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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).
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/haiti-shows-how-wealthy-countries-continue-to-cause-disaster-1.3228695

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/.

http://www.wlky.com/news/louisville-doctor-opens-womens-cancer-screening-clinic-in-haiti/35285876

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

By JAY AKBAR FOR MAILONLINE
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