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Attacking domestic violence in the Haitian community
Special Reports

Attacking domestic violence in the Haitian community

Author’s note: For this year’s Women’s History Month, celebrated during the month of March, and International Women’s Day, which was March 8th, UN-Women championed the cause of gender parity under the banner, “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.”

Keeping in line with these themes and aspirations, The Haitian Times looks to explore some of the critical issues that affect Haitian women and those in the diaspora; beginning with gender-based violence.

By Natalie C. Holly and Soraya E. Denis

Melissa Bernier never imagined that she would be a victim of domestic violence, until she found herself in an abusive relationship. As is the case for many victims, her abuse began verbally and gradually escalated to physical assaults.

“I was in denial,” Bernier, who is a staff writer and contributor for Haitian Times, said. “From the outside looking in, my situation was a textbook domestic violence relationship, but from the inside looking out, I didn’t know what domestic violence looked like.

“I didn’t know if it was just me, if what I was going through were real issues, or if they were a lot bigger than what I thought they were.”

Jovenel Moise Seizes Land From Haiti Peasants
Special Reports

Jovenel Moise Seizes Land From Haiti Peasants

By Joshua Steckley and Beverly Bell

Jovenel Moïse, President Michel Martelly’s handpicked successor, dispossessed as many as 800 peasants – who were legally farming – and destroyed houses and crops two years ago, say leaders of farmers’ associations in the Trou-du-Nord area. Farmers remain homeless and out of work. The land grabbed by the company Moïse founded, Agritrans, now hosts a private banana plantation.

The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History
Special Reports

The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History

By Beverly Bell

Yesterday, Jan. 12, on the sixth anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake, Haitians mourned the countless lives lost. Among the many aftershocks they face is disaster capitalism, in which the Haitian elite and foreign corporations – backed by the US government, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank – are grabbing lands for extraction and mega-development projects. Ricot Jean-Pierre, social worker and program director of the Platform to Advocate Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA), tells how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.

UN Peacekeepers Sexually Abused Hundreds In Haiti In Exchange For Food And Medicine, Report Says
Special Reports

UN Peacekeepers Sexually Abused Hundreds In Haiti In Exchange For Food And Medicine, Report Says

(AP) – Members of a UN peacekeeping mission engaged in “transactional sex” with more than 225 Haitian women who said they needed to do so to obtain things like food and medication, a sign that sexual exploitation remains significantly underreported in such missions, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press.

The draft by the Office of Internal Oversight Services looks at the way UN peacekeeping, which has about 125,000 people in some of the world’s most troubled areas, deals with the persistent problem of sexual abuse and exploitation.

The report, expected to be released this month, says major challenges remain a decade after a groundbreaking UN report first tackled the issue.

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes
Special Reports

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.

The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.

The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.

UN in Haiti: When Protectors Turn Predators
Special Reports

UN in Haiti: When Protectors Turn Predators

By Kathie Klarreich

A United Nations presence in Haiti has become as familiar as the country’s barren hillsides. Troops of some sort have been there almost continuously since 1993, including five peacekeeping missions. The most recent, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, arrived in 2004 to provide a peaceful transition following months of armed conflict. Like its predecessors and most of the UN’s 16 peacekeeping missions worldwide, MINUSTAH, composed of troops from dozens of countries, is also charged with the protection of local citizens.

Haiti: USAID Houses Found to be of Poor Quality, Will Cost Millions to Repair
Haiti, News Out of Haiti, Special Reports

Haiti: USAID Houses Found to be of Poor Quality, Will Cost Millions to Repair

By Center for Economic and Policy Research

According to documents from USAID, 750 houses built by USAID near the new Caracol industrial park, were found to be of poor quality and will take millions of dollars to repair. The houses are part of USAID’s “New Settlement Program,” which was the subject of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) reporting October 2013 as well as a USAID Inspector General (IG) audit in April 2014.

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