New Prime Minister Urges Haitians to Heal Deep Divisions

Haiti’s new prime minister on Tuesday urged this deeply polarized country to bridge divisions, and he vowed to bring steady advances even while acknowledging that the struggling nation has no shortage of accelerating problems.

“Time is serious and the legacy is heavy. I inherited the prime minister’s job at a time when inflation is rampant, the depreciation of the (Haitian) gourd is accelerating, and where agriculture, the main backbone of our economy, continues to lose its competitiveness,” Lafontant said.

US Group Sues Ex-Haitian Mayor Over Human Rights Claims

A U.S. human rights organization filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in Massachusetts against the former mayor of a small town in Haiti on behalf of three Haitian citizens who allege he violently persecuted them.

The former mayor, Jean Morose Viliena, now lives in Malden, just north of Boston.

The Center for Justice & Accountability lawsuit includes claims of torture, killing and arson. It seeks unspecified monetary damages for the family of a Haitian man who was killed and two other men who were seriously wounded when Viliena allegedly led an armed group in attacks on his critics and perceived political opponents. Viliena was the mayor of Les Irois, a town of about 22,000 in the southwest region of Haiti, from late 2006 to early 2010.

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