Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ARTICLE - UN ENABLES POLICE BRUTALITY?

UN ENABLES POLICE BRUTALITY IN HAITI
(Defend Haiti) - By Samuel Maxime

PORT-AU-PRINCE - As the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights points the finger at the Haitian National Police for brutality, it is important to point out the level of culpability that the organization, itself, has in these cases.

Firstly, it should be noted to all, that the United Nations and organizations of the like have been operating in Haiti since as early as 1954, coming in with humanitarian aid after Hurricane Hazel killed 1,000 people.

The international body’s arrival was near the tail end of Haiti’s last great president, Paul Eugene Magloire, Time Magazine’s cover story that February. And as the story went for former President Magloire:

In 1954, when Hurricane Hazel ravaged Ha├»ti and relief funds were stolen, Magloire's popularity fell. In 1956 there was a dispute about when his presidency would end; he fled the country amid strikes and demonstrations. – Paul Magloire, Wikipedia

To make a long story short, following Magloire’s departure, Haiti went through four (4) heads of state for the next couple of years until finally, in 1957, stability came in the form of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier who established a brutal dictatorship that lasted three (3) decades. The United Nations was in Haiti through it all.

Enablers of Systematic Corruption

The level responsibility of the United Nations in the reported acts of abuse by the Haitian police is that they are enablers of these crimes; that are crimes against humanity.

Because, how is it that 48 hours after Transparency International ranks Haiti at the bottom in the Western Hemisphere in its annual Perception of Corruption Index (2011), that the United Nations, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, all and more, resolve to disburse hundreds of millions of dollars to Haiti?

60 million for education, 50 million for roads, 70 million for agriculture and 75 million for the government budget are some examples of the headlines. These monies for projects are decided by, managed by and worked by UN personnel and Haitian institutions, members of the government, directors of departments, sit with idle hands; devil’s tools.

Today, about 99% of Haitian government officials, from the president of the republic to the local mayor have not declared their assets, such as how many homes owned, businesses owned or dollars in bank accounts, within the 30-day period of taking office as mandated by Haitian law. Today, there are criminals coordinating Haiti’s elections, presidents that do not observe the Constitutional agreement they have with the people of Haiti, and police officers who have to enforce the “rule of law” that is not consistent for all.

It is not to say that the United Nations is the root-cause of rampant corruption in Haiti. No, this is the fault of some individuals, but if the United Nations and other such organizations are putting in hundreds of millions of dollars into the country, they must own some of the responsibility.

At the very least, these donors and long-time givers of "humanitarian" aid own the responsibility of ensuring that the men and women of the government of Haiti are abiding by the contract that they have with the people of Haiti.

Since 1954, the United Nations and others have not owned up to that and for this reason, they are enablers of systematic corruption in Haiti and what transpires from it.

The Police, Always Stuck in the Middle

The enablers of corruption in Haiti are now going after police officers, men and women who signed up to enforce the law in a country where the highest authorities break the law everyday and are rewarded for it. The police in Haiti are under-paid, out-manned, insufficiently armed and are constantly subject to manipulation by corrupt individuals in the Haitian government.

It is unjust to start looking for justice at the level of the Haitian police, men and women who walk among the population every day, have kids that attend the same schools as the rest of the population and see, for themselves, every day what is going on in Haiti. It would be unjust.

The United Nations needs to start demanding transparency and accountability for its aid and support to Haiti. If transparency and accountability cannot be attained by the UN, then don’t give the aid because it undermines the work of good Haitians that are trying to fix the problem.

Today, it is not known where dollars are going, where they are coming from, what projects are being completed and how efficient were they executed, if at all. And there is more, much much more, along those lines that can be said about this.

The Haitian police are just law enforcement officers working under the most extreme conditions but this article should not be construed as a pass for those who have committed any such abuse against citizens. It is an indictment against the United Nations for negligence, criminal association, accessory, racketeering, and among many other things bribery…

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