Friday, September 30, 2011

RECRUITMENT DRIVE

Johnny and Amos asked me yesterday if I could help them find where the registration site was for the new Public Security Force that President Martelly wants to form. The guys had heard that it was somewhere in the Delmas 19 area.
I told them that I as a "blanc" wouldn't be a help to them as people on the street would probably not tell me. I told them to go see an ex-military member who works as security at the mayor's office. Sure enough their persistence paid off. Both Amos and Johnny have now handed in their applications and are hoping that they will be selected in the first recruitment. I asked them if there were a lot of people there signing up and they told me no. They only saw older people. They thought that they were all ex-military. Pray for Johnny and Amos as they seek to serve their country. They have the desire to change their country for the better and want to be a part of this change.

ARTICLE - BAPTIST LEADER RELEASED

HAITIAN BAPTIST LEADER RELEASED UNHARMED
(Dallas Baptist Standard) - By BWA Communications

CAP-HAITIAN, Haiti -- The Haitian Baptist leader who was kidnapped early Sept. 29 was released unharmed later that day without a ransom payment, the Baptist World Alliance reported Sept. 30.

Emmanuel Pierre, general secretary of the Baptist Convention of Haiti, was kidnapped by armed men who broke into his home at about 2 a.m. Sept. 29 and demanded a ransom. But that afternoon at about 5, they let him go without payment, the BWA said.

“We are glad to inform you that Rev. Emmanuel Pierre was safely released this afternoon,” Joel Dorsinville, coordinator for disaster relief for the Haiti convention, told the BWA. “He is now back home with his family. Thank you all for your support in prayers.”

Other regional Baptist leaders also expressed relief.

“We do praise the Lord. Let us continue to pray for [Pierre] and his family,” said Jules Casseus, president of the convention-owned Northern Haiti Christian University.

Everton Jackson, executive secretary/treasurer of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship and BWA regional secretary for the Caribbean, said, “We join with family, friends and the Baptist community in celebrating the safe release of the Rev. Emmanuel Pierre. The family and the Baptist convention [in Haiti] have expressed their appreciation to all for standing with them in prayerful solidarity.”

“It is with joy that we receive news that Emmanuel has returned safely to his family,” said BWA general secretary Neville Callam, a native of Jamaica. “We thank God for God’s grace and protection upon our brother and express appreciation to Baptists around the world who prayed along with our Baptist brothers and sisters in Haiti.”

ARTICLE - BRAZIL ANNOUNCES TROOP PULLOUT

BRAZIL ANNOUNCES TROOP PULLOUT FROM HAITI
(Guardian.co.uk) - By Tom Phillips

Defence minister says partial withdrawal will begin next March as UN cuts stabilisation force accused of outstaying welcome

Brazil's defence minister has confirmed the country's troops will begin a partial withdrawal from Haiti next March, amid growing criticism of the United Nations stabilisation mission there.

Celso Amorim told the senate foreign affairs committee on Thursday that 257 Brazilian troops, out of a total of 2,200, would leave the country as part of UN plans to reduce its numbers by 1,600.

"We should not stay in Haiti for ever, nor do we wish to – this is not good for the Haitians or for us," he said. "But we will also not leave in an irresponsible manner. It is very important that the withdrawal is not seen as Brazil disengaging. We all agree that a gradual reduction is necessary."

A few years ago the Brazilian soldiers that have led the UN force in Haiti since 2004 took journalists and politicians on photo-opportunity tours of Port-au-Prince's gang-free slums, which were occupied after former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced from power. During a 2007 visit, one former UN military commander in Haiti said the UN's presence had helped transform Port-au-Prince into a "Disneyland".

In an interview, Luiz Carlos da Costa, then deputy special representative of the UN secretary general in Haiti, said the UN mission, known as Minustah, had helped bring "a situation of greater stability".

The earthquake in 2010, in which Costa and an estimated 200,000 Haitians were killed, changed everything. More UN troops were sent to the country but resentment at their presence grew following a cholera outbreak and a recent case of alleged sexual abuse.

The UN was widely blamed for introducing the cholera epidemic, which was confirmed on 21 October 2010 and has so far killed about 6,200 and infected nearly 440,000.

Friction between UN forces and Haitians was again stoked after the alleged sexual assault of an 18-year-old Haitian man by Uruguayan troops. The alleged assault was filmed on a mobile phone and circulated on the internet.

Recent protests against the "Okipasyon" have left Brazilian and UN diplomats edgy about their role in Haiti. This month police clashed with protesters outside the national palace in Port-au-Prince.

ARTICLE - BACK TO SCHOOL - TEACHERS STRIKE

BACK TO SCHOOL ON OCTOBER 3, TEACHERS' STRIKE ON OCTOBER 4
(Haiti Libre) -

The new school year promises to be stormy at the teachers' level. The free education program does not create the unanimity among parents whose children are not on the list... Already on Monday, dozens of parents, members of the Coordination of Peasant Organizations for the Development of the South of Haiti (COPDSH) have accused the Departmental Directorate of Education, in pursuing a policy of exclusion in the recruitment of children and teachers in the program of free education of President Michel Martelly. Accusation denied by Régil’homme Joseph, the Departmental Director of Education asking the parents to be patient; noting that the program aims to reach approximately 24,000 children progressively throughout the Southern Department.

Yesterday was the turn for the teachers and supporters of the National Union of Haitian Normaliens (UNNOH) to demonstrate in the streets of Port-au-Prince, asking for the Head of State to publish the law on the regulation of school fees, voted on in 2009 but not yet published in the official newspaper "Le Moniteur". The demonstrators, armed with placards, said hostile words against the Head of State, questioning his program of free education for thousands of children.

The Association for Teachers of Municipal Schools in Port-au-Prince (ASIEMP) announced an indefinite strike from October 4th, if the authorities of the Municipality of Port-au-Prince do not pay the teachers their five months salary arrears... teachers announced a sit-in outside the Central Bank to demand the payment of amounts due from the Mayor of Port-au-Prince.

ARTICLE - IHRC - DISCUSSIONS

DISCUSSIONS ON PERFORMANCE AND CORRUPTION AT THE IHRC
(Haiti Libre) -

The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission's Performance and Anti-Corruption Office (PAO) held an open forum at the Montana Hotel yesterday, September 28, 2011, to discuss issues of performance and corruption in public procurement. This is the first in a series of forums held to convene the community working in Haiti on the monitoring and evaluation of projects, as well as all interested partners in the reconstruction of Haiti.

This timely seminar explored how corruption impacts public procurement in a development context. The discussion covered how corruption schemes operate in practice and examined the various legal and contractual mechanisms that have been established around the world to combat the scourge of corruption. This open session also served as a call to action for interested parties within the government, private sector, and international community to work together with the IHRC and the PAO in implementing the leading practices in limiting public corruption contained in the operational protocols of the IHRC.

The IHRC was created to coordinate and manage the aid that flowed into Haiti after the devastating earthquake of January 2010 in order to avoid duplication and wasted resources in development and reconstruction efforts. Within the IHRC, the PAO's independent monitoring role allows it a unique "bird's eye view" of the reconstruction efforts in Haiti as it promotes transparency and accountability to the Haitian people. As a part of these efforts, the PAO recently released its comprehensive project update report presenting detailed operational and financial information for each project approved by the IHRC before April 2011. Moving forward, this PAO report, in demonstrating the transparency and accountability of processes, will facilitate further integration between the IHRC and the different stakeholders in Haitian reconstruction.

Marilyn B. Allein, President of Fondation Heritage participated in the session with the student group, Haitian Youth Against Corruption (JHACCO). "We appreciate the IHRC's effort to be accountable and accessible to the Haitian public, as they are a very important tool in the reconstruction and future of Haiti. We need to urge civil society, the public, and especially the youth in Haiti to push against corruption from the bottom up, and to incorporate themselves into this fight from the beginning," Allein stated.

Didier Lavion, senior advisor to the PAO, highlighted the importance of this session by saying, "Yesterday's gathering of government officials, NGOs, and civil society was a productive start to the series of workshops facilitated by the PAO. The high degree of engagement by this diverse group of participants in this initial session indicates that this series comes at a critical time in Haiti's reconstruction process. The PAO is uniquely positioned to work with these stakeholders to provide insight and the tools necessary to promote and share integrity, transparency, and accountability across the development cycle."

Learn more about the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission: (IHRC)
The IHRC was created by presidential decree on April 21, 2010, in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. The mission of the IHRC is to undertake the expeditious planning, coordination, and facilitation of development projects and priorities, including reviewing and approving projects and programs funded by bilateral and multilateral donors, NGOs and the private sector. The IHRC is co-chaired by Prime Minister of Haiti Jean-Max Bellerive and President Bill Clinton and is guided by a Board, which includes Haitian and non-Haitian stakeholders in reconstruction efforts.

ARTICLE - HUMANITARIAN CRISIS NOT OVER

THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN HAITI IS NOT OVER
(Haiti Libre) -

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian, Valerie Amos, arrived in Haiti for 48 hours to take stock of the humanitarian situation and the current response to the 12 January 2010 earthquake.

Wednesday, Ms. Amos met with Haitian President Michel Martelly. She stressed the importance of not leaving behind the most vulnerable still living in tents, who depend on humanitarian aid for their survival. She also met with the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, and senior representatives of United Nations agencies and international NGOs. They emphasized the central importance of addressing the country´s underlying structural challenges in order to transition from the humanitarian crisis phase to sustainable recovery.

Yesterday Thursday, the last day of her visit, the Secretary General met with Mariano Fernández, the head of the UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (Minustah). During the day she visited the Accra camp and a new sanitation center at Morne Cabri, funded by the Central Response Fund.

"...the main purpose of my visit was to make an evaluation of the humanitarian needs that are still present on the ground [...] Nearly 600,000 people are still living in IDP camps and many displaced people are experiencing an eviction situation and will be forced to leave the camps [...] I have just visited the Accra camp where there are 25,000 people and saw the difficult situations that they are experiencing. These people can stay in the Accra camp thanks to a mediation effort that was made with the landowner, but they want to leave this camp with their families because the situation is not good.

We make a proactive effort with the government to ensure that people who are in these camps have the opportunity to leave, but in a dignified manner with their families. I am very happy to see that President Martelly said with great force, that he does not agree with forced evictions.

In the Accra camp many people told me that the situation was deteriorating, especially for drinking water and sanitation due to the departure of NGOs because they had no more money [...] The women told me that they have many problems with security and also with the violence that continues to occur in the camp.

I also visited a plant for the treatment of excreta and wastewater at Morne Cabri and that is the only facility of its kind that exists in Haiti. We need this type of facility, if we want to win the fight against cholera. The absence of this type of installation [...] will prevent us from completely eradicating this epidemic.

It is clear that there are always needs in Haiti in terms of drinking water, sanitation, food [...] the humanitarian crisis in Haiti is not over. Although significant efforts are underway to put the country on the road to recovery, humanitarian needs remain high and it is necessary to answer them [...] We have seen great generosity towards Haiti in the last two years..."

ARTICLE - UN - AID MUST CONTINUE

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE MUST CONTINUE IN HAITI - UN AID CHIEF
(Haiti Libre) -

The United Nations relief chief today stressed the need for continued humanitarian assistance in Haiti, alongside development and reconstruction work, saying that the 600,000 people still living in camps following last year’s massive earthquake remain in need of basic services.

Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who is visiting Haiti, said she had gone to a camp housing 25,000 people and found that water and sanitation services had deteriorated because of a lack of resources.

“I was very concerned when I visited the camp – water and sanitation facilities have deteriorated over the last few months because of that lack of resources and many of our NGO [non-governmental organization] partners have left.

“We have to help those remaining people while at the same time working with the Government on the longer-term sustainable development,” said Ms. Amos, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, in an interview with UN Radio.

“One of the major concerns I have is the humanitarian appeal for Haiti is only half funded because there is a lot of focus for longer-term development, which I think is absolutely right – I don’t think we want to stay doing humanitarian work for longer than we need to.”

She said that she will be speaking to donor representatives both in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, and in New York to stress that resources were still required for humanitarian services, which should be provided simultaneously with the ongoing development and reconstruction work.

Ms. Amos said that she briefly met with President Michel Martelly yesterday, who she said made it clear that his focus is on economic growth and creating conditions conducive for investment so that people can have job opportunities.

“My sense from speaking to the President, and it was a brief meeting, is that he is frustrated because he wants investment, he wants economic growth, he wants jobs for the people, he wants development,” she said.

The people Ms. Amos spoke with in the camps also talked about the importance of having jobs and education opportunities for their children.

“The humanitarian crisis in Haiti is not over. While major efforts are being made to put the country on the road to recovery, important humanitarian needs remain and must be addressed,” she said when she arrived in Port-au-Prince yesterday.

Some 600,000 people displaced by the devastating earthquake in January last year still live in nearly 900 camps. They are facing the increasing threat of evictions from the sites, as well as growing insecurity.

The situation has been compounded by a cholera epidemic, food insecurity affecting 4.5 million people and an active hurricane season that has already destroyed homes and crops.

ARTICLE - END OF VISIT OF CLUB DE MADRID

END OF MISSION FOR THE CLUB OF MADRID
(Haiti Libre) -

The delegation of the Club of Madrid, completed, Thursday, Sept. 29, its fifth mission in Haiti. "Concluding the process of reconstruction and progress towards development" was the objective of this four-day mission led by former President of Mauritius, Cassam Uteem, former Prime Minister of Canada and Vice President of the Global Leadership Foundation, Joe Clark, and Juan Gabriel Valdés, an international expert and former UN official. "The purpose of the visit was to support the process of political institutionalization and political dialogue in Haiti."

During their 4-day visit, the members of the Club de Madrid met with President Martelly before having working sessions with the Senators and Deputies, during which the focus was put on "parliamentary work in a situation of cohabitation, as well as the relations between Parliament and civil society."

The Club of Madrid also met with outgoing Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, Prime Minister-designate, Gary Conille, the Deputy Special Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator, Nigel Fisher, and with the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), in order "to accompany the beginning of a process of thinking about foreign aid as an instrument for the provision of necessary services."

On 29 September, the delegation of the Club of Madrid visited Cap-Haitien, accompanied by Mariano Fernández Amunátegui, the head of the Minustah, for an important meeting with mayors and others elected to share their experience in terms of decentralization, as part of the institutional capacity of the country.

ARTICLE - MARTELLY ADVOCATES DIALOGUE

MARTELLY ADVOCATES DIALOGUE AND NATIONAL RECONCILIATION
(Haiti Libre) -

Taking advantage of the inauguration of the new premises of Radio-Télé Ginen (a private channel in Port-au-Prince), hard hit by the earthquake of 2010, President Michel Martelly has announced Thursday on Télé Ginen, that he was considering, as part of the promotion of dialogue and national reconciliation, to meet individually, in the next two weeks, with former Presidents Leslie Manigat, Prosper Avril, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Jean-Claude Duvalier, René Préval and Boniface Alexandre.

However, President Martelly, mentioned that he had not yet contacted any of these former leaders to inform them of his intentions and that is why, he specified, that these various meetings are subject to change depending on the response of the personalities that he wishes to meet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MILITARY REGISTRATION


We are listening to the "telejol" to find out where the registration site is for the new public security force (army) that President Martelly wants to form. Johnny (in the black shirt) to my right in the photo wants to join. Amos too wants to sign up. He told me that his mother doesn't want him to join but he wants to sign up anyway. I would recommend both of them for a position in the new public forces. They care about people and are both responsable. The only problem will be that I will have to find a couple more guys to train to take their places. Manu is 13 years-old and since he has been a little kid he has talked about being a soldier. He is excited that Haiti is getting a military of their own!

ARTICLE - BAPTIST LEADER KIDNAPPED

BAPTIST LEADER IN HAITI KIDNAPPED
(Baptist Standard) -

(BWA)--Emmanuel Pierre, general secretary of the Baptist Convention of Haiti, has been kidnapped.

The incident occurred in Cap-Haïtien, the second largest city in Haiti, and where the convention offices are located.

Several armed men reportedly broke into his home at approximately 2 a.m. September 29, took the Haitian Baptist leader by force, and are now demanding a ransom for his release.

Gedeon Eugene, president of the convention, is negotiating with the kidnappers. He told the Baptist World Alliance that Haitians are praying for the speedy and safe release of the Haitian Baptist leader.

BWA General Secretary Neville Callam assured Haitian Baptists of the prayers of Baptists around the world for the safe return of Pierre to his family and friends.

ARTICLE - CAP WORKSHOP

United Nations - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

LAUNCH OF HAITI 2012 CONSOLIDATED APPEAL PROCESS WORKSHOP

PORT-AU-PRINCE - In support of the Haitian Government, the humanitarian community, today opened the Haiti 2012 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) workshop. More than 130 representatives of ministries, UN agencies and NGOs started a two-day discussion to develop a collective action plan to respond to the humanitarian needs of vulnerable people.

"We need a CAP that is based on clearly identified needs," said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, who began a two-day visit to Haiti. She reiterated the need for the humanitarian response to complement critical development initiatives, and strengthen communities’ capacities to cope with natural disasters.

The camp population has decreased by 61 per cent since July 2010, when 1.5 million people were living in tents or under tarpaulins. The rate of departures from camps has however, slowed since March 2011. The number of community-based housing, employment and social service projects is increasing, but hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians do not yet have access to these programs. Maintaining access to safe drinking water, ensuring minimum standards of hygiene and sanitation and guarding against gender-based violence and forced evictions in the hundreds of residual camp remains critical.

Improved sanitation is also critical in the fight against the cholera epidemic, which has already claimed the lives of 6,334 people and affected more than 450,000 individuals. The downward trend in mortality is good news, but heavy rains in September set off new outbreaks of cholera throughout the country. Improving sanitation and drinking water supply is a national priority and the Ministry of Public Health and Population is progressively increasing management capacity in cholera treatment centres. Nevertheless, gaps in coverage for the most vulnerable require the ongoing assistance of national and international humanitarian partners.
Food security concerns were also highlighted, with 4.5 million people across the country at risk.

Challenges in addressing food needs include the loss of jobs by households affected by the earthquake, negative economic growth of 5 per cent between 2010 and 2011 and soaring food prices.

The country's vulnerability to natural disasters also makes strengthening preparedness for risk management and maintaining emergency response capacity essential, particularly during the upcoming June to November hurricane season.

ARTICLE - REBRANDING HAITI

FOREIGN POLICY: REBRANDING HAITI
(Foreign Policy) - By Colum Lynch

President Michel Martelly, the Haitian leader formally known as Sweet Micky, came to New York to "rebrand" the image of the troubled Caribbean island in his first visit to address the U.N. General Assembly.

Haiti, he said, has some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. It has great art, great music, and a rich history as the world's first independence movement. Oh, and it's got Voodoo. "Do you know how many people would like to come to Haiti and try to understand what Voodoo is?" he asked me in an interview in his midtown Manhattan suite at the New York Palace Hotel.

Martelly, a former kompa singer known for his raucous performances and for disrobing on stage, has spent the week promoting Haiti before audiences of foreign investors, political leaders, and celebrities. It's a tall task, but if anyone's up to the challenge it's Martelly.

Martelly has remade his own image from flashy, dress-wearing performer to a pro-business champion who now favors more presidential wear, primarily conservative suits. He said he wants to wash away the country's reputation as the Western Hemisphere's basket case.

"I want to rebrand Haiti," he said. "The image of poor Haiti who wants to turn to the world and beg for money is over." (Though he admits to privately urging foreign donors to live up their commitment to provide billions in reconstruction aid. Martelly said Haiti has received nearly $4 billion of the $10 billion pledged to Haiti after the country's devastating earthquake.) "In the future, we will be mainly interested in bringing investors to Haiti and creating jobs. We will not just welcome [foreign investors] but we will secure their investments and address every single issue that scares them, offer tax incentives, any type of incentive to attract them."

The effort has been a challenge. Diplomats, U.N. officials, and analysts have decried the lack of progress in Haiti 18 months since a devastating earthquake left 250,000 dead, and wiped out much of the U.N. mission staff there. A devastating cholera epidemic, possibly introduced into the population by Nepalese peacekeepers, has left nearly 5,000 dead. A U.N. panel, established by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, provided substantial circumstantial evidence suggesting that the cholera emerged from the Nepalese base, but stopped short of blaming them for it.

"Eighteen months after the earthquake, Haiti's future...remains uncertain to most citizens," states the June International Crisis Group (ICG) report.

Despite about $4 billion in foreign assistance, the country has been unable to resettle more than 650,000 people who still live in roughly 1,000 makeshift encampments around the capital, Port-Au-Prince, according to the ICG report. Martelly, a political novice who was elected in a landslide this March, says it's a fair question to ask what happened to the money.

Martelly said that when he took office, functionaries explained that a large amount of money had been spent on basic life-saving supplies, like water and food, and other vital necessities. He doesn't know what to believe. "We can waste our time trying to find out if it's the truth or we can also decide to make of the future something better, something different," he said. "I have chosen to make the future something different."

Martelly acknowledged that his inexperience has contributed to a political stalemate with the Haitian parliament, which is dominated by former Prime Minister René Préval's party, Lespwa, over the formation of a new government. The parliament has blocked two candidates he selected to serve as prime minister. But he says his effort to form a new government is now on the right path. The lower house of parliament has already approved his latest candidate for prime minister, Gary Conille, who once served as an aide to Bill Clinton — who has been informally advising the new Haitian president on how to attract outside investment.

Martelly scoffed at the ICG report's grim account of the reality in Haiti, saying they were produced by people who make a living out of documenting Haiti's woes. "Haiti is not only about misery; Haiti is not only about cholera; Haiti is not only about insecurity," he said. "There is no more insecurity in Haiti than there is in Chicago. There is no more insecurity in Haiti than there is in New York."

Martelly has been pressing the United Nations, which has come under fire for possibly triggering the country's first cholera outbreak in a century, to draw down its force of more than 8,000 U.N. peacekeepers. Martelly said he's looking to the U.N. to ensure that the cholera epidemic is eradicated. "We could keep complaining about what happened or we are going to solve it," he said. "I'd rather work at solving. I'd rather work with the U.N. and ask them for support."

But there are still flare-ups. Recently, four Uruguayan peacekeepers stood accused by Haitian authorities of sexually molesting a young Haitian man, in an emotionally charged case that has led to a formal apology from the Uruguayan president. Martelly said he has personally asked Ban to ensure that the Uruguayan peacekeepers are held accountable. But he said that he favors a gradual drawdown that would give Haitians time to fill the vacuum. "We needed the U.N. then, and we need the U.N. now, and we will continue to need them for a while, until we are able to be self sustainable."

In an effort to achieve self-reliance, Martelly plans to create a national army to impose law and order, defend the country's borders, and provide a range of services — including helping to plant forests and respond to natural catastrophes. The proposal, which is being discussed with donor countries, is controversial — especially given the history of military repression under previous Haitian governments. A top U.N. official told Turtle Bay that no foreign donors will provide Haiti with the money to build a national army. But Martelly said it's a necessity.

"We have an army today and it's a foreign army," he said of the more than 8,000 U.N. peacekeepers. "Why don't we have our own? And if it's our own, it's an opportunity to give jobs to young Haitians and an opportunity for the U.N. to withdraw."

"We have a national police force, which is still weak," he said. An army, he said, would do a better job of restoring order, defending borders, pacifying rioters, and come to the rescue when the country faces natural disasters. "You need something stronger than just police."

ARTICLE - SENATOR LAMBERT - MINISTER

SENATOR JOSEPH LAMBERT WANTS TO HOLD A POSITION OF MINISTER
(Haiti Libre) -

Senator Joseph Lambert, whose term ends in 2012, leader of the majority in the Senate [G16], said yesterday on a radio station in the capital that he wished to hold a ministerial a ministerial position in the next government. Recalling that on Thursday, a meeting is scheduled between the G16 and Dr. Garry Conille, he indicated that the issue of the sharing of responsibilities is at the heart of this meeting. Refusing to provide details of the ministerial positions that could be granted to members of the G16,..... he assured that the Senators of the G16 will be part of the next government team...

Because of his experience in the territorial collectivities, his first choice is the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Collectivities (MICT), but if this is impossible, Senator Lambert indicated that he's ready to assume the position of the Ministry of Environment... if this ministry is offered to him and his team gives him its approval. "In this regime or another, I think I can continue to serve my country as Minister of one of these two institutions... The issue of environment seriously concerns me..."

Concerning the positions in the Senate on the ratification of Dr. Garry Conille, the Senator provides for a "heated" debate during the ratification meeting, which could take place next Monday. He declared that the choice of Dr. Conille is problematic for some Senators, but "we can not speak of dissent. The senators opposed to any neoliberal policies are hostile to Mr. Conille [...] At the level of the G16, we did not yet agree on the choice of a new Prime Minister..." but he assured that he will do everything possible to ensure that there is a consenus within the G16, adding that "The block will remain united in spite of everything..."

ARTICLE - POLICE - DACTYLOSCOPY TRAINING

POLICE - TRAINING IN DACTYLOSCOPY
(Haiti Libre) -

Last week, the United Nations Police (UNPol) has trained fifteen judicial police officers and prison administration in dactyloscopy (The forensic analysis and comparison of fingerprints as a means of identification of individuals), the management of crime scenes, findings, the protection of traces and clues. The signaling of people, the classification and the documentation were also addressed during this training.

According to David Giles, the field coordinator of the project of the UNDP Rule of Law... "This training is part of the justice project; police and prison, to which UNDP provides technical assistance to the Haitian state."

Among its objectives: facilitating the tracking of criminal records of repeat offenders, strengthening the technical capacity of judicial police officers in forensic identification, establishing a data system for forensic identification of all persons accused of crimes or offenses, setting up information tools and reliable legal information which will be available to the judicial, police and prison authorities, including with respect to the issuance of criminal records.

The Commissioner François Dukene Rodnez, Departmental Director of the Southeast of the police, said he was "reassured", saying that "now" the police officers who were trained , will perform their duties with much more professionalism. "For his part, Jean Antoine Féhaud, Government Commissioner to the Court of First Instance of Jacmel, indicated that this training was "very useful, and will greatly facilitate the work and cooperation between the police and justice and that no one will be arrested in place of another."

Implemented on an experimental basis, this project is a collaborative effort between UNDP, the UNPOL, the Departmental Direction of the National Police of Haiti and the Prosecutor of the Court of First Instance of Jacmel.

ARTICLE - RECRUITING FOR NEW ARMY

HAITI PRESIDENT WANTS TO START RECRUITING NEW ARMY
(AFP) –

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haitian President Michel Martelly plans to begin recruiting the first 500 soldiers for a new national military force next month, according to an official document seen by AFP.

In the document, entitled "Security Policy and National Defense," Martelly says that rebuilding the military, 17 years after it was disbanded, has become an "urgent" task.

Martelly, who was elected earlier this year, is expected to make a formal announcement about the plans.

Haiti's armed forces were dissolved in 1994 by then-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was ousted in a military coup seven months after he took power in 1991.

Plans for the new military force call for the creation of a 3,500-strong force over a period of three-and-a-half years -- which would coincide with the departure of the nearly 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, Minustah.

United Nations peacekeepers have been deployed in the country since 2004, but it has become increasingly unpopular with Haitians, who blame it for a cholera epidemic in the wake of last year's devastating earthquake.

Recruitment of the first 500 Haitian soldiers should take place in October and November, according to a timetable that also calls for the creation in the coming months of an interim military headquarters and staff.

The creation of Haiti's new military could cost an estimated $50 million. The government has also announced a $15 million budget to compensate former soldiers who were discharged.

The internal government document -- given by Martelly's office to Haiti's international partners for their review -- says the creation of a national army will come with the "necessary assistance" from friendly nations.

That assistance would include training, equipment and technical assistance.

The new Armed Defense Forces will be placed under civilian command, according to Martelly's plan.

ARTICLE - ARMY PLAN HAS OPPOSITION

HAITI'S PLANS TO REBUILD ARMY MEETS OPPOSITION
(Forbes) - By Trenton Daniel (AP)

PORT-AU-PRINCE - A plan by Haitian President Michel Martelly to revive the country's disbanded military is running into opposition.

Sen. Moise Jean-Charles of Haiti's dominant political party told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Haiti does not need to create a new army.

He noted Haiti cannot afford to do that on its own, so the financing would have to come from international partners.

"Why would the international community fund an army?" he said. "We don't have anyone we're going to war with."

Jean-Charles is a member of the Unity party, which has a majority in the 30-member Senate and controls 36 seats in the 99-member Chamber of Deputies. The $95 million plan would need approval from Parliament.

Jean-Charles said Haiti should instead focus on improving its police department.

"We need to strengthen the national police and build departments inside it to secure the country," he said.

He commented a day after The Associated Press obtained a draft of the Haitian government's proposal for rebuilding a military dismantled in 1995 after a long history of abuse and coups.

Political observers said Wednesday that the government's resources could be better spent on job programs for youths.

A Martelly adviser did not return requests for comment, and the National Palace has referred all questions to security consultant Reginald Delva, who could not be reached for comment.

The proposal seeks to fulfill Martelly's controversial campaign pledge to revive the army. It calls for recruiting and training 3,500 soldiers in the first three years so the force can eventually replace a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

The document says the force, to be known as the National Council of Defense and Security, would patrol Haiti's porous borders with the Dominican Republic and neighboring islands, bring order in a time of crisis and train young Haitians.

Creating a new armed force is certain to draw criticism from human rights groups that documented abuses committed by the previous Haitian military.

But some Haitians harbor ill feelings toward the U.N. peacekeeping mission that has been in Haiti since 2004, when a violent rebellion of former soldiers toppled then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The U.N. force has been blamed for introducing a cholera outbreak, and several Uruguayan sailors from one of its battalions face accusations of sexually abusing an 18-year-old Haitian man.

Despite protests calling for the U.N. mission to leave, Martelly is likely to extend its peacekeeping mandate for another year when it comes up for renewal next month.

Sen. Youri Latortue, an opposition politician who helped lead an anti-U.N. protest earlier this month in the coastal city in which the alleged assault happened, said he supported the idea of a new army.

He said the national police department has too few officers to adequately patrol Haiti's border and respond to natural disasters. The police force has 8,500 officers in a country with 10 million people.

Latortue also said the new military would need to be different from what came before.

"We must have a new army but not like before, which was involved in politics, elections," said Latortue, who is president of a Senate commission on security. "It's important to have a professional army."

ARTICLE - SECURITY FORCE - DIVISION

THE PROJECT OF A SECURITY FORCE, DIVIDES POLITICAL ACTORS
(Haiti Libre) -

The "Policy of Defence and National Security - The Great Axes" project, dated August 2011, produced by the Commission of Defence and National Security of the Presidential Cabinet, raises a number of reactions in the political class.

Senator Moise Jean-Charles (INITE) is against this project. "Why would the international community fund an army? We don't have anyone we're going to war with. We need to strengthen the national police and build departments inside it to secure the country."

The former Colonel Himmler Rébu, the leader of the Grand Rally for the Evolution of Haiti (GREH), declared on Wednesday that this project should be discussed within the various sectors of the population. "We must analyze the causes of the absence of an armed force in Haiti and conduct evaluations to integrate the new army into society so that it is not a foreign body subject to political manipulation," noting that Haiti is facing an embargo on weapons... he believes that the establishment of a new security force will take at least 18 months to become a reality.

Senator Francois Lucas Sainvil, President of the Senatorial Anti-Corruption Commission, considers that it is not a bad thing,... noting that the Constitution recognizes the existence of two security forces in the country: the police and the army. However, he is concerned about the presence of unsavory elements in this new force. According to information that he claims to have, several military who served under Duvalier and under the National government of Henri Namphy were approached in the context of this project. He fears that this new military force that the Head of State wants to constitute will be worse than that disbanded in 1995. In addition, he criticizes the Head of State as handling this case only within his clan, while it is a national issue.

Senator Youri Latortue (AAA), President of the Senatorial Justice and Security Commission, said that "we must have a new army but not like before, which was involved in politics, elections..."

Antonal Mortimé, Executive Secretary of the Platform of Haitian Organizations for the Defence of Human Rights (POHDH), believes that there is no situation in the country that justifies the presence of an army. In addition, he considers that the development of such a project should not be only the responsability of the Head of State and his team. The issue of security with its various social, economic and political dimensions should be the subject of a national consensus.

René Civil, Responsible of the Commission Mobilization of of Fanmi Lavalas estimates that the country does not need an army and it is sufficient to increase the number of staff of the National Police of Haiti,... to train and to equip them.

ARTICLE - REMOBILIZING THE MILITARY-FADH

DRAFT DECREE REMOBILISING THE MILITARY COMPONENT OF THE PUBLIC FORCE
(Haiti Libre) -

On page 19 of a presentation document of 22 pages (project), produced by the Commission of Defence and National Security of the Presidential Cabinet, entitled "Policy of defence and national security - The Great axes", dated August 2011, there is a governmental draft decree aiming for the remobilization of the military component of the public force.

DECREE 2011 REMOBILISING THE MILITARY COMPONENT OF THE PUBLIC FORCE
Michel Joseph MARTELLY
President of the Republic

Considering articles 143, 159.1, 263, 263.1, 264, 264.1, 264.2, 265, 266, 267, 267.2, 267.3, 267.4, 267.5, 268, 268.3 of the Constitution

Considering that all the Armed Forces are an essential body of a sovereign State

Considering that the FADH is one of the sovereign institutions of the State whose existence is explicitly provided for by our Constitution

Considering that the arbitrary, unconstitutional and illegal demobilization of FADH in 1995 has seriously destabilized the country resulting in the use of troops of friendly Powers of Haiti to ensure its security and maintain its stability

Considering that the task currently devoted to foreign troops in Haiti is the role of the National Armed Forces and that such a situation is an anomaly that seriously undermines the best interests of the Nation

Considering that if the presence of foreign troops in Haiti since 1994 responded to certain contingencies imperative for that the hour, it does not constitute a situation of normality and must necessarily be limited in time

Considering that in the perspective of a scheduled departure of foreign troops of the country, it is necessary to prepare the National Forces to take over

Considering that the former police missions assigned by the military regulations to members of the Armed Forces were in conflict with the training received at the centers of instruction and that the execution of such missions has significantly harmed the image of the military institution

Considering that the excesses which some members of the military institution have engaged should be considered as an attempt to pervert the military ideal, but that this can not challenge the principle of utility of a military Force as a vector of order, of discipline and of development

Considering that the country has had, during its history, two painful experiences of illegal demobilization of its Armed Forces, which have left very deep and painful scars in the Haitian society;

Considering that it is appropriate to rehabilitate the members of the Armed Forces illegally demobilized, both morally and materially, of the arbitrary, unconstitutional and illegal act that we can only wither;

Considering that it is important to restore the national honor, to recover the full sovereignty and political independence, and to this end specifically, we must have all the suitable and necessary instruments;

Considering that any military Institution remains the guardian of fundamental values of a nation and one of the major structures of ascent and social promotion for young people, especially those of the middle class poor;

DECREE

Article 1- Is and remains reported the Decree of January 6, 1995 in all its form and content as well as all administrative actions resulting

Article 2 – The ARMED FORCES OF HAITI are and remain remobilized from this date

Article 3- The Members of the ARMED FORCES OF HAITI, wherever they are, are urged to be make available to the new authorities.

By President Michel Joseph MARTELLY

ARTICLE - MARTELLY - FREE SCHOOL TRANSPORT

PRESIDENT MARTELLY ANNOUNCES FREE SCHOOL TRANSPORT
(Haiti Libre) -

President Michel Martelly, has announced yesterday Wednesday, among the support measures relating to the new school year... that all school children in uniform will soon benefit from free transport service through the bus company "DIGNITY."

This decision was announced as a prelude to the "back to school" [scheduled for October 3], during a meeting at the National Palace, between the Head of State, members of his cabinet, officials of DIGNITY, and also of Senator Youri Latortue and the former Mayor of Port-au-Prince, Emmanuel Charlemagne. "Another victory for the people" said President Martelly.

The Head of State stressed that the issue of school transport has always been a major problem for parents and students. For this, he believes to be important that a single company be responsible for the transportation of students and..... can be strengthened to provide more efficient service.

For their part, officials of the company DIGNITY promise to become more involved in the improvement of the transportation services of Haitian schoolchildren and of urban traffic in general. The Divisional Commissioner Will Dimanche, Director of Traffic and the Traffic Police, has for his part, announced concrete measures to "unclog" the public roads during this historic school year, where more than 700,000 students will benefit from free education programs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

VIDEO - STUDENT UN PROTESTS

ARTICLE -YOUTH PROTEST CONFLICT

POLITICAL ANALYST FEARS GROWING CONFLICT BETWEEN YOUTH POPULATION AND PRESIDENT MARTELLY

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Following multiple days of manifestations by university students against the presence of the United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti, Professor of Political Science, Mozart Deronette, fears a growing divide between the Head of State and the youth population of the country.

The interview by the Agence Haitienne de Presse noted President Michel Martelly's position on the presence of United Nations peacekeepers and his diplomatic approach which seem to some, as being very passive; even to the point of ignoring sex scandals and the death of Haitian citizens due to the cholera epidemic.

Political Scientist and Professor, Mozart Deronette fears a conflict between the Haitian youth and the administration of President Martelly because he "continues to ignore calls from several sectors demanding the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers."

The professor noted to the AHP that the situation could deteriorate during the rest of the mandate of the Head the State.... that he is reluctant to accept the departure of the UN mission "because of his immediate interests."

Deronette views the president's position as indicating a position that reflects the need to repress the population in case of an uprising.

The political scientist noted that there is a discrepancy between the position expressed by President Michel Martelly at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly and his campaign that was supported by the youth in Haiti. Deronette says that this same dynamic is playing out in many other countries where leaders cling to the status quo, remaining reluctant to the change demanded by their young people.

Deronette's fears are further realized in a recent acknowledgement and denunciation by the Union of Haitian Labor (UNOH) which claimed President Martelly and the Chief of Police were working to repress and criminalize social movements and demonstrations throughout the country.

The Head of State in his address at the podium of the United Nations decided against the immediate withdrawal of MINUSTAH arguing that it would be irresponsible and dangerous to let this force go without an alternative national force.

Prior to the president's address the Senate had passed a resolution for withdrawal of the MINUSTAH force and they hoped to have a complete end to the mission by October 2012.

5 UN peacekeepers were accused of involvement in the rape of a teenager last June in the Haitian town of Port-Salut (South). Since then, manifestations have taken place against the presence of peacekeepers.

"We will not stop until the UN soldiers have left the country," assured Friday the initiators of an event that felt that MINUSTAH had failed in all its objectives. Another demonstration has also been planned for Thursday the 29th.

ARTICLE - CONILLE EXPLAINS

RESIDENCE, CIN, TAXES, THE LAWYER OF DR. CONILLE EXPLAINS
(Haiti Libre) -

While many Senators are questioning the authenticity of certain documents of the Prime Minister-designate,... Dr. Garry Conille, wants to ensure ... that the institutions in question, have issued certain documents. Mr. Kedler Augustin, lawyer for Dr. Garry Conille gave explanations on the documents responsible for the concern of some Senators.

Question of residence :
"...the issue of residence is exhausted in my opinion. There is no doubt that Garry Conille is a public servant;... for that matter we have not only proved that by texts, but we published a picture where Mr. Garry Conille handed his credentials to the Head of Government of Niger [...] Diplomats benefit from the principle of extraterritoriality. This principle clearly states that the person still retains his residence in Haiti."

Absence of national identification card:
"...It is still necessary to refer to the Constitution, at the level of Article 11 which obligates the citizen to have a national identification card. I also note, that there is Article 3 which obligates the state to issue a national identification card. So there are two obligations: the obligation of citizens to withdraw their card,... but also an obligation of the State to issue the card. In fulfilling this primary obligation under Article 11,... has Garry Conille requested his national identification card? I can not answer. There is a certificate issued by the ONI that justifies that the citizen had requested his national identification card. The reality is what it is,... so far we do not see this card in the folder"

Definitive statement of tax :
"...A public servant, in international law, enjoys what we call a "tax exemption". Garry Conille, presented in the folder some documents, as a precaution so that he would not be attacked,... thinking that people would not understand the rules of international law as he did, ... but, he was not obliged, because I think he has already paid nearly 992,000 gourds. This is an exemption provided by the conventions [...] a citizen who has the status of an international civil servant must not pay [tax in his country],... there is no risk of a lack of taxation, ... but a risk of double taxation. The official risk [without this law] is to be taxed, both in the host country and in the country where he lives..."

ARTICLE - CLUB OF MADRID VISIT

VISIT OF SUPPORT BY THE CLUB DE MADRID TO PRESIDENT MARTELLY
(Haiti Libre) - By Hérold Israël

PORT-AU-PRINCE - The President of the Republic, His Excellency, Mr. Michel Joseph Martelly, held on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, a working meeting with a delegation from the Club de Madrid composed of two former heads of states.

The complete delegation consister of:

1 Joe Clark, Prime Minister of the Canada

2 Cassam Uteem, e.g. President of the Republic of Mauritius.

3 Maria Elena Aguero, Assistant General Secretary of the club.

4 Juan Gabriel Valdés, former United Nations official

5 Nacho Espinosa, e.g. Officer program, Club of Madrid.

6 Sandra Dorzin, local expert in the Club of Madrid.

The essential purpose of this fifth mission to Haiti, according to Juan Gabriel Valdès, is to support the President and to share with him their experience as men of State.

Mr. Cassam Uteem of Mauritius said that the Club of Madrid wants to be at the disposal of President Martelly by providing all possible support from their personal experience.

The Club of Madrid is an independent non-profit organization, consisting of 80 former Presidents and former heads of Government from 56 different countries. It is the largest world forum of former heads of State and Government who meet to respond to a growing demand for support among the leaders in two key areas: Leadership and democratic governance, and the response to crisis and post crisis situations.

ARTICLE - MARTELLY - CORREA - ECUADOR

MARTELLY AND CORREA VISITED THE ARTIBONITE
(Haiti Libre) -

Michel Martelly, the President of the Republic of Haiti, took part yesterday, Tuesday at the farewell ceremony of the contingent of Ecuadorian Military Engineers, installed since the earthquake of January 12, 2010 in the town of Petite Rivière de l'Artibonite, as part of the Ecuadorian mission to support the reconstruction of Haiti.

After the signing of the donation agreements consisting of geographical surveys of certain regions, of medical interventions, technical equipment used in road work, and medical devices., the Head of State, has also inaugurated a bridge at l'Estère, a structure 30 meters long, with a value of over USD$893,282. The assistance of this Ecuadorian unit in the region represents a considerable humanitarian assistance for the population.

In the presence of Rafael Correa Delgado, President of Ecuador, the High Command of the National Police of Haiti, Mr. Rodolfo Mattarollo, Ambassador representing the Technical Secretariat of UNASUR-Haiti and some parliamentarians, including Senator Youri Latortue, President Martelly thanked the Ecuadorian Military Engineering Company for its various road and urban infrastructure work, including the rehabilitation of over 50 km of roads in the region, the construction of bridges and road sections and the cleaning of drainage channels of over 111,700 m3 of water. A series of works totaling thirteen million seven thousand three hundred forty-four (13,007,344) U.S. dollars.

Speaking at the Ecuadorian military camp, Mr. Martelly and Mr. Correa have recognized that both countries must help each other. The Head of State of Ecuador recalled the great moments in the history of Ecuador in their struggle for independence and the courtesy of Haitians who fought alongside them. "Our country is a small country like yours and has similar problems. But the Ecuadorians have a lot of brotherhood and fully understand the suffering of the Haitians. What the Ecuadorian military engineers have made is little, but they did it with heart", he concluded.

In the late afternoon, President Martelly offered a cocktail in honor of President Correa and his staff. President Correa is the first Head of State in office to visit Haiti since the inauguration of President Martelly.

ARTICLE - CONFLICT - MARTELLY - BENOIT

POLITICAL RUPTURE BETWEEN STEVEN BENOIT AND PRESIDENT MARTELLY
(Haiti Libre) -

Senator Steven Benoit, considered until now as a personal friend of President Martelly, has publicly denounced and disowned him yesterday during a press conference for "...the excesses [of the President] that range from the violation of the Constitution to unilateral and suspect decisions" that have occurred these last 4 months.

Steven Benoit cited as an example:

- the President's decision to publish the results of elections in two constituencies, while the CEP had not given the results for these constituencies

- the non-publication of the amended constitution for over three months,

- the intention of the Head of State to form a Provisional electoral Council for a term of two years, while the amended Constitution provides for a permanent CEP,

- the dysfunction of the Court of Cassation where judges have yet to be named,

- the intention of the President to request a renewal of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) when he was campaigning against the IHRC during the elections,

- the irregular appointment of Directors-General and departmental delegates,

- the presentation exclusively to the international community of the plan for the establishment of a new national defense force,

- the establishment of funds for education outside the legal standards...

The friend of the President, was visibly disappointed at entering vehemently into the opposition, and his statements confirms the political break with the Head of State. "Yes, I am in the opposition because the country works very poorly. The situation is too serious. I am forced to break my silence".

"...Sunday to my astonishment, the President stated that he is the Electoral Council. Three months ago when they published the results of the elections for the deputies there were four deputies who were left out;... but after three months, rather than the President taking measures to hold new elections for the four constituencies [...] We find that an agreement has been made ... For four months, no one has taken care of these four constituencies; and suddenly the President knows who won. He decided that he will publish the results for two, and that he will leave the other two outside [...] I think that it's a serious mistake. It is not the President of the Republic who is a member of the CEP... It isis not the President who must decide for the people of these four constituencies who is supposed to be deputy [...]

The President campaigned against the IHRC. Everyone, or most of us agreed that the IHRC is a true "gagòt." The President said that 4 billion dollars had been wasted, now the President praises the IHRC and is preparing to request an automatic renewal of the Commission; while we know that the IHRC was issued an emergency law of 18 months [...] after 18 months, we can not say that the people are always in a hurry, and after 18 months and $ 4 billion, the people are always under tents! So today, it is necessary that somebody tell me what is the reason for the renewal of the IHRC [...]

...the Senate of the Republic passed a resolution calling for the departure of the Minustah, a gradual departure [...] the President traveled to NY to speak at the UN [...] and the Senators and Deputies, who are co-owner of the national sovereignty do not even know what the President will say on behalf of the Haitian people! We have done our duty. We have given clear messages. The people through us, have said that they did not want the Minuatah [...] it is time that these people leave, and that we have our own military..."

Concerning the Fund for Education, Steven Benoit regrets and questions "...All the countries have mentioned; all the consulates and experts have said, to have something like that. There must be a law, because the Constitution is clear... there are two entities that collect money for the country: the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI) and the General Administration of Customs (AGD).

The President does not want to hear and see. He said that he will fund it himself with a group of people [...] Today we do not know how much money was collected on money transfers nd phone calls and we heard that the fund will pay for school... Again these are anomalies. It is a flagrant violation of the Constitution and the BRH has to come to explain,... the Court of Auditors should explain, how these people have allowed the President to make these abuses,... while I have heard that these funds are in an account in the BRH [...]

I told the President,... attention,.... the Senators were elected in the same way as you. Some of theme have been elected before, and when you will leave some will be still in power, ... so be careful [...]"

ARTICLE - DETAILS OF NEW NATIONAL FORCE

ALL THE DETAILS ON THE PROJECT OF THE NEW NATIONAL FORCE
(Haiti Libre) -

In a presentation document of 22 pages (projet), produced by the Commission of Defence and National Security of the presidential cabinet, entitled "Policy of Defence and National Security - The Great Axes", dated August 2011, President Michel Martelly described his project of a Public Force. Lucien Jura, the spokesman of the Head of State said he was unaware of the existence of this document. Reginald Delva, security consultant declared that he would comment later...

The proposition of Government Martelly, of a national force, circulates among the foreign officials in Haiti. Jon Piechowski, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, confirmed that the Haitian government had recently met with Embassy staff to discuss the project. To be implemented, it will however need to be approved by the Parliament, and have funding, which will probably come from the international community.

The report begins on page 3 stating the position of President Martelly before continuing on to the project description.

"Candidate Martelly had, throughout his campaign, explicitly set his position on the military component of the Police Force. He had stated his willingness, once elected, to restore it, under the Constitution and laws of the Republic, to replace the MINUSTAH and to ensure the defense of territory and border control; to create a safe environment conducive to both domestic and foreign investment; to ensure the protection of the environment, and to lend a hand to the police if necessary.

Now as President, he continues to insist on negotiations to be conducted with the friendly powers of Haiti whose contribution remains necessary for the remobilization of the military component of the Public Force in both its technical training, and its equipment. The President did not fail either to focus on what should be the aim of the new force. He stressed on the necessity for "It" to be a National Army in its conception, apolitical in its operations, defensive in its operations and which has among its ranks professionals (doctors, agronomists, engineers, etc..),and environmental technicians and forest workers who are properly trained. These executives will be the logistic base of the country and the "reserves" of the Public Force for a better response to natural disasters or other hazards threatening the life and property of citizens.

For nearly two decades, globalization has changed the relations between nations and created an interdependence between them almost forced by the movement of goods, information and people to the point that it has caused states to rethink their defensive strategy and security. If now, "Defense and national security" become for the States a global concern that goes beyond the unique military aspect,... for Haiti, the question has some nuances that should be analyzed under the country's geopolitical position (ideal transit point for drug trafficking), its geographical vulnerability (mountainous terrain and hurricanes), ... its defense is oriented primarily around a Public Force, that is necessary to integrate into a broader context,... the "NATIONAL DEFENCE AND SECURITY COUNCIL" (civil protection, intelligence, environment, borders, territorial waters, airspace) and to which we must assign missions development.

From this perspective, it is urgent to complete the Public Force as prescribed in the 1987 Constitution (Article 263 and 264.1) by reactivating its military component in the layout of the new orientation of the missions mentioned above."

OBJECTIVES

Having no hegemony nor enemies in its immediate geographical environment, the public policy of "Defence and national security" of Haiti will be summarized in priority to:

- Protect the population,

- Guarantee the national sovereignty,

- Defend the integrity of the territory by the border control of the airspace and territorial waters,

- Protect the environment against the risks and internal and external threats, whatever their nature.

- Strengthen the system of Civil Protection

STRATEGY

In a perspective of integrated operations, the defense strategy seeks to consolidate into a unified structure, the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF DEFENSE AND SECURITY (CNDS), to establish directions for sensitive areas (borders, environment, intelligence, immigration, economy, local authorities, national identification service, customs, UCREF, ULCC, DGI ...) of the national life around the new Public Force as a pivot and enforcement tool, under the control of the HEAD OF STATE.

INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

The institutions that will contribute to implement the policy of defense and security of the nation can be numerous, however the basic institutions remain:

- The Executive Secretariat and the National Council of Defense and Security,

- The Ministry of Defense and Civil Protection,

- The Office of Secretary of State for Public Security,

- The NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE Service (SIN to revitalize)

- The National Police

- The new armed forces.

A.- NATIONAL COUNCIL OF DEFENCE AND SECURITY (CNDS)

Definition
The National Council for Defence and Security is a political structure at the top of the state and presided by the Head of State.

Composition
It is composed of:

- Prime Minister,

- Minister of Defense,

- Minister of Justice,

- Ministry of Interior

- Minister of Foreign Affairs

- Minister of Economy and Finance

- Or any other person designated by the President

Its management is ensured by a General Secretariat named Executive Secretariat of the Council of National Defense and Security in which are represented on a permanent basis the institutions forming the CNDS.

Role

It is responsible for all matters of national defense and security aspects in their political, environmental, economic, and energy aspects through the fight against terrorism, illegal trafficking of narcotics, illegal immigration, and the planning of responses to crises of all kinds.

B.- MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AND CIVIL PROTECTION

Role
The Ministry of Defence and Civil Protection has the role of:

- Ensure the protection of the territory and population

- Put the human and material resources at the disposal of other ministries (if required or in case of crises)

- Mobilize all possible resources in case of urgent interventions

- Develop programs for risk and disaster management.

Fields of action

The Ministry of National Defense and Civil Protection will intervene in the following areas:

- Intelligence and Counter-intelligence,

- protection of the environment, Strategic Areas and Buildings,

- arms and equipment Control,

- Security and Defense

- Training and Civic Education of young people (Article 52.3 of the Constitution).

C.- OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY

The vision for Public Safety was focused since the creation of the position of the Secretary of State for Public Security in 1996 around the issues of the Police. The series of disasters that culminated with the earthquake of January 12 has led to a different orientation in the concept of public safety. Instead of being a tool of repression, the Office of the Secretary of State for Public Security (BSESP) has a mission to work to prevent the vulnerability of citizens in particular, against risks of all kinds: food, health, chemical, pollution, spoliation of goods, public spaces and historic sites...

Now the action areas of public safety extends to:

- Fight against smuggling, vehicle theft, consumption and drug trafficking, human trafficking

- Control of security agencies

- Problem of the deportees

- Respect for ethics and police ethics

- Organized crime and cybercrime


D.- SERVICE D’INTELLIGENCE NATIONALE (SIN)

Missions

The fragility of the Haitian state now makes it vulnerable to the risks of internal unrest that could plunge the country into anarchy. In this context, the Haitian government must have adequate tools to prevent these threats rather than get into a defensive posture. The SIN's mission is to seek, gather, process, and archive all the information collected by the different entities to enable senior officials of the state to have an accurate picture of the country's security situation and to take preventive measures against activities that may affect public order and national security.

Objectives

- Prevent and fight against terrorism

- Prevent and fight against any form of mafia activities and illegal trafficking networks of all kinds;

- Monitor extremist organizations and movements aiming at sowing anarchy in the country;

- Prevent and fight against internal and external threats;

- Fight against cybercrime;

- Monitoring facilities and strategic sites;

E.- HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE: Reorientation of Mission

- Vetting of police staff

- Redistribution and increase of staff

- Benefits for Police Officers

- Organization of the Intelligence Service of the Police

- Installation of air patrols for the police

- Reorganisation of the Identification Service

- Recycling of specialized units and training of staff of the PNH

- Creation of the Secretariat of CSPN

- Reorganisation of the Service of carrying weapons

- Problematic security companies


F.- THE NEW PUBLIC FORCE

Philosophy

In principle, the Armed Forces represent the means, and the instrument that the Republic has dedicated to the implementation of its policy of national defense and security, and a vector of stability and of development. Away from the hybrid model of the Army demobilized in 1994 with military training in police duties, the New Defence Force Army, under the dominance of the Civil Power, will draw its role in the need to resume the biological link that once united the people to its Army. In this sense the New National Armed Forces will be in its conception, non-political; in its operation, in its defensive procedures, effectively deployed throughout the country, with:

a) a staff available to be mobilized at any time and

b) a social role as a professional springboard for the young

The Army has forged this nation, there is no reason that the Nation continues to exist without it.

Justification

- Necessity to replace the MINUSTAH throughout its program of disengagement

- Necessity to create a safe environment conducive to investment

- Necessity to apply Article 52.3 of the Haitian Constitution of 1987 on "mixed compulsory civic service"

- Necessity of training middle managers

- Generalized delinquency, drug trafficking, organized crime, particularly in the metropolitan area of ​​Port-au-Prince, the only alternative left to these young people who are out of school or are on their own...

Objectives

- Serve as an instrument of defense and border control of the territory

- Contribute to stability and encourage investment

- Enforce the environmental protection policy of the State

- Provide young Haitians the opportunity to receive a civic education, military discipline with openness to vocational training and university studies

Engage youth, in the development of local communities, learning responsible leadership, prepare them for possible action under the emergency plans and for assistance to the population (cyclone, flood, etc.).


REFLECTIONS ON THE SITUATION OF THE DEMOBILIZED

This problem must be addressed ahead of the creation of the new force. There will be required, among other measures:

- Finalize the problem of compensation for the members of the former armed forces within a reasonable time. SIX HUNDRED MILLION GOURDS (Gourds 600 million) will be sufficient to solve the problem and close this chapter.

- Apply the Decree of 28 December 1987 modified to establishing the right to military pension.

- Establish a legal aid for boarders and retreats.

- Finalize the problems of pension funds and establish the framework of retirement and succession.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK

- Organic Law of the Ministry of Defense.

- Organic Law of the Directorate of Civil Protection.

- Organic Law of Ministry of Interior and Local Authorities

- Legislation establishing the organization and functioning of the PNH

- Law on the organization of the National Intelligence Service

PLAN OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MILITARY COMPONENT OF THE PUBLIC FORCE(Article 263 of the Constitution)

The implementation plan takes into account the potential contribution of the MINUSTAH for its participation in the training of recruits and the availability of its bases for training and practice. This plan involves the formation of a staff of 3,500 men over a period of three and a half years as the following timeline:

A- SHORT TERM (1-9 months)

1. PRESIDENTIAL DECREE CONCERNING THE DECREE OF 6 JANUARY 1995 AND REHABILITATING THE HAITIAN ARMED FORCES

2. APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM STAFF (ÉTAT–MAJOR)

- Commander in Chief: Lt-General

- Assistant COMMANDER IN CHIEF: General of Brigade

- Inspector General: General of Brigade

- CHEMG : General of Brigade

- G1 (staff) : Colonel

- G2 (intelligence) : Colonel

- G3 (training) : Colonel

- G4 (logistics) : Colonel

- G5 (communication) : Colonel

- Secretary of the General Staff (État-major) : Colonel

- 4 COMMANDERS of Military regions : Colonels

3. Reconstitution of career of military personnel, compensation and publication of the list of retirements.

4. Participation of a multi-sectoral commission in the evaluation process of military personnel suitable for active service. Staff requested: 650 (150 officers and 500 non-commissioned officers)

5. Headquarters of the Military Region of the West and localization of sites for the headquarters of the other military regions to locate

6. Recycling of remobilized military staff

Duration: 6 weeks

Staff : 650 (150 officers + 500 non-commissioned officers (NCO))

Needed contributions : United States, France, Canada, Chile, Brazil, UNDP, MINUSTAH...

7. Recruitment of new military staff (500 troops/enlisted men)

Duration: 6 months

Instructor: Officers and NCOs Haitian (2/3 of the training)

MINUSTAH (1/3 of the training)

The first 500 men commissioned will be divided into two battalions of three companies composed of 85 men each

Taken into the workforce recycled FADH officers and career NCOs, for filling the role

8. Transfer with the budget of the Haitian Navy, the USGPN, the Unity of forest officers and the Office of Demobilized Military under the control of the new force.

9. Release date of the first promotion : six months from the date of recruitment

B- MEDIUM TERM (9-30 months)

1. Activation of other Military Regions

2. Reactivation of Technical Services

3. Reopening of the Military Academy

4. Recycling and recruitment

5. Gradual departure of MINUSTAH troops

C- LONG-TERM (30 to 60 months)

1. Operationalization of the new force with its total of 3,500 men

2. Final departure of the MINUSTAH

TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW ARMED FORCES

September-October 2011

- Presidential decree reporting the decree of January 6, 1995 and rehabilitating the army

- Appointment of an interim staff (Etat-Major)

- Reconstitution of military careers, compensation of members of former armed forces and a list of retirements

- Participation of a multi-sectoral commission in the process of evaluation of military personnel suitable for active service : desired workforce: 650 (150 officers and 500 NCOs)

- Identification HQ Western Military Region: Ganthier

- Identification HQ North / Northwest / Northeast: Plaine du Nord

- Identification HQ South / Grand Anse / Nippes: axis Camp Perrin / Fond Fred

- Identification Artibonite HQ / Central Plateau Saint-Michel de l'Attalaye

October - 18 November 2011

- Recycling of remobilized military staff

- Starting, of the operations of recruitment of the first 500 soldiers

- Symbolic ceremony to commemorate November 18

November 18, 2011 - January 2012

- Finalization of the recruitment of the first promotion

- Implementation process of military bases for Army, naval bases and airstrips

February 2012 - June 2012

- Start of the formation of the first promotion

- Continuation of the operations of the recruitment process and the implementation of military bases.

June 2012 - July 2012

- Graduation first promotion

- Withdrawal of the MINUSTAH in the Northwest and Assumption by the new armed forces

July 2012 - July 2013

- Recruitment and Training

- Finalization of the implementation process of military bases

- Gradual withdrawal of MINUSTAH

BUDGET SUMMARY

CREATION OF THE NEW FORCE : 2,000,000,000 Gourds or US $ 50,000,000

COMPENSATION OF THE DEMOBILIZED : 600,000,000 Gourds or US $ 15,000,000

CIVIC SERVICE MIXED MANDATORY : 1,200,000,000 Gourds or US $ 30,000,000

TOTAL 4,400,000,000 Gourds or US $ 95,000,000

ARTICLE - MARTELLY PLANS FOR NEW ARMY

DOCUMENT DETAILS MARTELLY PLAN FOR NEW HAITI ARMY
(Forbes) - By Trenton Daniel (AP)

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Haiti's president is moving forward with a controversial campaign pledge to restore the country's disbanded military with an initial force of 3,500 soldiers, according to a document obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The role for the army replacing the former discredited military would be to patrol Haiti's border, keep order during times of crisis and provide opportunities for young people, says the document outlining the plan.

President Michel Martelly's government proposes spending $95 million to train and equip the new armed force with the goal of eventually replacing the 12,000 U.N. peacekeepers in the country.

"The fragility of the Haitian state now makes it vulnerable to the risks of internal unrest that could plunge the country into anarchy," the document says.

Martelly spokesman Lucien Jura said Tuesday afternoon that he was unaware of the document, and referred questions to security consultant Reginald Delva, who told the AP he would comment later.

Haiti has not had a military since it was disbanded in 1995 under President Jean-Bertrand Aristide after years of coups and human rights abuses. Some Haitians have said in recent months they welcome the creation of a new army, a reflection of patriotism but also of the expectation that it would create jobs in an impoverished country.

Human rights groups have expressed uneasiness with the idea of restoring a military that was notorious for abuses.

The Martelly administration's proposal has been circulating among foreign officials in Haiti and would need the approval of Parliament as well as funding that would likely have to come from international aid.

The AP obtained the document from an official on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to distribute it.

Haiti's government notes in the report that it does not face any threat from other countries but says a new army is necessary to patrol the porous border with the Dominican Republic, now frequently used by drug traffickers and for other types of smuggling.

The budget for the project, known as the National Council of Defense and Security, includes $15 million to compensate former military personnel who lost wages and pensions when Aristide disbanded the military. That is a long-standing grievance of the former soldiers.

The 22-page proposal says organizers would initially name an interim military staff and identify sites for military bases in the countryside, with the first class of troops recruited from November to January.

The plan also calls for creation of a "national intelligence service," a special unit to deal with terrorism threats, criminal syndicates and illegal trafficking networks. It would also monitor "extremist organizations and movements intended to spread anarchy."

A U.S. Embassy spokesman, Jon Piechowski, said by email that Haitian government officials had recently met with embassy personnel to discuss the plan.

"We are reviewing the information they have shared in support of their vision," Piechowski said.

A human rights lawyer criticized the idea, noting that the military has long been used in Haiti as a tool to quash democratic movements.

"The problems raised in the proposal are real, but there is little basis for believing that the army would be an effective solution," said attorney Brian Concannon, director and founder of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

"The (army) did not successfully defend the borders against foreign attacks, and the other listed functions - development, disaster response and policing are done more cheaply and efficiently by civilian entities. What the army has done well throughout its history is attack unarmed civilians and stunt democracy."

Haiti-born political observer Jocelyn McCalla said the country would be better served by creating a job program that focuses on young people.

"An army is the last thing that Haiti needs at this point," McCalla wrote in an email.

Martelly's push to bring back the army stems in part from uneasy relations between United Nations troops and many Haitians, who view the peacekeepers as an occupation force and an affront to national sovereignty.

Such opposition has been stoked by evidence suggesting that U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal accidentally started a cholera outbreak that has killed more than 6,200 people and by a recent video allegedly showing U.N. soldiers from Uruguay sexually abusing a Haitian youth.

Despite the outcry, Martelly has said he would seek to renew the U.N. force's mandate for another year. On Friday, he said at the U.N. General Assembly that the force has committed "unacceptable errors" in Haiti but it should stay to help rebuild the country after last year's devastating earthquake.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

VIDEO - CHILD TRAFFICKING INCREASING

ARTICLE - WHY HAITI DOES NOT NEED AN ARMY

WHY HAITI DOES NOT NEED AN ARMY
(Time) - By Tim Padgett

Even in the wake of a catastrophic earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people – or perhaps because of that disaster – nationalism reared its head during Haiti's presidential election campaign last year. Many candidates, including the eventual winner, Michel Martelly, sensed that Haitians had grown weary of U.N. peacekeeping forces patrolling their streets, and so they made the revival of the Haitian military a khaki-colored plank in their platforms. But now that Martelly is President, many hope he realizes – if his speech last Friday, Sept. 23, to the U.N. General Assembly is any indication – that an army is the last thing Haiti needs.

More surprisingly, Martelly made it clear that he's not yet ready to see a reduction of the U.N.'s Stabilization Mission to Haiti, known by its French acronym MINUSTAH. This despite U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's suggestion this month that the force – put in place in 2004 after the violent overthrow of then President Jean Bertrand-Aristide and led in large part by Brazil – be drawn down from its present level of more than 12,000 members to its pre-earthquake numbers of some 7,000 soldiers and 2,500 police. Far from seeking even a partial departure of MINUSTAH from Haiti, the western hemisphere's poorest nation, Martelly on Friday said there would be “nothing more irresponsible and dangerous than letting [MINUSTAH] leave without an effective national alternative.” And if he was still thinking that the alternative should be the Haitian army, which was dissolved 17 years ago, he didn't say so.

Haiti analyst Mark Schneider, senior vice president at the International Crisis Group in Washington, D.C., says he hopes Martelly's U.N. speech “reflects a recognition on his part that for Haiti to successfully entice business investment, and for him to be successful as a President, there has to be security – and for at least the next few years, that means keeping the U.N. peacekeeping forces and focusing not on an army but on an evolving, stronger national Haitian police force.” Schneider is hardly alone in his thinking: representatives of donor nations, who have pledged billions of dollars toward Haiti's post-quake recovery and reconstruction, tell TIME that re-creating the Haitian military is at the bottom of their wish list. In fact, many wish Haitian politicians would drop the idea altogether and, as Schneider suggests, concentrate on building a credible constabulary.

It's not surprising that Martelly, 50, made the military pledge a key theme of his campaign. The former carnival singer had a close, and many would say troubling, relationship with Haiti's old armed forces, which brutally backed the Duvalier family dictatorship from 1957 to 1986 and led an equally harsh coup regime in the early 1990s. When civilian rule was restored in 1994, the military was understandably disbanded, but a growing number of Haitian politicians and citizens feel it's time to revive it.

Their resolve has strengthened since MINUSTAH troops from Nepal last year were accused of bringing cholera into Haiti, sparking an epidemic that has since killed more than 6,000 people, and especially since U.N. soldiers from Uruguay allegedly sexually abused a Haitian teen in July, an incident caught on video. Martelly blasted those “unacceptable blunders” in his U.N. speech, and the Haitian Senate last week passed a resolution calling for U.N. forces to leave the country by 2015.

But Martelly seems to be in closer touch with reality at the moment. For the past decade, Haiti has been a major Caribbean drug transshipment point, and it's often been awash in gang violence and kidnappings. With the help of the international community, a revamped national police force is slowly coming together, with more professional vetting of recruits and academy training. The force currently has about 10,000 officers, but foreign law enforcement advisers hope to see 20,000 as well as more specialized units. Meanwhile, as Martelly insisted, MINUSTAH's presence in Haiti matters.

Having an army doesn't. In fact, the clamor in Haiti for a military reflects one of the most flawed mindsets still plaguing Latin America and the Caribbean today. Because dependable rule of law has for so long been so absent in the region, many of its citizens have come to believe that soldiers, not cops, are their default security solution. But armies aren't meant to fight crime – and when they do, as we've unfortunately witnessed in Mexico the past five years, they often end up exacerbating the problem. Haiti could indeed use improved civil defense forces like disaster response teams or a coast guard. But it faces few if any foreign military threats, so it doesn't need an army – neither the expense of it nor the real risk of human rights abuses. It does need modern, professional, well-paid investigative police to stave off lawless chaos as it tries to rebuild out of the quake rubble still blanketing its landscape.

That also entails an effective judicial system – prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges who can prove to Haitians that they don't need to keep troops in the street to keep order. Schneider says “there was still a lot of buzzing about [creating] a new army” when he visited Haiti this month, a sign of “how fragile the situation still is there.” Fortunately, Martelly acknowledges Haiti's precarious state. The hope is that he also acknowledges that an army won't improve it.

ARTICLE - HAITI ECOSYSTEMS IN PERIL

HAITI'S DIVERSE ECOSYSTEMS IN PERIL
(Norristown Patch) - By Philip Freda

The futures of Haitian ecosystems are uncertain because of a battle between necessity and conservation.

According to CNN and the Alliance for Zero Extinction (www.zeroextinction.org ), the mountainous forests of Haiti’s Massif de la Hotte region is home to more critically endangered species than anywhere else on the Planet.

The region is home to 42 different species of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and plants that are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) (www.iucn.org) Red List of Globally Threatened Species.

Thirteen species of frog alone are on the verge of extinction in the area.

The root of the problem

Why are all these species going extinct?

The answer is somewhat complicated, but at the surface, is deforestation.

Only 3 percent of Haiti’s original forests remain and are disappearing at a rate of approximately 10 percent every five years, according to a group of conservation missions including Birdlife International (www.birdlife.org) the Zoological Society of London (http://www.zsl.org. Here the issue gets a bit complicated.

The forest is disappearing because desperately poor communities use the trees for firewood and to clear land for agriculture.

To add insult to injury, the earthquake in Haiti caused an influx of refugees, from the capital of Port-au-Prince, to double the size of the local population.

According to CNN, a bag of charcoal (fuel obtained from the felled trees) can sell for $30.00.

This may not seem like a lot of money, but when people make about one dollar a day, it’s substantial.

I can relate.

It’s either feed yourself and your family by cutting down a tree or two or possibly starve to death.

Not exactly a hard decision.

Being somewhat of a naturalist, I feel horrible at the fact that a beautiful and diverse ecosystem, such as Haiti’s, is being destroyed.

As a human being, however, I understand the position of the Haitian people.

Being stuck between a rock and a hard place, the destruction of the forest is not about greed, but of necessity.

What is being done to help?

Recently, Birdlife International, the Zoological Society of London and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (http://www.durrell.org ) $450,000 from the UK government to work with Haitian Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) like Societe Audubon Haiti (www.audubonhaiti.org ) and Fondation Macaya (www.macayafoundation.org ).

The money will be used to help local communities find alternative income that would not harm the forest and to also improve the livelihoods of the Haitian people.

These groups understand that to start helping the environment, it must start at the community level.

This money will be used to deliver water from natural springs into the villages.

This saves people from having to venture into the forest for fresh water, which usually results in the clearing of tress to access proper water sources.

Additional initiatives include starting agricultural projects like chicken farming cooperatives and planting fast growing tree species that can be used for fuel.

Also, the money will go to the area’s only school, which closed in 2000 because of funding issues.

In addition to improving the human condition, these groups are also planting trees in tree nurseries to start a reforestation effort.

Better yet, the reforestation project also employs local people.

The conservation groups stated that they will continue to help in Haiti until NGOs are able to successfully sustain themselves.

Can the forests be saved?

Scientists and researchers are now designating which areas should be considered “hot spots” for emergency conservation efforts.

This means that it is important to identify which areas of the forest contain the most endangered species.

These areas will be made priority areas for the reforestation effort.

Deforestation happens in patches so that there may be small tracts of forest that are isolated from larger ones.

These “islands” of forest habitat may be the only place left where a certain species exists.

By locating these areas, researchers and scientists can start to determine what measures can be made in order to help bolster these diminished, or isolated, groups of organisms.

Massive damage has been done, but nature always finds a way to bounce back.

It may be true that some species could have been depleted to critical points that are almost impossible to return from.

The important thing is though, that conservation groups, with the help of the Haitian people and Haitian NGOs, are starting to realize the effect deforestation has on the ecosystem and are beginning to help.

Hopefully the combined efforts of these groups will not only help save a precious and diverse ecosystem, but also send much needed aid to the people of Haiti.

Think about it!

ARTICLE - D.R.- HAITI BORDER "ERASED"

SWELLING LAKE ERASES HAITI-DOMINCAN BORDER
(Dominican Today) -

Mal Passe, Haiti- Haitian leader Toussaint Louverture’s historical statement “the island is one and indivisible” as the pretext for his troops to invade the eastern portion of Hispaniola island in 1821 materializes 200 years later, at least at the southwest border.

The swelling Sumatre (Azuei Lake) has erased the line dividing Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as the waters have submerged the marker pyramids built along the border points between the two nations, with only number 239 still visible.

The lake also threatens the villages “La 39 and La 40”, two communities of Haitians in Dominican territory, where inhabitants live off the sale of the charcoal they take to Haitian territory aboard sailboats.

The swelling of Azuei’s 115 square kilometers has also destroyed plantations of Dominican farmers and threatens to spread to communities as far away as Tierra Nueva.

Since last year its waters had washed out the highway which links the town Jimaní with Haitian territory, which prompted the Dominican government, with the support of local businesses, to raise the highway nearly two meters. Across the border the Haitian authorities did the same.

But the lake still grows and has submerged the Customs, Immigration, and Agriculture Ministry and the offices of other Dominican government agencies.

Ovidio Dotel who runs one of the companies and is head of the Binational Market Retailers Association, said they’ve already spent around RD$25 million in landfill in this place, without a solution in sight.

“Look where we are, in a second floor. We were down there and now that has been buried,” said the merchant quoted by news source listin.com.do.

The lake’s continuing growth is forcing a second transfer of the government agencies, now being built on the higher grounds south of Jimaní, where Caribe Tours and Terra Bus also have erected their terminals; in addition to others that ply the Port-au-Prince transport route.

The Dominican Government also provided land for many Haitian vendors to build their warehouses or install their containers to transport merchandise to Port-au-Prince.

Further into Dominican territory there’s also the concern that the water of Azuey, located 55 meters above Enriquillo Lake, will eventually reach the basin hastening its swelling, blamed on the soil’s lack of moisture retention, lost to decades of rampant deforestation.