown over the years from a Sunday afternoon food event on Hay Street to the weekend-long celebration featuring about 35 countries performing on stage, marching in the parade, selling authentic food or wares, or some combination of them all.
Indonesia stepped up its participation this year, marching in the parade for the first time.
Dance instructors Krina Armstrong and Liza Soeryanto led a group of women in a dance to celebrate the harvest, native to Armstrong's region of Sumatra.
"Next year we're going to try a different island," said Soeryanto, adding they want to help people understand the great diversity of the nation with more than 17,000 islands and hundreds of languages.
The expansion will likely continue for both countries, as they look into offering food next year.
"We know the rain had a little impact on attendance, but people still showed up, and we've been getting a lot of support, people coming to congratulate us," Fred Sylvain said.
"It was nice," Nanoushka added, "just if God would grant us no rain, it would be better."
Staff writer Paige Rentz can be reached at rentzp@fayobserver.com or 486-2728.

Elections in Haiti: OAS mission urges actors to work together

Published on September 28, 2015
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- The chief of the electoral observation mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) in Haiti, the former foreign minister and minister of defence of Brazil, Celso Amorim, has urged all actors in the electoral process to work together ahead of the upcoming presidential elections on October 25.
oas_logo.jpg "These elections can be a historic moment for Haiti," said Amorim, who last week visited the country on a preliminary mission that concluded on Saturday.
"For that to happen, all the actors -- government, political parties, electoral authorities and the population -- must help to overcome the existing obstacles and to create the conditions that will allow for the political, social and economic development of Haiti," he said.
During his visit, Amorim met with President Michel Joseph Martelly, who was accompanied by the minister of foreign relations, Lener Renauld, and the minister delegate for the elections, Jean Fritz Jean Louis; with the prime minister, Evans Paul; with the minister of justice, Pierre-Richard Casimir; and with the president of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), Pierre-Louis Opont.
In addition, he held working meetings with the presidential candidates, with the representative of the secretary general of the United Nations, Sandra Honoré, and with the director general of the National Police, Godson Orélus, as well as with civil society organizations and the international community.
The EOM/OAS was able to deepen its understanding of the obstacles encountered during the first round of legislative elections, held on August 9, and to exchange ideas on the corrective measures needed to overcome them, so make the presidential elections inclusive and to ensure they take place in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
In this sense, the mission underlined the importance of guaranteeing conditions of trust between all the participants.
The security of the voters during the election and the protection of the electoral process are also issues to which the EOM/OAS has paid particular attention in its meetings with authorities and political parties.
Several actors highlighted the incidents of violence in the past elections. The EOM emphasizes the importance of having adequate security during the presidential elections in October, which will help lend credibility to the electoral process. The continuity of the process according to the law and to established timetables, in an atmosphere of peace and trust, is essential to attaining political stability and the consolidation of democratic institutions.

Helping Haitian Futures

A focus on health
By Kenny Moise
Op-Ed Contributor
Across the globe, the number of migrants has risen in the recent years. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the growing poverty in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and wars in others like Syria. We can recall the images of Aylan, the 3-year-old Syrian boy drowned in the Mediterranean sea while his family attempted to flee their war affected country. Closer to us, the story of Sonia has been related, fleeing deportation threats and intimidation in the Dominican republic where she lived.
She was not alone on her journey. As of July 2015, a significant number of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent fled the Dominican Republic for similar reasons. A large part gathered in cardboard-made tents, at Anse-a-Pitres, southeastern commune of Haiti. With a minimal assistance, these migrants are left vulnerable to important health risks in a hostile environment, considering the promiscuity, lack of resources and medical assistance. Let’s go around some of these health risks.
In Haiti, the rainy season extends from April to November. As the millimeters of rain accumulate, the risks of cholera outbreaks also rise since this infectious disease is evolving towards an endemic one in the country. At the Anse-a-Pitre’s camp, an adequate sanitation system to prevent the occurrence and spread of a cholera outbreak is definitely nonexistent, thus an exacerbated risk. However, cholera is not the only infectious disease to take into account as a health threat in this particular situation.
Tuberculosis- also endemic in Haiti- is spread by the means of promiscuity and enhanced by a poor nutritional state. In reference to the testimonies of Etant Dupain and Roxane Ledan, this describes precisely the catastrophic living conditions of the migrants. The context of promiscuity and lack of preventive medical care, also stands as a large ground for the occurrence of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
Simultaneously, potential women’s health issues can develop. In general, the pregnant women are exposed to countless pregnancy-related illnesses like anemia because an appropriate medical examination during the pregnancy is minimal, nay, totally unavailable. Plus, the context is favourable to high-risk delivery since an adequate medical equipment is absent.
On another side, unwanted pregnancies may result from the absence of birth control initiatives in the camp, such as an adequate education coupled with effective contraceptive tools. In the worst cases, women may arrest their pregnancy, in precarious conditions as it is often the case in Haiti where voluntary interruption of pregnancy is not supported by the law. These women’s health issues are not isolated from the risks of infectious diseases discussed above. They might come also in interactions with other health risks or propel their occurrence.
Among them, depression and substance abuse are rarely emphasized. No matter the cause of migration, whether forced or voluntary as for Aylan’s family and Sonia, the process remains traumatizing. The migrant or deported status itself carries a pejorative connotation, impairing the dignity of the person. For many, the current situation may appear like a defeat or a torturing humiliation, especially if the process involved the separation of family members or loss of material goods. This emotional pain is opportune for the development of neurosis and abuse of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sleep inducing medication. As consequences, violence against girls and women may occur and infections may be sexually transmitted, perpetuating the vicious circle. Unfortunately, the living conditions at the migrant camp, can only worsen the risks of mental ailments.
Despite this alarming situation, these health risks ultimately refer to the future, even if it means the next minute, hour or day. Therefore, they give us the possibility to act upon them. As organized social groups, as the government, let us come together to reinvent the future of a growing number of Haitians, desperate and abandoned. A safe environment where food, water, adequate shelter and medical assistance are available is a must to begin with. Based on these assets, an oriented and appropriate education should pave their way into a complete integration of the social life. In the face of this mighty challenge, we are left with little choice but unity and compassion.
Follow Kenny Moise on Twitter at @kennymoise
Note: the opinions expressed in Caribbean Journal Op-Eds are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Caribbean Journal.


Everyday Heroes: A Home in Haiti

Not the family she lives with in their Southeast Portland two-story, but her other family in Haiti.
Sarah was adopted when she was just 18 months old.
“My parents didn’t have enough money to take care of us, because they have like 10 kids or something,” Sarah said.
Her Portland mom, Kim Callahan, adopted Sarah from Haiti a decade ago.
“Since she was young, my nickname for her is Little Buddha because the wise and beautiful things that’ve come from her are just amazing,” Callahan said.
Even though Sarah, 12, has no memory of her birth parents, she’s been working for years to raise enough money to buy them land down in Haiti and build them a small house.
Sarah sews and sells hats and scarves, does extra work around the house, and puts on garage sales to earn the money.
She’s even started a GoFundMe page to try and crowdsource some funding.
Recently, she sent her birth parents $1,200 for land, and said she only needs $5,000 total to build them a small house.
Sarah hopes to go to Haiti personally next summer to see her parents again, help them build the house and give them a message more than a decade in the making.
“That I love them and thank you for letting me have the best future I could have.”
Who is your Everyday Hero? Nominate them here or message Brian Wood and we may feature them on KATU News.
Source: http://www.katu.com/news/local/Everyday-Heroes-A-Home-in-Haiti-329602021.html?tab=video&c=y

vendredi 18 septembre 2015

U.S.: Haiti presidential elections critical to the country’s future

BY JACQUELINE CHARLES jcharles@miamiherald.com

Haitian elections officials Thursday removed a convicted cocaine trafficker from the race for a seat in parliament as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned that the days ahead are critical to the country’s future. “We committed, all of us, to make an extraordinary effort to help Haiti come back,” Kerry said as he recalled the devastation of the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake before heading into a meeting with Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul at the State Department. “Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, the politics have stymied some of that process. And it is imperative for the elections that will take place in October to be successful to be able to restore the ability, to be able to continue the momentum.”
This was Paul and Kerry’s first meeting, and it came amid increasing tensions and criticism over the staging of Haiti’s fraud and violence marred Aug. 9 legislative elections by the country’s Provisional Electoral Council. Around the country, polling stations were attacked and ballots were stuffed after candidates and their partisans thought they were losing. Polls also opened late and political parties had problems getting credentials for their their observers.


The nine-member council, known by as the CEP, has acknowledged there were problems and promised to make improvements ahead of Oct. 25 when first round of presidential, second round of legislative and local elections are scheduled. But more than a month after the August vote, elections officials are still trying to sort out how to resolve the balloting, and have yet to publish final results.
“We had a first round of elections on August 9th, which took place with some problems,” Paul said during his appearance with Kerry. “We’re aware of those problems, and we are committed to correct these problems in October during the second round, as well as the first round of the presidential election.
“What we want and we have decided,” he added, “is that next year, 2016, in January, we’ll have a democratically elected parliament, and on February 7, we will have a newly democratically elected president.”
Achieving this, however, remains problematic. As Paul made the rounds in Washington, opposition groups continued to demonstrate on the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding cancellation of the Aug. 9 vote and the resignations of elections chief Pierre-Louis Opont and President Michel Martelly.
Others, including Verite, a leading opposition party backed by former President René Préval, has said it will not continue in the process with the current CEP because it lacks credibility.
“When an electoral institution persists in continuing the electoral operations without the established truth on the violence of the first round, which prevented women to exercise fully and safely their political rights, what signal does it want to convey to us? Use violence if we want to participate in the proceedings?” said Marie Frantz Joachim, the head of the women rights group, SOFA.

Gustave Gallon, the U.N.-appointed expert on human rights

Despite the criticism, the CEP has continued with electoral spending and members are in Dubai to review the printing of election ballots.
On Thursday, Opont announced that it was disqualifying legislative candidate Ernst Jeudy after the Miami Herald published a story about his 1987 conviction in a Miami-Dade County court for cocaine trafficking. Council members have also invited political parties to a meeting Friday to discuss a possible new elections calendar. Among the proposals being considered: moving the legislative runoffs to Dec. 27 and re-running the legislative races on Oct. 25 in the more than two dozen constituencies that had problems.
Along with Kerry, Paul also met with Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States. The hemispheric body said this week that it supports the presidential elections and had a high-level mission in Haiti meeting with election officials and politicians. Next week, the chief of the OAS’ electoral observation mission, former Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs Celso Amorim, will visit Port-au-Prince to make preparations for observers.
Secretary of State John Kerry
The OAS, which observed the Aug. 9 vote, has acknowledged there were problems and said it has provided recommendations to help the CEP. Haitian observer missions and human rights advocates, however, say the CEP has ignored calls for an independent investigation into what happened, and failed to issue proper sanctions against those behind the violence and fraud.
Hearing the concerns, Gustave Gallon, the U.N.-appointed expert on human rights, ended his visit to Haiti this week calling on Haitians to do what they can to ensure that the Oct. 25 elections take place. Like others, however, Gallon also questioned the CEP’s handling of the vote, particularly its decision to remove university provost Jacky Lumarque from the list of 54 presidential candidates. The CEP, he said, should either publicly explain its reasoning or readmit Lumarque.
“No candidate can be excluded from the list without a solid argument,” he said.
Read more here:


Note: A l'occasion de la mort de Monsieur Max Beauvoir, nous publions cet article paru il y a six ans dans les colonnes du nouvellistes annonçant l'arrivée dans la bibliothèque vodou deux ouvrages estimés très importants. Nous reprenons cet article qui se retrouve dèja sur le blog mais dont la lecture était assez difficile à cause du mariage de couleurs bizarres rendant la lecture assez difficile et fatigante. Un lecteur nous a demandé à travers un commentaire de  la rendre plus accessible!
Merci beaucoup à ce lecteur!....Dr Jonas JOLIVERT

Comme pour rendre plus visibles et plus lisibles certaines paroles secrètes ou sacrées, pour les rendre plus accessibles à lecture des curieux, des profanes et des scientifiques, Max Beauvoir publie deux livres importants. Les éditions des Presses Nationales d'Haïti, avec la complicité du hougan scientiste, ont célébré ainsi la mémoire du vodou, en passant de l'oralité à l'écriture. « Lapriyè Ginen» et « Le Grand recueil Sacré » sont deux ouvrages de référence qui proposent une compilation sélective de prières et de chants.
"Lapriyè Ginen" pour communiquer avec l'invisible
L'ouvrage intitulé « Lapriyè Ginen» est composé des quatre parties suivantes :
1-La priyè Sen Franswa-Sen Dominik,
2.- La Litanie Djo,
3- Lapriyè Djo,
4- Les Bouhoun ou les chants funéraires.
Dans ce répertoire de prières vaudou haïtien, le mot « Ginen» est présenté dans ses différents aspects et sur plusieurs plans, en tant qu'espace géographique, lieu mystique, etc. Des prières accompagnent des rituels exécutés dans bon nombre de Houmfò de différentes régions du pays sont accessibles à tous.
Des litanies et des prières, la communication entre les vivants et les morts est possible et se manifeste à travers des demandes, des voeux de remerciements, des complaintes et des soupirs...
N'est-ce pas que la prière est un fil qui relie les deux mondes visibles et invisibles au moyen de paroles silencieuses ou prononcées, par moment de méditation, en trouvant sa locomotivité grâce à la foi du croyant.
"Le Grand recueil Sacré" ou la mémoire musicale du vodou
Le Grand recueil sacré contient des mots en créole et en français et d'autres mots en de langues encore parlées dans les territoires où sont originaires nos grands parents tels le Bénin, le Togo, le Ghana...
Il est possible d'accéder à une compréhension de la culture du peuple haïtien en voyageant à travers la musique décrite dans les quelques cinq cents pages qui composent cet ouvrage magistral.
1763 chansons sont transcrites dans cet ouvrage. C'est une sélection parmi un nombre imposant de chansons que les vodouisants chantent et dansent dans les nombreux Lakou du pays, où les 401 lwa défilent.
Des chansons pour toutes les occasions, des chansons qui racontent la révolte comme la misère, des chants qui expriment les luttes, l'espoir, la tristesse, les louanges aux lwa, des victoires comme des défaites. En un mot, il s'agit de la musique engagée et sacrée. Tous les rites et les « Nations », 21 au total, sont servis dans ce recueil. Du Rada au Nago, en passant par Guedé, Pétro, Bizango, Makaya, Mahi et autres.
La plupart des chansons s'adressent à Dieu ou traitent des questions autour de l'Etre suprême, du créateur et conservateur de l'univers.
Lire le vodou
A travers ces deux ouvrages, « Lapriyè Ginen» et « Le Grand recueil Sacré », il est possible de lire aux travers des chants et des prières formulés en privé comme dans les grandes cérémonies organisées dans bon nombre de péristyles.
Ces paroles libérées de la bouche des maîtres et des initiés pour mieux éclairer certains tabous et mystères de cette religion qui mérite plus que des critiques !
Mais beaucoup plus de questionnements ou un certain rapprochement si on doit penser au développement du pays, à la déconcentration et au rapprochement entre le monde de la paysannerie et les grandes villes ! Ces messages sont, depuis quelques mois, accessibles aux chercheurs comme aux profanes, aux initiés comme aux curieux, aux ethnologues comme aux artistes en quête de questionnement et d'approfondissement de certaines vérités.
Dominique DOMERÇANT dominique@domercant.com

mercredi 16 septembre 2015

Haiti shows how wealthy countries 'continue to cause disaster'

Workers get paltry wages at foreign firms that 'extract the profits from their labour,' researcher says

By Nicola Luksic, Tom Howell, CBC News
 Posted: Sep 15, 2015 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 15, 2015 4:05 PM ET

An aid project in Haiti brokered by U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is having unfortunate and unintended consequences, according to new research from a Western University scholar that questions the merits of wealthy countries' economic interventions in the developing world.
Recent PhD graduate Marylynn Steckley spent nearly six years with her young family living in Haiti, both as an aid worker and as a researcher.
"I'm now struggling to see what the good ways of helping are," Steckley says. "Wealthy nations continue to cause disaster, poverty in Haiti. And the path to understanding is looking at how we contribute to that destruction."
In the wake of the 2010 earthquake that claimed the lives of up to 300,000 people, more than $10 billion was pledged by the international community. Of that, only about $4 billion has been allocated, but not all of it spent.
And of the money that was allocated toward economic development, Steckley says, it tends to benefit the giver more than the receiver.
She cites the Caracol Industrial Park, on Haiti's northern coast, as a prime example.
In 2012, then U.S. secretary of State Hillary Clinton — along with Bill Clinton, who was the UN special envoy to Haiti — oversaw the official opening of Caracol. The industrial park was financed by $224 million US in subsidies from mostly American partners. The factory zone was estimated to provide upward of 60,000 jobs. The biggest employer at the park is Sae-A, a Korean clothing manufacturer that supplies major U.S. retailers like Walmart, the Gap and Old Navy.
"What is happening here in Caracol is already having ripple effects that will create jobs and opportunities far beyond this industrial park," Hillary Clinton said at the opening ceremony, which included film stars Sean Penn and Ben Stiller among its guests.
But in the post-earthquake urgency to get the industrial park open, 450 farmers who relied on the land for subsistence had to be removed from their fertile plots. Some were only given five days' notice before the bulldozers moved in to clear the land on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake.
"It is one of the most heart-wrenching stories you can hear," says Kysseline Chérestal, a Haitian-American lawyer who works for ActionAid, an organization working to end poverty and improve human rights. She and her team interviewed about 150 of the farmers since their displacement.
"I don't mean to be dramatic, but from the perspective of an individual life, it's a horrific situation."
For the full story, listen to Nicola Luksic and Tom Howell's documentary Just Trying To Help online or tonight at 9:05 (9:35 in N.L.) on CBC Radio's Ideas.
Sae-A currently employs just over 5,000 factory workers — mostly women under age 30 — at minimum wage, which is roughly $5 US per day. Chérestal says a living wage that would provide three square meals a day in Haiti would be at least double that.
The entire Caracol Industrial Park currently employs 5,500 people — far short of the original goal.
"People take these jobs because there are no other options," says Chérestal, who points out that many employees don't last more than a year or two. Some of the women she spoke to took the job out of desperation.
"This is not a job to lift themselves out of poverty. It's just a job that is allowing them to survive right now."
'Listen to what they want'
While Shamsie says wealthier nations have an obligation to support Haitian efforts to improve food security, she believes Haiti's more powerful neighbours are often too eager to intervene to the detriment of those the aid is supposed to be helping.
Marylynn Steckley, researcher on development efforts in Haiti
'Wealthy nations continue to cause disaster, poverty in Haiti,' researcher Marylynn Steckley says. (Josh Steckley)
"The best way to help someone is to listen to what they want," Shamsie says. "In Haiti, a little less help would be useful."
"Caracol is a prime example of bad help," Steckley says. "The interests of the market, the interest of foreigners are prioritized over the majority of people who are impoverished in Haiti. The idea is that Haitian employees continue to make very minimum wages that barely provide for their subsistence while foreign companies extract the profits from their labour."
The Clinton Foundation did not respond to interview requests, but Sae-A provided a written statement stating that "thousands of people who have never been employed [now] have a job" and the company hopes to double its workforce in Caracol within the next year.
Food sovereignty
Steckley's research in Haiti was inspired by Haitian activist Harry Nicolas, who for decades has promoted local food production in the country as a solution to food insecurity.
"We need to resolve our own problems," Nicolas says. "I would one day like to see a Haitian give aid to a foreigner."

Harry Nicholas in Port au Prince Harry Nicholas, seen at
a market in Port au Prince, is devoted to supporting local
food production in Haiti, which relies on imports for 60 per cent
of its consumption. (Josh Steckley)

 Haiti now relies on food imports for 60 per cent of food consumption, including as much as 80 percent of all rice. Decades of farmland being used for mass export monocrops like sugar, mangos and coffee leave less land for smaller scale self-sustenance farming.
And there is a domino effect triggered by import-dependence, Nicolas says.
"Haiti is a small country that doesn't have a responsible state that can control what comes in. So we are all exposed to whatever comes in, and it's foreigners making money. And imported food discourages Haitians from planting."
Listen to the documentary Just Trying To Help for the full story, either here online or tonight on CBC Radio's Ideas starting at 9:05 p.m. (9:35 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador).

Louisville doctor opens women's cancer screening clinic in Haiti

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —A Louisville doctor has launched an initiative to help fight a cervical cancer epidemic in Haiti.
Dr. Robert Hilgers developed The Women's Global Cancer Alliance, a nonprofit organization fueled by donations.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer.
Women in the U.S. are educated about the virus and can get vaccinated, but developing countries have no such resources.
“The unfortunate part, for about 90 percent of the women in Haiti, is the fact that there is no vaccine available," Hilgers said.
There is very little screening in Haiti, and no cancer treatment centers, according to Hilgers.
“(That) means they also do not have radiation therapy, which is vital for women who have cancer of the cervix,” Hilgers said.
He said a diagnosis of cervical cancer in Haiti is almost always fatal.
“Cancer of the cervix has been identified as an epidemic in Haiti. (It’s the) highest incident of cancer in the cervix in the world, (and) we have a chance to eliminate it,” Hilgers said.
That's why Hilgers developed the Women's Global Cancer Alliance.
He opened a free clinic in Haiti to screen patients through a preventive treatment.
“(We're) painting the cervix with just ordinary household vinegar and identifying if there (are) pre-cancer cells on the cervix with medical binoculars,” Hilgers said.
He said if a lesion is detected, it's frozen off.
Hilgers said the nonprofit needs community support to keep the mission in motion.
“We need supplies, we need renewal of medical equipment,” he said.
Hilgers hopes to eventually offer HPV vaccines in Haiti, where he will return next month.
A fundraiser, "A Night in Haiti," is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Gingerwoods off Brownsboro Road in Prospect.
A $50 donation is suggested.
For more information on how you can help visit http://www.womensgca.org/.


The witchdoctor who 'proved' that zombies are REAL: The spine-tingling story of the Haitian Voodoo leader who revealed the secrets of 'zombie powder'... and given the West nightmares ever since

- Max Beauvoir, known as the 'Pope of Voodoo', died age 79 on Saturday
Introduced Harvard professor Wade Davis to shaman named Marcel Pierre after a Haitian man who had been buried 18 years earlier returned to life
- Pierre gave up recipe to a zombie powder which brought dead back to life
- Davis wrote 'Serpent and the Rainbow' which kicked off the 'zombie craze' after it was made into a horror flick by Wes Craven

PUBLISHED: 06:41 GMT, 16 September 2015 |

At 1.15am On May 2, 1962, a Haitian man called Clairvius Narcisse was pronounced dead by two doctors after weeks of an excruciating, mystery fever. His corpse was identified by his two sisters, Marie-Clare and Angelina.
Resurrected: Clairvius Narcisse (pictured
 in 1980)  was pronounced dead by two doctors
and buried in 1962. But came back from the dead
18 years later and said a witchdoctor resurrected him
Narcisse's family buried him in a small cemetery near the dusty town of l'Estere the next day in what should have been the end of his story.

Eighteen years later, in 1980, a heavy-footed, vacant-eyed man approached Angelina at the village market and introduced himself as her brother, the man she buried in 1962.
Narcisse explained to her that he had been resurrected by a witch doctor who had enslaved him on a sugar plantation.

'Pope of Voodoo': Max Beauvoir (pictured),
 the Haitian king of the witchdoctors, has died at the age of 79
Mystical: The story of Narcisse being brought back from the dead was accepted by many of the villagers as Haitians (pictured bathing in a sacred pool in Souvenance village) believe in the magical power of voodoo Mystical: The story of Narcisse being brought back from the dead was accepted by many of the villagers as Haitians (pictured bathing in a sacred pool in Souvenance village) believe in the magical power of voodoo
Local villagers, like most Haitians who believe in the magical power of Voodoo, accepted the story - but Western scientists were obviously sceptical of his apparent resurrection.
 Wade Davis' book, the Serpent and the Rainbow (left), 
 was adapted into a 'hugely successful' movie 
by the same name (right)
Cult sensation: Wade Davis' book, the Serpent and the Rainbow (left), 
was adapted into a 'hugely successful' movie by the same name (right)
Narcisse's outlandish tale prompted Harvard professor Wade Davis to trek deep into the Haitian jungle where he met Max Beauvoir, who would later become the king of witch doctors - known as the 'Pope of Voodoo'.
Beauvoir introduced the Professor to a 'bokor', or sorcerer, who gave him a magical ‘zombie powder’ recipe with the power to resurrect the dead.
Davis was so convinced by the wonder powder that he wrote the cult book 'the Serpent and the Rainbow', which was turned into a a movie blockbuster directed by Wes Craven, starring Bill Pullman – and sparked a new genre of zombie movies, myths and horror stories.
The ‘Godfather of Voodoo’, Beauvoir, who passed away on Saturday, was the head of Haiti’s 6,000 'houngans', or witchdoctors.
As their spiritual leader he was credited with the weird and the wonderful from halting a US invasion to saving thousands of voodoo priests from an angry lynch mob, who blamed them for a cholera outbreak.
The charismatic voodoo king was even said to have bewitched former US President Bill Clinton, who fell under his spell at a chance meeting in 1975 and wrote about their encounter in his memoirs.
Ritual: A young vooodoo follower,
caked in dried mud, holds the head of a slain bull
during a ceremony in Plaine du Nord, 
But to millions of horror fans, Beauvoir’s legacy is the day he andhis daughter Rachel led Davis to the witchdoctor and magical voodoo powder, which spawned 'The Serpent and the Rainbow' and inspired a generation of zombie movie obsessives.
Donald Cosentino, Professor of World Arts & Cultures at UCLA and Beauvoir’s friend, told MailOnline how that fateful meeting led to a global fascination with the living dead.
'The Serpent and the Rainbow had a huge influence on the rest of the world. It reignited a lot of discussion about zombies.
'It made real waves in Euro-American society and it began the re-emergence of other zombie movies.'
He added: 'Without Max, Wade could never have written this book. And it wouldn't have been written and there never would been the craze about zombies that ensued.'
The other side: Canadian ethnobotanist Wade Davis travelled to Haiti in search for the 'zombie powder' which resurrected Clairvius Narcisse (pictured)
The other side: Canadian ethnobotanist Wade Davis travelled to Haiti in search for the 'zombie powder' which resurrected Clairvius Narcisse (pictured)
Walking dead: Narcisse (pictured) claimed that he had been through 'zombification' and more than 200 members of his family and village said they would 'swear' on his resurrection
Walking dead: Narcisse (pictured) claimed that he had been through 'zombification' and more than 200 members of his family and village said they would 'swear' on his resurrection Superstitious: A group of men dressed as zombies perform a symbolic ritual in Haiti, where the majority of people that zombies are simply the deceased brought back to life as 'slaves'
Superstitious: A group of men dressed as zombies perform a symbolic ritual in Haiti, where the majority of people that zombies are simply the deceased brought back to life as 'slaves'
Davis’ book all began as one man’s quest to solve the mystery of the resurrected man, Clairvius Narcisse.
He had theories about the chemicals which could have caused Narcisse to feel disorientated.
He could also explain why back from the dead Narcisse had the sensation of feeling like he was floating outside of his the body, and why his temperature plummeted and he couldn’t speak.
But Davis, an ethnobotanist who specialises in the 'relationship between people and plants', was as baffled as anyone at how Narcisse was pronounced deceased by not one, but two US doctors.
To find the truth behind Narcisse’s astonishing story, Davis needed to watch a voodoo priest prepare a concoction, which locals called 'zombie powder', which was said to turn people into 'mindless slaves'.
He approached Beauvoir, who introduced him to a black magic-practising witchdoctor named Marcel Pierre.
Pierre gave Davis the recipe to the mystical potion which occupied the grey no man’s land between magic and science.
He discovered the potion was made from the crushed skull of a deceased baby, freshly-killed blue lizards, a dead toad wrapped in a dried sea worm and an 'itching pea' - an exotic type of vine.
But the powder’s most noxious ingredient came from a poisonous puffer fish whose liver and reproductive organs contain tetrodotoxin, a powerful nerve poison thousands of times more toxic than deadly cyanide.
Davis sent a sample of the 'zombie powder' to Professor Leon Roizin at the Columbia Presbyterian College, New York, who carried out some quick tests.
Blind belief: Haitian voodoo followers splattered with the blood of sacrificed goats take part in a ceremony during the annual festival in Souvenance, Haiti
Blind belief: Haitian voodoo followers splattered with the blood of sacrificed goats take part in a ceremony during the annual festival in Souvenance, Haiti Voodoo faith: Haitian black magic followers bathe in a sacred pool during the annual voodoo festival in Souvenance, 100 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince
Voodoo faith: Haitian black magic followers bathe in a sacred pool during the annual voodoo festival in Souvenance, 100 miles from the capital Port-au-Prince He applied the powder to the shaved backs of laboratory rats who soon became completely comatose and only moved when they were 'strongly stimulated'. Six hours later, they were motionless and appeared to be dead but they had a faint heartbeat and lab equipment showed the presence of brainwaves. Davis was convinced that the powder caused the death and resurrection of victims and turned them into zombies.
He went on to say that those under the spell such as Narcisse were turned into ‘mental slaves’ because their zombie-like state made them easily manipulated. He said they could be kept in their dreamy state with regular doses of a poisonous plant called datura stramonium, which causes 'amnesia, delirium and suggestibility'. Davis' book and his zombie powder theory was controversial and has never been independently proven to work.
Professor Cosentino, who described voodoo chief Beauvoir as 'gracious, well-spoken and skilled in many languages', also told of his many sensational claims where he said he found antidotes to incurable diseases. 'I used to speak to him on the phone a lot. One of his grandest claims was that he had an antidote to the HIV virus,’ the professor.
'He told me personally that he performed a religious ceremony for Indira Gandhi [India's first female prime minister] by sacrificing a bull.'
Quest: The book was turned into a blockbuster movie starring Bill Pullman (centred) as an anthropologist who goes to Haiti in search of drug that turns people into zombies
Quest: The book was turned into a blockbuster movie starring Bill Pullman (centred) as an anthropologist who goes to Haiti in search of drug that turns people into zombies Trend setter: Davis' book and Wes Craven's movie kick-started the zombie horror genre which has spawned hundreds of movies since
Trend setter: Davis' book and Wes Craven's movie kick-started the zombie horror genre which has spawned hundreds of movies since 'Part of the secret knowledge he associated with was the resurrection of the dead. He wouldn't have related this to the zombie medicine, but he would have to the AIDS medicine.
'Max would say that voodoo can be used to capture a person's soul and also to reanimate a dead person.'
Voodoo, called Vodou by Haitians, evolved in the 17th century when colonists brought slaves to Haiti from West Africa.
The majority of Haiti's 10 million citizens practise a blend of voodoo mixed with west-African beliefs and elements of Christianity, today.
Followers see no contradiction in burying a person with the full rites of the Catholic Church while believing that the person can be raised from death by the magic of a ‘bokor’.
Haitians believe zombies are mindless slaves brought back to life by bokors, according to a Webster University report.
They see 'zombification' as a form of social sanction which is imposed by witch doctors as a means of 'maintaining order' and control in local communities.
Webster University claimed Beauvoir said criminals and people who misbehave are turned into zombies as it removes their desire to commit 'bad deeds'.
A government statement confirmed Beauvoir died on Saturday in Haiti capital Port-au-Prince after an illness, although the cause is unknown.
President Michel Martelly described his death as a 'great loss for the country'.
Hugely popular among the Haitian middle class and Westerners alike, Beauvoir calmed tension when witchdoctors were being lynched for 'causing the cholera outbreak', which killed more than 2,000 people in 2010. He also played a crucial role in stopping the planned US invasion of Haiti in 1994, it is claimed.
Then President Bill Clinton, who had met Beauvoir in 1975, threatened to attack Haiti if deposed president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was not reinstated following a military coup.
Haiti's generals were reluctant to surrender power, but with less than an hour before the attack, acting President Emile Jonassaint rang Beauvoir for his advice.
The voodoo leader told him: 'Peace is better than war.'
On his words, Jonassaint surrendered to the US, the generals stood down and the invasion was called off at the eleventh hour.
As the global face of the ancient African religion and keeper of its dark secrets, Beauvoir believed voodoo was sensationalised and misunderstood.
Magical figure: Haiti's President Michel Martelly described Beauvoir's (right) death as a 'great loss for the country'
Magical figure: Haiti's President Michel Martelly described Beauvoir's (right) death as a 'great loss for the country' Mystical theories: Voodoo followers dive into a massive vat of mud in Plaine du Nord, Haiti, during a traditional ceremony Mystical theories: Voodoo followers dive into a massive vat of mud in Plaine du Nord, Haiti, during a traditional ceremony Ritual: A young vooodoo follower, caked in dried mud, holds the head of a slain bull during a ceremony in Plaine du Nord, Haiti

Haiti Kosanba, a California-based association dedicated to studying Haitian voodoo, affectionately called him ‘Papa Max’.
The group said he was a visionary who recognised that there is no divide between science and religion.
'He understood the spiritual dimension as it intersects religion and rituals, and mastered all. He was called upon to serve, and he did it well,' a statement said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3233729/The-witch-doctor-proved-zombies-REAL-spine-tingling-story-Haitian-Voodoo-leader-revealed-secrets-zombie-powder-given-West-nightmares-since.html#ixzz3ltujVjNR Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

mercredi 9 septembre 2015

Une force policière en manque de légitimité en Haïti

Avec la réduction significative des effectifs de la Mission des Nations unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti (MINUSTAH), présente au pays depuis 2004, la Police nationale haïtienne (PNH) a désormais davantage de responsabilités. C’est elle qui doit assurer la sécurité au cours du long cycle d’élections législatives et présidentielle lancé début août. Est-elle prête ? Où en est la PNH, formée par de nombreuses organisations policières — dont la canadienne — sous le chapeau onusien ? Explications de Samuel Tanner, professeur de criminologie et spécialiste des questions policières internationales au CERIUM.

La PNH est-elle en mesure d’assurer à elle seule la sécurité en Haïti ?
Dans son état actuel, on peut en douter. D’abord parce que la situation sociale et politique est tendue, comme on l’a vu en août lors du premier tour des élections législatives, accompagnées de violences ponctuelles. La population est excédée par l’incapacité chronique des autorités et de l’opposition à s’entendre sur la gouvernance du pays. Ces tensions constituent de réels défis pour une organisation policière en réforme et aux prises avec un manque de ressources, tant du point de vue de la formation que des moyens à disposition. Le risque est grand de voir des policiers, à ce stade de leur développement, faire un usage peu approprié de la force pour gérer les manifestants et maintenir l’ordre, faisant croître davantage les tensions sociales.

Il faut ensuite rappeler qu’en dépit des efforts gigantesques de réforme de la PNH entrepris par la MINUSTAH il y a plus de 10 ans, sa crédibilité et sa légitimité restent très faibles aux yeux de la population. Les problèmes documentés de corruption endémique sous Aristide, où de nombreuses places stratégiques ont été pourvues par des « amis politiques » sans que ceux-ci aient la connaissance et l’expérience requises, a largement compromis sa neutralité politique.
Les gouvernements subséquents ont certes déployé de grands efforts pour corriger la situation, mais de nombreux problèmes limitent encore l’efficacité et la fiabilité de la PNH, dont l’influence considérable qu’exercent d’anciens militaires qui souhaitent la transformer en force militaire, alors qu’elle devrait se rapprocher davantage de la communauté pour créer et consolider des liens de confiance avec elle.
Qu’est-ce qui pose problème sur le plan de la formation de la PNH ?
L’écrasante majorité de ses membres ont été formés par les contingents internationaux de police des Nations unies (UNPOL). Nonobstant la grande diversité des compétences des formateurs, issus d’organisations policières de nombreux pays, la formation des policiers locaux reste tributaire des philosophies et modèles des différents contingents nationaux des UNPOL.

Par exemple, la Gendarmerie nationale française, organisation de type militaire, offre une formation qui diffère grandement d’une approche dite communautaire, telle qu’adoptée par la police canadienne, très présente en Haïti. Il n’est pas question de privilégier un modèle sur l’autre, ni de juger leur valeur respective, mais plutôt de souligner le manque de cohérence dans la formation des policiers locaux, qui tendent alors à se démotiver.

Alors que faire ? Peut-on penser que la PNH pourra être sous peu autonome et efficace ?
Certaines conditions devront s’appliquer, à commencer par la nécessité pour les pays donateurs d’éviter de calquer leur modèle national sur une situation qui diffère de la leur, tant du point de vue des ressources que du climat politique et social. Peut-on espérer, en l’espace de quelques décennies, voir émerger une police haïtienne capable de maintenir l’ordre efficacement alors que dans les pays occidentaux, les forces policières ont mis au moins 150 ans pour ce faire ?
Il ne faudrait pas pour autant succomber au cynisme. Une clé de réussite consiste à s’assurer que la PNH dispose des ressources humaines, matérielles et financières suffisantes pour assurer son mandat en fonction des réalités haïtiennes.

Les donateurs devraient aussi mettre sur pied des garde-fous pour garantir son fonctionnement démocratique, c’est-à-dire s’assurer qu’elle n’est pas au service des gouvernements qui se succèdent, mais de la règle de droit et de la population. Cela dit, il ne faut pas oublier que la police n’est qu’un élément du système de la justice criminelle, avec le judiciaire et le pénitentiaire. Si ceux-ci sont défaillants, la PNH ne pourra pas faire de miracles.

Haïti: le ministre de l'Education veut réformer "l'école de l'échec"

Ce lundi, près de trois millions d'enfants haïtiens reprennent le chemin de l'école et, face aux difficultés économiques des familles et de l'Etat, le ministre de l'Education s'attèle à réformer le système éducatif, source d'exclusion et d'échec.
Nesmy Manigat n'hésite pas à dénoncer les énormes difficultés de cette nouvelle rentrée scolaire. "Aujourd'hui, 10% des enfants, soit environ 400.000, n'iront de toute façon pas à l'école", regrette le ministre. "Et sur 100 enfants qui entrent à l'école cette année, moins de 10 arriveront à la fin du secondaire sans avoir redoublé ou abandonné."
Face à ce fort taux de déperdition, le fonctionnaire porte un jugement implacable: "c'est une école de l'échec, une école qui exclut."
La pauvreté des familles est le premier facteur qui empêche Haïti d'aborder sereinement le début de l'année scolaire.
"La scolarité est supposée être gratuite mais, bien entendu, il y a toujours des frais afférents qui doivent être couverts par les parents."
Des frais pour acheter uniformes, manuels et matériel scolaires que "tout le monde n'est malheureusement pas en mesure de payer", regrette Jean Ludovic Metenier, représentant adjoint de l'Unicef en Haïti.
Car le programme d'éducation universelle gratuite et obligatoire, lancé par le président Michel Martelly, ne finance que l'inscription aux écoles. Et surtout ne concernent pas les établissements privés qui accueillent encore 60% des élèves haïtiens.
- 200 élèves par classe -
Militant pour une éducation publique de qualité, Nesmy Manigat a recommandé des effectifs maximum de 60 élèves par classe au lycée.
"C'est quelque chose qu'un ministre ne devrait jamais répéter car on devrait être à 35/40 maximum pour un pays comme Haïti," avoue le ministre. "Malheureusement dans mon pays, beaucoup de salles de classe accusent des effectifs pléthoriques de 150, 200 élèves. Sur ces 200 élèves, c'est à peine si 10% réussissent l'année scolaire. Vos enfants n'apprennent strictement rien", reconnaît-il en s'adressant aux familles pauvres qui n'ont pas d'autre choix que de scolariser leurs enfants dans le secteur public.
Et les classes surchargées ne sont pas l'unique obstacle à la bonne éducation des jeunes Haïtiens : 85% des maîtres actuellement en poste n'ont pas reçu de formation initiale au métier ou auraient besoin d'une formation additionnelle.
Une réalité connue du ministère qui peine à motiver le corps enseignant. "Compte tenu du niveau des salaires, la profession n'attire pas grand monde", admet Nesmy Manigat. "Le salaire est de 20.000 gourdes en moyenne donc 300 euros le mois, ça n'est pas énorme : ça ne peut pas permettre à un individu de vivre véritablement."
Chaque année, cette faiblesse des salaires et le retard de leur versement par l'Etat amène les professeurs à faire grève. "L'an dernier, les écoles publiques ont perdu l'équivalent d'un mois et demi de jours de classe," dit le ministre qui rappelle régulièrement qu'en République dominicaine voisine la rentrée des classes a eu lieu le 17 août. "Haïti ne peut pas accuser un retard : assurer 200 jours de classe, c'est un défi mais il faut y arriver."
Désireux d'améliorer la qualité de l'enseignement et donc la compétitivité d'Haïti, Nesmy Manigat a lancé une importante réforme des programmes scolaires, en introduisant notamment des cours d'éducation civique et d'économie. "Quand on aime son pays, on n'a pas le choix. L'éducation de qualité n'est pas qu'un simple slogan : c'est la condition sine qua none pour que ce pays survive".
07/09/2015 16:55:03 - Port-au-Prince (AFP) - Par Amelie BARON - © 2015 AFP

Haití saca ventaja ante Granada y se perfila como rival de Costa Rica en eliminatoria

La Selección de Hiatí venció 1-3 a Granada y dio el primer paso para meterse en las cuadrangulares de Concacaf rumbo al Mundial de Rusia 2018.

Jean-Ecudes Maurice (27'), Mechack Jerome (39') y Duckens Nazon (55') marcaron los tantos de los trinitarios.

Para los locales descontó Anthony Straker desde los once pasos a los 33 minutos.

El juego de vuelta será este martes en Sylvio Cator en Haití.

La selección que avance a la cuadrangular quedará sembrada en el grupo B junto con Costa Rica, Panamá y el ganador de la serie entre Jamaica y Nicaragua.
Calendario de la Sele en la cuadrangular.
13 de noviembre del 2015
Costa Rica vs Haití/Granada
17 de noviembre del 2015
Panamá vs Costa Rica
25 de marzo del 2016
Jamaica/Nicaragua vs Costa Rica
29 de marzo del 2016
Costa Rica vs Jamaica/Nicaragua
2 de septiembre del 2016
Haití/Granada vs Costa Rica
6 de septiembre del 2016
Costa Rica vs Panamá


Paul Haggis' quest for Peace and Justice in Haiti

Five years ago, Canadian director Paul Haggis read an Italian article about a man named Father Rick Frechette. Frechette, an American, arrived in Haiti some 20 years previous for theological reasons but soon found what the children of the poverty stricken nation were in dire need of, even more so than faith, was a doctor. 
Spending his weekdays studying in New York and weekends in the slums of Port-au-Prince, in 1988, Frechette attained a medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and had been working in the slums of the country's beleaguered capital ever since. Haggis, three years removed from the Oscar success of Crash and having just finished writing and directing the political film, In The Valley of Elah, was moved by Frechette’s story. So much so that he booked a ticket to Port-au-Prince and went to meet the the good doctor. “He just seemed like an incredible man so I decided to go down and find him,” Haggis recalls, a slight glaze crossing his eyes. “I remember hanging out with him all day, watching him work in the slums…
 I’d seen poverty before; I’d never seen this level of poverty.” As night fell, the two fast friends retired to Frechette’s guesthouse. “We drank a lot of wine, ate a lot of pasta -- because there are a lot of Italians volunteering there -- and bonded. His stories are just remarkable. All the stories he’s done. “I saw what he was doing, which was so much for so little, and figured I had to do something to help.” Half a decade later, Artists for Peace and Justice, the charitable origination which Haggis heads, has raised nearly $10 million for Haiti’s impoverished youth. However, at the time, few in native North America had even heard of the nation which shares an island, Hispaniola, with the Dominican Republic.
“It was very hard to get attention,” Haggis says of his early attempts to raise awareness and money for Haiti. “It’s the poorest country in the western hemisphere, one of the poorest countries in the world, and it’s just off our shores.”
“The Canadians used to go there, it was a vacation spot under [dictators] Papa Doc and Baby Doc and I think it’s a country that we, the western world, helped to rape,” he continues. “France, Britain, America, we did a real number on these people for a long time and so it was really important to me to start this cycle back.”
Sitting on a couch in the lobby of the InterContinental hotel in downtown Toronto mere hours from APJ’s Toronto Film Festival annual charity lunch – which will end with big stars like Jude Law and Alexander Skarsgard witness a moving acoustic set by The Arcade Fire, raising over $550,000 (U.S.) in the process -- Haggis recalls his initial fundraising effort, which involved Frechette, a man who spent a good portion of his life in Haitian slums, coming to Haggis’ Los Angeles home to break bread with his friends.
“He didn’t recognize any of them. He would say, ‘You know that attractive blonde woman there?” I’d say, “Charlize Theron?” he’d say, “What does she do?” and I’d explain that she’s an actress. The only one he recognized was Barbra Streisand, that he knew,” Haggis laughs.
“From there I would take friends down to Haiti and show them the work that was being done and that was when we decided to start our own organization,” he explains. “The donations that were being given through another organization, so much of it was being eaten up by organization costs. And I thought those were way too high so I found a way to minimize that.”
And then, at the dawn of 2010, the earthquake hit and suddenly everybody knew where Haiti was.
Shortly after news of the quake's impact got out, Haggis managed to get in touch with Frechette. When he asked him what supplies he needed, Father Rick simply replied, “Cash.”
Gathering $50,000 in a duffle bag, Haggis tried to make his way to Haiti but, understandably, was having little luck. Stuck at Miami International airport for two days, Haggis eventually made it to Port-au-Prince thanks to pal Sean Penn, who flew out from L.A. to give him a ride.
“I can only imagine what Dresden looked like after the war, and that’s what it looked like,” Haggis recalls of his experience after touching down in January of 2010. “So you see something like that and it’s easy to put that on a screen to move people.”
“Our main objective for APJ initially was to help Father Rick, it was more about creating a better health system. After the earthquake hit we decided it needs to be about education,” Natasha Koifman, a Canadian publicist who has sat on APJ’s advisory board since 2009 recalls. “We need to help Haitians help themselves”
With that new mandate, APJ set its sights on a new goal: to build the first free high school for the children of Port-au-Prince's slums.
“So January 11 is when the earthquake hit and on January 23 Paul and I planned an event at his house that raised over $4 million,” Koifman explains. The Academy of Peace and Justice was completed last year.
“There are 14,000 registered charities in Haiti. Over 12,000 of those have a mandate for education. Not one of those had ever built a high school before we came around,” Haggis, who drew the first concept for the school on a napkin, says. “We go straight to the people. We supply the means, the money. Our school there, which is the very first free high school for the children of the poor, is designed by Haitians, built by Haitians and administrated by Haitians.
“We let them decide what they want instead of being the neo-colonialists who swagger in saying, ‘We know what’s best for you.' Which is what most other folks do there. And because of that they’re really ineffective.”
Next up for the organization is an arts institute.
“We absorbed a film school down there. We got the money to buy a beautiful lot and we got money from the We Are The World foundation to build a recording studio, a recording school and an audio engineering school so we’re slowly, well, not that slowly, we’re putting together a technical school.” Haggis boasts. “And bands like The Arcade Fire (whose singer Regine Chassagne has Haitian roots) are involved."
“We are effective because we can make decisions quickly and act quickly” he explains, moments before heading out to finish the final touches on the afternoon’s lunch, then immediately back to Rome where he’s filming his latest film, Third Person.
An artist for peace and justice’s work is never done.