The president of the Haitian Bar Association, Carlos Hercule, knows that the rule of law in his country is tenuous, and that people have little faith in the justice system. “We have attorneys who [single-handedly] represent both parties in real-estate deals. We have people representing themselves as attorneys who have not been accredited. And we have judges and officials who accept bribes,” he recently explained to me in French, through a translator.
His French is impeccable, but that’s another problem. French is the official language of the courts in Haiti, but as much as 95 percent of the population speaks only Creole, so most defendants—if they can even afford to hire a lawyer—can’t fully grasp what goes on during the court proceedings. There are no public defenders, and available legal aid is extremely limited. Adding to the disparity, as experts have pointed out, is the fact that many Haitian lawyers are typically invested in their own elite social status and rarely offer direct defense to the poor, which they perceive as debasing the profession. The result is that the vast majority of the country’s 10.3 million-plus people—roughly three-quarters of whom live on less than $2 a day—have no real access to justice.
Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/04/establishing-the-rule-of-law-in-a-country-where-justice-hardly-exists/391113/?utm_content=buffera1062&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer
The Clinton Foundation lists the Brazilian construction firm OAS and the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) as donors that have given it between $1 million and $5 million. Those relationships are worth learning more about.
OAS has been in the news because it is caught up in a corruption scandal centered on Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras. In November Brazilian police arrested three top OAS executives for their alleged roles in a bribery scheme involving inflated contracts and kickbacks. OAS denies the allegations. Closer to home the 2013 OAS donation to the Clinton Foundation deserves attention because of the power that Bill Clinton has in Haiti, where OAS has been awarded IDB contracts.
Development banks are the butt of jokes among economists because while they claim to fight poverty they are mostly good at empire building. The same might be said of the Clintons in Haiti. A few months after Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, Bill Clinton was named the U.N. special envoy to Haiti. That gave the Clintons a lot of power over U.S. foreign-aid decisions in the small country.
Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/mary-anastasia-ogrady-the-clinton-foundation-and-haiti-contracts-1425855083
Thousands of people streamed into Haiti’s main public park on Saturday to honor the 17 victims who died in an accident involving a Carnival float.
Many mourners wore white T-shirts with a phrase in Creole that read, “In good times, in bad times, we’re all Haitians.”
White caskets draped with the Haitian flag were lined up in front of a stage where government officials including President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Evans Paul greeted the victims’ relatives and friends.
Some mourners were led away from the caskets as they cried and collapsed to the ground at the Champ de Mars park in Port-au-Prince.
A Haitian singer who was shocked by a high-voltage wire during Carnival is giving his account of what may have caused an accident that resulted in 16 deaths.
The hip-hop performer known as Fantom from the group Barikad Crew says a man on their Carnival float responsible for moving power lines moved two of three wires when their float abruptly moved forward.
The singer whose real name is Daniel Darinus was standing atop a speaker. He instantly lost consciousness when he was shocked and the sparks set off a deadly stampede.
Darinus spoke to journalists Wednesday in the hospital where doctors say he is in good condition despite his burns.
The accident occurred as thousands of people filled the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince for the raucous annual celebration.
Prime Minister Evans Paul said 16 people were confirmed dead and 78 were injured. He declared three official days of mourning for the impoverished Caribbean country. Haitian officials canceled Tuesday’s third and final day of Carnival events and announced a state funeral and vigil on Saturday for the victims.
Dr. Joel Desire, a doctor at General Hospital, said most of those killed appeared to have been trampled to death as the crowd surged away from the Carnival float, one of 16 in the downtown parade.
Witnesses said panic ensued when people jumped off the float to avoid being electrocuted.
Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Haitian President Michel Martelly named veteran politician Evans Paul prime minister to lead a new government, as he seeks to defuse a crisis over long-delayed elections.
A nationwide uprising against the regime of business partners President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe continued to gain steam this week with massive demonstrations in several major cities, including Port-au-Prince, Léogane, Petit Goâve, Cap-Haïtien, Fort-Liberté, Ouanaminthe, and Aux Cayes.
Feeling the protests’ heat, Martelly made a short televised national address on Nov. 28 to announce his formation of an “advisory commission” made up of 11 people whom he called “credible, honest, and trusted by society” to provide him “in eight days” with “a recommendation” on what path to take out of Haiti’s political imbroglio, saying that “the nation is divided, the problems are many, the problems are complicated.”
The former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, has died of a heart attack aged 63.
The ex-president’s lawyer, Reynold Georges, said he died at home in Port-au-Prince of a heart attack on Saturday.