Hospitals in Haiti to be shut down due to lack of funds

By Dr. Sanjay Gupt

July 12 2010

It was hard to know what to expect a half-year after the Haiti earthquakes. Driving through the town of Port Au Prince a few days ago, rubble seemed to have been merely swept off the streets, and into alleyways. Debris and garbage had simply shifted around the city, more out of sight, but still present. It was like a college kid, knowing his parents were coming to visit, sweeping things under the rug and throwing things into closets. Things were frighteningly familiar.

I looked out the window, expecting to see the most awful and indelible images that I remembered during the first days after the earthquake. The bodies stacked high, in front of homes with parents searching frantically for a place for their dead children. At that time, children were seen everywhere, doing the same for their deceased parents. Thankfully, those images are for the most part gone.

In medicine, we think of things in the acute phase: stop the bleeding. The intermediate phase: recovery and follow up. And, in the chronic phase, it is about rehabilitation and building up. The acute phase is coming to an end, but without adequate resources and money, the intermediate phase will never happen. Talking to large relief organizations, it seems they are planning for the long-term chronic rehabilitation of the country, which may explain why only a small percentage of the money donated has actually been put to use. (see the breakdown here by organization). The concern, though, is that rehabilitation cannot happen, unless the resources are there to let the patients, and the country adequately recover.

For a while, there was a venting of compassion. At General hospital, the largest public hospital in Haiti, there was at one point too many doctors and too many supplies. People saw the need, and they opened their pocket books and booked their flights. I was often asked, “what can I do to help?” I said “wait 6 months, because too many people will forget, yet the need will still be there.” When I visited General hospital yesterday, there was hardly anything happening there. The operating tables that were donated looked desolate, and the rooms were empty. A handful of diligent Haitian nurses, who haven’t been paid in months, were trying to do the best they could with hardly any resources.

The largest private hospital in the city, which serviced the small percentage of Haitians that could pay for their health care, has chains on the doors and is shut down for business. Six months later, the need is still here, and in many ways, things are worse than ever.

It is true that clean water now exists in many places, and the predicted widespread outbreak of disease hasn’t happened. There are food distribution stations in many of the larger camps, and even schools that are starting up this summer. It is also true that many amputees are now walking around the rough roads of Port Au Prince with newly obtained prosthetic legs. But, too much has remained the same.

I saw a 6 month old girl, born just before the earthquake, who lay dying at Bernard Mevs hospital. She developed an infection, that untreated, turned into meningitis. Her head became large, as fluid had started to build up inside her brain, a condition known as hydrocephalus. She didn’t receive antibiotics in time, and now she was beyond treatment. The same stupid story. Six months later. Needless deaths, despite the generosity of millions all over the world. Source

Haiti: Key data on earthquake emergency relief published by MSF

Living conditions remain dire for thousands of Haitians

Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Published 08 July 2010

Six months after the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has published a report describing the organization’s largest ever emergency response. The report also describes the dire living conditions of Haitians today and provides an explanation of MSF’s commitment in years to come.

MSF’s medical work in Haiti has evolved during the past six months, from an emergency response to a wider range of medical and relief activities. “Haitians were the first to respond to this disaster and we have reinforced their effort with a massive aid intervention. Today, medical provision for Haitians has improved, and is certainly more accessible than before the earthquake, allowing poor people to receive proper health care,” explains MSF Head of Mission Stefano Zannini, who was already in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake killed and/or injured hundreds of thousands and left over a million people without shelter.

However, the situation for many Haitians is still hugely precarious, while frustration grows among people who are disappointed with the pace of rehabilitation. “There is a staggering gap between the enthusiasm and promises for aiding the victims of the earthquake in the early weeks, and the dire reality on the ground after half a year,” adds Zannini.

MSF’s report publishes figures on the scale of its relief intervention. Up to May 31, in the first 138 days following the disaster, MSF staff treated more than 173,000 people and performed over 11,000 surgical procedures. More than 81,000 Haitians received support to help them cope with their psychological trauma. MSF brought in almost 27,000 tents and distributed more than 35,000 relief kits.

In the report, MSF describes some of the choices which had to be made in the first few weeks following the earthquake. For example, the extremely high number of injuries forced teams to focus almost exclusively on the stabilisation of patients and emergency surgery at the expense of other crucial activities. Finding locations for temporary medical facilities was done in haste as there was little time for more in-depth assessments.

An extraordinary number of foreign aid workers had to be brought into the country quickly; two months after the earthquake MSF had over 350 international staff in Haiti, since many Haitian health workers were also victims of the earthquake. This put a huge strain on MSF’s human resources and management capacity. MSF was eventually able to reduce the number of foreign workers, as more Haitians were hired to work in the organization’s facilities. By the end of May, 93 percent of MSF staff-members on the ground were Haitians.

MSF also reports that, up to May 31, around C$120 million was received in donations from the public earmarked for Haiti relief. The organization spent $70 million by that same date, including more than $14 million on surgery, $5 million on maternal health (MSF helped deliver 3,700 babies) and over $11 million on shelter. MSF foresees that, by the end of the year, it will have spent around $118 million on assistance to the Haitian population.

Although there are uncertainties around the speed of reconstruction and the extent to which other organizations will still provide health care, MSF commits to continue working for the victims of the earthquake in years to come.

“Health care was already fragile in Haiti before January 12,” says Dr. Unni Karunakara, the International President of MSF. “The earthquake destroyed much of the medical services that were available. It will take many years before the country is back on its feet. MSF is determined to play our part in rebuilding health care for Haitians and will dedicate our staff and means to this task as required.”

Source

Venezuela’s Chavez Forgives Haiti’s Debt

Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

Could the Earthquake in Haiti be man made, the answer is Yes

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Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm  Comments Off on Hospitals in Haiti to be shut down due to lack of funds  
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Haitians worry free food distribution halted too soon

Haiti’s central government has stopped the UN food program that’s kept thousands fed since the January quake, even though many are still without homes or jobs

By Jessica Leeder

April 23 2010

Jacmel, Haiti —By government decree, the food and hunger situation in Haiti has returned to normal.

The trouble is, for most people here, real life has yet to catch up.

In an effort to rev up the economy and motivate people to return to work, Haiti’s central government has forced aid organizations to stop the free food distributions that have sustained a hefty swath of the population – 30,000 bellies per day in Jacmel alone – since January’s earthquake.

“They don’t want to breed this dependency,” said Hazem El Zein, head of programs for the World Food Program’s Jacmel sub-office. “Basically we are following what the government wants us to do.”

Although the WFP has led the emergency food effort since the Jan. 12 quake, when Mr. El Zein and others began handing out high-calorie biscuits to more than 4,000 people clustered at the city’s airport, the organization has been asked to revert to their “normal” pre-earthquake programming. That consists mostly of providing school meals for children and nutrition supplements for babies, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Final deliveries of the free sacks of rice, flour, beans, oil and salt were made by WFP trucks last week, and community leaders in camps for the internally displaced were given final notice of the abrupt program change.

Immediately, worries among local government officials and the population began to sprout over whether it’s too soon to institute such a dramatic shift in food strategy.

A young girl eats a bowl of rice and beans, a food staple in Haiti at the Abri Pwovizwa Shelter Camp in Jacmel, Haiti. The group of families, some 295 homeless people who are living in the yard of a church in Jacmel, Haiti, are one of many groups no longer receiving free food drops since the Haitian central government ordered aid organizations to stop providing free food distributions.

Thousands of people remain without homes or jobs in Jacmel. And while rubble-clearing efforts fuelled by cash-for-work programs have forged some noticeable progress on city streets, the 200 gourdes (about $5) per-day jobs have not proven to be a panacea for the stalled economy.

More cash-for-work and work-for-food positions will be created to help families bridge the difficult transition back to self-sufficiency, but they don’t yet exist. Organizations and government officials are still wrangling over details of the jobs and who will be responsible for managing them. Meanwhile, many people who still rely on food handouts for the bulk of their diets – which usually consist of just one meal per day – have no idea how they’ll make due without free food distributions in the short term.

“I don’t know what the consequences will be, but I’m sure it’s going to be a problem,” said Frantz Magellan Pierre-Louis, a spokesperson for Jacmel Mayor Edo Zenny.

At Pinchinat this week, a former school soccer field that is Jacmel’s largest camp for the internally displaced, what was once the field cooking area – a section of grass littered with small fires and piles of charcoal the cooking committee used to heat daily meals for residents – was abandoned. By mid-afternoon, when most kids would normally begin lining up for their daily bowl full of rice and beans, few people can be seen eating.

At the small independent encampment at the L’Eglise Wesleyenne the outdoor kitchen hasn’t been used this week. Although the cooking committee had been carefully maintaining an emergency store of rice and beans for fear the food supply would end, they have no oil with which to cook.

Midi Jackson, the camp spokesman, said no one has come to the camp from any organization to talk about what they should do in the short term. On his own, he’s been advising families to try to raise a bit of money from friends with means, and fend for themselves.

At the WFP, officials are optimistic that early bumps that have accompanied the food shift will soon be smoothed out. Plans are in the works to establish programs that boost local agriculture and support local markets. Some are only days away from implementation.

Before the earthquake, the organization had established a small footprint in Jacmel with a small food-for-work program, a school-feeding schedule for 57,000 students across the country’s south-eastern department, and a health and nutrition program to prevent malnourishment among 10,500 mostly rural young and female beneficiaries.

Mr. El Zein said he feels the goodwill that the WFP built up through that work will hold the organization in good stead while the current kinks are worked out.

“It’s a huge step to get the people to understand that, yes, free food has stopped but normal projects have continued plus we’re doing cash for work,” he said, adding: “We made very good relations with the people. They know us. The trust that the food will be there in the schools.

“If we hadn’t made these relations with the people … you would find 2,000 people at the gate,” he said, gesturing to the solid steel gate that secures the WFP’s walled Jacmel compound, which is patrolled by shotgun toting guards. “People know there is food in here.”  Source

No jobs, no money, no food. I can see this being a real problem for many.  Seems to me the put the cart, before the horse. They need a better strategy, then just stopping food aid.  This could cause riots in the streets.

I guess slavery in Haiti will be alive and well.  Some may even volunteer to be slaves just to get food.

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Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 2:24 am  Comments Off on Haitians worry free food distribution halted too soon  
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Update April 2 2010: Disease Threatens Haitian Children

New York donor conference:

As needs remain, Haiti must be given capacity to ensure access to medical care for its population
International aid must consider a direct financial support to the health system in Haïti. Decisions at the New York conference need to allow the Haitian health system to continue to address the population’s immediate medical needs.
Port-au-Prince/New York
While the majority of the Haitian population is still extremely vulnerable, the UN donor conference to be held in New York on 31 March must not take measures that would limit the access to health care of the population, says international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Since the earthquake of 12 January nearly all public and many private medical structures have offered free of charge health care. Meanwhile plans have been disclosed to progressively reinstate hospital fees as early as mid-April.

“Making access to health care contingent upon someone’s financial means would totally ignore the reality that we see in the streets and makeshift camps in Haiti,” said MSF emergency coordinator Karline Kleijer. “Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and live in rickety huts made of plastic sheeting, tents or ruined houses, with one latrine for a few hundred people on average. Shelter, hygiene, water and medical care remain a priority need.

“Short term humanitarian needs remain huge and unmet, and the arrival of the rainy and hurricane seasons threatens to cause further deterioration of the present living conditions. We have already seen large parts of camps collapsing during the recent rains. The collapse or flooding of shelters and tents could force many of the displaced to move again.”

Respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases are today the two main diseases that MSF treats. Earthquake victims continue to need post-operative and rehabilitative care, physiotherapy as well as psychological counseling. In addition, the population at large needs obstetric, pediatric, and trauma care.

“Haitians must have access to an efficient health system,” declared Dr. Christophe Fournier, MSF international president. “Necessary financial resources for the health structures to function can not be drawn from the extremely precarious population.”

International aid must consider a direct financial support to the health system in Haïti. Decisions at the New York conference need to allow the Haitian health system to continue to address the population’s immediate medical needs.

MSF has been assisting Haitian communities since 19 years. Today, some 3,300 Haitian and international MSF staff are supporting government hospitals and run facilities on its own. Since the earthquake, MSF teams have performed more than 4,000 surgeries, provided psychological counseling to over 20,000 people, and treated 53,000 patients. MSF has distributed 14,000 tents and close to 20,000 non-food item kits (including kitchen and hygiene kits, jerry cans, blankets and plastic sheeting). MSF is funding its activities in Haiti exclusively with private donations and is therefore no stakeholder in the donor conference in New York.

Source

Medical needs in Haiti remain high as MSF moves into next crucial phase

In response to the dire situation confronting people living in makeshift camps or on the street ten weeks after the quake, MSF is stepping up the distribution of tents and plastic sheeting, as well as blankets and hygiene and cooking kits.

HIGHLIGHTS

Ten weeks after the January 12 earthquake that left up to 300,000 people injured, medical needs remain immense in Haiti, and they continue to grow. A crucial phase has begun with thousands of injured people requiring long term medical care just as some of the health providers who responded to the initial emergency phase have begun to discharge patients and leave the country . ?MSF is expanding its capacity to care for the many wounded requiring extensive postoperative care – including secondary surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and mental healthcare – for at least the next year. In recent weeks, more than 200 patients have been referred to MSF medical facilities by other medical teams leaving the country. ? MSF is also focusing on primary health care, with the opening of new out-patient departments and the creation of additional capacity for secondary health services, including emergency obstetrics, intensive care for malnourished children, and inpatient care for paediatrics and adults.

In response to the dire situation confronting people living in makeshift camps or on the street ten weeks after the quake, MSF is stepping up the distribution of tents and plastic sheeting, as well as blankets and hygiene and cooking kits.

MSF activity specific to locations across Haiti

HOSPITALS – SURGERY – POST OPERATIVE CARE

Port au Prince – Saint-Louis Hospital: Surgical activities are ongoing in a 200-bed capacity inflatable hospital, which includes two operating theaters. An additional operating room is planned for treating treat patients suffering from burns. At the moment, around 200 patients are hospitalized and 770 surgical operations have been performed since setup. The hospital provides complete post-operative care: medical and surgical follow up, physiotherapy, psychological and social care. The hospital aims to treat the same cases that were treated at the now destroyed facility of La Trinité: major traumas (road accident, gunshots, burn victims, etc.) and health care for victims of sexual violence.

Port au Prince – Choscal Hospital in Cité Soleil: MSF intervened in this Ministry of Health hospital initially focusing on earthquake-related trauma. There are two operating theaters for major surgery, one for minor surgery. MSF also works in the emergency room and the maternity ward. The hospital has a 100 bed capacity, all under tents as the building has been slightly damaged by the earthquake and patients are still afraid to get in. The team has rearranged the hospital into a general hospital serving an extremely precarious population. Psychological care continues for all patients and caretakers.

Since the earthquake, 2705 (1852 new cases and 853 dressing) emergency cases treated in the emergency room, 874 trauma (trauma, wounds and burns), 201 trauma due to violence (57 gun shot, other aggressions by knife, machete, stone, bottle,…), 718 surgical interventions, 91 major orthopedic interventions including 37 amputations and 222 wounds operations; 363 deliveries including 39 cesarean section. Still a daily average of about 2/3 violence-related injuries, including gunshot and machete wounds.

Port au Prince- Site Office du Tourisme: Site functional since February 22. At present, 40 patients are hospitalized and receiving post operative and medical care, mental health care, and physiotherapy.

Port au Prince- Site « Mickey », Crèche angle rue Christ Roi et Bourdon Site opened on January 19. Currently, 61 patients are hospitalized and receiving post operative and medical care, mental health care and physiotherapy. For the immediate term: maintaining the maximum post operative care capacity, following up minor surgery cases, reinforcement of mental health rehabilitation

Port au Prince – site Lycée with its 80 beds of post operative care, was closed. Patients were transferred to the OCB facilities.

Port-au-Prince – Bicentenaire: Post-op, emergency and surgical facility with two operating theaters and pediatric and obstetric services. Presently 41 patients hospitalized in the 77-bed structure. A total of 90 beds foreseen. Mental health services are also provided.

Carrefour Arts et Metiers orthopedic hospital: Around 40 surgical interventions are performed every day in this 135-bed trauma and post-op hospital, which houses two operating theaters, and one of the few x-ray machines in the city. Orthopedic surgery, skin grafts, and muscle flaps are being performed and post-op care and rehabilitation are provided. Currently, 80 patients are hospitalized. Rehabilitation care is offered to patients in collaboration with Handicap International. Psychological care is offered to patients and families.

Léogâne: 90-bed hospital. Maternity activities are increasing; 50 deliveries and three C-sections performed in the past week. .

Jacmel: Full outpatient and inpatient services are available under tents (81 beds) as the main hospital was badly damaged. Surgery is ongoing in the hospital’s operating theater (services offered; internal medicine, surgery, maternity, pediatrics, emergency). Mental health services are also provided.

POST-OPERATIVE CARE

Although a full range of post-operative care is offered in all MSF supported structures where surgery is performed, some sites are specifically dedicated to welcome patients after surgery.

Promesse: Post-op structure with an initial capacity of 50 beds. Handicap International physiotherapists are working in collaboration with MSF. 46 patients are currently hospitalised. Mental health care provided.

Delmas 30: The first 70 patients and their caretakers have been transferred to this new post-op tented center, from the inflatable hospital structure in Saint Louis. The center will have more than 100 beds for people needing physiotherapy and mental health support. They will be transferred in the middle of March to the MSF facility in the Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Tabarre (capacity: 140 beds)

Sarthe: On February 23 MSF opened a new, a 203-bed post-operative center in a converted soft drink factory in the Sarthe area of Port-au-Prince (potential capacity of 300 beds). All patients from Chancerelle and Choscal who need further post-operative care (wound care, more specialised orthopaedic surgery, reconstruction surgery) were referred to this new structure. Up to now 150 patients were admitted. Handicap International physiotherapists are working in collaboration with MSF to optimize reeducation (including prosthesis for the amputee) and mental health support is provided as well.

SPECIALISED CARE : NEPHRO + NUTRITION + EMERGENCY OBSTETRICS

Port au Prince – General Hospital The nephrology team did an initial handover to the Ministry of Health, with donations of materials and three dialysis machines to the nephrology unit in the general hospital. Currently, 30 chronic patients are receiving dialysis. Another five dialysis machines has been installed recently to increase capacity of the unit. A nephrologist came for one week to give specific trainings.

Carrefour stabilisation center for malnutrition: Stabilization center and ambulatory feeding center for severely malnourished children. There are currently 22 children hospitalized.

Carrefour Maternity Hospital: MSF supports this Ministry of Health structure with staff, fuel and supplies to run 24hr maternity/emergency obstetrics services.

Isaie Jeanty, Emergency Obstetrics Hospital: MSF is working in collaboration with the Ministry of health for the maternity and emergency obstetric care in this 85-bed Ministry of Health hospital. This is the main referral hospital for Port-au-Prince for complicated and eclampsia cases.

PRIMARY CARE

Port au Prince – Martissant: This MSF structure provides an emergency and stabilization center through an outpatient department and a 30-bed inpatient department. There is also a 15-bed maternity service. The center has seen more than 3892 consultations since the earthquake and 1967 dressings. More than 1000 trauma had been treated including 100 by violence.The team is preparing to move some patients back into the undamaged structure.

Port au Prince – Delmas 24: A new health center opened on February 15 in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince. About 150 consultations are offered every day. MSF plans to open five out patient departments in total in the Delmas area (including in Saint Louis Hospital and Delmas 24).

Saint-Louis OPD and ambulatory: Opened February 27; 120 consultations/day. Follow up of post op in ambulatory ( dressing, physio, mental health…)

Les Collines: OPD will open March 10.

Fort National/poste Marchand: OPD will open March 15.

Port-au-Prince – Site “Mickey”, Crèche angle rue Christ Roi et Bourdon: Outpatient structure performing between 120 and 170 consultations per day.

Port-au-Prince – “Tourism”, in front of the Champ de Mars: Outpatient activities began February 15; average of 160 consultations per day.

Leogane, Dufort and region: OPD is operational in the city of Leogane on the site of Hopital Sainte Croix. At the Dufort fixed clinic site, approximately 250 consultations are carried out each day, with referrals to Leogane when required. In addition, MSF teams are operating mobile clinic activities in 20 locations, between Gressier and Petit Goave. In total, 2,130 consultations were carried out last week.

Carrefour Feuille: A team of one nurse, three doctors and one midwife is running a tent clinic in a camp for 9,000 homeless people in the area. Main pathologies are now diarrhea, skin diseases, upper respiratory infections, fever, gyneco cases, traumas and increasing requests for psychological counseling. An average of 130 consultations are carried out per day. The team is performing dressing changes and providing vaccinations. Mental health services are also provided.

Carrefour, Village Grace IDP camp: The basic health care unit includes an outpatient department, antenatal and post natal care and a mental health component in a site that is home to 15,000 displaced persons. 150 patients are seen daily.  250 dressings are done per week. Vaccination campaign for DTP and measles was carried out last week. Psychological care is offered to patients and families.

Carrefour, International Grace Hospital: A new hospital, located next to Grace camp, will offer out-patient services by the end of this month. Other planned activities include pediatric care and emergency services.

Carrefour, Shikina clinic, Waney 87. An out-patient health center offering basic health care, antenatal and post natal care, as well as mental health services. This is an urban area with many displaced are living in small groups.

Carrefour, outreach activities: A MSF team is working in a number of sites in the Carrefour area, including in displaced persons camps, homes for the elderly, clinics and orphanages.

Petionville Golf Club Camp (Golf course): A health care clinic offering basic health care and ante-natal care to pregnant women, referral services and psycho social counseling in this camp where 40,000 people are estimated to live. About 150 consultations have been provided every day (ANC, PNC as well as mental health).

MENTAL HEALTH

Psychological care is routinely offered to patients who have been through major surgery in MSF supported structures. But there are other mental health activities targetting specific groups.

Sarthe + Choscal + Martissant : A team of psychologists is still focusing on the patients and the caretakers inside the three hospitals, but as also shifted towards providing counseling to  displaced people living in makeshift camps around the structures.

Carrefour, Grace Village IDP camp: Psychological care (individual and group sessions) is offered in the camp, through the clinic and through outreach workers who work in the camp as well as in the surrounding neigborhoods.

Carrefour, MSF Field hospital: A team of psychologists is supporting the patients.

Delmas, Petion Ville Club IDP camp: Psychological care is offered in the camp through individual sessions and group councelling.

Bicentenaire, Promess, Jacmel and Carrefour Feuille: Mental health activites taking place in MSF facilities in all these locations. A team of Payasos sin Fronteras (Clowns Without Borders) worked in collaboration with MSF – their project has now finished.

NON FOOD ITEM DISTRIBUTIONS

Port au Prince – Ecole Saint Louis: 1,800 tents distributed in the camp near the inflatable hospital to an estimated 8,500 people. NFI (hygiene and cooking sets) will be distributed in the coming days to the same population.

Grand Goàve: 2,638 complete family kits distributed.

Petit Goave: complete family kits and tents for 364 families

Grace Village IDP camp: NFI kits distributed to 3,000 families (kit = 2 jerrycans, bucket, hygiene kit, plastic sheeting or tent, 6 pieces of soap and a hygiene kit)

Carrefour: 1,800 NFI kits to IDPs at different sites.

Port au Prince – Delmas 33: 200 NFI kits to IDPs at Solidarity site and 200 NFI kits to Delmas 33 “future hospital” site.

Leogane: Distribution of 1,550 NFI kits in rural areas in the periphery of Leogane. 5,000 additional NFI distributions planned for next week (plastic sheeting instead of tents), accompanying mobile clinics.

Jacmel:Distribution of kits to more than 1,800 families.

Cité Soleil: 2954 tents were distributed in several camps spread within Cité Soleil slums. Still ongoing with additional NFI kits distribution to come.

WATER AND SANITATION

Marrtissant, Cite Soleil, Chancerelle: Water distribution is continuing via 15 bladders, including one in Martissant, 11 around Cité Soleil, one in Chancerelles, and three in Sarthe,  focusing on IDPS close to the medical facilities. MSF has also undertaken the cleaning and emptying of community latrines inside the slum of Cité Soleil, which had been backed up for a prolonged period.

Carrefour, Grace Village Camp: MSF is providing 76m3/day water for 15,000 IDPs and constructing 45 latrines.  Additionally, 45 showers will be constructed and 15 Portocabs have been installed..

Chancerelle, Aviation camp: 50 latrines, 50 showers and 20 washing places under construction. Water provided by MSF to part of camp. Installing 30,000 liter tank.

Carrefour, Child detention center: Ten latrines and showers under construction; eight portocabs installed in the meantime.

Carrefour, Joseph Janvier camp: maintenance of 20 existing latrines for 1,500 IDPs.

Carrefour, various sites: chlorination treatment of tanks/wells and small interventions in other areas. Chancerelle, Aviation camp: 50 latrines, 50 showers and 20 washing places under construction. Water provided by MSF to part of camp. Installing 30,000 liter tank.

Leogane (periphery): Water distribution: target of 200,000 litres per day. Will install two latrine blocks in gathering spots, and, if used, will increase numbers. Again, water and sanitation activities will be in support of mobile clinics and around MSF hospital structures.

Port au Prince – Mickey: Water distribution of 80,000L/day

Port au Prince – Ecole Saint Louis: Water and sanitation work (latrines) for estimated 7,000 IDPs.

Jacmel: MSF installed a water bladder, drinking points, and ten latrines in St. Michel Hospital.

Grand Goave: Sanitation facilities established in four camps: Lifeline, Park Ferrus, Servants et Tit Paradise: 4-6 latrines per block, showers, bladders, and seven water distribution sites for a total of 7,000 beneficiaries.

Port au Prince – In Petionville and Carrefour Feuille: portable or fixed latrines, portable showers, waste areas and water bladders were installed for a total population of 31,800 people. MSF has carried out out water storage and distribution, constructed washing areas, showers, latrines, waste areas and hygiene promotion in the following camps :

Place Boyer, Place St. Pierre, Marie Therese, Hospital Sanatorium, Campeche, Tapis Rouge, Pinchinat (Jacmel).

Source

MSF/Doctors
Without Borders needs all the help they can get, to help those in Haiti.

The road to recovery for Haiti is a long way off.

There is and  estimated 300,000 that may have died.  I do not think they have an actual total number as some may still be buried in rubble.

For more information  MSF in Haiti

Haiti: Public Health Crisis Looming and Where is Media?

By Georgianne Nienaber

March 29 2010

The rainy season is about to hit earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The meteorological forecast for next week calls for thunderstorms beginning this Wednesday, lasting at least through the following Tuesday, and Dr. Jim Wilson is worried. Wilson is the Executive Director of Praecipio International, which is the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System (HEAS), based in Petionville-Port au Prince, Haiti. Wilson is also internationally known as the person who identified the H1N1 outbreak in Mexico and was a key player and founder of ARGUS, a global detection and tracking system for the early detection of biological events. He identified SARS outbreaks, H1NI, Marburg hemorrhagic fever, and issued the first warning of H1N1 resurgence in the United States in the summer of 2009. Wilson has been warning about the increase in diarreal disease in Haitian infants, and his warning is falling on deaf ears in the mainstream media.

For anyone who has been to Haiti and observed ground conditions there, the reasons are obvious. During the week of March 12 we were in some of the IDP camps. After a minor rainstorm floodwaters caused the overflow of pit latrines, bringing raw sewage into the camps and contaminating local water sources. This was in the camps that had pit latrines. A camp of 5,500 people near the slums of Cite Soleil had no latrines or sanitation of any sort. Feces, vomit and urine were everywhere in the surrounding bush. Obviously, contact with raw sewage greatly increases the chance of exposure to waterborne pathogens that cause diarrheal disease. Prior to the January 12th earthquake, diarrheal disease was already a leading cause of illness and death for children in Haiti. Now, children and adults are living in “shelters” that in the best conditions amount to salvaged pieces of tin providing makeshift “roofs,” to tattered pieces of plastic held together with sticks. The USAID “fact sheet” about tent material would be laughable if the consequences were not so tragic.
On March 11, a USAID/OFDA flight delivered 750 rolls of plastic sheeting to Haiti. To date, USAID/OFDA has provided 15,480 rolls of plastic sheeting to meet post-earthquake shelter needs, benefiting approximately 774,000 people. The ongoing distribution of USAID/OFDA-funded plastic sheeting supports Shelter Cluster efforts to provide shelter materials to approximately 240,000 households before the likely June onset of the hurricane season.

Here is a video of what it is like to live under plastic sheeting. Imagine this scenario in the hurricane season.

This video was taken on March 12, 2010.

The same “fact sheet” indicates that the United States has provided $769,948,358 in aid to Haiti. Where it has gone is anyone’s guess. By the time Freedom of Information Act requests have been filed and freelance investigative journalists have done their homework, it will be too late to assist the 1.3 million estimated homeless. Infants will start dying by the thousands before the media takes note, and an outbreak of even more serious waterborne disease will likely occur.

The lies are almost frightening in the Machiavellian planning and presentation. Drive along the main roads and you will see “camps” of moderate white tents, set in orderly rows with the banners of NGOs prominently displayed. This is what you will likely see on CNN.


Take a little time to venture off the beaten path–you will not have to go far–and the reality hits you right between the eyes.



Wilson suggests that there is another area of concern that has not been examined by health officials here in the States and in Haiti.

The reason for this high level of concern is obvious to all of us who are working on the ground. An extension of that concern may be seen when considering the fragile nature of the current ad hoc medical infrastructure in the quake-affected areas. It is our assessment this infrastructure comprised mainly of volunteers is easily overwhelmed by a sudden influx of patients, particularly pediatric patients. The higher the clinical acuity, the more easily it is to overwhelm.

Dr. Wilson is being mild in his public comments. Having seen this
Amputate a leg and send someone home. To what? Fix a broken arm and send a child, homeless, to an IDP camp where there is seldom a doctor or food to be found.


We found this stash of “medical supplies” at an ad hoc camp of 2500 outside of Leogane.

This ad hoc infrastructure is both limited and easily overwhelmed. Because of these conditions, rapid identification of diarrheal disease hot spots when they emerge is critical, so that aid can be moved quickly to prevent further spread of disease and exhaustion of medical resources.

Is Haiti prepared? Probably not.

There are 800,000 doses of the oral rehydration agent, Pedialyte, stored, but it will not be enough if a large outbreak occurs. Infants can die within 24 hours if not given the proper palliative care. There are not enough oral and IV antibiotics in-country. Even if drugs and rehydration kits were freely available, there is not an adequate distribution system in place to deliver supplies and no one to coordinate at many of the camps, except those located with the guarded compounds of the NGOs. Haitian mothers have not been told how to make simple rehydration solutions of salts and sugars.

The current Haitian public health surveillance consists of forms submitted to the Haiti Ministry of Health once a week and an under-developed network of sites to support laboratory testing.

Dr. Wilson suggests that along with the forms, health workers share information about the types of health events they are witnessing.

This is referred to as “informal surveillance,” and we offer the following Google group, the “Haiti Epidemic Advisory System” and the InSTEDD-supported SMS/text messaging alert system called Geochat to facilitate communication among us. In this Google group we will be sharing insights into what to look for and examples of informal surveillance in action. Please note this group is only for ground-based Haiti responders. The link to the Google group may be found here, and instructions for how to sign up for the SMS/text messaging Geochat service is found on the group website.

Our team encountered the Haitian Minister of Health, Dr. Alex Larsen, in Petionville one evening. It was a chance encounter, since all of the government offices were destroyed during the quake and officials who are still alive are hard to find.

We asked the purple-shirted chain-smoking minister if we might have a conversation with him after he finished his conversation and dinner. He said “yes,” but left without even a goodbye or “we will talk later.” Maybe Anderson Cooper can get him to open up. If he can find him.

A journalist friend in Rwanda, Patrick Bigabo, sent me a message on FACEBOOK that pretty much sums up the state of media affairs with regard to Haiti.

“The problem with public affairs reporting in poor nations is that for the western media there is no news unless horror is ongoing. Real media has vanished.”

Source

The links below have other information and links to other stories about Haiti.

War Crimes and Oil has the most.

Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

Haiti: War Crimes and Oil

Help Haiti Everybody Hurts Video

Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 7:39 am  Comments Off on Update April 2 2010: Disease Threatens Haitian Children  
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Cheap Food Imports destroyed Haitian agriculture

“With Cheap Food Imports, Haiti Can’t Feed Itself”

March 21 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The earthquake not only smashed markets, collapsed warehouses and left more than 2.5 million people without enough to eat. It may also have shaken up the way the developing world gets food.

Decades of inexpensive imports – especially rice from the U.S. – punctuated with abundant aid in various crises have destroyed local agriculture and left impoverished countries such as Haiti unable to feed themselves.

While those policies have been criticized for years in aid worker circles, world leaders focused on fixing Haiti are admitting for the first time that loosening trade barriers has only exacerbated hunger in Haiti and elsewhere.

They’re led by former U.S. President Bill Clinton – now U.N. special envoy to Haiti – who publicly apologized this month for championing policies that destroyed Haiti’s rice production. Clinton in the mid-1990s encouraged the impoverished country to dramatically cut tariffs on imported U.S. rice.

“It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10. “I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else.”

Clinton and former President George W. Bush, who are spearheading U.S. fundraising for Haiti, arrive Monday in Port-au-Prince. Then comes a key Haiti donors’ conference on March 31 at the United Nations in New York.

Those opportunities present the country with its best chance in decades to build long-term food production, and could provide a model for other developing countries struggling to feed themselves.

“A combination of food aid, but also cheap imports have … resulted in a lack of investment in Haitian farming, and that has to be reversed,” U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told The Associated Press. “That’s a global phenomenon, but Haiti’s a prime example. I think this is where we should start.”

Haiti’s government is asking for $722 million for agriculture, part of an overall request of $11.5 billion.

That includes money to fix the estimated $31 million of quake damage to agriculture, but much more for future projects restoring Haiti’s dangerous and damaged watersheds, improving irrigation and infrastructure, and training farmers and providing them with better support.

Haitian President Rene Preval, an agronomist from the rice-growing Artibonite Valley, is also calling for food aid to be stopped in favor of agricultural investment.

Today Haiti depends on the outside world for nearly all of its sustenance. The most current government needs assessment – based on numbers from 2005 – is that 51 percent of the food consumed in the country is imported, including 80 percent of all rice eaten.

The free-food distributions that filled the shattered capital’s plazas with swarming hungry survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake have ended, but the U.N. World Food Program is continuing targeted handouts expected to reach 2.5 million people this month. All that food has been imported – though the agency recently put out a tender to buy locally grown rice.

Street markets have reopened, filled with honking trucks, drink sellers clinking bottles and women vendors crouched behind rolled-down sacks of dry goods. People buy what’s cheapest, and that’s American-grown rice.

The best-seller comes from Riceland Foods in Stuttgart, Arkansas, which sold six pounds for $3.80 last month, according to Haiti’s National Food Security Coordination Unit. The same amount of Haitian rice cost $5.12.

“National rice isn’t the same, it’s better quality. It tastes better. But it’s too expensive for people to buy,” said Leonne Fedelone, a 50-year-old vendor.

Riceland defends its market share in Haiti, now the fifth-biggest export market in the world for American rice.

But for Haitians, near-total dependence on imported food has been a disaster.

Cheap foreign products drove farmers off their land and into overcrowded cities. Rice, a grain with limited nutrition once reserved for special occasions in the Haitian diet, is now a staple.

Imports also put the country at the mercy of international prices: When they spiked in 2008, rioters unable to afford rice smashed and burned buildings. Parliament ousted the prime minister.

Now it could be happening again. Imported rice prices are up 25 percent since the quake – and would likely be even higher if it weren’t for the flood of food aid, said WFP market analyst Ceren Gurkan.

Three decades ago things were different. Haiti imported only 19 percent of its food and produced enough rice to export, thanks in part to protective tariffs of 50 percent set by the father-son dictators, Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier.

When their reign ended in 1986, free-market advocates in Washington and Europe pushed Haiti to tear those market barriers down. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, freshly reinstalled to power by Clinton in 1994, cut the rice tariff to 3 percent.

Impoverished farmers unable to compete with the billions of dollars in subsidies paid by the U.S. to its growers abandoned their farms. Others turned to more environmentally destructive crops, such as beans, that are harvested quickly but hasten soil erosion and deadly floods.

There have been some efforts to restore Haiti’s agriculture in recent years: The U.S. Agency for International Development has a five-year program to improve farms and restore watersheds in five Haitian regions. But the $25 million a year pales next to the $91.4 million in U.S.-grown food aid delivered just in the past 10 weeks.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization also distributed 28 tons of bean seeds in mountainous areas this month, with plans this week to distribute 49 tons of corn.

The G8 group of the world’s wealthiest nations pledged $20 billion for farmers in poor countries last year. The head of the FAO called this week for some to be given to Haiti.

President Barack Obama’s administration has pledged to support agriculture in developing nations. U.S. Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana has sponsored legislation to create a White House Global Food Security coordinator to improve long-term agriculture worldwide, with a budget of $8.5 billion through 2014.

Even Haiti’s most powerful food importers have joined the push for locally produced food.

“I would prefer to buy everything locally and have nothing to import,” said businessman Reginald Boulos, who is also president of Haiti’s chamber of commerce.

But one group staunchly opposes reducing food exports to Haiti: the exporters themselves.

“Haiti doesn’t have the land nor the climate … to produce enough rice,” said Bill Reed, Riceland’s vice president of communications. “The productivity of U.S. farmers helps feed countries which cannot feed themselves.”

Source

This has happened in many countries not just Haiti. Free Trade played a large part in that one. All countries should protect their farmers.

Has anybody pointed out the excellent survey of Haitian history in this month’s HARPERS? “Toward A Second Haitian Revolution,” by Steven Stoll, in the Notebook section, page 7, issue of Apr. 2010. A succinct but detailed overview of how Haitian agriculture was wiped out, and how it can be revived and used as a model worldwide. Find it at:
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/04/0082881
http://uspolitics.tribe.net/thread/f31a25de-ca8c-4562-a445-478f992f7103

Source

Related

This link has all the information about the Earthquake as well.

Haiti: War Crimes and Oil

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Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm  Comments Off on Cheap Food Imports destroyed Haitian agriculture  
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Help Haiti Everybody Hurts Video

Here’s the video for the Helping Haiti single ‘Everybody Hurts’, featuring 21 artists including Leona Lewis, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Take That, Kylie, Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole, Susan Boyle, Michael Buble, Mika, James Morrisson, Alexandra Burke, Miley Cyrus, James Blunt, Jon Bon Jovi, Westlife and JLS.

Everybody Hurts‘ is out now, you can order it

Here from Amazon

Here from hmv

Hear at Play.com

Donate directly Here

Haiti still needs an enormous amount of help. They will for sometime to come.

Rains threaten more Haiti misery

Aid groups say the coming rainy season could bring more misery to quake-hit Haiti

Brazil’s president visited Haiti, pledging more financial assistance

February 26 2010

The first heavy rains have hit Haiti since last month’s devastating earthquake struck, swamping makeshift camps that house hundreds of thousands of homeless and raising fears of landslides and disease.

The rains late on Thursday came as forecasters warned of a large storm heading in Haiti’s direction that could strike over the weekend.

More than a million people were made homeless by the deadly January 12 quake, many of them now living in flimsy makeshift shelters that offer little protection from heavy rains.

Relief workers say the approaching wet season and the hurricane season later this year will likely add to misery for quake survivors struggling to rebuild their lives.

Even before the quake Haiti often suffered badly during the rain and hurricane seasons as a result of its poor infrastructure.

In 2008 a series of storms killed more than 800 people.

Now in the capital Port-au-Prince, some 770, 000 quake survivors are living in makeshift camps and with the onset of rains, the threat of disease and infection poses another great challenge.

‘Huge challenge’

“We have a huge challenge in terms of just providing emergency shelter – something that we feel that if we put all of our weight behind, as we are doing right now, we will be able (to do),” Kristen Knutson, a spokeswoman for the UN office that is coordinating the international relief effort, told Reuters news agency.

Thursday’s deluge hit as relief officials changed strategy on dealing with quake survivors, delaying plans to build big refugee camps outside the capital.

Instead, they want the homeless to pack up their tents and return to destroyed neighbourhoods.

Gerald-Emile Brun, an architect with the Haitian government’s reconstruction committee, told Reuters that “everything has to be done before the start of the rainy season, and we will not be able to do it”.

Brun also suggested that Haitians may largely be left to fend for themselves.

Haiti meanwhile is continuing to count the economic cost of the quake.

Call to cancel debt

On Thursday the country’s president, Rene Preval, said government assessments had indicated that the disaster would cost the already poor country up to 50 per cent of its gross domestic product.

“This earthquake… led to the deaths of 200,000 to 300,000 people and destroyed from 35 to 50 per cent of the GDP,” he said.

Preval was speaking reporters after meeting Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his Brazilian counterpart at a UN-Brazilian military base in Port-au-Prince.

During his brief visit, Lula called on the international community to cancel Haiti’s debt, and officials from the two governments signed agreements to aid Haitian farmers and schools, which were hard hit in the quake.

According to the United Nations, 5,000 schools were damaged or destroyed in Haiti, which was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere before the catastrophe struck.

Lula also referred to a recent South American summit’s pledge of $300m in aid for Haiti, including an agreement to create a $100m fund to help the government with immediate needs. Source

Related

Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

Haiti: War Crimes and Oil

Venezuela’s Chavez Forgives Haiti’s Debt

January 26 2010

Caracas, – President Hugo Chavez on Monday said that Petrocaribe, Venezuela’s cut-rate regional energy alliance, will forgive quake-stricken Haiti’s debt, AFP reported.

Haiti’s debt with Venezuela is USD 295 million, about one-third of its global foreign debt of USD 1 billion, according to International Monetary Fund figures.

“Haiti has no debt with Venezuela — on the contrary, it is Venezuela that has a historic debt with Haiti,” Chavez said as he made the announcement.

Chavez was referring to the support that Haiti — which obtained its independence from France in 1804 — gave Venezuelan independence leader Simon Bolivar in 1815 and 1816 in his quest to free his country from Spanish colonial rule.

Chavez made the announcement at the closing ceremony of a meeting of foreign ministers from leftist countries with the ALBA trade alliance, a Cuba and Venezuela-supported regional common market founded in 2004.

Petrocaribe provides preferential oil pricing for its Caribbean members, with Venezuela picking up 40% of the cost if oil is selling over USD 50 a barrel.

When oil prices are above USD 50, member states will have up to 25 years to pay the bulk of the debt at a one percent interest rate, with two years grace.

Haiti, struggling to recover from the January 12 devastating 7.0 earthquake, received in the past days 225,000 barrels of Petrocaribe oil sent through the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic are Petrocaribe members.

Other Petrocaribe members include Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, St Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as founding member Venezuela.

Separately, ALBA foreign ministers approved an aid package for Haiti that includes sanitary, energy, financial and educational assistance.

The ministers also expressed their concern over the “excessive foreign military presence” in the Caribbean nation, with no clear parameters over its “authority, purpose, role and length of stay.”

Their presence “threatens to further complicate conditions on the ground and… international cooperation” for Haitian reconstruction, the ministers said.

They called on United Nations to take a central role in coordinating emergency efforts, and emphasized that the Haitians must take the lead in their country’s reconstruction. Source

The rest of the rich countries should also do this.

Considering what Haitians have been it wold be the right thing to do.

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Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 10:09 pm  Comments Off on Venezuela’s Chavez Forgives Haiti’s Debt  
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Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

MIRACLE OF HAITI SURVIVOR

Unhu Wismond Exantus survived on biscuits and coca cola

January 25 2010

By Gareth Dorrian

A HAITIAN earthquake survivor cheated death for 11 days on a diet of biscuits and beer.

Unhu Wismond Exantus, 24, was buried in tons of rubble as he hid under a hotel desk.

Rescuers got the shop worker out of the remains of the Napoli Inn Hotel in Port-au-Prince, hours after the country’s Government had called a halt to rescue plans.

He said: “I ate anything I found. I survived by drinking beer and Coca-Cola and eating cookies.

“Every night I thought about the revelation that I would survive. It was God who was tucking me away in his arms. It gave me strength.”

Officials confirmed the death toll has passed 150,000, which only includes bodies dealt with by the government in and around Port-au-Prince.

Tens of thousands more victims have been buried in outlying areas, are trapped in rubble or their relatives have not registered the death.

Communications minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said: “Nobody knows how many bodies are buried in the rubble. 200,000? 300,000? Who knows the overall death toll?”

The United Nations came under fire after it was revealed officers are living in relative luxury at the capital’s airport. Food, blankets and medicine have flooded in from around the world, but aid agencies admit it is not getting out fast enough.

Volunteers say efforts to help have been delayed by bureaucracy and red tape.

UN spokesman Alejandro Chicheri said: “Of course we would like to be doing more but the logistics are a nightmare.”

Save The Children has called for a ban on adopting Haitian children as gangs are kidnapping kids caught in the chaos and selling them for £5,000 a time.

X Factor champ Joe McElderry, 18, and Westlife star Mark Feehily, 29, have joined the line-up for Simon Cowell’s Haiti charity single.

The pair join Alexandra Burke, 21, and James Blunt, 36, recording a cover of REM’s Everybody Hurts in London today. Source

People world wide have united for Haiti. We must also keep watch to make sure, those who need help the most actually get it. We must be sure they are helped as they should be.

If we are to intervene in their lives may it be for the betterment of all the people of Haiti. Not just the rich. We must monitor our Governments and the UN.

Even through this devastation Haitians are being taken advantage of. How sad anyone would want to profit from their despair.

Profiteers are lining up at the door but that is yet another story for another day.

The History of  Haitian life is what we must bring to light so it never happens again.

It is up to all of use to assure they have a better future to look forward to.  Their past if horrid to say the least. The earthquake is absolute devastation. Aid workers are concerned on all fronts. Aid is still not reaching people. Children are being kidnapped.

In one of my updates US soldiers were told  to stop giving Haitians food. Why? Do they want to starve the Haitians or make them angry. That is an act of deliberate cruelty. Beyond cruel in my opinion. the US is now sending 20,000 troops to Haiti for what to see to it they starve.

Letting in Aid workers and supplies has not been a priority. Why?

Seems there is much amiss in all of this.

Finally we have numerous reporters in Haiti, lets hope they will tell us the truth.

From June 20, 2009

A funeral and a boycott: ‘The struggle continues’ in Haiti

by Kevin Pina


Mourners at the funeral of Haitian priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste march with his coffin in the area of Haiti’s national cathedral moments before gunfire erupted. – Photo: ©2009 Jean Ristil, Haiti Information Project

HIP – Fanmi Lavalas, Haiti’s largest political party and grassroots movement, laid Catholic liberation theology priest Father Gerard Jean-Juste to rest this past Thursday. A large banner waved overhead declaring “[Father] Jery you left us but the struggle continues” as thousands of mourners streamed out carrying Jean-Juste’s casket, sparking an impromptu pro-Lavalas demonstration. Chants of “The struggle continues, return Aristide” and “No elections without Lavalas” rang through the streets as a reminder that Lavalas is preparing to wage a second round of boycotts against the upcoming Senate elections scheduled for Sunday.

The procession and demonstration were suddenly interrupted by gunfire that could be heard from around the corner. Witnesses report that Brazilian soldiers with the U.N. military mission opened fire after attempting to arrest one of the mourners. The U.N. has since denied the shooting and claims that the victim had been killed by either a rock thrown by the crowd or a blunt instrument. Eyewitnesses on the scene have countered that the U.N. is trying to cover up the affair as it promises to heighten tensions before Sunday’s elections.

The U.N. and the Obama administration continue to endorse and finance a second round of controversial Senate elections in Haiti. The first round was held last April 19 and was marked by a low voter turnout following a successful boycott campaign waged by Fanmi Lavalas.

A large banner in front of Haiti’s national cathedral reads, “[Father] Jery, you left us but the struggle continues.” – Photo: ©2009 Jean Ristil, Haiti Information Project

The Fanmi Lavalas party was excluded from participation in the first round after President Rene Preval’s handpicked Conseil Electoral Provisoire (CEP) demanded original signatures on all of their documents. With former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, their party’s national leader, in exile, Lavalas was unable to comply with what some in their ranks have referred to as “a humiliating last minute request.”

The powerful community organizations that form the base of the Lavalas movement then announced “Operation Closed Door,” urging voters to stay away from the polls. Independent observers put participation at between 3-4 percent, while the CEP announced it had been as high as 11 percent. Lavalas recently announced a boycott of the second round, called “Operation Closed Door 2,” and leaflets were distributed throughout the capital on Thursday urging voters to “stay away from the polls, end the exclusion [of Haiti’s largest political party].”

A young man identified as “Junior” lies in a pool of blood after Brazilian soldiers with the U.N. military mission reportedly opened fire. The U.N. has denied their involvement, stating he was killed by a rock thrown from the crowd or hit with a blunt object. Eyewitnesses charge the U.N. with covering up the incident. – Photo: ©2009 Haiti Information Project

Members of the Lavalas Mobilization Commission, organizers of the boycott, are reportedly in hiding after CEP President Gerard Frantz Verret demanded last Thursday that the Ministry of Justice take “public action in motion against all those who undertake to invite the people to abstain from voting and against those who intend to endanger lives and property.” Public action in motion or “action publique” is a remnant of the Napoleonic Code in Haitian law and, like the term “associating with criminals,” is widely seen as a blanket charge to justify prolonged detention of political opposition in Haiti.

A second successful boycott of Sunday’s elections by Lavalas would serve to further damage the credibility of the Preval administration. The international community is reported to have invested over $12.9 million in an electoral process that many in Haiti say has provided little towards solving the country’s political insolvency and mounting desperation.

Haiti Information Project (HIP), winner of the Project Censored 2008 Real News Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, is a non-profit alternative news service providing coverage and analysis of breaking developments in Haiti. Email HIP at HIP@teledyol.net. To learn more, visit www.haitiaction.net.

Source

Video from the incident

The truth came out and the U.N. lie was exposed:

The young man  in UN clash was slain by bullet, autopsy results found.

From July 13 2005

This is not the first time the UN has murdered innocent Haitians in cold blood and tried to cover it up: the story with photos

From December 22, 2006

Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops

For background on UN mission and Brazil:

Haiti and America Latina: it is as it always was

Kevin Pina The Bush administration’s forced removal of democratically elected Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, while a power-sharing deal with his political opposition was being brokered in 2004, resulted in the country’s expulsion from the Caribbean Community and was condemned by the African Union. The installation of the US-backed replacement government of Gerard Latortue has resulted in the rape, torture and false imprisonment of thousands of ordinary Haitians. The only Latin American country to condemn the US’s action in Haiti, however, has been Venezuela. Other countries and organisations like the Organization of American States (OAS) have been bought over with a massive programme of civilian and military funding by the US. Source

I would have to say the rest of the world was kept in the dark about what happens in Haiti.

It was never in the main stream media. More times the not every attempt was made to keep it out of the eyes of the world at large.

Now it the time to expose what has been happening in Haiti.

Of course you still will not hear these stories in the main stream media. What you are hearing now is all the heros going to rescue them.

The earthquake  is good PR for the US , Israel, Canada, France etc. and the UN, but the truth be told those in Haiti have been oppressed by all.

Now is the time to share the truth.

From December 25 2005

Heavily armed soldiers of the Brazilian military, which leads the UN
military mission to Haiti known as MINUSTAH, had earlier taken over a
building in Pele belonging to an accused drug dealer with alleged ties
to presidential candidate Guy Philippe. The troops were seen
reinforcing the facility with sand bags and equipment as a military
unit on the ground led a group of black-hooded residents through the
neighborhood on a mission to identify and target suspected “bandits”
for arrest. Twelve residents, ten men and two women, were reportedly
arrested based on the accusations of the hooded informants and were
taken away to an undisclosed UN facility. Several residents reacted
with shock and anger at the site of the black-hooded informants, a new
tactic apparently being used by the UN forces to pacify poor
neighborhoods in the capital. “This is really scary because we don’t
know who these hooded accusers are. We don’t even know if they are
really from our area. I just saw them arrest a man I have known for
years and who is not involved with anything violent. Where are they
taking him?” asked one angry woman who refused to give her name.

For the entire story go HERE

Black hoods well doesn’t that just remind one of Iraq or Afghanistan?

Those same black hooded people were there too. Amazing.

From February 20 2008

US Marines, Canadian Special Forces and troops of the French Foreign Legion were authorized by the UN Security Council to ‘stabilize’ Haiti following the ouster of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004. In June 2004, the United Nations sent the militaries of Brazil, Argentina and Chile to take control of Haiti with the objective of creating conditions for new elections. The Brazilian armed forces were given overall control of the military component of the UN operation.

On February 19, 2008, Brazilian military forces stormed the neighborhood of Village de Dieu on the outskirts of the capital of Port-au-Prince. Their troops entered with weapons drawn and began a massive sweep with UN police in tow that ended with the arrest of dozens of young men in the area. Residents claim this military incursion was executed without a single warrant being presented from Haiti’s courts or just cause. Residents of poor communities throughout Haiti say that terrifying raids led by Brazilian forces have been common occurrences since they arrived in 2004. For the families of those arrested and left traumatized by these incursions, it raises serious questions about the role Brazilian forces have played in Haiti.

For the entire story go HERE

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Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm  Comments Off on Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare  
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Update Haiti Earthquake January 20 2010

January 20 2010 Update

Haiti needs water, not occupation

The US has never wanted Haitian self-rule, and its focus on ‘security concerns’ has hampered the earthquake aid response

By  Mark Weisbrot

January 20 2010

On Monday, six days after the earthquake in Haiti, the US Southern Command finally began to drop bottled water and food from an air force C-17. US defence secretary Robert Gates had previously rejected such a method because of “security concerns”.

If people do not get clean water, there could be epidemics of water-borne diseases that could greatly increase the death toll. But the US is now sending 10,000 troops and seems to be prioritising “security” over much more urgent, life-and-death needs. This in addition to the increase of 3,500 UN troops scheduled to arrive.

On Sunday morning the world-renowned humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders complained that a plane carrying its portable hospital unit was re-routed by the US military through the Dominican Republic. This would cost a crucial 48 hours and an unknown number of lives.

On Sunday, Jarry Emmanuel, air logistics officer for the UN’s World Food Programme, said: “There are 200 flights going in and out every day, which is an incredible amount for a country like Haiti … But most flights are for the US military.”

Yet Lieutenant General PK Keen, deputy commander of the US Southern Command, reports that there is less violence in Haiti now than there was before the earthquake hit. Dr Evan Lyon, of Partners in Health, a medical aid group famous for its heroic efforts in Haiti, referred to “misinformation and rumours … and racism” concerning security issues.

We’ve been circulating throughout the city until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning every night, evacuating patients, moving materials. There’s no UN guards. There’s no US military presence. There’s no Haitian police presence. And there’s also no violence. There is no insecurity.

To understand the US government’s obsession with “security concerns,” we must look at the recent history of Washington’s involvement there.

Long before the earthquake, Haiti’s plight has been comparable to that of many homeless people on city streets in the US: too poor and too black to have the same effective constitutional and legal rights as other citizens. In 2002, when a US-backed military coup temporarily toppled the elected government of Venezuela, most governments in the hemisphere responded quickly and helped force the return of democratic rule. But two years later, when Haiti’s democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by the US and flown to exile in Africa, the response was muted.

Unlike the two centuries of looting and pillage of Haiti since its founding by a slave revolt in 1804, the brutal occupation by US marines from 1915 to 1934, the countless atrocities under dictatorships aided and abetted by Washington, the 2004 coup cannot be dismissed as “ancient history.” It was just six years ago, and it is directly relevant to what is happening there now.

The US, together with Canada and France, conspired openly for four years to topple Haiti’s elected government, cutting off almost all international aid in order to destroy the economy and make the country ungovernable. They succeeded. For those who wonder why there are no Haitian government institutions to help with the earthquake relief efforts, this is a big reason. Or why there are 3 million people crowded into the area where the earthquake hit. US policy over the years also helped destroy Haitian agriculture, for example, by forcing the import of subsidised US rice and wiping out thousands of Haitian rice farmers.

Aristide, the country’s first democratically elected president, was overthrown after just seven months in 1991, by military officers and death squads later discovered to be in the pay of the CIA. Now Aristide wants to return to his country, something that the majority of Haitians have demanded since his overthrow. But the US does not want him there. And the René Préval government, which is completely beholden to Washington, has decided that Aristide’s party – the largest in Haiti – will not be allowed to compete in the next elections (originally scheduled for next month).

Washington’s fear of democracy in Haiti may explain why the US is now sending 15,000 troops and prioritizing “security” over other needs.

This military occupation by US troops will raise other concerns in the hemisphere, depending on how long they stay – just as the recent expansion of the US military presence in Colombia has been met with considerable discontent and distrust in the region. And non-governmental organisations have raised other issues about the proposed reconstruction: understandably they want Haiti’s remaining debt cancelled, and grants rather than loans (the IMF has proposed a $100m dollar loan). Reconstruction needs will be in the billions of dollars: will Washington encourage the establishment of a functioning government? Or will it prevent that, channelling aid through NGOs and taking over various functions itself, because it of its long-standing opposition to Haitian self-rule?

But most urgently, there is a need for rapid delivery of water. The US air force has the capability to deliver enough water for everyone who needs it in Haiti, until ground supply chains can be established. The more water is available, the less likely there is to be fighting or rioting over this scarce resource. Food and medical supplies could also be supplied through air drops. These operations should be ramped up, immediately. There is no time to lose.

Source

Aid workers frustrated with relief effort. The people are frustrated.

Aid is still not getting to the people 9 days and many are still not getting help.

They need food, they need water, they need shelter, they need medical help.

The aid workers need transportation, they need equipment to work with.

They don’t need 15,000 military personnel.

Again MFS Doctors without Borders who are professionals in disasters have had six Planes Carrying Vital Medical Supplies Are Re-routed

January 20 2010

Six Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cargo planes loaded with vital medical material like antibiotics have been redirected to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This will delay MSF staff’s ability to treat patients who urgently need it.

Medical aid should be a priority

International aid may at be last trickling, painfully slowly, into the rubble-strewn centre of Port-au-Prince. But in this filthy shanty town half an hour’s drive away, where families sleep five or six to small shacks, next to none has arrived. And the poorest of the poor complain that their plight is being forgotten.

“We don’t have doctors, we don’t have food, we don’t have water,” said Louis Jean Jaris, a 29-year-old resident. “The aid comes to Haiti, but it goes elsewhere. In Cité Soleil we are all victims, just like everyone else, but compared to the rest of the country, we are a low priority. To the people in power, we are not considered to be victims.”

For the entire story go to HERE

If they are wondering why people are getting angry it’s no wonder. It has been 9 DAYS.

The US needs to get it’s bloody priorities straight. This is not a military invasion this is a rescue mission. Isn’t it? Or is it a military invasion just using the earthquake as an excuse.

US says will increase troops in Haiti to to above 15,000
January 21 2010
The amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) will be stationed in Haiti.
Why, Why, Why?

Amid growing concerns of Latin American leaders over the presence of the US military in Haiti, Washington plans to send 4,000 troops to the quake-hit country.

A statement from the US Second Fleet Wednesday stated that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, has made the decision to dispatch the troops.

The 2,000 sailors and 2,000 marines are from the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, according to the statement. Their deployment will increase the number of US troops in Haiti to above 15,000.

Three amphibious ships, the USS Nassau, the USS Mesa Verde and the USS Ashland, will support the latest mission, bringing the total number of US Navy and Military Sealift Command vessels to 20.

A 7.0-magnitude quake struck Haiti last week, killing at least 75,000 people and perhaps as many as 200,000. Almost 250,000 people were injured and around 1.5 million people are without shelter.

Meanwhile, the presence of the US military, which has taken command of distribution of humanitarian aid, has raised the ire of some South American leaders, with the presidents of Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela condemning the US role.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Haiti seeks “humanitarian aid, not troops.”

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez accused the US of seeking to occupy the quake-stricken nation. “The United States government is using a humanitarian tragedy to militarily occupy Haiti. I read somewhere that they even occupied the [presidential] palace.”

Bolivian leader Evo Morales said that he would seek UN condemnation of the “US military occupation.”

In Europe, France spoke out against the US role, demanding the United Nations to investigate and clarify the US military presence in Haiti.

Three days after the quake, US paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division took control of the main airport in the capital Port-au-Prince.

The US says its primary mission is to speed distribution of aid, in part by providing security at distribution points and escorting aid convoys.

In the past, Washington has been accused of interfering in Haitian internal affairs on many occasions. The US military played a role in the departure of the former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide before his second term was over in early 2004. Source

Seems this is preparing for war not aid. This should be questioned by everyone the world over.

People are wondering all over the world.  What is really going on?

Aid workers are having a difficult time, getting to where they are needed.

If the US is going to take control of everything they had better get it together and soon.

This is Hurricane Katrina all over again. Now I know for sure.

The time factor is a real indication. When people get angry they accuse them of being violent blah blah blah and so the story of BS goes.

They nor the UN or NATO have been good to Haitians in the past.

Military personnel wold make them feel fearful if anything.

How stupid do the US, UN and NATO think we all are?

Soldiers in Haiti told to stop handing out food

By Jim Michaels
January 20, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Food handouts were shut off Tuesday to thousands of people at a tent city here when the main U.S. aid agency said the Army should not be distributing the packages.

It was not known whether the action reflected a high-level policy decision at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) or confusion in a city where dozens of entities are involved in aid efforts.

“We are not supposed to get rations unless approved by AID,” Maj. Larry Jordan said.

Jordan said that approval was revoked; water was not included in the USAID decision, so the troops continued to hand out bottles of water. The State Department and USAID did not respond to requests for comment.

Jordan has been at the airport supervising distribution of individual food packages and bottled water since his arrival last week. Each package provides enough calories to sustain a person for a day.

The food is flown by helicopter to points throughout the capital and distributed by paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division. At the tent city, set up at a golf course, more than 10,000 people displaced by the Haitian earthquake lay under makeshift tents. Each day, hundreds of people, many young children, line up for a meal.

Tuesday morning, the helicopters came only with water. Soldiers carried boxes of water in the hot sun and supervised Haitian volunteers who handed the supplies out. Source

And to make it even more interesting.

Guantanamo Prepares For Thousands Of Haitian Refugees

This is a rescue mission, a humanitarian mission, not a military invasion which it seems it has become.

I read a story earlier that was fluffing up Israel, but back at home this is what they are doing. Aid workers are ‘being pushed out’ of Palestinian areas. Well isn’t that just fluffy. Considering they just flooded Gaza on January 18. They for the most part were not really helpful when it came to Haiti either. They for the most part were just as involved in past problems, as they assisted the US.

All of the above mentioned owe Haiti. I am sure some of the past deeds equal war crimes and crimes against humanity. They had better not fluff to much it makes them look like hypocrites.

Considering everything they have done, to those in Haiti in the past that is. It’s a long dreadful history.

Considering the size of Haiti, there must be something extremely important about it or the US and company would have allowed the people to be free. What is it that makes Haiti so special?

Could it be oil? Could it be it’s proximity to Cuba?

Help Haiti rebuild then leave them to be free. Stop stealing their resources. When they elect a new leader, don’t kidnap him.

Some how it reminds me all to often of Gaza and the West Bank.

Haiti: Small Victory for Shock Resistance

In response to the wave of criticism, the IMF has just issued a statement saying that they will try to turn the $100-million loan to Haiti into a grant.

__

Today, the IMF put out an announcement clarifying the terms of its new loan to Haiti–it’s “an interest-free loan of $100 million in emergency funds.” A spokesman for the IMF told me that “the US$100 million loan does not carry any conditionality. It is an emergency loan aimed at getting the Haitian economy back to function again…” The IMF’s managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement that the IMF would immediately work to cancel the entirety of Haiti’s debt ($265 million) to the fund: Source

February 22 2008

So what if anything has changed. Seems the earthquake is giving the US a reason to move in even more troops.  How convenient.  Haiti has something they want obviously if not oil, what?

Journalist Kim Ives on How Western Domination Has Undermined Haiti’s Ability to Recover from Natural Devastation Democracy Now!  Video and Transcript

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And this well, Just because I can.  Wake Up.

Published in: on January 21, 2010 at 4:38 am  Comments Off on Update Haiti Earthquake January 20 2010  
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Update on Haiti Earthquake January 19 2010

January 19 2010

It’s believed the Haiti earthquake may claim as many as 200,000 lives – and leave 3 million homeless. This video is at one of the hospitals.

There could be as many as 2 million orphans

Haiti’s Orphan Airlift Takes 53 Kids to Pittsburgh

The tykes were taken to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where 53 beds were waiting for them, each with a teddy bear on it.

Rendell said that of the 53 children, 47 already have agreements for adoption and the other six children were in the process of adoption.

Haitian adoptions in limbo for Canadian families

A Regina couple says their plan to adopt two Haitian teenagers is shrouded in doubt after last week’s devastating earthquake, which damaged the youngsters’ orphanage and cut off the couple’s ability to communicate with the lawyer who was working on their case.

A List of  Options for donating to the Haiti quake relief Many have links to your country of origin. Please choose one and donate today.

They have become the most vulnerable victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Before the catastrophic events almost half of the population was under 18-years-old.

Many now have been left bewildered, bruised and lonely.

In these ruins of a school the children had come to learn. It was here too they were fed their main meal of the day. Now they are hungry and abandoned.

A woman explains: “I have nothing for them my pocket, not even plain rice to help these children to live, there is nothing, nothing.” “I have nothing I am going to boil up mint tea with some salt.”

In the fog of figures emerging from Haiti it is reckoned that before the quake there were 380,000 children living in orphanages. Such scenes suggest there will be a dramatic rise in those numbers. A woman holding a child says: “Her parents are dead. I will look after her.”

Protection is critical. The UN is setting up a mission on the ground to do just that, protection against trafficking, kidnapping and sex abuse.

Julie Bergeron, UNICEF: “It would be very easy for certain people to be involved, trafficking these children, especially as they do not have birth certificates. There are many children who will go from here as their parents will always believe they are dead.”

In a field hospital in Port-au-Prince the medical team have saved the life of a five-month-old baby. He has no name, just a number. No one knows who the boys family is or if they are alive. What will happen to him when he has been treated. Such are the now daily dilemmas for the children of this quake. Source

// Haiti earthquake

One in a million: the girl in a tartan dress who symbolises the orphan crisis facing Haiti

Wyclef and Evry, two-year-old orphans at the Foyer de Sion home in Pétionville Photo Independent

9-year-old Wideline Fils Amie lost both her parents in the Haiti earthquake Photo Independent

By Guy Adams in Port-au-Prince

January 20 2010

Her name is Wideline Fils Amie. She is nine years old. Both her parents are dead, and her only possession is the red tartan dress on her back. For the past week, she’s been living and sleeping in the indescribably filthy back-yard of the Foyer de Sion orphanage in Pétionville. When you ask how she is feeling, Wideline whispers two words, through her broken teeth: “hungry” and “scared”.

Eighteen boys and girls, aged two to 15, are holed-up behind the tattered two-storey building in the hills just outside Port-au-Prince. Their food reserves consist of three bags of rice, three bags of beans, a few yams, and half a bottle of orange cordial. As of yesterday morning, they hadn’t a single drop of drinking water left. And a week after the earthquake that flattened their city, the orphanage has not received a single batch of aid.

“I don’t know why,” says Pascale Mardy, the orphanage’s manager. “We have almost nothing left. When the earthquake happened, I had $100 in my pocket to buy food. Now I have spent the last dollar, so we are down to one meal a day. We are in trouble.”

It’s the same story across Port-au-Prince, where a dysfunctional aid effort is still only slowly creaking into action. Huge reserves of supplies sit on the runway of the city’s airport. For the entire story go HERE

Israel’s compassion in Haiti can’t hide our ugly face in Gaza
By Akiva Eldar
January 18 2010

Who said we are shut up inside our Tel Aviv bubble? How many small nations surrounded by enemies set up field hospitals on the other side of the world? Give us an earthquake in Haiti, a tsunami in Thailand or a terror attack in Kenya, and the IDF Spokesman’s Office will triumph. A cargo plane can always be found to fly in military journalists to report on our fine young men from the Home Front Command.

Everyone is truly doing a wonderful job: the rescuers, searching for survivors; the physicians, saving lives; and the reporters, too, who are rightfully patting them all on the back. After Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon became the face we show the world, the entire international community can now see Israel’s good side.

But the remarkable identification with the victims of the terrible tragedy in distant Haiti only underscores the indifference to the ongoing suffering of the people of Gaza. Only a little more than an hour’s drive from the offices of Israel’s major newspapers, 1.5 million people have been besieged on a desert island for two and a half years. Who cares that 80 percent of the men, women and children living in such proximity to us have fallen under the poverty line? How many Israelis know that half of all Gazans are dependent on charity, that Operation Cast Lead created hundreds of amputees, that raw sewage flows from the streets into the sea?

The Israeli newspaper reader knows about the baby pulled from the wreckage in Port-au-Prince. Few have heard about the infants who sleep in the ruins of their families’ homes in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces prohibition of reporters entering the Gaza Strip is an excellent excuse for burying our heads in the sand of Tel Aviv’s beaches; on a good day, the sobering reports compiled by human rights organizations such as B’Tselem, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel on the situation in Gaza are pushed to the newspapers’ back pages. To get an idea of what life is like in the world’s largest prison, one must forgo “Big Brother” and switch to one of the foreign networks.

The disaster in Haiti is a natural one; the one in Gaza is the unproud handiwork of man. Our handiwork. The IDF does not send cargo planes stuffed with medicines and medical equipment to Gaza. The missiles that Israel Air Force combat aircraft fired there a year ago hit nearly 60,000 homes and factories, turning 3,500 of them into rubble. Since then, 10,000 people have been living without running water, 40,000 without electricity. Ninety-seven percent of Gaza’s factories are idle due to Israeli government restrictions on the import of raw materials for industry. Soon it will be one year since the international community pledged, at the emergency conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, to donate $4.5 billion for Gaza’s reconstruction. Israel’s ban on bringing in building materials is causing that money to lose its value.

A few days before Israeli physicians rushed to save the lives of injured Haitians, the authorities at the Erez checkpoint prevented 17 people from passing through in order to get to a Ramallah hospital for urgent corneal transplant surgery. Perhaps they voted for Hamas. At the same time that Israeli psychologists are treating Haiti’s orphans with devotion, Israeli inspectors are making sure no one is attempting to plant a doll, a notebook or a bar of chocolate in a container bringing essential goods into Gaza. So what if the Goldstone Commission demanded that Israel lift the blockade on the Strip and end the collective punishment of its inhabitants? Only those who hate Israel could use frontier justice against the first country to set up a field hospital in Haiti.

True, Haiti’s militias are not firing rockets at Israel. But the siege on Gaza has not stopped the Qassams from coming. The prohibition of cilantro, vinegar and ginger being brought into the Strip since June 2007 was intended to expedite the release of Gilad Shalit and facilitate the fall of the Hamas regime. As everyone knows, even though neither mission has been particularly successful, and despite international criticism, Israel continues to keep the gates of Gaza locked. Even the images of our excellent doctors in Haiti cannot blur our ugly face in the Strip. Source

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How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake

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Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 9:11 pm  Comments Off on Update on Haiti Earthquake January 19 2010  
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Update on Haiti Earthquake January 18 2010

January 18 2010

After surviving more than 5 days in the rubble, two victims were pulled alive from the wreckage of a collapsed Haiti supermarket late on Sunday to applause from amazed onlookers. (Jan. 18)

Had help arrived sooner many more would have been saved. Unfortunately it took far to long for help to arrive.

One would thing after Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami they would be better organized for such catastrophes.

Haiti text donations won’t get there until your billing cycle ends

Millions were raised in 48 hours for organizations like the Red Cross and Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti foundation. (You can watch Wyclef’s response to financial criticisms of his charity here.) As of Friday, people texting “Haiti” to 90999 had donated $8m to the Red Cross specifically for Haitian earthquake relief. The damage is immense, suffering in Haiti is off the charts bad, and Haitians desperately need the financial relief that these charities can provide. The bad news? Any donations made via text message to these charities won’t be forwarded to their intended recipients until after your billing cycle ends:

It could take up to 90 days.  For the rest of the information go HERE

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Fractured Narrative: Haitian Calm, American Cynicism

One can almost feel the disappointment amongst Western media mavens that earthquake-stricken Haitians have not, in fact, degenerated into packs of feral animals tearing each other to pieces. Day after day, every single possible isolated incident of panic, anger, “looting” (as the removal of provisions from ruined stores by starving people is called) and vigilantism has been highlighted — and often headlined — by the most “respectable” news sources.

For the entire story go HERE

If you need food and water etc, Yes you would  breaking into a store and take it. That is not looting it is survival. I would do the same thing wouldn’t you.

During Hurricane Katrina some of the press said the same horrid things when in fact much of it was not true.

Some were even arrested for doing nothing wrong whatsoever. I remember.

Witness to a nightmare

Interview with Jesse Hagopian who was in Port-au-Prince with his 1-year-old son to visit his wife when the earthquake hit. His wife, an aid worker, works until the evening on most days, but by sheer luck, she came to the hotel where they were staying early on Tuesday–just minutes before the quake struck at 4:53 p.m. This spared Jesse and his family agonizing hours or days trying to find one another amid the chaos.

For the entire interview go HERE

Field News from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Haiti:  January 18 2010 Go HERE

For other updates on Haiti  from MSF go HERE

This one is the most worrying

Doctors Without Borders Cargo Plane With Full Hospital and Staff Blocked From Landing in Port-au-Prince

Port-au-Prince/Paris /New York, 17 January 2009—Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges that its cargo planes carrying essential medical and surgical material be allowed to land in Port-au-Prince in order to treat thousands of wounded waiting for vital surgical operations. Priority must be given immediately to planes carrying lifesaving equipment and medical personnel.

One has to wonder how many other Aid agency’s are having the same problem? This should be a priority. The US military is running the airport in Haiti.

Reporters were there almost immediately and then the military.

Just thinking……I am not very impressed.

Desperate for help in Haiti

January 18 2010

Specially trained international teams continue to search for and rescue trapped victims throughout Haiti, but many of those saved are in dire need of medical care. More relief organizations and troops are arriving, but with communication limitations and travel restrictions, the desperately needed food, water and supplies are not reaching people fast enough. The frustration over the delay has left many wondering if the U.S. has done enough to help, and who will take charge in the coming days to protect the injured and homeless?

Even Gazans raise money for Haiti

Palestinians in Gaza set off for the Red Cross headquarters on Monday to offer donations and financial support for the victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake on Tuesday.

WOW is all I can say to that one.  It breaks my heart to know what they are going through,  but this is very heart warming at the same time.

France is demanding the United Nations investigate and clarify the dominant US role in Haiti, after Washington deployed over 10,000 troops to the quake-hit country.

The demand came after US forces turned back a French aid plane carrying a field hospital from the main airport in the Haitian capital.

The Pentagon says it has deployed soldiers in Haiti to help victims of Tuesday’s earthquake. This comes as US paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division took control of the main airport in the capital Port-au-Prince on Friday.

The move has raised ire among aid agencies with extensive experience of operating in disaster zones.

“This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti,” France’s Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet said in an emergency EU meeting concerning Haiti on Monday.

He added that he expects a UN decision on how governments should work together in Haiti, while demanding a clarification of the United States’ role in the Caribbean nation.

Joyandet’s remarks echo those made by Venezuela and Nicaragua that expressed “deep concern” over the US deployment of troops in Haiti.

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton whose country is also blamed for not being quick enough to send aid to the quake-hit nation has denied the occupation charges, stressing on Saturday that the White House had no intention of taking power from Haitian officials.

The US has been accused of interfering in Haitian internal affairs in the past.

The US military played a role in the departure of the former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide before his second term was over in early 2004. Aristide has described his departure as a kidnapping.

Last week’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti is estimated to have left some 200,000 people dead and more than 1.5 million homeless, with at least 70,000 bodies collected from the rubble so far.  Source

Well the US has interfered many times. This is one I have a few more somewhere just have to find them. But this is a start. Haitian’s also have a fear of US soldiers and for good reason…. Seems no one has bothered to mention that of course.

Coincidentally this was just the day before the London Bombings 7/7 and was pretty much totally ignored by the media.  I guess they thought no one would notice.

Haiti 6/7: the massacre of the poor that the world ignored

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January 18 2010

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January 16 2010
Imagine 5 days and no help. Brings back memories of Katrina.
They were angry as well. They were hungry and desperate.
5 days is a long time to go without.

Much of the reporting after the earthquake in Haiti has been from the capital, Port-au-Prince.

But the devastation and the need for help is just as severe in the south of the country,

In the city of Carrefour, near the epicentre of the quake, no rescue teams are on site and angry residents have blocked the roads to protest against the absence of aid.

Al Jazeera’s Teresa Bo reports from southern Haiti.


The United Nations says Haiti’s earthquake is the worst disaster it has ever had to deal with.

Aid is now pouring in, with a steady flow of relief getting through the nation’s only airport.

The World Food Programme says it expects to feed a million people. But survivors say help is not happening fast enough as dead bodies lie scattered on the capital’s streets.

Haiti mass graves receive unclaimed, unidentified bodies

January 15 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE

Every five minutes, a vehicle pulled up to the gates of Port-au-Prince’s cemetery, delivering another corpse to a mass grave dug by authorities trying to clear the broken city’s streets of the dead.

“We have lost any dignity in death,” said Mezen Dieu Justi, an old man barely able to contain his nausea and tears before the grim spectacle.

The massive earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday has produced a steady stream of bodies, with estimates of the death toll well into the tens of thousands.

Many families confronted with their final glimpse of a loved one simply lost control.

“It’s my father, my dear father,” screamed one young woman, who fainted at the sight of the mass grave filled with human bodies.

One woman, as though possessed, lowered herself into the grave saying she felt more comfortable among the dead. Bystanders eventually forced her back out again.

“We have lost our senses. Death has driven us insane,” said one Haitian, whose relative’s body had been transported to the grave for burial.

“For three days my sister was dead in her house. Finally we brought her here. We have lost hope of giving her a dignified burial, a coffin, the blessing of a priest,” sobbed Florence, 40, a teacher.

Across Port-au-Prince, the dead litter the streets, stripped of human dignity, decomposing and covered in flies.

The efforts of recently-arrived foreign aid workers seem almost inconsequential by comparison with the scale of the devastation wrought by the quake.

Their work is both a race against time to save people who may still be alive under the rubble strewn across the city and also an effort to transport overwhelming numbers of corpses to the nearest mass grave.

Morgue officials said they no longer have the means to move the bodies, forcing aid workers to transport scores of unidentified and dust-covered cadavers.

Families waited patiently as rescue teams dug through the rubble, waiting to see if they could recognize a loved one.

“The truth is that we don’t know what will be done with the dead,” said Joseph Tihaly, a Haitian volunteer coordinating the delivery and identification of corpses abandoned at the general hospital’s morgue.

The young student said numerous families had come seeking their relatives, but the majority of the bodies remained unclaimed and unidentified.

In one corner of the morgue, a Haitian man finished building a makeshift wooden coffin to hold his brother’s body.

“I will try to take him to our village, to bury him there,” he said.

At least two mass graves have been dug in the city to try to deal with the catastrophe. Haiti Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said he believed some 15,000 people had already been interred across the stricken capital.

But the sheer number of dead has simply overwhelmed all efforts, said Tihaly.

“Realistically, we don’t know when these bodies will be taken, and we don’t know by whom. It’s chaos and a breeding ground for infection,” he said.

Source

Aid has been extremely slow getting to Haiti.

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Update January 18 2010

Update on Haiti Earthquake January 18 2010

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How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake

US/Israeli Charity uses little Palestinian Childs photo to raise money for Israel’s Hungry

Spanish lawmaker’s photo used for bin Laden poster

Alarming glitch hits Facebook mobile accounts compliments of AT&T

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 8:00 pm  Comments Off on Haiti’s dead are being buried in Mass Graves  
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How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake

Photo credit: Lucas the Experience

By Amanda Kloer
What has been a slow crisis of poverty and enslavement for almost 250,000 child slaves in Haiti, known as restaveks, turned into an immediate crisis this week with the brutal 7.0 earthquake that hit the country. Mere hours after the news of the devastation in Haiti broke, America and countries around the world saw an outpouring of aid from international organizations and individuals. Groups have organized drives for everything from donations to shoes to volunteers.

But as we all get that warm and fuzzy feeling from helping our neighbors in their time of great need, it’s important to remember that millions of Haitians needed aid before this earthquake, and they’ll continue to need it long after the media fervor has died. And those with the greatest need will be the enslaved restaveks.

Restaveks are a huge part of Haitian society and the economy. They are usually children from extremely poor families who are sent away to work as domestic servants in wealthier homes. The children aren’t paid for their work, but provided shelter and a sometimes meager meal supply. In the best case scenarios, families will send their restavek children to school. But restaveks often work long days performing a variety of household tasks for nothing more that a meal or two a day. Two-thirds of restaveks are girls, and they are extremely vulnerable to rape and sexual abuse from the families who house and control them. The life of a restavek child in Haiti often varies between bleak and hopeless, and many children never successfully leave their slave conditions.

(more…)

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 9:44 am  Comments Off on How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake  
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Slavery and Human Trafficking Crimes

Thousands of Haitian children work as slaves

As many as 225,000 children in Haiti live and work as unpaid domestic servants, the first study to closely examine the issue concluded.

The existence of these arrangements are not new, but the scope is larger than previously thought, a new study by the Pan American Development Foundation found. The foundation conducted the largest field survey of human rights violations in Haiti.

For entire story

Forced labour and rape, the new face of slavery in America

Figures from the State Department reveal that 17,500 people are trafficked into the US every year against their will or under false pretences, mainly to be used for sex or forced labour. Experts believe that, when cases of internal trafficking are added, the total number of victims could be up to five times larger. And increasing numbers of trafficked individuals are being transported thousands of miles from America’s coasts and into heartland states such as Ohio and Michigan.

For entire story

107 slave laborers freed in Mexico City

Mexican authorities have freed 107 indigenous people who officials say were being held as slave laborers in a Mexico City factory disguised as a drug rehabilitation center.

For entire story

Dozens arrested in China baby trafficking ring

Police in Shanghai said today they had cracked a major child trafficking ring following the arrest of 47

For entire story

‘Human fat traffickers’ arrested

Police in Peru have arrested four suspected members of a gang that allegedly killed people to steal their body tissue and fat.

The authorities are searching for several more suspects. The group allegedly sold the body fat to be used in cosmetics in Europe.

For News  Video

Israel’s sex trade booming

Human trafficking in Israel rakes in more than USD billion a year, findings in annual parliamentary survey show

By Miri Hasson

Published: 03.23.05, 12:44 /Israel News

Thousands of women are being smuggled into Israel, creating a booming sex trade industry that rakes more than USD one billion a year, a parliamentary committee said on Wednesday.

The Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, headed by Knesset member Zehava Galon of the left-wing Yahad party, commissioned the report in an effort to combat the sex trade in Israel. Findings showed that some 3,000 and 5,000 women are smuggled to Israel annually and sold into the prostitution industry, where they are constantly subjected to violence and abuse.

The report, issued annually, said some 10,000 such women currently reside in about 300 to 400 brothels throughout the country. They are traded for about USD 8,000 – USD 10,000, the committee said.

The U.S. State Department ranks Israel in the second tier of human trafficking around the world, saying the Jewish State does not maintain minimal conditions regarding the issue but is working to improve them.

Israel passed a law in 2003 that would allow the state to confiscate the profits of traffickers, but watchdog groups say it is rarely enforced.

Most foreign prostitutes in Israel come from Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Russia and many are smuggled in across the Egyptian border.

The committee found that the women work seven days a week for up to 18 hours every day and that out of the NIS 120 paid by customers, they are left with just NIS 20, while the rest of the money is passed on to their traders.

The prostitutes face constant threats of abuse and murder, the report said, and Israeli law does little to help them. Delays in trial dates and prolonged hearings force the women to remain exposed to violence for more than a year until they are called in to provide testimony, and courts rarely collect early testimonies, as permitted by law.

To help combat the problem, the committee recommended that the state prosecutor’s office refrain from making plea bargains with sex traders. It also advised to raise the threshold of punitive measures and pushed for financial compensation for sex trade victims. Source

A living hell

Thousands of sex slaves bought and sold each year face danger, threats, violence; run-aways dealt with quickly: one home in Moldavia firebombed; Tel Aviv exhibit explores ‘women as chattel’

By Miri Chason
Published: 03.18.05, / Israel News

TEL AVIV – Several dozen women have successfully escaped the grip of pimps that have turned their lives into a living hell. These women live in a secret shelter in Tel Aviv until they testify against their former pimps, then they are deported to their countries of origin.

Thursday, some of them went public as part of a new exhibition in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, sharing the harsh details of their experiences.

The exhibit, called “Over the Road”, focuses on the public’s approach to women as chattel. It is intended to be a harsh protest against the underground brothels that continue to flourish despite legislation banning them.

Thousands sold each year

The women say the exhibit is primarily intended to reach the customers of their former bosses – the individuals who keep the business rolling along.

Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women, men and children are sold each year. In Israel, 1,000-3,000 women are sold annually, all for the sex industry.

Volunteers from the Center to Help Foreign Workers and the Clinic for the Fight Against Women Trafficking at Hebrew University have collected many testimonies of victims of women trafficking and documented the way in which they were brought to Israel.

Testimonies

K., from Russia, worked on Erlinger Street in Tel Aviv. She says her boss would “fine” his workers “for everything—if I asked to have
a shower between customers, if I went out without permission. At first we had enough food, but after a while it they said it was too expensive. We barely had enough soap—and during the dirtiest time of my life.”

N. says her pimp used the women for bartering. “If he wanted vegetables from the supermarket, he would ‘give’ one of the girls to a worker in exchange for the vegetables. He bartered us for food, jewelry and other things.”

Y., from Moldava, says she was forced into sado-masochism. “Customers would beat us. They had special instruments. They would drip hot wax all over my body and force me to do painful, degrading things. Of course they enjoyed it—they paid extra for it.”

One woman, also from Moldava, said she received no wages for her services. “(My boss) told me he bought me for 50,000 shekels, and that I had to ‘return’ the money (by working for free) before I could start to earn wages. They also made me pay 50 shekels a day for food and condoms”

Locked Door

N., from Ukraine, worked on Peretz Street in Tel Aviv, explains why women don’t run away. “We all dreamt of escaping, but they even managed to steal the dream from us after someone did leave. A week after she disappeared, her family’s home in Moldava was firebombed.”

She says they were given one rest day per month: the first day of their period. “The first day we could take off. The rest of the time I was having my period, I had to use a diaphragm to prevent bleeding. But I had to continue taking customers.”

Nowhere to run

“We had nowhere to run,” says H. from Ukraine. “The door was always locked, bars on the windows, and there was a closed-circuit TV in each room.

“And even if you managed to get out—where would you go? What would you do? Several customers were police officers, and other cops would check our visas and leave. So who would we have turned to for help? Source


Israels Sex slaves

Canadian Jewish Tribune reports on massive sex slave trade in Zionist entity

June 29 2007

Trafficking in women a worldwide epidemic, Malarek says

Up to – 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone

MONTREAL – Calling human trafficking one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time, Canadian journalist and social activist Victor Malarek addressed the Jewish community at a Montreal synagogue last Thursday.

Promoting a book he has written on the subject, Malarek said destitute Third World and Eastern European females as young as 12 are tricked into leaving their homelands with promises of wealth and prosperity in the West, as well as Israel. Instead, they are sold into the sex trade by organized crime, gangs, pimps and brothel owners.

“Newspaper ads from modelling and employment agencies promise exciting jobs, but the women are duped,” Malarek told the Jewish Tribune. “They must submit, or they are raped, beaten and tortured. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. It is a human rights issue the Jewish community knows about. They have a voice and they must use it.”

The United Nations has cited human trafficking as an international crime generating more than US $12 billion worldwide. More than 800,000 people are trafficked annually, forced into prostitution and threatened with death should they attempt to escape the clutches of their captors. Canada is both a means of access to the United States, as well as a final destination for approximately 2,000 women each year.

“Governments should be held accountable,” said Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, who also addressed the crowd. “It is a very serious problem in Israel, and Canada has been inadequate in the protection of victims of trafficking. It is a global slave trade.”

As the previous federal justice minister, Cotler aided in the implementation of several bills addressing the protection of vulnerable individuals, yet he openly admitted there have never been any prosecutions made for human trafficking. He focused on raising the public’s awareness of trafficking as a method to prevent what he called the fastest rising criminal industry in the world today. Responding to an audience member’s question, he said the problem of mistakenly granting Canadian visas to people who should not obtain them is “an issue for the immigration department.”

As customers’ demands for slave trade workers who do not have HIV or AIDS increases, the age of victims proportionally decreases. UNICEF has determined that approximately 1.7 billion children are victimized annually. Ironically, Malarek didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until he personally witnessed how many young girls were trafficked into Kosovo to service troops sent by the United Nations.

“There is both national and international indifference,” said Malarek. “The public looks at the victims with apathy or scorn and foreign women are not the priority of most governments. Governments are complacent because the sex industry brings in money.”

Cotler noted that governments must work together in prosecuting oppressors while protecting their victims. He said the RCMP is part of an international trafficking unit that reflects cooperation among a number of governments. Human trafficking should be a priority on international policy-making agendas, he added, and complimented the United States on taking the lead in exercising what he called moral leadership.

“Most people don’t know how big this problem is,” said Larry Sakow, who attended the public event. “As a Jew, I am upset about the trafficking in Israel. It is surprising that Jews have gotten into it and are making money.”

Victor Malarek’s book, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade, is currently available.

Source: Canadian Jewish Tribune


Sex slavery and Israel’s failure to fight the growing trade

Last year, the United Nations named Israel as one of the main destinations in the world for trafficked women, according to the BBC.

November 29 2007

Israel has also been named as an offender in the annual U.S. State Department‘s Trafficking in Persons (Tip) report, which condemned the Jewish state for not fully complying with the “minimum standards” to eliminate sex trafficking.

According to Canadian journalist and social activist Victor Malarek, “newspaper ads from modeling and employment agencies promise exciting jobs, but the women are duped… They must submit, or they are raped, beaten and tortured. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 trafficked women in Israel and more than 280 brothels in Tel Aviv alone. It is a human rights issue the Jewish community knows about. They have a voice and they must use it.”

With the promise of a job and better economic and social conditions, women are driven to slavery and sold in auctions that take place in nightclubs and bars. Afterwards they are pimped, beaten and isolated. Several trafficked women are subjected to degrading human auctions, where they are stripped, examined and sold for $8,000-$10,000.

  • “They sold me- just sold me!”

The BBC interviewed one of the trafficked women in Israel, who gave her name as Marina. She is now hiding in a small house in northern Israel because she is wanted by the Israeli authorities for being an illegal immigrant and by the criminal gangs who lured her to Israel to sell her into prostitution.

“When I was in the Ukraine, I had a difficult life,” said Marina, who came to Israel in 1999 at the age of 33 after answering a newspaper advertisement offering the opportunity to study abroad.

“I was taken to an apartment in Ashkelon, and other women there told me I was now in prostitution. I became hysterical, but a guy started hitting me and then others there raped me.

“I was then taken to a place where they sold me – just sold me!” she said, recalling how she was locked in a windowless basement for a month, drank water from a toilet and was deprived of food.

Although Marina managed to escape, she is still suffering from the physical and mental scars that she endured during her captivity.

Like Marina, several other women — most from the former Soviet republics — are trafficked into Israel legally on the false promise of jobs and better economic conditions. Recent figures show that from the beginning of the 1990s to the early years of 2000, an estimated 3,000 women a year were trafficked to Israel.

  • “Israel did absolutely nothing”

Although prostitution in Israel is legal, pimping and running a brothel are not. However, the law isn’t enforced, and several brothels masquerading as massage parlours, saunas and internet cafes could be seen on the streets.

In Tel Aviv’s Neve Shaanan district for instance, a brothel is located outside the local police station!

The absence of anti-trafficking laws in Israel means that such inhumane activity is unchecked.

“During the first 10 years of trafficking, Israel did absolutely nothing,” said Nomi Levenkron, of the Migrant Workers’ Hotline, an NGO which helps trafficked women and puts pressure on the state to act.

“Women were trafficked into Israel – the first case we uncovered was in 1992 – and not much really happened,” she said. “Occasionally traffickers were brought to trial, but the victims were arrested as well, they were forced to testify, and then they were deported.”

Rachel Benziman, the legal advisor to the non-profit Israeli Women’s network, agrees, explaining how difficult it is to find witnesses. “It’s not a problem of finding the right section in the criminal code. It is more a problem of finding the women who will testify”, Benziman said, according to Reuters.

What’s more shocking is that, since 1994, no single woman has testified against any trafficker. Many say this could be attributed to the fact that although women are the victims, trafficked women are the ones usually arrested as illegal immigrants, while the men who brought them to Israel, who are usually Israeli, are not.

  • “The supply of victims has not gone down”

According to NGOs, trafficking was made a crime in Israel in 2000, but the punishments were lenient and law enforcement was poor. Authorities only began to act after fierce criticism from the U.S. and the threat of sanctions. In an effort to fight sex slavery, Israel tightened its borders, launched investigations into suspected traffickers, and handed down stiff jail sentence to traffickers.

The opening of a shelter for trafficked women in north Tel Aviv in 2004 also marked a change in the way the state perceived the victims. There are some 30 women at the Maggan shelter – most from former Soviet states, but also five from China.

“When they come here they are in a bad condition,” said Rinat Davidovich, the shelter’s director. “Most have sexual diseases and some have hepatitis and even tuberculosis. They also have problems going to sleep because they remember what used to happen to them at night… It’s very hard and it’s a long procedure to start to help and treat them.”

Police say their actions have led to a significant drop in the number of women now being trafficked into Israel for sex – hundreds, rather than thousands, a year.

But campaigners say increased police activity had an adverse effect as traffickers have been forced to become more discreet, making the practice more difficult to detect.

“We’ve been keeping tabs on trends, in terms of, for instance, prices of exploitative services,” said Yedida Wolfe, of the Task Force on Human Trafficking.

“Those prices have not gone up, which leads us to believe that the supply of victims has not gone down.

“While government officials are saying that their efforts have drastically cut the number of victims in the country, the NGOs on the scene really don’t feel that’s true.” Source

Related

Examiner~y2010m3d25-Global-human-trafficking-news-roundup—March-25-2010

Zim children rescued from traffickers

A nightmare in the globalized world Vietnamese slavery

Added January 2010

How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake

Added April 4 2010

Experts fear human trafficking more widespread

Israel warns soldiers of prosecution abroad for Gaza ‘war crimes’/Israels Latin America “Trail of Terror”

Israel warns soldiers of prosecution abroad for Gaza ‘war crimes’
Israel has warned military officers and senior officials that a threat of prosecution for alleged war crimes in Gaza could hinder future travel abroad.

By Damien McElroy in Jerusalem
January 24 2009

Israel warns soldiers of prosecution abroad for Gaza 'war crimes'
Daniel Friedman, Israel’s justice minister, was appointed to head a special task force to defend individuals detained abroad and the military censor declared that names of officers from lieutenant to colonel must not be published Photo: AFP

At least four human rights groups are believed to be compiling suits alleging that Israelis perpetrated war crimes in planning or carrying out the three-week operation Cast Lead.

Daniel Friedman, Israel’s justice minister, was appointed to head a special task force to defend individuals detained abroad and the military censor declared that names of officers from lieutenant to colonel must not be published.

More than 1,300 Palestinian deaths were reported during the offensive in Gaza and the United Nations has led demands that Israel investigate high-profile incidents including the shelling of its facilities.

Private prosecutions are already being prepared. “We are building files on war crimes throughout the chain of command from the top to the local level,” said Raji Sourani of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. “We are convinced these have been the most bloody days for Gaza since the occupation and that war crimes were perpetrated against Palestinian civilians.”

Courts in six countries, including Britain, have accepted petitions to prosecute alleged war crimes in previous wars. Most notoriously, activists in Belgium used a clause, since removed from the statute, to target the former prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

Accusations of war crimes strike an especially sensitive chord in Israel, a nation founded in the wake of the Holocaust. Comparisons between the long siege of Gaza and the Jewish ghettoes of central Europe draw a vociferous denunciation from the government. Israel insists troops did their best to limit civilian casualties in heavily populated areas where Hamas gunmen were attacking from tunnels and had booby-trapped civilian homes.

While senior politicians travel with diplomatic immunity, retired officials have already faced problems travelling abroad.

A retired major general, Doron Almog, was forced to remain on an El Al plane at Heathrow in 2005 after the Israeli military attaché warned he would be arrested if he disembarked. Gen Almog commanded Israeli forces in Gaza when a bombing raid on an apartment block that killed a Hamas commander, Salah Shehadeh, resulted in the deaths of 14 others. The magistrates’ warrant was later quashed.

An unknown number of officials have been notified that they should submit future travel plans to the military for review. Avigdor Feldman, an Israeli lawyer, said that thousands of serving officers could be affected. “I would highly recommend any soldier or officer contemplating going to the UK to reconsider,” he told an Israeli newspaper.

According to Lt Col David Benjamin of the Military Advocate Corps, lawyers were deployed at divisional commands in operation Cast Lead. He said: “Approval of targets which can be attacked, methods of warfare – it all has gone through us.”

But ensuring that those involved in the Gaza Campaign are never sentenced is set to be a long-term challenge for Israel. “The government will stand like a fortified wall to protect each and every one of you from allegations,” said Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, at a military gathering after a ceasefire was called last week.

Source

How dare they scream  Holocaust, when in fact they have helped in the murder of millions.

Screaming Holocaust is there favorite pass time, but it doens’t cut it,  when you look at their history.

Israel was on the road, long before the Holocaust transpired at any rate anyway. Anyone who knows the history of the Jewish Community would know that.

Seems they always use that as a tactic. The rest of the world is suppose to feel guilty and forgive them for their terrorizing innocent people.

Well there have been numerous Holocausts. Like all the Aboriginal Indians in North and South America. In Africa  and other countries. There has even been a Holocaust in Palestine.  Perpetrated by the Israelis them selves. That being said lets move on.

Here are a few Facts about Israel, I had tucked away for prosperity.

They are not the sweet wonderful country, they pretend to be.

Israel’s Latin American trail of terror
By Jeremy Bigwood
June 5, 2003

“I learned an infinite amount of things in Israel, and to that country I owe part of my essence, my human and military achievements” said Colombian paramilitary leader and indicted drug trafficker Carlos Castao in his ghostwritten autobiography, Mi Confesin.

Castao, who leads the Colombian paramilitaries, known by their Spanish acronym AUC, the largest right-wing paramilitary force to ever exist in the western hemisphere reveals that he was trained in the arts of war in Israel as a young man of 18 in the 1980s.

He glowingly adds: “I copied the concept of paramilitary forces from the Israelis,” in his chapter-long account of his Israel experiences.

Castao’s right-wing Phalange-like AUC force is now by far the worst human rights violator in all of the Americas, and ties between that organisation and Israel are continually surfacing in the press.

Outside the law

The AUC paramilitaries are a fighting force that originally grew out of killers hired to protect drug-running operations and large landowners. They were organised into a cohesive force by Castao in 1997. It exists outside the law but often coordinates its actions with the Colombian military, in a way similar to the relationship of the Lebanese Phalange to the Israeli army throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

According to a 1989 Colombian Secret Police intelligence report, apart from training Carlos Castao in 1983, Israeli trainers arrived in Colombia in 1987 to train him and other paramilitaries who would later make up the AUC.

Fifty of the paramilitaries’ “best” students were then sent on scholarships to Israel for further training according to a Colombian police intelligence report, and the AUC became the most prominent paramilitary force in the hemisphere, with some 10,000-12,000 men in arms.

The Colombian AUC paramilitaries are always in need of arms, and it should come as no surprise that some of their major suppliers are Israeli. Israeli arms dealers have long had a presence in next-door Panama and especially in Guatemala.

In May of last year, GIRSA, an Israeli company associated with the Israeli Defence Forces and based in Guatemala was able to buy 3000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 2.5 million rounds of ammunition that were then handed over to AUC paramilitaries in Colombia.

Links with the continent

Israel’s military relations with right-wing groups and regimes spans Latin America from Mexico to the southernmost tip of Chile, starting just a few years after the Israeli state came into existence.

Since then, the list of countries Israel has supplied, trained and advised includes Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
But it isn’t only the sales of planes, guns and weapons system deals that characterises the Israeli presence in Latin America.
Where Israel has excelled is in advising, training and running intelligence and counter-insurgency operations in the Latin American “dirty war” civil conflicts of Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and now Colombia.

In the case of the Salvadoran conflict – a civil war between the right-wing landowning class supported by a particularly violent military pitted against left-wing popular organisations – the Israelis were present from the beginning. Besides arms sales, they helped train ANSESAL, the secret police who were later to form the framework of the infamous death squads that would kill tens of thousands of mostly civilian activists.

From 1975 to 1979, 83% of El Salvador’s military imports came from Israel, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. By 1981, many of those in the civilian popular political movements who had survived the death squads headed for the hills to become guerrillas.

By 1981 there was an open civil war in El Salvador which took over a decade to resolve through negotiations.

Even though the US was openly backing the Salvadoran Army by 1981, as late as November 1983 it was asking for more Israeli “practical assistance” there, according to a declassified secret document obtained recently by Aljazeera.

Among the assistance asked for were helicopters, trucks, rifles, ammunition, and combat infantry advisors to work at both the “company and battalion level of the Salvadoran Army”.

One notable Salvadoran officer trained by the Israelis was Major Roberto D’Aubuisson, who always held a high opinion of the Israelis. It was Major D’Aubuisson who ordered the assassination of El Salvador’s archbishop amongst thousands of other murders.
Later he would organise the right-wing National Republican Alliance Party (ARENA) and send his son to study abroad in the relative safety of Israel.

Dirty war

Amazingly, while the Israelis were training the El Salvadoran “death squads” they were also supporting the anti-semitic Argentine military government of the late 1970s and early 1980s – at a time when that government was involved_in another “dirty war” of death squads and disappearances.

In 1978, Nicaragua’s dictator Somoza was making his last stand against a general uprising of the Sandinista-led population who were sick of his family’s dynasty which had ruled and monopolised the county for half a century. The Israelis and the US had been supplying Somoza with weapons for years. But when President Jimmy Carter came into office in 1976 he ordered a cessation of all US military assistance to Nicaragua.
Filling the void, the Israelis immediately increased their weapons supplies to Somoza until he fled the country when the Sandinistas took power.

Israeli operatives then helped train right-wing Nicaraguan Contras in Honduran and Costa Rican camps to fight the Sandinista government, according to Colombian police intelligence reports Aljazeera_has obtained.

At least some of the same Israeli operatives had also previously trained the nucleus of the paramilitary organisations that would become the AUC in Colombia.

But by far the bloodiest case of Israeli involvement in Latin America was its involvement in Guatemala from the 1970s to the 1990s. As in El Salvador, a civil war pitted a populist but, in this case, mainly Indian left against a mainly European oligarchy protected by a brutal Mestizo Army.

As Guatemalan President Carlos Arana said in 1971, “If it is necessary to turn the country into a cemetery in order to pacify it, I will not hesitate to do so.”

Active involvement

The Israelis supplied Guatemala with Galil rifles, and built an ammunition factory for them, as well as supplying armoured personnel carriers and Arava planes. Behind the scenes, they were actively involved in the bloodiest counter-insurgency campaign the hemisphere has known since the European conquest, in which at least 200,000 (mostly Indians) were killed.
Like Israel’s original occupation of Palestine, several entire Guatemalan Indian villages were razed and a million people displaced. “The guerrilla is the fish. The people are the sea. If you cannot catch the fish, you have to drain the sea,” said Guatemalan President Rios Montt in 1982.

Guatemalan army officers credit Israeli support with turning the tide against the uprising, not only in the countryside where Israeli counter-insurgency techniques and assistance set up strategic-hamlet-like “development poles” along the lines of the Israeli kibbutz, but also in the cities where “Israeli communication technicians and instructors” working through then-sophisticated computers were able to locate and then decimate guerrillas and their supporters in Guatemala City in 1981.

From the late 1970s until the 1990s, the US could not overtly support the Guatemalan army because of its horrendous human rights record (although there was some covert support), but many in the US government, especially in the CIA, supported Israel in taking up the slack.

Wrong

But the US grew to regret its actions. On 10 March 1999, US President Bill Clinton issued an apology for US involvement in the war: The “United States… support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression…was wrong.” No similar statement has ever been forthcoming from the Israelis.

At the present time, the only major insurgency war in Latin America is in Colombia, where Israel has an overt involvement.
Besides the dozen or so Kfir IAI C-7 jet fighters they have sold the Colombian government, and the Galil rifles produced in Bogota under licence, most of the Israeli ties to the government’s counter-insurgency war are closely-guarded secrets.

Aljazeera’s attempts to obtain clarification on these and other issues for this story were stonewalled by the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Why does Israel continue to provide arms and expertise to the pariahs of the world? Clearly, part of the reason is the revenues produced by arms sales, and part of it has do with keeping up with trends in counter-insurgent war across the globe.
But another factor is what is demanded of Israel by the world’s only superpower, the US, in partial exchange for the superpower’s continued support for Israeli dominance in the Middle East.

Assistance

This relationship can be best illustrated by recently declassified 1983 US government documents obtained by the Washington, DC-based National Security Archives through the Freedom of Information Act.

One such declassified document is a 1983 memo from the notorious Colonel Oliver North of the Reagan Administration’s National Security Council and reads: “As discussed with you yesterday, I asked CIA, Defense, and State to suggest practical assistance which the Israelis might offer in Guatemala and El Salvador.”

Another document, this time a 1983 cable from the US Ambassador in Guatemala to Washington Frederic Chapin shows the money trail.

He says that at a time when the US did not want to be seen directly assisting Guatemala, “we have reason to believe that our good friends the Israelis are prepared, or already have, offered substantial amounts of military equipment to the GOG (Government of Guatemala) on credit terms up to 20 years…(I pass over the importance of making huge concessionary loans to Israel so that it can make term loans in our own backyard).”
In other words, during civil wars in which the US does not want to be seen getting its hands dirty in Latin America, the superpower loans Israel money at a very good rate, and then Israel uses these funds to do the “dirty work”. In this regard, in Latin America at least, Israel has become the “hit-man” for the US.

Wars funded by American Tax Dollars.

Wars and funding to prop up Brutal governments or regimes.

Israel the, Money Laundering, “Funnel Tunnel” for the US.

They love extermination pure and simple. They were more, then willing to help other regimes exterminate innocent people.

Of course it doesn’t end there, they also supplied weapons etc to other countries as well. Africa is also on my list as well. It’s a pretty long list.

What has changed over the years, not much.

Why would anything change.

We will in the future find out who and how many.

The trail of cookie crumbs, is not all that hard to follow.

Have a cruel bloodthirsty regime and you will find both the US or Israeli involvement.

Most time they work together. All in the name of profit, power, control and death.

They call it Self Defense or I am rescuing you.

Iran is evil because thy want to help innocent victims rebuild.

Hamas is pure evil are they?  The Hamas they helped create.

Haitian’s are pure evil are they?

Indians are pure evil are they?

All the innocent people they had a hand, in murdering are all evil are they?

Death Squads are a good thing are they?

I can almost bet, the “Death Squads” in the Philippines, were trained by Israelis.

The Israeli Gov. and the US Gov. should mind their own business and clean up their, own moral bankruptcy.

They both should clean up their own Weapons of Mass Destruction.

They are two the most corrupt, countries in the world.

They blame everyone else of crimes, they themselves are actually committing.

Well like all criminals they will plead not guilty. They are no different from any other criminal.

Both countries lied to their people.

Both oppressed their own people.

Both are warmongering countries.

They could pass as twins, in their sins against humanity.

Those who are corrupt past and present should be rooted out and charged.

There is no statute of limitation on murder or war crimes.

They should be held responsible for the millions, they have murdered or helped murder. Directly or indirectly they are responsible.

Can or will Obama be able to clean up the US.

Maybe:  We will have to wait and see.

Will the corruption in Israel, get cleaned up, not flippin likely.

Will the corruption in the International Agency’s get cleaned up, we will have to wait and see.

The less they do to stop those in the US Gov. and Israeli Gov. the more obvious it is, they are corrupted.

Information Wanted by the International Criminal Court/ UN: Falk Likens Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Israel Accused of Executing Parents in Front of Children

White Phosphorus Victims in Gaza

What Types of Gruesome Weapons Did Israel Use in Lebanon?

UN: Israel should pay for Humanitarian Aid they Destoyed

Father: ‘I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls’

Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?

Outrage as Israel bombs UN and Hospital

Israel Navy ships turn back “Spirit of Humanity” carrying Gaza humanitarian aid

President of the United Nations General Assembly: Israel violating International Law

Israel Hits another “United Nations” Building in Gaza

Israel Violating Egyptian Airspace to attack Gaza

Israel continues to attack Hospitals, Clinics and Public Buildings in Gaza

Red Cross slams Israel over 4 day wait to access wounded

The making of Israel’s Apartheid in Palestine

Samouni family recounts Gaza horror

79 % of the time: Israel caused conflicts not Hamas

Gaza War Why?: Natural Gas valued at over $4 billion MAYBE?

Israel ‘rammed’ medical aid boat headed to Gaza

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Shoot Then Ask, Israeli Soldiers Told

Gaza (6) A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Israel’s ‘Crimes Against Humanity’

Gaza Families Eat Grass as Israel Blocks Food Aid

Will the world do nothing to stop Genocide in Gaza?

Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty

Israel blocks foreign media from Gaza

U.N.: Israel won’t allow food aid to enter Gaza

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Haiti: War Crimes and Oil

January 22 2009

Little know fact

Drill, and then pump the oil of Haiti!

June 18, 2008

The oil has reached the threshold of 140 U.S. dollars a barrel.

Open oil crisis, Haiti, which is hundreds of millions of dollars in diesel, just to generate electricity seems to have a playing card.

Its small deposits once despised are now of interest.”We have received four applications for oil exploration, said the engineer Dieuseul Anglade, General Director of the Bureau of Mines and Energy.

The Haitian State to ensure that these companies have the expertise, “he added. . “We have been encouraging signs that warrant further exploration of the black gold that ended in 1979,” he said.

Some 11 wells, some with a depth of 2944 meters were drilled in the Plaine du Cul-de-sac, the Central Plateau and the Ile de La Gonave.

Surface clues were found in the peninsula’s south and the north coast, said the engineer who believes Anglade swear that the economic readiness of these explorations.

According to a memo dated 16 August 1979 from the master driller Francois Lamothe, presented to Mr. Emmanuel Bouillon, five wells have been drilled in Porto Suel (Maissade) to a depth of 9,000 feet, Bebernal, 9000 feet, Wood – Carrade (West) at Dumornay on the road to Brother and near the railroad in St. Marc.

One sample, a “carrot” (oil reservoir) up the wells of Saint-Marc in the Artibonite, underwent a chemical analysis in Munich, Germany, at the initiative of Mr. Bouillon. “The result of analysis obtained on 11 October 1979, revealed traces of oil,” said Willy Clémens engineer who went into the country Germains.

“We need to drill and pump oil from Haiti, if we actually said, skeptical, a geologist a little annoyed by the statements without scientific evidence.

If we have black gold, our dear friends in the international community and Hugo Chavez should help us to conduct studies.  Just to have the heart net, “he insisted.

Oil reached taken 140 dollars a barrel last Monday.

Despite promises from OPEC to increase production of oil to calm the fears of the market, large consumers rush to build strategic stocks in anticipation of winter. Although courses are ironed below $ 135, analysts agree that curves upward may reach 150 or even $ 200 by the end of the year.

In Haiti, where the plane blur the real oil potential, some say: Drill, and then pump the oil from Haiti! If there is oil ..

Des travailleurs sur le gîte pétrolifère de Morne Diamant en 1983 Workers to the oil house Morne Diamond in 1983 (Photo: Courtoisie Emmanuel Bouillon) (Photo: Courtesy Emmanuel Bouillon)

Un tuyeau installé en 1983 par la North Altlantic Refining, une compagnie canadienne A pipe installed in 1983 by the North Altlantic Refining, a Canadian company (Photo: Courtoisie Emmanuel Bouillon) (Photo: Courtesy Emmanuel Bouillon)

Des experts mesurent la profondeur d’un puit de pétrole Experts measure the depth of an oil well (Photo: Courtoisie Emmanuel Bouillon) (Photo: Courtesy Emmanuel Bouillon)

Le couvercle scellé d’un puit de pétrole The lid of a sealed oil well (Photo: Courtoisie Emmanuel Bouillon) (Photo: Courtesy Emmanuel Bouillon)

Source


The signs, (indicators), justifying the explorations of oil (black gold) in Haiti are encouraging. In the middle of the oil shock, some 4 companies want official licenses from the Haitian State to drill for oil.

So who want’s the licenses I wonder?

Haiti’s other Natural Resources are,

bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold, marble, hydropower

Rumor has it Natural Gas as well.

*****************************************************************


Even the soldiers of MINUSTAH

January 21 2009
A student and a professor at the State University of Haiti (UEH) were battered on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 January 2009 by soldiers of the United Nations Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

These incidents occurred as a result of clashes between students and soldiers of MINUSTAH after passers had mimed the cry of the kid.

It all started at the Ecole Nationale des Arts (ENARTS), one of 11 entities of the State University of Haiti (UEH) on Tuesday, where the student ending Plastic Art, known as Don Carmelo , was beaten by the soldiers of MINUSTAH within the Faculty.

The student was arrested and taken to the Fort National, one of the bases of UN troops. . Questioned in a toilet of this base, weapons pointed at his head, Don Carmelo said that the soldiers have also introduced a false identity card in his bag.

The student, who is also a musician of the Masters, which he said has been given to a national police officers and released after 2 hours, lack of complaint brought against him.

As this was not enough, the same day, still under ENARTS, Mrs. Viviane Gauthier, a living heritage of dance in Haiti, was nearly attacked by the soldiers of the United Nations.

One day later, Don Carmelo was the front gate of the Ecole Normale Superieure, another entity of the UEH, soldiers of MINUSTAH was flanked on the wall to the search.  Alerted, the students threw stones in retaliation. A wave of panic swept when the soldiers entered the premises of the institution.

The Interim Chairman of the Board of Directors, Professor Hector Pierre Leconte, who hosted a working meeting, came down to inquire about the situation, and was at the heart of it.

Thanks to the intervention of the head of the ENS, Professor Innocent, who teaches the departments of mathematics and physics, did escape the worst. To restore order, he asked the soldiers to clear the scene, but they have conditioned their departure by requiring that this person will ensure their exit peacefully. What the teacher got students and the soldiers then turned back.

In addition, the rector of the State University of Haiti, Jean Henri Vernet, which should have a working meeting with the Council of the ENS, was blocked at the gate by students who demanded that it take a public position in favor of the departure of MINUSTAH in the country, which he did not do, refusing to respond to hot on the situation.

Wanting to go still in the normal school attend to business of the day, the students were prevented. Powerless, he had to abandon his plans and return to his office. “It is necessary that MINUSTAH parte, in two days it has violated two speakers of the State University of Haiti,” the students shouted protesters.
However, all students do not adhere to this movement. “You are nothing but bandits, you dare to throw stones against MINUSTAH for nothing, ENS is taken hostage by a small group of activists,” claimed a student outraged by this situation. “Some are eternal students, others are not of the Faculty” took another student at the ENS.

We can not understand why officials of MINUSTAH target students for a trivial matter. What if all over the passage of the soldiers of MINUSTAH, it began to shout in unison: These soldiers do not feel they not boring by idleness, being on vacation in Haiti? When replacing there by engineers, agronomists and other specialists can help develop the country as requested by President ask other students from the University of State.

Source

*****************************************************************

After Four Years, No Justice for Murdered Haitian Journalist

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Source: Haiti Analysis
Four years ago, the killing of Abdias Jean, a young Haitian journalist who reported from Haiti for WKAT radio in Florida, was immediately condemned by Amnesty International, the Director General of UNESCO and the Inter American Press Association.

His murder was reported in both Reuters and the Associated Press wire services.

Guyler Delva, the Secretary General of the Association of Haitian Journalists (and a Reuters correspondent), also condemned the murder and expressed dismay at the indifference of the Haitian commercial media to the death of a journalist.
In 2004, following the coup that ousted the elected Aristide government, an interim government was put in its place with the support of the United States, Canada, and France. Abdias Jean was murdered on January 14, 2005 – nearly a year after the coup.

According to US based researcher Tom Reeves, Reuters employees told him that the interim government complained to Reuters about an article Delva had written about the murder.
Before the coup of 2004, Delva had often worked closely with Reporters Without Borders (RSF), harsh critics of Aristide.

Following the coup, RSF ignored much of the interim government backed violence against the press. This wasn’t surprising considering that RSF has received support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – a group funded almost entirely by the US congress and that played a major role in a destabilization campaign against the Aristide government.

The US spent 70 million dollars between 1994 and 2002 directly on strengthening Aristide’s political opponents. (The US money, laundering, Funnel Tunnel. I am supposing they used “Israel” to funnel their money? They have done this in many other countries for years as well. Hence starting wars etc, etc, etc. When the US set up the Patriot Act etc, to stop so called  terrorists from funneling money, they knew exactly how it was done because they themselves, (The US that is) had been doing it for a very long time. All they had to do was stop the methods used by their own government, in order to get the so called terrorists money. You don’t have to be a genius to figure that one out. Repetition, misinformation, propaganda, exterminating,  genocidal, war machine, hard at work. All with the use of US tax dollars .The so called “Superior Race” at work as they like to think of themselves.)
In August of 2006 RSF was questioned on its failure to denounce the murder of Abdias Jean.
RSF’s Haiti expert responded “We asked the police about the killings of Abdias Jean and we were told by the police that it was an attack made by the police, but that they didn’t know he was a journalist. He was taking pictures.” The RSF representative admitted that it had not met with a single witness to the murder but that all the information they had on the case was based on the testimony of the police, known for their widespread killings and abuses. The damning police testimony was never published.
Haitian police spokeswoman Gessy Coicou said of Abdias Jean: “I haven’t heard of him and I haven’t seen his name in any of the files I have.

Many journalists have reported that there are many witnesses. I would advise them to file a complaint.”

The victim’s mother filed numerous complaints but nothing has come of them.

Brian Concannon, of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, scoffed at Gessy Coicou’s statement: “The police know very well who Abdias Jean was.

His family filed complaints with the police, the Haitian justice system and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.”

The details of the Abdias Jean murder leave little room to doubt that he was murdered because of his work as a journalist.
In the moments prior to his death, Abdias Jean was investigating murders carried out by the Haitian police, specifically the killing of two young boys. After taking photos of the victims, he hid in a friend’s house when he saw police approaching. But the police spotted him; ordered him out of the house, and shot him in front of several witnesses. Reed Lindsay, a US journalist based in Haiti, reported: “They tied his wrists with his own belt, dragged him a block away and put a bullet through his head” The police and other armed groups that backed the interim government were responsible for 4000 political killings in the greater Port-au-Prince area, according to a scientific study published in the Lancet Medial Journal in August 2006.
Violence against poor journalists, often those with cameras, was widespread under the interim government which finally stepped aside for an elected government in April of 2006.

A young Haitian photojournalist, Jean Ristil, who had photographed UN peacekeeper and Haitian police violence has been interrogated, tortured and had much of his equipment destroyed by police.

On April 7, 2005, journalist Robenson Laraque died from injuries suffered while observing a clash between UN troops and members of the disbanded Haitian military in the city of Petit-Goâve.

Later that year unknown assailants murdered another Haitian journalist, Jacques Roche. His killing was exploited by the interim government to imprison the prominent liberation theologian Father Gerard Jean-Juste who consequently became Haiti’s most prominent political prisoner.
The failure to achieve justice for the victims of violence by the interim government and their armed supporters has been widely ignored by the corporate press and even by some press freedom groups like RSF which claim impartiality.

The killers of Abdias Jean, much like the killers of thousands of Haitians after the coup of February 2004 remain at large.

Although democracy was formally restored in 2006 with the election of Rene Preval, the impact of the interim government endures.

The Haitian judiciary recently sentenced Guyler Delva to a month in prison for defaming elite businessman and interim government supporter Senator Rudolph Boulos. Delva remains free pending an appeal.

RSF has protested the sentence.

Concannon, a lead lawyer on the historic Raboteau massacre trial, observed, “Abdias Jean’s killing is yet one more example of the double standard, where the lives of poor black men in Haiti matter least. Had he been a journalist with a prominent Haitian or foreign outlet visiting Cite de Dieu, he would have been eulogized for his courage in going into that neighborhood. But he was a poor journalist covering his neighbors, so he has been forgotten.”

RSF did not respond to requests for an updated comment on the Abdias Jean murder.

Source

Why does the US always topple Governments in other countries?

Behind most Governments that are toppled you will usually find,  the US is somewhere in the shadows making sure one way or the other it is taken down.

Like Hamas in Gaza.  Haiti is two. Iraq is three.  Afghanistan is four and the list goes on. Even Georgian is need to help Israel and the US  attack Iran. The Purpose of course is:

According to an article in the American Chronicle, the Bush Administration has been looking for an excuse to attack the Islamic Republic, so that it can take possession of the country’s oil and give Israel a share in Iranian crude by transferring it through Georgia. Source

There are many other Government they have one way or the other been involved in taking out legitimate elected leaders and having them replaced with someone who are friendly towards the US and their companies who want oil, gas, gold or other resources.

There are a number of times those new leaders were Dictators.

This has been going on for years.

Many of the wars created, the US has been behind. Even in Africa and South America.

If you connect all the dots they more times then not lead right back to the United States.

Coincidentally the US didn’t like the election results in Vietnam either. Well we all know how that one went.

What they say and what they do are two very different things.

Are Nato Forces being use for the purpose, they should be used for?

Or are they being used to help rich countries and cooperate profiteers succeed in taking over other countries?

I smell corruption. Big time corruption. Genocidal Corruption.

All it takes a a select few to corrupt an entire organization.  Sometimes only one or two. Haiti is their deep, dark, filthy, hidden, from the world secret. Reporters can’t report. They are jailed or killed.

So what is so interesting, about Haiti?

Haiti obviously has something some out there,  desperately want.

There have been war crimes committed in Haiti, as well only no one seems to be doing anything about it.  Why because there is corruption in the UN and Nato.  The US being one of the main offenders. Everyone must do what they say or said or else.  Bush and company are war criminals on my fronts, not just in Iraq.

A bit of history on Haiti:

Haiti Hidden from the Headlines

The Haiti Information Project Pictures etc.

UN occupies Bel Air n Haiti Pictures and Story

When All is Looted & Pillaged, Your Hunger Will Remain The Haiti Boomerang

Operation Enduring Sweatshop Another Bush Brings Hell to Haiti

Oh, Canada The Coup Coalition

Filmmaker Kevin Pina challenges the contemporary view of Haiti, revealing the hidden role of the ‘international community’ in Haitian politics. This provocative and lively film takes the viewer into parts of Haiti where few Western journalists dare to tread, and includes shocking footage of unreported human rights abuses, some which have been astonishingly conducted by UN forces. Pina’s film stands out because it connects the tragic events in Haiti with what he assesses as foreign intervention designed to deter democracy. Learn the side of the Haiti coverage not seen in the corporate news media.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RSZI3zUqkM
There are a number of Other Videos there about Haiti as well.
The massacre of the poor that the world ignored

When terror strikes western capitals, it doesn’t just blast bodies and buildings, it also blasts other sites of suffering off the media map. A massacre of Iraqi children, blown up while taking sweets from US soldiers, is banished deep into the inside pages of our newspapers. The outpouring of compassion for the daily deaths of thousands from Aids in Africa is suddenly treated as a frivolous distraction.

In this context, a massacre in Haiti alleged to have taken place the day before the London bombings never stood a chance. Well before July 7, Haiti couldn’t compete in the suffering sweepstakes: the US-supported coup that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide had the misfortune of taking place in late February 2004, just as the occupation of Iraq was reaching a new level of chaos and brutality. The crushing of Haiti’s constitutional democracy made headlines for only a couple of weeks. Source

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

The Rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

Haiti’s road to ruin

Indexed List of all Stories in Archives

Update February 26 2010

Help Haiti Everybody Hurts Video

Update on Haiti January 27 2010 and you will not get this in the main stream media. There is also a link about Cuban Doctors in Haiti as well.  They have done an incredible job. I don’t think you will hear about that in the main stream media either.

Venezuela’s Chavez Forgives Haiti’s Debt


More information on Haiti Some on oil, some on their past problems, some on recent events. More on oil in Jan. 20 update for example.

Update April 2 2010: Disease Threatens Haitian Children

Haiti: The Miracle and the Nightmare

Could the Earthquake in Haiti be man made, the answer is Yes

Update Haiti Earthquake January 20 2010

Update on Haiti Earthquake January 19 2010

Update on Haiti Earthquake January 18 2010

Haiti’s dead are being buried in Mass Graves

How Haiti’s Quarter Million Slaves Will Survive The Quake


Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm  Comments Off on Haiti: War Crimes and Oil  
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Pro-Obama Haitian-Americans want help

Pro-Obama Haitian-Americans want help
December 30 2008

LAUDERHILL, Fla.,

Haitian-American leaders who turned out the vote for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in Florida say they expect him to help ease crises in their homeland.

Members of a Broward County, Fla., branch of Haitians for Obama, which worked hard to canvass ethnic communities for the president-elect, say that while immigration and the economy are big issues for them, they also expect Obama’s administration to work more closely with Haitian leaders to help their impoverished native country, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

“Our country is in a permanent crisis,” group member Aude Sicard told the newspaper. “We’re not simply asking for humanitarian aid, but we want this country to send technicians and engineers and see a true path for development in Haiti.”

Saying they’ll continue to build on the activism established to elect Obama, the Haitian-Americans have vowed to continue to lobby for temporary protected status, which would grant undocumented Haitian immigrants in the right to work in the United States legally until their homeland becomes more stable, the Sun-Sentinel said.

Source

U.S. Haiti policy senseless, deadly
By Myriam Marquez
December 31, 2008

Two years ago, Louiness and Sheryl Petit-Frere were newlyweds celebrating their good fortune. Both from Haiti, they had found love and each other in Miami.

Today, Louiness, a 31-year-old baker, waits at the Glades detention facility in Central Florida to be sent to a country he hasn’t seen in a decade, where no one waits for him.

His 27-year-old bride in Miami tries to make sense of a senseless immigration law that would deport an otherwise law-abiding, working man because he had an old asylum petition denied.

Never mind that he is married to a U.S. citizen, that he had, in good faith, filed for legal status and had shown up for the interview at the Citizenship and Immigration Services office when he was hauled away like a common criminal.

Petit-Frere’s mother and five siblings are all permanent U.S. residents, including his brother, Sgt. Nikenson Peirreloui, a U.S. Marine with a war injury to show for his two tours in Iraq. But none of that matters.

The U.S. government deems it imperative to deport Petit-Frere, who has no criminal record, to a place decimated by four back-to-back storms this summer, with thousands of starving, dehydrating children left homeless and adults facing no prospects for jobs.

“It seems terrible,” his mother, Francina Pierre, told me Saturday while she waited for her daughter-in-law to get off work as a grocery store clerk.

“He has nobody left in Haiti,” she said. “My mom died, my dad died, my sister died. And my two brothers live here. One is a U.S. citizen and the other is a permanent resident. We have no more family living in Haiti, no more.”

The Bush administration had sensibly put deportations to Haiti on hold after a succession of hurricanes and tropical storms destroyed parts of the island, leaving thousands without work or home. But the president stopped short of granting temporary protected status, or TPS, to Haitians living in the United States without proper documentation.

Natural disasters generally qualify for TPS consideration — as Central Americans with TPS can attest. But Haitians can never seem to catch a break.

U.S. immigration officials decided recently that it would be just dandy to deport Haitians while recovery efforts on their part of Hispaniola proceed in spurts and stops, as children die of malnutrition and mudslides continue to impede reconstruction.

“How can this nation in good conscience send children and families to face the terrible conditions that exist in Haiti?” Cheryl Little, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center’s executive director, said in a statement. “People could die because of this decision.”

She’s not crying wolf.

The conditions in Haiti cry out for solutions — not asinine deportations that only exacerbate an already untenable situation.

As President Bush looks through his list of pardons to wipe the slate clean for criminals, he should move to do more for the common man, people like Louiness Petit-Frere. Why not grant TPS for Haitians who have no criminal record, so they can stay and work here until conditions improve in their country?

Those who do have family in Haiti can send money and goods back to help the reconstruction and rev up the economy.

TPS was designated for catastrophic situations like Haiti’s. There’s no reason to deny Haitians TPS. Only racist excuses.

Source

Thrice-built house embodies Haiti aid shortfalls
By JONATHAN M. KATZ
December 30 2008

GONAIVES, Haiti

The farmer camps in a crude tent of broken sandbags as he guards the foundation of his destroyed home and his last possessions: a pickax, a hoe and some charcoal.

This is the third time Olisten Elerius is preparing to build his tiny cinderblock house. Four years ago, Tropical Storm Jeanne flooded it and drowned his father, sister and nephew. Then, late this summer, Tropical Storm Hanna swallowed it along with his daughter and another sister. It could happen again.

After Jeanne struck in 2004, more than $70 million in aid went to immediate relief such as food, medical aid and jobs, but little went to flood control, according to an Associated Press review of relief spending. Despite pledges to prevent such devastation in the future, few projects to build drains, fix roads and stop erosion were even attempted.

In other parts of Haiti, U.S. officials launched an ambitious flood control project. But it took 3 1/2 years to plan and was not placed in Gonaives because of a lack of funding.

So when four major storms hit within a month this year, nothing stopped the La Quinte River from roaring over its banks again. It inundated farmers like Elerius on its way to the center of Gonaives, where men, women and children swam for miles through swirling waters to escape. The storms killed 793 people and caused $1 billion in damage.

“The authorities were always coming here to take pictures and measure things,” Elerius said. “The words in their mouths said they would help, but they never did anything.”

Top officials agree that efforts fell short.

“I think we were very successful in getting Gonaives back on its feet,” Alexandre Deprez, an official for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said of the work after Jeanne. “But it is true that we didn’t put the time and the resources to do what needs to be done in the longer term.”

___

Haiti’s floods are not natural disasters, but a direct result of widespread deforestation, erosion and poverty. Farmers cut trees for charcoal and plant shallow-rooted crops. Rains that would be forgotten elsewhere can kill thousands.

In 2004, Elerius was working in the neighboring Dominican Republic when Tropical Storm Jeanne came twisting like a wounded animal out of the northern sky, sending a wall of water through his cinderblock home and sweeping away his father, sister and nephew. Gonaives residents fled to their rooftops as rivers broke their banks, overflowing morgues with bloated corpses.

A horrified world pledged to help. Elerius returned home just as the money and the white SUVs of non-governmental organizations began flowing into Gonaives, in the north of Haiti.

The U.N. appealed for $37 million in flood relief. Washington would donate more than $45 million, first for emergency food and supplies and then through USAID for the two-year, $34 million Tropical Storm Jeanne Recovery Program.

Disaster officials, newspapers and aid workers called for well-planned, well-financed, long-term aid. Haitian officials told the agencies to spend the money on projects that would save lives: secure rivers, fix roads, design better canals, build homes with better drainage to the sea.

But the U.N. member states, distracted by the Indian Ocean tsunami four months later, raised less than half their funding target.

Work was hampered by violence and insecurity. The Inter-American Development Bank provided about $10 million in loans, mostly for construction of a small drainage system. That project was abandoned by Haitian contractors after bandits stole the cement and steel, IDB representative Philippe Dewez said.

Washington sent money mostly for short-term projects: cleanup, restoration and repair of basic services such as schools, health clinics, roads, bridges and homes. In 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that U.S. organizations cleared more than 2 million cubic feet of mud and restored the livelihoods of 48,000 people. But the GAO said they failed to meet an already reduced target for houses and completed no roads or bridges.

Elerius rebuilt his family’s flimsy home at Mapou, a flat plain on the outskirts of the city, just 50 feet from the La Quinte River after it descends from barren mountains toward the sea.

On the denuded hillside, USAID said projects to grow plant cover and build terraces have restored 3,700 acres of the La Quinte watershed — 2 percent of the basin. But few trees are visible, and local officials said most saplings were eaten by goats.

Corruption watchdogs with Transparency International said public funds — nobody seems to know exactly how much — were distributed with little oversight by the U.S.-backed interim government.

Soon after Jeanne, USAID commissioned a study of Haiti’s watersheds, which led to an ambitious $18 million effort to reduce flooding. Work did not begin until February 2008.

The report recommended action in high-risk flood areas, including Gonaives. But the U.S. Congress only gave enough money for the agency to start in two smaller, less populated watersheds — Limbe in the north and Mountrouis in the west, both more than 40 miles away from Gonaives. Some money went to a project on a Port-au-Prince river this year.

“With the funding that we were given we said to ourselves, ‘Why go into a place where you’re not going to make a difference?’ ” Deprez told The Associated Press. “Go into a place where you can focus and make a difference and test the approach that was recommended.”

It will take five years to know the effects of the pilot flood-control programs. Officials then hope to replicate them elsewhere.

But the storms didn’t wait.

___

Starting in mid-August, Tropical Storm Fay hit Haiti, followed by Gustav, Hanna and Ike. They destroyed thousands of homes, devastated crops and set the country back decades. Starving families, whose plight had fueled April riots, got even hungrier.

On the dark afternoon of Sept. 2 in Gonaives, there was no warning as mountain run-off began to gather in ravines. Officials were not given orders to evacuate, and in any case no plan was in place. There was nobody to clear fallen trees that had jammed a bridge on the La Quinte River and caused it to divert the day before.

Elerius was in town getting supplies when he heard radio reports about a new storm. Even as rain fell in Gonaives, radio broadcasts in Port-Au-Prince, the capital, repeated predictions that it would veer to the north, away from Haiti.

It was only word of mouth that sent Elerius running home. There he found the river had again become an ocean, his family submerged and his house disintegrating.

He dived into the water and pulled his mother and 4-year-old son Jonslay to safety. Then he yelled for his 6-year-old daughter, Joniska, and his 21-year-old little sister, Jimele.

Neither called back.

This time, without a network of roads that could withstand the flooding, Gonaives was trapped. A Haitian-funded causeway needed to connect it to the capital, 80 miles away across the cactus plain of Savanne Desolee, was left half-finished, denying scores of families a way out. Refugees climbed its scaffolding to escape the rising waters.

Others were stranded on their rooftops. It took four days for the U.N. to bring in ample food aid by ship.

Some development workers say the reduced death toll this year — in the hundreds instead of thousands — validates their efforts. But survivors and local officials say more survived this time because the memory of Jeanne sent them running for higher ground.

Today in Gonaives, homeless families crowd tent neighborhoods. Men scrounge for fish in stagnant floodwaters. Schoolgirls wear sunglasses and surgical masks to block the clouds of dirt that cover the city. The road to Port-au-Prince is still blocked by an enormous lake.

As former Gonaives disaster management coordinator Faustin Joseph said, “Everybody failed.”

The craggy roads of Gonaives are filled again with white SUVs. The U.N. issued a $107 million appeal, of which it has raised about half, and is now requesting $20 million more. The World Food Program has delivered more than 11,000 tons of food. The Haitian government has set aside $198 million for rebuilding roads, fortifying river beds and restoring agriculture.

The U.S. government pledged more than $30 million in immediate relief. Another $96 million from Congress is on its way.

President Rene Preval told the U.N. General Assembly in September he feared that “once this first wave of humanitarian compassion is exhausted, we will be left as always, truly alone, to face new catastrophes and see restarted, as if in a ritual, the same exercises of mobilization.”

Some in Gonaives have become restless.

“If things go like they did after Jeanne again, and it looks like people are doing nothing, we might get up and start burning things down,” said Odrigue Toussaint, 40, who has not worked since he lost his motorcycle to Hanna. “We will let the authorities know it can’t happen again.”

Elerius sent his son, mother and siblings to live with neighbors. He never found the bodies of his sister and daughter.

He sleeps on the dirty ground under the plastic tent. Inside it’s stiflingly hot during the day but cooler at night.

The La Quinte River gouged a shallow canyon through what was once his farmland, where he planted onions, plantains and potatoes. The topsoil washed to the streets of Gonaives, encasing the city in mud.

Haitian construction crews put the river back into its bed a week after Hanna, just as they did after Jeanne, and built temporary levies with gravel and sandbags that Elerius pilfered to make his tent. The bags were falling apart anyway, he said.

The farmer who keeps losing everything is resigned.

“Whatever they do now we’ll accept it,” Elerius said. “I just wish they would have already done more.”

Source

The Rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

Haiti’s road to ruin

Starvation slams Haiti: Kids dying after 4 storms ravage crops, livestock

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

IDB helps, ICE hurts Haiti:Mr. President, are you listening?

IDB helps, ICE hurts Haiti KUDOS TO IDB

The decision by the Inter American Development Bank to offer Haiti an additional $50 million in assistance next year may be the best news that beleaguered Caribbean country has received in a long time. In a nation as poor as Haiti, that extra aid should make a difference in the lives of some of the neediest people.

”Haiti is the most fragile of our member countries,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno when he announced the grant last weekend. “No other nation in Latin America and the Caribbean is as vulnerable to economic shocks and natural disasters. As such, it requires extraordinary assistance from the international community.”

He’s right. Simply giving Haiti more money won’t put it on a stable footing, but the level of destitution is such that the country can’t even begin to think about stability or rebuilding until it can improve its ability to feed and house its people and restart the economy.

That requires foreign aid. Other nations and international organizations should follow the IDB’s example.

ICE: THUMBS DOWN

If the IDB is part of the solution for Haiti, the U.S. government agency that enforces immigration is part of the problem. By any measure, Haiti is ill-prepared to care for more destitute people, yet Immigration and Customs Enforcement — ICE — has resumed deportations after a brief respite because of the devastation wreaked by this year’s storms.

This wrongheaded decision makes no sense at all. The country remains in dire straits, a nation suffering from hunger, misery and a host of associated ills, yet ICE cited ”the circumstances in Haiti” as the basis for resuming deportations.

Six South Florida members of Congress — three Democrats and three Republicans — have appealed to the White House to adopt a more compassionate position. ”Sending Haitian nationals back to Haiti is both inhumane and unsafe,” Republican lawmakers Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in their joint letter.

Mr. President, are you listening?

Source

Poverty crushing the People of Haiti

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

Starvation slams Haiti: Kids dying after 4 storms ravage crops, livestock

Haiti’s road to ruin

The Rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 6:25 am  Comments Off on IDB helps, ICE hurts Haiti:Mr. President, are you listening?  
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1 Billion People Face Hunger

December 19 2008

The number of people affected by hunger has hit one billion, says the World Food Program (WFP). This year alone, 40 million people were pushed into hunger by the high world food prices, thus exerting more pressure on the food assistance of the WFP.

It therefore urged the international community to step up assistance and allocate resources to urgent hunger needs, warning that the WFP would not be able to feed the world’s hungry if assistance to the program continued to dwindle.

A statement by the Executive Director of WFP, Josette Sheeran, projected that food assistance to hunger hot spots would run out by March next year.

WFP aims to feed nearly 100 million of the world hungriest people in 2009 and will need close to $5.2million to sustain its activities in Haiti, D R Congo, Kenya and Ethiopia and other hunger hot spots.

It said if one percent of what the USA and Europe proposed to rescue their economies from total collapse was geared toward supporting the activities of WFP, “developed countries would make a mark toward meeting the other urgent hunger needs”.

“As we take care of Wall Street and Main Street, we cannot forget the places that have no streets,” the statement said, noting the need “to send a bold signal of hope to the world with a human rescue package.”

The statement said as the world population climbed gradually towards nine billion by 2050, there was the risk of hunger to spiral out of control.

“The world is poised to produce trillions for financial rescue packages. What will they produce for the human rescue?” it asked.

It said hunger negatively affected children particularly in their early years and prevented children from achieving their full intellectual capacity.

“We cannot afford to lose the next generation,” the statement noted.

In Ghana, WFP in collaboration with the Ghana School Feeding Program, supports the provision of meals to primary school children and food packages for malnourished children and underweight mothers.

This year, WFP Ghana injected nearly $6million into the national economy through its local procurement program.

Source

Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 6:10 am  Comments Off on 1 Billion People Face Hunger  
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The Rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

Soros Cyclone over Haiti
The rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

01

Thousands of Haitians demonstrated throughout Haiti on December 16, 2008. The date commemorated Haiti’s first free and democratic elections in 1990 that signaled the birth of the Lavalas political movement.

02

ON Dec. 16, 2008- Demonstrators demanded the return of Aristide who now lives in exile in the Republic of South Africa. They also demanded an end to the UN occupation, the release of all Lavalas political prisoners who still remain behind bars, and an end to the rampant profiteering by Haiti’s predatory wealthy elite that has resulted in growing misery and hunger.

By Kevin Pina

The US, France and Canada worked to oust the democratically elected government of Haiti in 2004 in a coup that was purposely cloaked in a so-called domestic rebellion. To this day an uncritical international press, that was itself culpable in hiding the truth behind Aristide’s ouster, continues to parrot ridiculous assertions about the reality behind his overthrow and the intense campaign of political repression against his Lavalas movement.

During 2004-2006, thousands of Haitians were murdered by the police, jailed or forced into exile. What emerged was a wholesale campaign of violence waged against Lavalas that was largely maintained through the silence of human rights organizations and the international press.

The unfortunate truth is that the police and their operatives in the Haitian state were often aided and abetted; at first, by U.S, Marines, Canadian Special Forces, French Foreign Legion; and later by U.N. forces in Haiti. The ultimate purpose and intent of this violent campaign has been all too clear, to mutilate Lavalas and alter, through violence, Haiti’s political landscape.

Yesterday, December 16, was the 18th anniversary of Haiti’s first free and democratic elections that gave rise to the Lavalas movement which catapulted Aristide into the presidency in 1990.

Thousands of Haitians took to the streets throughout the country to commemorate that day and to demand the return of Aristide who now lives in exile in the Republic of South Africa. They also demanded an end to the UN occupation, the release of all Lavalas political prisoners who still remain behind bars, and an end to the rampant profiteering by Haiti’s predatory wealthy elite that has resulted in growing misery and hunger.

The event stood as a stark reminder to those policy makers who were behind the coup, and those who continue to maintain order based upon its outcome, that the Lavalas movement in Haiti is far from dead.

This reality raises several important questions. The first question is to those who supported the coup and the violent campaign against the Lavalas movement: can you honestly say that Haitians are better off today than they were before February 29, 2004?

Did you really expect the intervention to improve Haiti when, in fact, all indicators are that Haitians are suffering today from levels of malnutrition and infant mortality that are considered high even by Haitian standards?

For everyone concerned about Haiti today: as the presidential elections approach in 2011 and Lavalas reorganizes as a serious contender, once again representing the poor majority, will democratic elections be realized?

Or will Haiti have to endure this endless cycle of foreign intervention all over again?

Can real democracy prevail even as powerful interests, from foreign governments and Haiti’s wealthy elite to a plethora of non-governmental organizations, risk losing their investments in altering the political landscape and turning the page on the Lavalas movement?

If history is any indicator, the current supporters and apologists for the cynical nation-building and social engineering project Haiti has become in the international community, have dug their tentacles deep into the flesh of Haiti’s body politic.

As an indicator of just how deep, the president of the Haitian Senate, Kely Bastien, said earlier this week that the majority of Haiti’s national budget (provided by the international community) is managed by non-governmental organizations. Still, they should know, the concepts of self-determination, freedom and liberty in Haitian culture runs more deeply to the bone.

Konbit and the concept of Haitians working for the benefit of Haitians, is not dead in Haiti. It quietly resides in the consciousness of the Haitian people and waits for the right moment to awaken.

Yesterday’s commemoration of December 16 is but one of several reminders that Haitians have not forgotten what it is like to run their own country and tend to their own affairs.

Contrary to popular belief, Haitians were not always forced to live off charity and rely upon the largess of foreign patrons.

For most Haitians, their dream is that this nightmare will soon come to an end, and for better or worse, that they will once again be free to rise and fall based upon their own strengths and efforts. That simple freedom, which many of Haiti’s patrons claim for themselves and take for granted, is the wellspring of dignity and self-sufficiency for any people. It is the real message of December 16 in Haiti.

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They need help they have been through many tragedies the 4 storms have made things much worse. One never sees anything on the News about Haiti like it is a secret. Where they have been and what they have been through should not be hidden , the rest of the world should know what is happening to them. Ignoring their plight is not acceptable.

To many are dieing. To many are starving.

They are getting some help  but it certainly isn’t enough.

Why is the world media ignoring them? One really has to wonder.

Few are helping Haitians recover from natural disaster-and still fewer see the bigger problem.

Haiti’s road to ruin

Haiti’s road to ruin

Tallulah Photography

This season’s hurricanes have made homes in Gonaïves, Haiti, unlivable, and conditions primed for environmental disaster will lead to more ecological refugees.

December 11, 2008
By Roberta Staley

Few are helping Haitians recover from natural disaster-and still fewer see the bigger problem

The drive north to Gonaïves from Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince is calculated in time rather than distance-it can take from three-and-a-half to five hours, depending upon rain and your four-wheel-drive’s suspension, to navigate the 150 kilometres of erosion-gnawed road that skirt the country’s coastline.

But nothing on the journey—not the cavernous potholes, trenches, or caved-in shoulders—prepares you for the apocalyptic dried-mud moonscape that is Gonaïves. More than two months after hurricanes Fay, Gustav, and Ike and tropical storm Hanna battered Haiti from August 17 to September 8, Gonaïves is barely better off than it was right after the tempests.

Mounds of dried mud cover city streets that United Nations tanks, motorcycles, and SUVs churn into thick dust that hangs like a grey-beige fog. Starving dogs, their vertebrae and ribs jutting through dry, pale hide, skirt among the wheels in a single-minded search for food, sometimes dragging limbs crushed by lurching vehicles.

The hurricanes skinned Gonaïves’s surrounding hills and mountains—denuded of trees for decades—as deftly as a taxidermist, allowing unfettered rivers of topsoil, clay, and water to submerge 80 percent of the city in goop more than a storey high. When the water evaporated, two-metre-deep mud remained. At least 466 people perished from August to September—more than double the number of people who were killed in the rest of the country. As of November, many of the surrounding rice, banana, and plantain fields were still flooded, as were homes on the outskirts of the city. (In total, about 70 percent of Haiti’s crops were wiped out, according to the United Nations’ World Food Programme.)

Bulldozers have started the cumbersome task of shifting tonnes of topsoil and clay from roadways, manoeuvring around overturned and crushed vehicles encased in mud like fossils. Some of the 300,000 residents who have returned to find the walls of their one- and two-room houses still standing are using shovels to dig out the thick, cracking earth, leaving chunks mixed with rotting trash outside doorways. But the homes are unlivable, and families dwell in tents on rooftops, leaving the city’s 40,000 female-headed households vulnerable to sexual predators. Too few trucks carry the mud away, and much of it is simply pushed into hills in the middle of intersections or along one side, creating a surreal version of a giant child’s sandbox.

But it is international apathy—as well as mud—that has Médecins Sans Frontières–Belgium (MSF–B) project coordinator Vikki Stienen so frustrated. Stienen, who is Dutch, arrived in Gonaïves in October, one month after the Nobel Peace Prize–winning NGO arrived to provide emergency medical care to hurricane survivors. MSF–B has managed—minimally—to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of citizens, creating a replacement water system and a new hospital as well as a mobile-clinic system serving the urban and rural populations still isolated by impassable streets and roads. A handsome, almost rakish, man with green eyes and a jagged front tooth, Stienen was given the task of creating a temporary replacement for the destroyed water and sanitation systems. With the water mains clogged with mud, MSF–B sends several tanker trucks of water every day from a deep well it drilled in September outside the city. The tankers drain chlorinated water into pipes that link to bladders, enormous canvas water containers that, in turn, are linked to communal taps scattered throughout the city.

With the project set to end January 15, the MSF–B team is working desperately to try to ensure the rudimentary water system is expanded and can be maintained by local government workers. However, with the city still blanketed by mud, it is impossible to create any sort of sanitation system, Stienen says. Without toilets, people relieve themselves in the street and behind the mud mounds, with the result that dried excrement mixes with the dust-laden air. Rebuilding the sanitation system is dependent upon all the mud being cleared away, a task that could take a year, Stienen says.

MSF–B feels isolated and overwhelmed by the need; MINUSTAH, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, should be doing more, Stienen says. “You don’t like to bash the UN, but we had a coordination meeting and you would think they were talking about something else,” says Stienen, leaning back, loose-limbed, in a white plastic chair in the shade, dressed in wide-leg linen pants, brightly coloured loose shirt, and red flip-flops in the more than 30 ° C heat. “Other NGOs and the UN, you see their reaction and it’s as if they don’t care. Where does this apathy come from? Why are they so indifferent?”

Before the hurricanes, most of Gonaïves’s 300,000 citizens obtained their water from about 5,000 communal wells. However, these are also contaminated with mud and must be cleaned out and fitted with new pumps, something MSF–B is also trying to do before it withdraws. “Normally,” Stienen says, “this would be the World Health Organization who would do this, but they’re not here either.”

Stienen is especially worried by the UN’s apparent inability to ensure the safety of the citizens of Gonaïves. The incidence of rape is so high among women, perched on roofs with their children in the dark, that MSF–B has added a psychologist to its mobile clinic to provide trauma counselling. “You ask them, ‘How long will you sit on your roof?’ They say, ‘We are forgotten by the government and the UN,’ ” Stienen says. “This is not security, to sit on the roof with no electricity. So it adds to my question: ‘Is the government and UN taking it seriously?’ ”

Stienen muses that what lies at the root of international apathy is simple cynicism over Haiti’s propensity for disaster. Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, weathered a severe storm four years ago when hurricane Jeanne killed about 3,000 people. Foreign aid rebuilt the water and sanitation system in Gonaïves and the international community faces the obligation of rebuilding it once more. Once it’s constructed, it is only a matter of time before more hurricanes destroy it again. “People say Haiti is complicated, but this is not a reason not to care,” Stienen says. “Maybe that’s where the apathy comes from, because this country is unmanageable.”

Brazil’s Maj.-Gen. Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz, force commander of MINUSTAH since January 2007, addresses the question of security several days later in an interview in Port-au-Prince. In Gonaïves, the main task of the local UN force, which consists of about 500 Argentine and Pakistani troops as well as local police, is to maintain a safe environment, but “in practice we keep the stability through support of the local police,” Santos Cruz says.

During the hurricanes, he says, UN troops threw themselves into humanitarian assistance: evacuating patients from La Providence Hospital (a once-pretty white-and-green facility, renovated after the 2004 hurricane, that is now mired in dried, grey muck), saving the medicines, and assisting birthing women. Now, Santos Cruz says, the main focus is guarding the warehouse where supplies are stored for the World Food Programme (WFP), which allocated US$33 million for emergency food supplies at the beginning of September. (Only one-third of this amount has been forthcoming from member states.) However, Stienen condemned a decision by the WFP to stop distributing food after fights broke out at a depot weeks after the hurricanes. The WFP cited mismanagement of the depots and a lack of safety as reasons for stopping distribution. WFP Haiti spokesperson Hilary Clarke says that the UN organization still managed to deliver food to women staying in shelters in Gonaïves.

Regular food distribution has resumed, Clarke says, and virtually all of Gonaïves’s citizens are receiving food packages every two weeks containing such staples as rice, beans, and oil, most of it imported from the United States. Still, some children have sickened from lack of food and show signs of protein starvation, called kwashiorkor: reddish, thinning hair; enlarged abdomen; sad, sagging faces; stick-thin arms and legs; and edema so severe it cracks the skin. At MSF–B’s new Hôpital Secours Gonaïves, built in a warehouse once used by the humanitarian group CARE, 15-month-old Cindjina sits on the lap of her mother, Thelse Almonur, in the pediatric ward. Cindjina was 5.9 kilograms, the average weight of a two-month-old, when she was admitted September 27. Thelse is feeding her daughter a peanut-butter paste mixed with vitamins. The paste has helped Cindjina gain weight and, six weeks later, she is up to 6.5 kilograms, still four kilograms below the average weight for her age.

Generally, about one-third of children in Haiti suffer from chronic malnutrition. However, a recent survey by the aid organization Action Contre la Faim showed the malnutrition level in Gonaïves to be about four percent, due in large part to the large-scale food distribution, Clarke says.

Stienen shakes his head. “In Gonaïves, you see more than chronic malnutrition. It is a weakened population, with the most vulnerable being the children. Those families with four to five children, they suffer the most.”

The future does not look promising for Gonaïves’s people. National food shortages have put the country in a “highly volatile situation”, according to the WFP’s Bettina Luescher, speaking from her UN office in New York City. The WFP is planning to begin phasing out food distribution in Gonaïves in 2009 to “avoid creating a context of assistance and food dependency”.

Some people think that a simple solution to this enormous problem would be to move Gonaïves, which sits below sea level at the confluence of three rivers, to higher ground. Stienen laughs humourlessly at the notion; this will never happen, he says. There are neither sufficient resources nor the political will to relocate 300,000 souls up the steep, bare, infertile, erosion-prone hills and mountains.

What lies at the root of this dilemma? Environmental degradation caused by the wholesale cutting of trees. A century ago, Haiti was a tropical rainforest with huge stands of mahogany. However, 20th-century exploitation by foreign corporations and the Haitian government’s need to service an egregious national debt owed its former slave-owning colonial master, France, meant that much of the forest cover was felled for cash. Now only 1.5 percent of the country is forested, according to the UN—a sharp contrast to the lush Dominican Republic, a country adjoining Haiti on the same West Indies island.

But the people of Haiti are also responsible for deforestation. The majority of Haiti’s 9.5 million people rely upon charcoal for cooking; most electricity is privately generated and there is no gas or kerosene. Charcoal is made by cutting down a tree, leaving it to dry in the sun, then slowly cooking it in a makeshift kiln. In an effort to preserve the life of the tree, the stump is left, with the hope it will send out shoots. This woeful attempt at silviculture is largely unsuccessful. In the area around Gonaïves, Stienen says, there are fewer trees than there were in 2004.

The string of environmental disasters experienced by Gonaïves, as well as other places around the world, is giving rise to a world phenomenon: ecological refugees. Rising sea levels and more destructive cyclones and hurricanes that experts link to global warming, as well as widespread deforestation and erosion, have created populations of desperate people fleeing disasters. In Gonaïves, for example, Stienen estimates that there are only 10,000 male-headed households, one quarter the number of female-headed families. The rest of the men have fled to other countries for jobs and a more secure life. However, their families cannot follow and are left to carry on a life of struggle and, possibly, worse hunger than they face now.

But fleeing can be as dangerous as staying. No one knows this better than 22-year-old Timanit Cherisma. Cherisma lies silent on her side in the obstetrics ward of the MSF–B hospital, an intravenous drip in one arm. Just an hour ago, Cherisma gave birth to twin girls. But there is no joy in the room, and the only sound is muted mewing, like new kittens, from the twins, bound in a blue blanket on a cot. The father of the infants died after his boat capsized while he was fleeing Haiti to try to find work in the Bahamas. The twins have no home to go to—it was washed away in the flood. “I see no hope for the babies,” Cherisma’s mother, 48-year-old Tazilia Esenvile, says in Creole.

Back in Port-au-Prince, a handful of courageous people are making an 11th-hour attempt to turn back the tide of total environmental degradation in Haiti, which, at 27,750 square kilometres, is about three-quarters the size of Vancouver Island. The Fondation Seguin was cofounded in 2004 by Serge Cantave to try to save the country’s last remaining pockets of natural forest and to educate teachers and youth about conservation. Through its Ecole Verte program, a sense of responsibility toward the environment is also being cultivated when students travel to mountain regions to plant trees. To date, 30,000 trees have been planted by students, says Cantave, whose organization is financially supported by the development organization Yéle Haiti, headed by Haitian-American hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean.

Without reforestation, Haiti will simply wash away into the ocean. “It will disappear,” says Cantave, who estimates it will take a century of dedicated tree-planting to reverse the clear-cutting. The way this can be achieved, Cantave says, is for the Fondation Seguin to work with an international network of ecological groups. Cantave looks to British Columbia, which has spawned generations of dedicated environmentalists, for help in coordinating tree-planting programs and educating Haiti’s young. “We are asking you to share with us your experiences,” Cantave says. “We are begging the international community for support.” (Another organization, the Lambi Fund of Haiti, which is allied to Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize–winner Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement, has plans to plant one million trees.)

Haiti, despite the meagre streaks of green across its topography, is important internationally for its unique biodiversity: it is a potential source of medicinal plants and a key resting and feeding place for migrating birds, Cantave says. For example, Canada’s black-throated blue warbler, which breeds in southeastern Canada but winters in the Caribbean, stops in Haiti’s Parc National La Visite, a 2,000-hectare oasis. (Haiti’s national parks include Sources Puantes, at 10 hectares; Sources Chaudes, 20 hectares; Forêt des Pins, 30,000 hectares; Sources Cerisier, 10 hectares; and Fort Jacques et Alexandre, which is only nine hectares.)

Some support has been forthcoming. The German international-cooperation enterprise Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit recently donated about $800,000 to the Fondation Seguin for a special project to plant 120,000 fruit, evergreen, and spice trees, as well as pasture grass to retain the soil. Cantave says the project is married to economic and infrastructure development for surrounding subsistence farmers to encourage them to support reforestation efforts.

Is Haiti doomed to be a country of no hope? Many, it would seem, despair that Haiti’s political, economic, social, and ecological wrongs will keep it in a state of desperation that will never be overcome. Yet if history has proven anything, it is that human will is an unstoppable force. People like Stienen and Cantave, with their sense of moral outrage, are an inspiration to the rest of the world to show the will to help Haiti overcome the myriad of problems afflicting its beleaguered people.

Source

MSF/Doctors Without Boarders Canada

Starvation slams Haiti: Kids dying after 4 storms ravage crops, livestock

December 7 2008

BY JACQUELINE CHARLES

BAIE D’ORANGE, Haiti

The slow road to death runs high above the scenic coastline, past the crumbled bridges and buried rivers. It traverses a jagged trail passing green slopes and red fertile dirt before arriving here: an isolated mountain village where little Haitian girls dream of eating rice and the doctor is a three-hour walk away.

This is the place where children, suffering from stunted growth, look half their age, where struggling mothers cry that their half-starved babies with the brittle orange hair — evidence of malnutrition — neither crawl nor walk.

“He doesn’t cry, ‘Manman.’ Or ‘Papa,’ ” says Christmene Normilus, holding her malnourished 2-year-old son, Jean-Roselle Tata.

Emergency intervention
In the past month, international aid workers and doctors have airlifted 46 children on the brink of death from this southeastern village and neighboring communities to hospitals in Port-au-Prince, and elsewhere in the south.

The emergency intervention came after it was reported that 26 children from the Baie d’Orange region had died from severe malnutrition in the wake of the four successive storms that devastated Haiti in less than a month this summer.

But long before the deaths and hospitalizations plunged this poverty-stricken nation into the global spotlight amid fears of storm-related famine, the people of this farming community already were battling hunger.

Proud, they reluctantly admit that it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to feed their children, many of whom already suffer from chronic malnutrition.

Their story is repeated throughout the countryside, where a lack of roads, potable water and public-health facilities, as well as deforestation, already had Haiti’s rural poor living in life-threatening misery before the four back-to-back storms washed out more roads, killed livestock and wiped out crops.

“We can’t give our children what they need,” said Jilesca Fulcal, 37, a mother of seven who recently sought medical care for her 2-year-old son, Jean-Samuel Jules. “There is no food. No work for the people. The children can’t live like that. The children are suffering in their mothers’ arms.”

In recent weeks, the United Nations World Food Program has delivered food to the region, taking care to treat the children who are severely malnourished. But with many parts of the hilly hinterland accessible only by foot and horseback, residents say some people still have no access to the food.

Unseen suffering
Unlike Port-au-Prince, where Haiti’s crushing poverty is visible in the crowded slums and on the streets, the misery here is through what visitors don’t see: the eight- to 10-hour walk for water because there are no rivers, able-bodied young men toiling in the fields, the daily struggle to find food — including three hours to walk 12 miles on a rugged road to see the doctor.

“What’s happening in Baie d’Orange is the result of poor political decision-making that has happened over several years,” said Fednel Zidor, the government delegate for the southeast, who has gone on the radio to bring attention to the community’s plight. “No one paid any attention to it.”

Source

A bit of history.

January 7 2005

Photos: © 2005 Haiti Information Project – A UN armored personnel vehicle rolls through Delmas 2 in Bel Air. Five people were killed on January 5 when the UN entered the pro-Lavalas neighborhood under the pretext of cleaning the streets of garbage. Although the UN force took advantage of several photo opportunities to show their public works projects yesterday, their only duty on January 5 was to enter the roiling slum on heavily armed patrols. ©2004 Haiti Information ProjectOn October 28, 2004, the Haitian police entered the slum of Bel Air and shot these four young men execution style. Now that the UN controls Bel Air, members of Aristide’s Lavalas party demanded the UN stop the police and the former military from committing more murders in their communities. Some residents decided to leave Bel Air after the UN assumed control of the streets on January 5, 2005. Although the UN claims responsibility for security, members of Lavalas accuse the multinational force of allowing the Haitian National Police  to execute armed raids in poor neighborhoods where support for ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide remains strong. Despite UN claims of having entered Bel Air with force on January 5th to clear the streets of trash, other than a few carefully planned photo opportunites with the Associated Press, there was little evidence of progress the next day.

A UN armored personnel vehicle rolls through a nearly deserted street in the neighborhood of Bel Air. Residents claim five persons were killed on January 5, 2005 when the UN invaded the slum with hundreds of Brazilian troops under the guise of street cleaning and civic improvement projects

UN occupies Bel Air in Haiti
Port au Prince, Haiti Hundreds of Brazilian soldiers and special units of the Haitian National Police stormed the pro-Aristide neighborhood of Bel Air in the early morning hours of January 5. Residents were surprised and frightened by the armed incursion as gunfire broke out. Witnesses reported that five persons were killed as the operation unfolded.

Bel Air is a slum in the capital of Port au Prince that has served as a launching site for demonstrations demanding the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was ousted last February 29th amid charges he was kidnapped by U.S. Marines and remains in exile in the Republic of South Africa. The Bel Air slum had been under siege by police since violence erupted last September 30th after police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators.

Following the military operation, UN peacekeepers were seen providing photo opportunities to the press as they fixed a few water pipes and cleared the carcasses of burned out vehicles blocking the road. One resident who refused to give their name fearing reprisals stated, “Do you think we want to live like this? We are more afraid of the police coming in here and killing everyone than we are of the rats and the garbage. Those wrecked cars were our security because it stopped the police from coming in here at night and shooting us. Now that the UN has opened the door for them we don’t know what is going to happen to us. Look what they did in Cite de Dieu yesterday.”

The UN incursion came one day after Haitian police were accused of committing another deadly raid in a neighborhood close to Haiti’s National Theater. In Cite de Dieu the police reportedly killed six people including a 16 year-old girl and later justified the slaughter claiming they were bandits.

An unidentified representative of Aristide’s Lavalas party commented on the situation, “If the UN is really going to provide security to our communities then they must stop the police from murdering our citizens. We all want peace but you cannot blame people for wanting to defend themselves while the UN allows the police to commit murder and fill the jails with political prisoners. They must stop the police and the former military from murdering our citizens.

“Last October 28th the police executed four young men they thought were Lavalas and the UN did nothing to stop them.

“The UN cannot on one-hand say they are bringing security while on the other they claim to be assisting the police as they kill us, beat us and arrest us. It is a contradiction they must resolve or there will never be peace. They must control the police and stop the killing! They must support us in releasing all the political prisoners filling our jails!

“For now, it appears the UN are equally responsible for this partisan campaign to exterminate Lavalas that is clearly meant to silence our opposition to the coup of February 29, 2004.”

Source

San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Kevin Pina Held in Haiti

by Leisa Faulkner
September 12, 2005

Reporter Kevin Pina opened his family home to me last month in Port au Prince, Haiti when violence closed the orphanage where I usually stay to do human rights work. Tonight, Kevin sleeps in a jail cell like those I visited in Cap Haitian just weeks ago. He has become part of the story he risks his life daily to tell.

UN works to squash followers of Aristide in Haiti Port-au-Prince, Haiti Corralling residents and kicking down doors, heavily armed troops of the UN and the Police Nationale de Haiti invaded several neighborhoods of Cite Soleil one day after an alleged attack on the headquarters of the mission of the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul. Jan 9

Deaths reported as UN enters Haiti slum Port au Prince, Haiti Sustained and heavy gunfire erupted in the pro-Aristide slum of Cite Soleil at about 3 a.m. this morning and was followed by an incursion into the area by hundreds of Brazilian and Jordanian troops of the United Nations. – Dec 14 2004

Tearing up the Charter: UN’s Erosion Continues in Haiti Flashpoints Radio’s Dennis Bernstein interviews Kevin Pina and Brian Concannon. Oct 18 2004


Council On Hemispheric Affairs

Aiding Oppression in Haiti: Kofi Annan and General Heleno’s Complicity in Latortue’s Jackal Regime Dec 16 2004

Haiti’s Ship Sails on Without a Captain and With a Very Disreputable Crew: Kofi Annan, Roger Noriega, Colin Powell and Lula of Brazil have much to answer for failing to implement the UN’s Stabilization Mission – Dec 9

Brazil’s Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti: Doing God’s or Washington’s Work? -Dec 6

Oh, When All is Looted & Pillaged, Your Hunger Will Remain
February 28 2004
When President Bush took to the airwaves on Wednesday of this week, touting his Haitian counter-exodus measures, my suspicions of a repeat of 1991s coup d’etat were confirmed. The Coast Guard is to establish a wet line-of-defense, protecting the Cuban Shangri-La of Miami from boatloads of greasy, AIDS infected, odiferous Haitians. A carte blanche gifted to the water patrol units, granting cutter vessels total amnesty from any outcry resulting from dubious repatriation practices. The message was clear; this country will not tolerate another influx of non-European immigrants, especially those who defied our French brethren 200 years past.

Canada The Coup Coalition
March 7 2004
It looks like Paul Martin is already putting his mark on foreign affairs, with a shameful pandering to America in this. It was interesting to watch the hesitation in Foreign Affairs as the old hands working to save democracy in Haiti got the rug pulled out from under them by what Jamaica is already calling “new Canadians” – not meant to imply an improved version. I guess the business at any price types in the Liberal party have finally gotten their way.
So Americans, have no fear, or minor annoyance anyway – Canada will once again help hold the bag for you while you fill it with the corpses of anyone who dares to oppose your God given right to tell everyone else in the world how to manage their economy and live their lives.

Operation Enduring Sweatshop Another Bush Brings Hell to Haiti
March 10 2004

This week, the Bush administration added another violent “regime change” notch to its gunbelt, toppling the democratically elected president of Haiti and replacing him with an unelected gang of convicted killers, death squad leaders, militarists, narcoterrorists, CIA operatives, hereditary elitists and corporate predators – a bit like Team Bush itself, in other words.

Hidden from the Headlines
Haiti After the Coup The Final Chapter Has Yet To Be Written

When Hidden from the Headlines was first published in August 2003, we wrote: Since the election of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2000, the United States has moved to sabotage Haiti’s fledgling democracy through an economic aid embargo, massive funding of elite opposition groups, support for paramilitary coup attempts, and a propaganda offensive against the Aristide government. Hidden from the headlines for years, this campaign has now become an open effort to destroy a popularly elected, progressive government.

And I am sure the Sanctions they were under also helped them into extreme poverty as well.

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

Poverty crushing the People of Haiti /History on Sanctions

Save the Children has served the needs of some of Haiti’s poorest children and families since 1985. Today, through advocacy, by reinforcing government social services and supporting community-based development programs in protection, education, health, food security, livelihoods and humanitarian relief, we are improving the lives of some 425,000 children and adults in urban and rural communities in six provinces and 33 districts. To better serve the great needs of children and best use the vital resources of our donors, Save the Children recently merged programs and activities with other members of the International Save the Children Alliance who also have programs in Haiti.

Challenges for Children

Of all the nations in the Western Hemisphere, none faces greater challenges to improve the lives of its children than Haiti. In addition to its poor development indicators, Haiti is the country most affected by HIV/AIDS outside of sub-Saharan Africa, which aggravates the well-being of children whose health is already compromised by poverty and inadequate access to basic health care.

Improving the health, education and food security of poor children and women.
Improving the health, education and food security of poor children and women.

Numbers at a Glance

  • Average life expectancy in Haiti is 52 years.
  • Under-5 mortality rate is 120 per 1,000 live births.
  • Some 3.8 percent of the population is believed to be HIV positive, among them 17,000 children.
  • Some 500,000 girls and boys are out of school and some 300,000 children live in domestic servitude.

Our Response

Protection: In urban areas, including the capital of Port-au-Prince, Save the Children supports welcome centers for street children that provide food and shelter, education and health programs and counseling and play opportunities. Centers offer scholarship assistance so that children can attend school and provide on-site lessons to prepare children for formal schooling. Save the Children also supports children’s rights through direct local interventions and national advocacy. Through a network of children’s clubs, we educate girls and boys on their rights, offers recreational youth activities and endorse positive civic participation.

Education: Save the Children implements a rural education program in over 200 community, government and mission schools. Through it, we reach over 22,000 students in Haiti’s Central Plateau, Southeast and Artibonite regions. We advocate for state recognition and more resources for the country’s growing network of community-run schools. We also pilot school readiness programs for pre-school girls and boys to increase their chances for later educational success.  Primary children benefit from our school health and nutrition activities, receiving de-worming medication, iodine, iron supplementation and hygiene training, all of which help them stay in school. Innovative radio learning programs further extend the reach of our educational initiatives. And, Haiti is also part of Save the Children’s Rewrite the Future campaign to support education in conflict-affected countries.

Community Health: In partnership with the Ministry of Health, Save the Children provides quality primary health care to mothers and young children in the Artibonite and Central provinces. We help prevent and treat malaria, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. We also train health care workers, invest in health infrastructure and medical equipment and develop community-based health committees to promote local participation and community well-being. In addition, we vaccinate children, provide them with supplemental vitamins and micronutrients, promote the benefits of breastfeeding and address childhood illnesses such as diarrhea. Save the Children projects also increase access to potable drinking water and oral re-hydration therapies. Reproductive health activities promote family planning, pre- and post-natal visits, safe deliveries and sexual education.

HIV/AIDS: Save the Children implements an HIV/AIDS program which has been greatly scaled up over the past year. Its goals are to improve access to prevention services and testing and counseling, mobilize community support for orphans and vulnerably children, improve the management of antiretroviral treatment programs and develop a coordinated system of care in the Artibonite, Central, Western and Nippes provinces. Activities include: mobilizing communities to assist persons living with and affected by HIV/AIDS; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; and promotion of safer sexual practices among youth. We help form local support groups and health committees and organize public awareness campaigns such as weekly radio broadcasts. Save the Children also leads a consortium of other organizations which is expanding HIV/AIDS programs into disadvantaged rural areas.

Food Security: Save the Children helps improve the nutritional status of children in eight districts in the Central and Artibonite provinces. We monitor children’s nutrition, provide food to pregnant and lactating women, children under age 2 and malnourished children; improve community health and nutrition practices and promote improved agricultural production and marketing to bolster local economic growth.

Humanitarian Relief: Save the Children provides humanitarian relief and child-centered assistance for children and families affected by natural disasters. Over the past five years, we also have conducted community-based disaster preparedness and mitigation activities.

Sponsorship: In Haiti, Save the Children sponsors are one of our most important resources. Through this support, we improve the lives of thousands of children every year by providing primary education and school health and nutrition programs in the Maïssade district in the Central Plateau. We are currently exploring expansion possibilities to other regions.

Looking Forward for Children

Save the Children continues to integrate its protection, education, primary health care, HIV/AIDS prevention and food security programs, while promoting household economic growth activities in communities. We also plan to broaden our impact through expanded geographic coverage in both urban and rural areas and increase our advocacy work for children’s rights.

More Teachers Help Make a Difference for Mona

Like many children from the community of Maissade, Mona began attending the local public school when she was 6. She is now in 3rd grade, but despite good attendance and health, Mona did not pass the tests that would have promoted her to the next grade. Save the Children learned that the school Mona attended had six classrooms managed by only one director and one teacher.

Save the Children responds to the shortage of teachers in public schools by training and placing new teachers in classrooms. In partnership with a local university and the Ministry of Education, high school graduates receive intensive teacher training followed by an assignment to a classroom that previously had no teacher.

The increased teacher-student ratio has made a difference in the quality of learning for Mona. She passed all of her exams; many girls just like Mona are advancing to the next grades.

Loudouide and Friends: A Chance to Attend School

“Because of Save the Children, all the children in my community can go to school and I am happy about that.”

Loudouide and her family live in a remote part of Maïssade District, an eight-hour drive from the capital of Port-au-Prince. In a country where half a million children do not go to school because their families cannot afford to send them, and only 2 percent finish secondary education, Loudouide and her village friends are benefiting from a golden opportunity – a chance to attend school.

Thanks to our community schools initiative, there has been a 20 percent increase in the number of children attending school in the areas where we work. In a country where nearly one person in every two is illiterate, this presents a life-changing opportunity for children such as Loudouide and her friends, their families and community.

Donate now to support Save the Children’s work in the U.S. and around the world

Large sections of Haiti’s population, particularly in the capital, Port-au- Prince, live in precarious conditions due to poverty, neglect, urban violence and lack of access to basic healthcare. Violence continues, especially in Martissant, where MSF treated over 200 gunshot injuries. An MSF survey between January 2006 to July 2007 showed that nearly one in four deaths in Martissant was related to violence.

Violence and conflict
Since December 2006, MSF has operated an emergency health center in Martissant, a neighborhood characterized by daily violence and a lack of medical facilities. Every day, patients are referred from the emergency health center to the other hospitals where MSF works. MSF established a number of mobile clinics in the heart of the Martissant neighborhoods, with medical teams offering primary healthcare to some 400 patients a day.

At the end of 2007, MSF handed over its project in the slum of Cité Soleil, where the security situation has improved, to the Ministry of Health. The project started in July 2005 to guarantee access to care for victims of the violence. The ongoing presence of MSF teams, even during the most intense fighting, resulted in 72,000 consultations at the primary health center of Chapi and 32,000 at Choscal hospital, where more than 13,000 patients were hospitalized. However, since April the situation has got better, with no patient with a bullet wound seen at the Tuscaloosa hospital and people in the neighborhood no longer living in fear and isolation.

MSF continued to provide medical and surgical care at its Trinite trauma center in Port-au- Prince, admitting more than 14,000 patients compared with 11,000 in 2006. The number of admissions for gunshot wounds fell from 1,300 in 2006 to 500 in 2007, although the number of victims of stab wounds, rape and beatings continued to rise. In total, 2,847 patients were admitted for violence-related trauma.

Throughout the year, MSF medical teams focused on improving quality of care, working to perfect the recently introduced surgical technique of orthopedic internal fixation. A total of 205 patients benefited from this technique, which sharply reduced their length of stay in hospital.

MSF also operates a physical rehabilitation center where patients needing specialized post-operative treatment can receive physiotherapy and psychological care.

In June, MSF increased its capacity to treat victims of sexual violence in the capital, offering comprehensive psychological and medical treatment. The program treated 242 victims between July 2006 and June 2007. Awareness campaigns emphasizing confidentiality and the need to seek treatment within 72 hours resumed in July in the shantytowns and city center.

Maternal health needs
Maternal mortality rates in Haiti are the highest in the western hemisphere (approximately 630 women die for 100,000 births), mainly due to eclampsia. The insecure urban slum environment where many women live limits their access to healthcare as physical and sexual violence, extortion and common crime are serious threats.

In 2006, the emergency maternal Jude Ann hospital was opened in Port-au-Prince, the only hospital in Haiti to offer free emergency obstetric care. By the end of 2007, over 13,000 women had given birth here. MSF also started providing services in fixed clinics in selected slum communities, with ante- and post-natal care and a referral service in the three slums of La Saline, Pelé Simon and Solino. Mental health services will be added in 2008.

MSF has worked in Haiti since 1991.

More Reports or to Donate

141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

Sign Petition to Ban DU

What is DU?

  • Depleted Uranium is a waste product of the nuclear enrichment process.
  • After natural uranium has been ‘enriched’ to concentrate the isotope U235 for use in nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons, what remains is DU.
  • The process produces about 7 times more DU than enriched uranium.

Despite claims that DU is much less radioactive than natural uranium, it actually emits about 75% as much radioactivity. It is very dense and when it strikes armour it burns (it is ‘pyrophoric’). As a waste product, it is stockpiled by nuclear states, which then have an interest in finding uses for it.

DU is used as the ‘penetrator’ – a long dart at the core of the weapon – in armour piercing tank rounds and bullets. It is usually alloyed with another metal. When DU munitions strike a hard target the penetrator sheds around 20% of its mass, creating a fine dust of DU, burning at extremely high temperatures.

This dust can spread 400 metres from the site immediately after an impact. It can be resuspended by human activity, or by the wind, and has been reported to have travelled twenty-five miles on air currents. The heat of the DU impact and secondary fires means that much of the dust produced is ceramic, and can remain in the lungs for years if inhaled.

Who uses it?
At least 18 countries are known to have DU in their arsenals:

  • UK
  • US
  • France
  • Russia
  • China
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Israel
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Belarus
  • Pakistan
  • Oman

Most of these countries were sold DU by the US, although the UK, France and Pakistan developed it independently.

Only the US and the UK are known to have fired it in warfare. It was used in the 1991 Gulf War, in the 2003 Iraq War, and also in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s and during the NATO war with Serbia in 1999. While its use has been claimed in a number of other conflicts, this has not been confirmed.

Health Problems

  • DU is both chemically toxic and radioactive. In laboratory tests it damages human cells, causing DNA mutations and other carcinogenic effects.
  • Reports of increased rates of cancer and birth defects have consistently followed DU usage.
  • Representatives from both the Serbian and Iraqi governments have linked its use with health problems amongst civilians.
  • Many veterans remain convinced DU is responsible for health problems they have experienced since combat

Information from animal studies suggests DU may cause several different kinds of cancer. In rats, DU in the blood-stream builds up in the kidneys, bone, muscles, liver, spleen, and brain. In other studies it has been shown to cross both the blood-brain barrier and the placenta, with obvious implications for the health of the foetus. In general, the effects of DU will be more severe for women and children than for healthy men.

In 2008 a study by the Institute of Medicine in the US listed medical conditions that were a high priority to study for possible links with DU exposure: cancers of the lung, testes and kidney; lung disease; nervous system disorders; and reproductive and developmental problems.


Epidemiology

What is missing from the picture is large-scale epidemiological studies on the effects of DU – where negative health effects match individuals with exposure to DU. None of the studies done on the effects on soldiers have been large enough to make meaningful conclusions. No large scale studies have been done on civilian populations.

In the case of Iraq, where the largest volume of DU has been fired, the UK and US governments are largely responsible for the conditions which have made studies of the type required impossible. Despite this, these same governments use the scientific uncertainties to maintain that it is safe, and that concerns about it are misplaced.

However, in cases where human health is in jeopardy, a precautionary approach should prevail. Scientific scepticism should prevent a hazardous course of action from being taken until safety is assured. To allow it to continue until the danger has been proved beyond dispute is an abuse of the principle of scientific caution.

Environmental Impacts
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has studied some of the sites contaminated by DU in the Balkans, but it has only been able to produce a desk study on Iraq. Bullets and penetrators made of DU that do not hit armour become embedded in the ground and corrode away, releasing material into the environment.

It is not known what will happen to DU in the long term in such circumstances. The UNEP mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina found DU in drinking water, and could still detect it in the air after seven years – the longest period of time a study has been done after the end of a conflict.

Uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, so DU released into the environment will be a hazard for unimaginable timescales.

Decontaminating sites where DU has been used requires detailed scrutiny and monitoring, followed by the removal and reburial of large amounts of soil and other materials. Monitoring of groundwater for contamination is also advised by UNEP. CADU calls for the cost of cleaning up and decontaminating DU affected sites to be met by the countries responsible for the contamination.

The Campaign
CADU is a founder member of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) – now comprising over 102 member organisations in 27 countries.

CADU and ICBUW campaign for a precautionary approach: there is significant evidence that DU is dangerous, and faced with scientific uncertainty the responsible course of action is for it not to be used. To this end CADU and ICBUW are working towards an international treaty that bans the use of uranium in weapons akin to those banning cluster bombs and landmines.

Through the efforts of campaigners worldwide the use of DU has been condemned by four resolutions in the European Parliament, been the subject of an outright ban in Belgium, and brought onto the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly.

Source

Sign Petition to Ban DU

International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons

141 states support second uranium weapons resolution in UN General Assembly vote

The United Nations General Assembly has passed, by a huge majority, a resolution requesting its agencies to update their positions on the health and environmental effects of uranium weapons.
December 2 2008

The resolution, which had passed the First Committee stage on October 31st by 127 states to four, calls on three UN agencies – the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update their positions on uranium weapons. The overwhelming support for the text reflects increasing international concern over the long-term impact of uranium contamination in post-conflict environments and military ranges.

In the 17 years since uranium weapons were first used on a large scale in the 1991 Gulf War, a huge volume of peer-reviewed research has highlighted previously unknown pathways through which exposure to uranium’s heavy metal toxicity and radioactivity may damage human health.
Throughout the world, parliamentarians have responded by supporting calls for a moratorium and ban, urging governments and the military to take a precautionary approach. However the WHO and IAEA have been slow to react to this wealth of new evidence and it is hoped that this resolution will go some way to resolving this situation.

In a welcome move, the text requests that all three agencies work closely with countries affected by the use of uranium weapons in compiling their research. Until now, most research by UN member states has focused on exposure in veterans and not on the civilian populations living in contaminated areas. Furthermore, recent investigations into US veteran studies have found them to be wholly incapable of producing useful data.

The text also repeats the request for states to submit reports and opinions on uranium weapons to the UN Secretary General in the process that was started by last year’s resolution. Thus far, 19 states have submitted reports to the Secretary General; many of them call for action on uranium weapons and back a precautionary approach. It also places the issue on the agenda of the General Assembly’s 65th Session; this will begin in September 2010.

The First Committee vote saw significant voting changes in comparison to the previous year’s resolution, with key EU and NATO members such as the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Iceland changing position to support calls for further action on the issue. These changes were echoed at the General Assembly vote. Once again Japan, which has been under considerable pressure from campaigners, supported the resolution.

Of the permanent five Security Council members, the US, UK and France voted against. They were joined by Israel. Russia abstained and China refused to vote.

The list of states abstaining from the vote, while shorter than in 2007, still contains Belgium, the only state to have implemented a domestic ban on uranium weapons, a fact that continues to anger Belgian campaigners. It is suspected that the Belgian government is wary of becoming isolated on the issue internationally. Two Nordic states, Denmark and Sweden continue to blow cold, elsewhere in Europe Poland, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain are also dragging their feet, in spite of a call for a moratorium and ban by 94% of MEPs earlier this year. Many of the abstainers are recent EU/NATO accession states or ex-Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan.

Australia and Canada, both of whom have extensive uranium mining interests and close ties to US foreign policy also abstained.

The resolution was submitted by Cuba and Indonesia on behalf of the League of Non-Aligned States.

Voting results in full

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine.

Absent: Central African Republic, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Monaco, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia.

Source

Honor Vets by Learning About Depleted Uranium

November 11, 2008

by Barbara Bellows

As Europe mourns in Verdun today for those lost in “The War to End All Wars”, World War I, we could look to another moment in European history to shed light on the most aggressively silenced story of the Bush administration.

In late 2000 and January 2001, reports were exploding across Europe about the rise in cancer amongst NATO soldiers who had served in the “peacekeeping missions” in Bosnia and Kosovo. The effects of the depleted uranium in the U.S. and U.K. weapons could not be ignored.

But history shows that the United Nations and the World Health Organization could be intimidated. The report from the WHO – that detailed how the DU vaporized upon impact into tiny particles that were breathed in, or consumed through the mouth or entered through open wounds, where the irradiating bits attacked cells all the way through the body, causing mutations along the way – was shelved under pressure from the U.S.

Even now, the major U.S. news organizations do not touch the subject, though the international press cannot ignore it. Even last month, a Middle Eastern Reuters reporter discussed the health damages because of the contaminated environment with Iraqi En Iraqi Environment Minister Nermeen Othman,

“When we talk about it, people may think we are overreacting. But in fact the environmental catastrophe that we inherited in Iraq is even worse than it sounds.”

And The Tehran Times further endangers their country by continuing to report on the problem, calling it a war crime.

And across the internet, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Roger Helbig seeks to intimidate anyone who dares to bring up the subject.

But we evolve, and the United Nations First Committee has overwhelmingly passed a resolution, on October 31st, calling for “relevant UN agencies, in this case the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update and complete their research into the possible health and environmental impact of the use of uranium weapons by 2010.” The only countries that voted against it were the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and France.

Meanwhile, to help the reader get to the point, I’ve put together the following.  Although the facts, for the most part, do not contain links, there is a list of the references at the end.

Ten Essential Facts:

1. Depleted uranium, the nuclear waste of uranium enrichment, is not actually “depleted” of radiation; 99.3% of it is Uranium238, which still emits radioactive alpha particles at the rate 12,400/second, with an estimated half life of 4.5 billion years.

2. Depleted uranium is plentiful – there are 7 pounds remaining for every pound of enriched uranium – and requires expensive and often politically-contentious hazardous waste storage.

3. Depleted uranium is less of a problem for the nuclear industry when it is cheaply passed on to U.S. weapons manufacturers for warheads, penetrators, bunker-busters, missiles, armor and other ammunition used by the U.S. military in the Middle East and elsewhere, and sold to other countries and political factions.

4. Depleted uranium is “pyrophoric”, which makes it uniquely effective at piercing hard targets, because upon impact, it immediately burns, vaporizing the majority of its bulk and leaving a hard, thin, sharpened tip – and large amounts of radioactive particles suspended in the atmosphere.

5. Depleted uranium weaponry was first used in the U.S. bombing of Iraq in 1991, under President George H. W. Bush and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

6. Depleted uranium weaponry was later used by President Bill Clinton in the NATO “peace-keeping” bombing missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. By January 2001, as the 2nd President Bush and Dick Cheney were moving in to the White House, there was a furor in Europe over the news of an alarming increase in leukemia and other cancers amongst the NATO troops who’d served in the Balkans.

7. The World Health Organization suppressed a November 2001 report on the health hazards of depleted uranium by Dr. Keith Baverstock, Head of the WHO’s Radiation Protection Division and his team, commissioned by the United Nations. Baverstock’s report, “Radiological Toxicity of Depleted Uranium”, detailed the significant danger of airborne vaporized depleted uranium particles, already considerably more prevalent in Iraq than the Balkans due to the difference in military tactics, because they are taken into the body by inhaling and ingesting, and then their size and solubility determines how quickly they move through the respiratory, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, attacking and poisoning from within as they travel, and where the damages occur. In addition, the report warns that the particles tend to settle in the soft tissue of the testes, and may cause mutations in sperm. In 2004 Dr. Baverstock, no longer at the WHO, released the report through Rob Edwards at Scotland’s Sunday Herald.

8. The George W. Bush/Dick Cheney administration twisted the meaning of the failure of the World Health Organization to produce evidence of depleted uranium’s health hazards, turning it into evidence that there was no link between exposure to depleted uranium and the increases in cancer in Europe and Iraq; instead, as presented in the January 20, 2003 report by the new Office of Global Communications, ironically titled Apparatus of Lies: Saddam’s Disinformation and Propaganda 1990 – 2003, the depleted uranium uproar was only an exploitation of fear and suffering. Two months later, Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Rice began to “Shock and Awe” Baghdad by again dropping tons of depleted uranium bombs on densely populated areas.

9. On March 27, 2003, significant increases in depleted uranium particles in the atmosphere were detected by the air sampler filter systems of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at 8 different sites near Aldermaston Berkshire, Great Britain, and continued at 4-5 times the previous norm until the end of April 2003, after the Coalition forces declared the war over. This information only came to light in a report on January 6, 2006 by Dr. Chris Busby, due to his diligent fight for access to the data through Britain’s Freedom of Information law.

10. We have a new, intelligent President, who is willing to listen.  It is up to us to bring this to his attention.  THIS IS HOW WE CAN HONOR VETERANS.

VALUABLE REFERENCES:

Department of Defense description of self-sharpening depleted uranium: click here

Dr. Keith Baverstock’s November 2001 report, suppressed by the World Health Organization:
Rob Edwards article on Baverstock:

Karen Parker, a Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Lawyer:  Scroll down on the page and you’ll find her documents on DU.

January 2003 White House Report – Apparatus of Lies:

January 2006 Chris Busby report: click here

Source

Depleated Uranium Information

Or Google it there is tons of information out there.

Be sure to encourage those who are still not supporting the ban,  that it  is something that needs to be banned.

This is an extremely dangerous form of Pollution.

We, the people, need to let governments and the United Nations know that these weapons can have no part in a humane and caring world. Every signature counts!

  1. An immediate end to the use of uranium weapons.
  2. Disclosure of all locations where uranium weapons have been used and immediate removal of the remnants and contaminated materials from the sites under strict control.
  3. Health surveys of the ‘depleted’ uranium victims and environmental investigations at the affected sites.
  4. Medical treatment and compensation for the ‘depleted’ uranium victims.
  5. An end to the development, production, stockpiling, testing, trade of uranium weapons.
  6. A Convention for a Total Ban on Uranium Weapons.

The life you save may be your own.

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Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm  Comments Off on 141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban  
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Repression in the Dominican Republic

Resistance rises in the Dominican Republic

Emmanuel Santos looks at state repression in the Dominican Republic and the spreading resistance.

A march against police repression in San Francisco de Macoris

A march against police repression in San Francisco de Macorís

A SERIES of social struggles in the Dominican Republic are challenging the increasingly repressive regime of President Leonel Fernández.

On October 21, a 48-hour strike to protest the high cost of living and lack of electricity, health care facilities and infrastructure investment paralyzed San Francisco de Macorís, the third largest city in the country. The strike, organized by the Alternative Social Forum (FSA), had a huge economic impact and led to street protests in adjacent towns.

Police SWAT teams were dispatched to put down the strike. Officers shot at protesters indiscriminately, wounding 20 people during violent street clashes. More than 50 people were arrested.

The death of two teenagers shot by police shocked the entire country. Then, four people were wounded when police interrupted the funeral of one of the murdered teens.

But this was not the first time innocent people faced the wrath of the local police. In fact, the police in San Francisco de Macorís have a history of carrying out extrajudicial executions against poor youth. In 2004, Rafael Guillermo Guzmán Fermín, was removed from his post as police commander because of protests.

Fermín had led a death squad that hunted for young people at night. Locals nicknamed his gang of uniformed assassins “Los Cirujanos” (the surgeons) because many of those shot became paraplegic.

But Fermín’s career wasn’t ended after his removal from local office. Last year, Fermín was named chief of police by President Fernández, whose government is instrumental in legitimizing repressive measures to fight crime under the guise of the so-called “war on drugs.” In the meantime, new media revelations implicate upper echelons of the military in the drug trade.

Under a “democratic security policy” put in place with the aid of the U.S. and Colombia, police and undercover units are conducting raids in poor neighborhoods, killing Black youth and criminalizing the poor.

In San Francisco de Macorís, complaints about police brutality had reached a crescendo before the strike October 21. The local governor, a member of the ruling party, was forced to ask government authorities to transfer the entire police department. On October 23, however, a massive demonstration in the city sent a loud message to the government in one of the biggest demonstrations against police brutality in recent memory.

For a moment, the strike had the potential of spreading nationwide. But a section of the FSA, the left-wing Broad Front of Popular Struggle (FALPO), opened a dialogue with the government and negotiated a truce. FALPO’s willingness to make a deal with the government has to do with its recent decision to participate in local elections, leading it to set aside its more radical politics.

Moreover, the government has already had some success in co-opting the opposition. A deal signed between the bosses and the main labor unions freezes salaries for two years.

But agreements and negotiations are unlikely to bring an end to the rising social struggle in the Dominican Republic. So far this year, public sector doctors from the Dominican Medical Association (CMD) have struck ten times to demand a salary increase. Their actions are giving confidence to other union workers and the unorganized.

Fernández is trying to divide the union through both co-optation and violence. On every occasion, CMD marches have been dispersed by tear gas and brutal police force. In early October, SWAT teams and police forcefully removed doctors during a hunger strike in the Health Department headquarters. Additionally, displaced hurricane victims join in with those affected by constant blackouts to organize protests regularly.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

THIS CRACKDOWN is part of broader shift to the right by President Fernández. During the recent presidential campaign, he declared himself the political heir of former right-wing strongman Joaquin Balaguer to appeal to conservative voters, and fill the political vacuum left by Balaguer after his death in 2002.

Between 1966 and 1978, Balaguer’s U.S.-backed reign of terror wiped out the left and the labor movement while opening up the economy to foreign multinationals in an employers’ offensive that continues to this day. And like his predecessors, Fernández embraces anti-Haitian racism and social conservatism to push forward the employer’s offensive.

In August, Fernández announced new cuts in food subsidies and a freeze on infrastructure investment including roads, schools and hospitals so as to reduce the deficit and guarantee the payment of the foreign debt.

As the effects of the world financial crisis destroy jobs and wages, ordinary people in many parts of the country demand solutions to their problems in the form of strikes while Fernández escalates repression in manner not seen since the 1970s. However, this is not having its intended effect and instead, is creating a backlash against his government.

A key focal point of the resistance is the scandal over fake milk used in the government’s school breakfast program. A media uproar pressured the government to transfer the Minister of Education to a less visible cabinet position: that of women’s affairs. The fact that an arrogant, corrupt government official was put in charge of this department highlights the government’s low regard for women’s rights.

But the battle was far from over. Lácteos Dominicanos (Ladom), the milk supplier, sued two veteran independent journalists, Huchi Lora and Nuria Piera, for their role in breaking the milk scandal. A court ruling allowed Ladom’s lawyers to enter the journalists’ office to get unedited footage related to the scandal. This infuriated journalists and left activists who denounced it as nothing more than a typical intimidation tactic to silence independent media.

The court ruling was far from the only attack on the media, however. A new wave of violent attacks against independent journalists erupted after a cameraman was shot in August. Many journalists have become more reluctant to cover politics because of fear of reprisals.

But on September 23, some 300 people marched to protest the court ruling on the milk scandal as well as the climate of fear that has made it more difficult for journalists to do their work in recent months. This was the first time in many years that journalists marched against state repression and censorship.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

WHILE CRACKING down on the press and protesters, the government and the far right has ramped up its attacks on the traditional scapegoat in Dominican politics: Haitian immigrants. Between September 2004 and June 2008, more than 65,000 Haitian immigrants have been deported, all this under Fernández’s watch.

On July 14, Gysselle Baret Reyes, a Dominican married to a Haitian immigrant, was kidnapped by two men and a woman for several hours. During her ordeal, her assailants poured acid on her left arm. They also questioned her about her family and her ties with Emildo Bueno Oguis, a Dominico-Haitian who is conducting a legal battle against the government to demand a birth certificate so he can travel to the U.S. and reunite with his American-born wife.

The attack on Reyes was in retaliation for her appearance on public television where she denounced government authorities for denying birth certificates to her children. This is typical: the Dominican government refuses to grant citizenship rights to thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric serves to justify border militarization under the banner of fighting the drug trade, terrorism and human trafficking and national sovereignty.

Under the U.S. Merida Initiative, more military aid is on the way to upgrade the Dominican army, which will be to conduct more raids and deportations against Haitian immigrants. Furthermore, meetings between the Dominican government and the Brazilian-dominated UN military occupation forces in Haiti have fostered closer links with the Brazilian military, which is inflicting a brutal repression against followers of former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide.

This attack on immigrants is part of an employers’ offensive that instills fear in Haitian immigrants and prevents them from organizing in unions. Still, immigrants are fighting back. Early this year, 120 immigrants mutinied while on route to Haiti. And immigrant rights marches in the border provinces have taken place.

If President Fernández gets his way, anti-Haitian measures will be enshrined in a proposed new constitution that would grant him additional powers and allow him to be re-elected indefinitely.

The new constitution contemplates, among other things, defining marriage as “a union between a man and a woman” and strengthening what are already harsh anti-abortion laws.

But perhaps the main target of the constitution is Haitians. According to the new constitution, children of undocumented immigrants would not be granted citizenship. No other immigrant group, other than Haitians, has been subject to these segregationist laws.

Even without the constituional changes, Dominico-Haitians constantly find their legal status threatened. Last year, Sonia Pierre, an immigrant rights activist, came under attack by a small right wing party, part of the governing coalition, which tried to seek a court ruling to annul her citizenship under the grounds that her parents were undocumented Haitian immigrants.

But she scored an important victory against the right and the government when activists launched a campaign to defend her, setting a legal precedent that opened the door to future legal battles.

Yet if the Dominican can’t strip Haitians’ rights through legal means, it’s prepared to use violence to intimidate them. Recently, Haitian immigrants were subjected brutal attacks at the same time strikes and protests were taking place in many parts of the country.

In the city of Neyba, two Haitian immigrants were murdered by Dominicans after a Dominican was supposedly killed by a Haitian immigrant. Other violent attacks followed in the town of Guayubín, where 30 houses belonging to Haitian immigrants were burned by a mob after a Haitian was suspected of murdering a Dominican man.

As usual, racist violence against Haitian immigrants remains unpunished because local authorities are behind the attacks. In fact, the mayor of Guayubín is accused of being one of the organizers of the latest violence.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media spread racist ideas about Haitians, who are portrayed as drug dealers, delinquents and rapists. Both politicians and the Catholic Church whip up racist frenzy by blaming Haitian immigrants for crime, “stealing” jobs from Dominicans and spreading disease.

But contrary to mainstream media propaganda, Haitians and Dominican live side by side in poor neighborhoods, and are more integrated than ever before in their workplaces. Though, many ordinary Dominicans embrace racist ideas about Haitians, they’re not responsible for spreading racism and organizing violence against immigrants. The blame for those atrocities rests with the government and the employers.

The more recent attacks led to the deportation of some 500 Haitian immigrants under the pretext of “protecting their lives.” In any case, the same army and police that are responsible for suppressing labor struggles and murdering Black Dominican youth can’t be expected to protect the lives of Haitian immigrants. As of this writing, the town of Navarrete is under military occupation after street protests exploded in protests.

The resistance to Fernández’s repression provides a new opportunity to challenge the government’s divide-and-conquer tactics. Working-class unity between Haitians and Dominicans will be crucial to rebuild the labor movement and the left in order to challenge racist violence and fight for better working conditions and wages for everyone.

Source

Poverty crushing the People of Haiti

By Dawn House
November 28 2008

Poverty is so crushing in Haiti that a simple cut or broken bone can become so infected in slums plagued with filth and raw sewage that the only remedy is amputation.

Adding to the misery in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation are hurricanes — Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike this year left 790 people dead and hundreds more injured, and now facing life-threatening infections.

But amputation can be a death sentence in Haiti, which depends on manual labor for survival, said Salt Lake City physician Jeff Randle, who has treated Haitians for a decade. It’s not uncommon for impoverished families, sometimes believing the injured are under a voodoo curse, to abandon disabled adults and children in the streets.

Randle, who first witnessed such despair while on an LDS Church mission, founded Healing Hands for Haiti in 1998. The nonprofit charity, based in Salt Lake City, has become the only agency in Haiti to provide wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and braces for people who have lost limbs or were born with a disability.

The group needs donations, medical supplies and health-care professionals willing to volunteer a week or two to help staff its clinic in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

The first year, 14 volunteers headed by doctors and social workers from LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City paid their own way to Haiti, where they provided rehabilitative therapy for more than 300 patients in 10 days. Despite political unrest and corruption in the country, almost all signed up to go the second year.

In the ensuing years, Randle has been joined by medical teams from 16 states. Most, including Randle, pay their own way while donations help with travel costs for the younger professionals. Last year, 21 medical workers from Canada raised $39,000 to finance their trip and fund treatment and training projects. The volunteers filled 42 large hockey bags with equipment and supplies and used 112 donated teddy bears as padding.

Healing Hands for Haiti has grown to a paid staff of 40 at its 7-acre compound in the foothills of Port-au-Prince. The group supports a clinic, school and shop where Haitians are trained to make prosthetic limbs and provide therapy for disabled adults and children. The group also conducts classes for workers from orphanages in taking care of their disabled charges, and lobbies schools to accept disabled children.

The annual budget is $180,000, “and each year I have no idea where the money is going to come from,” said Randle, who chairs the foundation. “But somehow, it comes.”

Said the group’s executive director, Jim Stein of Minneapolis: “Our most immediate need is money to support our staff in Haiti and to buy equipment and supplies.”

Last year alone, 399 wheelchairs were distributed throughout the island. And recently, an anonymous donor gave $250,000 to help jump-start the construction of what will be Haiti’s first rehabilitation hospital.

Recently, Healing Hands gave seminars after the November collapse of a ramshackle school on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, where more than 90 people, many of them children, were killed and more than 160 were injured. Haitians were taught about evacuation planning, survival skills and managing emotions in a country where little attention has been paid to building codes.

The need is desperate.

In October, a top United Nation’s official warned that the devastation from this year’s hurricane season has dealt a severe blow in efforts to combat poverty, according to the U.N. News Service.

Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said that the four successive hurricanes have left an estimated 1 million people needing humanitarian relief and major recovery assistance.

Even before the storms, 80 percent of the island’s population lived under the poverty line and more than half in abject poverty, according to a report from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on small-scale subsistence farming and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters made worse by the country’s widespread deforestation in lands cleared for food and fuel. The report said that inadequate supplies of potable water and soil erosion remain major environmental problems.

Source

They need a lot more help then they are getting.

Don’t turn your back on girls – Sexual violence in Haiti

27 November 2008

Sexual violence against girls in Haiti is widespread and pervasive and, although already at shocking levels, is said to be on the increase. While information on the true levels remains scarce, there is much evidence of sexual violence both in the family and within the wider community, particularly by armed gangs.

Public security and the legacy of sexual violence
Against a backdrop of kidnappings, criminal violence and gang warfare, violence against women and girls in the community has soared. One trend is the prevalence of rapes involving groups of armed men.

For the three years that followed the military coup in 1991 when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted, rape was used as a political weapon to instil fear and punish those who were believed to have supported the democratic government. During this time, there were widespread reports of armed men raping women.

Since the fall of the military regime, this has become a common practice among criminal gangs. In run up to Haiti’s annual carnival in February last year, 50 cases of rape were reported in just three days in the capital against women and girls in the capital Port-au-Prince.

Violence in the family is also prevalent and often hidden. Children often lack the resources and support they need to report violence in which family members participate or collude. The result of the failure to acknowledge and address this problem is a social climate in which violence in the family is seen as normal and inevitable.

Poverty in Haiti is extreme and plays a major role in putting girls at greater risk of sexual violence. Girls are bribed to remain silent by perpetrators, who are able to give them money to pay their schools or accommodation fees. Others who go in search of a public place with lighting by which to do their homework because their home has no electricity are attacked by groups of men.

Girls who become pregnant as a result of sexual violence find themselves at risk due to the lack of adequate healthcare. Only one in every four births in Haiti is assisted by qualified health personnel and large numbers of women and girls are dying as a result of pregnancy related complications.

The consequences of sexual violence on girls are profound and lasting. In addition to immediate physical injuries, survivors may have to face unwanted pregnancy; sexually transmitted diseases; and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

These consequences can have particularly series long term effects on girls, who are at higher risk of dying during childbirth or pregnancy and may also find their education disrupted, or find themselves excluded from school due to pregnancy.

One girl who raped when she was eight years old said: “I was going to school, but I left after I came here [to a shelter] because my father raped me. I was in the first year. I loved copying the lessons, writing. When I grow up I would like to be a doctor.”

Barriers to justice
Girls are often unwilling to report cases of rape, largely due to shame, fear, and social attitudes that tolerate male violence. Another major disincentive to reporting is the lack of confidence that girls will experience a positive and supportive response from law enforcement officials.

In some rural areas, the sole representative of the justice system is the justice of the peace. It is not uncommon for the justice of the peace to encourage girls who have faced violence accept an “amicable settlement” with the family of the perpetrator.

The justice system in Haiti is weak and ineffectual. The Police unit in charge of protecting minors is woefully under-staffed. In March 2008, the unit had 12 officers to cover the entire country and not a single vehicle. It is not surprising that so many of those who attack girls are never brought to justice, and so many girls feel there is no purpose in reporting crimes of sexual violence.

The authorities in Haiti have taken steps in recent years to address the problem of violence against women and girls. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs was established in 1994 and has been involved in important initiatives to address the problem.

In 1995, a National Plan of Action to Combat Violence Against Women was adopted. If implemented, this could bring about significant improvements in prevention and punishment.

The Haitian authorities face major challenges posed by the ongoing public security crisis, a succession of humanitarian disasters, and high levels of poverty and marginalization. These important concerns cannot be allowed to drown out the needs of Haitian girls.

Amnesty International is calling on the Haitian authorities to take immediate action to safeguard the rights of girls:

  • Collect comprehensive data on the nature and extent of violence against women and girls. The lack of data currently stands in the way of devising effective solutions;
  • Investigate and prosecute all complaints of sexual violence;
  • Ensure that police provide a safe environment for girls to report sexual violence, and ensure that all complaints are promptly and effectively investigated.

Source

Sanctions have played a role in the poverty. Recovery could take decades or longer unless outside help is increased.

Haiti Sanctions

Study Says Haiti Sanctions Kill Up to 1,000 Children a Month

By HOWARD W. FRENCH,  November 9, 1993

International Sanctions on Haiti Fueled Repression, UN Official Says

By Don Bohning,  March 1, 1999

Seems to me Sanctions are a form of extermination, of innocent people.

Economic sanctions are a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”

Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 5:09 am  Comments Off on Poverty crushing the People of Haiti  
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War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

New stories are added as I find them.

All new links are at the bottom of the page.

Iraq War Pollution Equals 25 Million Cars

Burning Oil in Iraq

Photo: Burning oil fields in Iraq by Shawn Baldwin

The greenhouse gases released by the Iraq war thus far equals the pollution from adding 25 million cars to the road for one year says a study released by Oil Change International, an anti petroleum watchdog.  The group’s main concerns are the environmental and human rights impacts of a petroleum based economy.

The study, released last March on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War, states that total US spending on the war so far equals the global investment needed through 2030 to halt global warming.

Of course skeptics and oil companies will be right to ask how these numbers were calculated.  The group claims Iraq war emissions estimates come from combat, oil well fires, increaesd gas flaring, increased cement manufacturing for reconstruction, and explosives.

The Report: A Climate of War

Source


“Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.” – 1992 Rio Declaration

The application of weapons, the destruction of structures and oil fields, fires, military transport movements and chemical spraying are all examples of the destroying impact war may have on the environment. Air, water and soil are polluted, man and animal are killed, and numerous health affects occur among those still living. This page is about the environmental effects of wars and incidents leading to war that have occurred in the 20th and 21st century.

Timeline of wars

Africa

“My hands are tied
The billions shift from side to side
And the wars go on with brainwashed pride
For the love of God and our human rights
And all these things are swept aside
By bloody hands time can’t deny
And are washed away by your genocide
And history hides the lies of our civil wars” – Guns ‘n Roses (Civil War)

In Africa many civil wars and wars between countries occurred in the past century, some of which are still continuing. Most wars are a result of the liberation of countries after decades of colonialization. Countries fight over artificial borders drawn by former colonial rulers. Wars mainly occur in densely populated regions, over the division of scarce resources such as fertile farmland. It is very hard to estimate the exact environmental impact of each of these wars. Here, a summary of some of the most striking environmental effects, including biodiversity loss, famine, sanitation problems at refugee camps and over fishing is given for different countries.

Congo war (II) – Since August 1998 a civil war is fought in former Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The war eventually ended in 2003 when a Transitional Government took power. A number of reasons are given for the conflict, including access and control of water resources and rich minerals and political agendas. Currently over 3 million people have died in the war, mostly from disease and starvation. More than 2 million people have become refugees. Only 45% of the people had access to safe drinking water. Many women were raped as a tool of intimidation, resulting in a rapid spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV-AIDS. The war has a devastating effect on the environment. National parks housing endangered species are often affected for exploitation of minerals and other resources. Refugees hunt wildlife for bush meat, either to consume or sell it. Elephant populations in Africa have seriously declined as a result of ivory poaching. Farmers burn parts of the forest to apply as farmland, and corporate logging contributes to the access of poachers to bush meat. A survey by the WWF showed that the hippopotamus population in one national park decreased from 29,000 thirty years previously, to only 900 in 2005. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed all five parks as ‘world heritage in danger’.

Ethiopia & Eritrea – Before 1952, Eritrea was a colony of Italy. When it was liberated, Ethiopia annexed the country. Thirty years of war over the liberation of Eritrea followed, starting in 1961 and eventually ending with the independence of Eritrea in 1993. However, war commenced a year after the country introduced its own currency in 1997. Over a minor border dispute, differences in ethnicity and economic progress, Ethiopia again attacked Eritrea. The war lasted until June 2000 and resulted in the death of over 150,000 Eritrean, and of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians. During the war severe drought resulted in famine, particularly because most government funds were spend on weapons and other war instrumentation. The government estimated that after the war only 60% of the country received adequate food supplies. The war resulted in over 750,000 refugees. It basically destroyed the entire infrastructure. Efforts to disrupt agricultural production in Eritrea resulted in changes in habitat. The placing of landmines has caused farming or herding to be very dangerous in most parts of the country. If floods occur landmines may be washed into cities. This has occurred earlier in Mozambique.

Rwanda civil war – Between April and July 1994 extremist military Hutu groups murdered about 80,000-1,000,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda. Over 2,000,000 people lost their homes and became refugees. Rwanda has a very rich environment, however, it has a particularly limited resource base. About 95% of the population lives on the countryside and relies on agriculture. Some scientists believe that competition for scarce land and resources led to violence prior to and particularly after the 1994 genocide. It is however stated that resource scarcity only contributed limitedly to the conflict under discussion. The main cause of the genocide was the death of the president from a plane-crash caused by missiles fires from a camp.

The many refugees from the 1994 combat caused a biodiversity problem. When they returned to the already overpopulated country after the war, they inhabited forest reserves in the mountains where endangered gorillas lived. Conservation of gorilla populations was no longer effective, and refuges destroyed part of the habitat. Despite the difficulties still present in Rwanda particularly concerning security and resource provision, an international gorilla protection group is now working on better conditions for the gorillas in Rwanda.

Somalia civil war – A civil war was fought in Somalia 1991. One of the most striking effects of the war was over fishing. The International Red Cross was encouraging the consumption of seawater fish to improve diets of civilians. For self-sufficiency they provided training and fishing equipment. However, as a consequence of war Somali people ignored international fishing protocols, thereby seriously harming ecology in the region. Fishing soon became an unsustainable practise, and fishermen are hard to stop because they started carrying arms. They perceive over fishing as a property right and can therefore hardly be stopped.

Sudan (Darfur & Chad) – In Sudan civil war and extreme droughts caused a widespread famine, beginning in 1983. Productive farmland in the southern region was abandoned during the war. Thousands of people became refugees that left behind their land, possibly never to return. Attempts of remaining farmers to cultivate new land to grow crops despite the drought led to desertification and soil erosion. The government failed to act for fear of losing its administrative image abroad, causing the famine to kill an estimated 95,000 of the total 3,1 million residents of the province Darfur. As farmers started claiming more and more land, routes applied by herders were closed off. This resulted in conflicts between farmers and rebels groups. In 2003, a conflict was fought in Darfur between Arab Sudanese farmers and non-Arab Muslims. The Muslim group is called Janjaweed, a tribe mainly consisting of nomadic sheep and cattle herders. Originally the Janjaweed were part of the Sudanese and Darfurian militia, and were armed by the Sudanese government to counter rebellion. However, they started utilizing the weapons against non-Muslim civilians. The tribe became notorious for massacre in 2003-2004. In December 2005 the conflict continued across the border, now involving governmental army troops from Chad, and the rebel groups Janjaweed and United Front for Democratic Change from Sudan. In February 2006 the governments of Chad and Sudan signed a peace treaty called the Tripoli Agreement. Unfortunately a new rebel assault of the capital of Chad in April made Chad break all ties with Sudan. The Darfur Conflict so far caused the death of between 50,000 and 450,000 civilians. It caused over 45,000 people to flea the countries of Sudan and Central Africa, into north and east Chad. Most refugees claim they fled civilian attacks from rebel forces, looting food and recruiting young men to join their troops.

America

Pearl Harbor (WWII) – When World War II began, Japan signed the Tripartite Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Consequentially, the United States closed the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping, and initiated a complete oil embargo. Japan, being dependent on US oil, responded to the embargo violently. On December 1941, Japanese troops carried out a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, aimed at the US Navy stationed there. Despite the awareness that Japan might attack, the US was surprisingly unprepared for the Japanese aggression. There were no aircraft patrols, and anti-aircraft weapons were not manned.

For the attack five Japanese submarines were present in the harbor to launch torpedos. One was discovered immediately, and attacked by the USS Ward. All five submarines sank, and at least three of them have not been located since. As Japanese bombers arrived they began firing at US marine airbases across Hawaii, and subsequently battle ships in Pearl Harbor. Eighteen ships sank, including five battleships, and a total of more than 2,000 Americans were killed in action. The explosion of the USS Arizona caused half of the casualties. The ship was hit by a bomb, burned for two days in a row, and subsequently sank to the bottom. The cloud of black smoke over the boat was mainly caused by burning black powder from the magazine for aircraft catapults aboard the ship.

Leaking fuel from the Arizona and other ships caught fire, and caused more ships to catch fire. Of the 350 Japanese planes taking part in the attack, 29 were lost. Over sixty Japanese were killed in actions, most of them airmen.

Today, three battle ships are still at the bottom of the harbor. Four others were raised and reused. The USS Arizona, being the most heavily damaged ship during the attack, continues to leak oil from the hulk into the harbor. However, the wreck is maintained, because it now serves as part of a war memorial.

World Trade Centre explosion – The so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ the United States are fighting in Asia currently all started with the event we recall so well from the shocking images projected on news bulletins. On September 11, 2001, terrorists flew airplanes into the buildings of the World Trade Centre. It is now claimed that the attack and simultaneous collapse of the Twin Towers caused a serious and acute environmental disaster.

We will live in the death smog for a while,
breathing the dust of the dead,
the 3 thousand or so who turn to smoke,
as the giant ashtray in Lower Manhattan
continues to give up ghosts.
The dead are in us now,
locked in our chests,
staining our lungs,
polluting our bloodstreams.
And though we cover our faces with flags
and other pieces of cloth to filter the air,
the spirits of the dead aren’t fooled
by our masks
.” Lawrence Swan, 05-10-2001

As the planes hit the Twin Towers more than 90.000 litres of jet fuel burned at temperatures above 1000oC. An atmospheric plume formed, consisting of toxic materials such as metals, furans, asbestos, dioxins, PAH, PCB and hydrochloric acid. Most of the materials were fibres from the structure of the building. Asbestos levels ranged from 0.8-3.0% of the total mass. PAH comprised more than 0.1% of the total mass, and PCBs less than 0.001% of total mass. At the site now called Ground Zero, a large pile of smoking rubble burned intermittently for more than 3 months. Gaseous and particulate particles kept forming long after the towers had collapsed.


Aerial photograph of the plume

The day of the attacks dust particles of various sizes spread over lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, for many miles. Fire fighters and medics working at the WTC were exposed, but also men and women on the streets and in nearby buildings, and children in nearby schools. In vivo inhalation studies and epidemiological studies pointed out the impact of the dust cloud. Health effects from inhaling dust included bronchial hyper reactivity, because of the high alkalinity of dust particles. Other possible health effects include coughs, an increased risk of asthma and a two-fold increase in the number of small-for-gestational-age baby’s among pregnant women present in or nearby the Twin Towers at the time of the attack. After September, airborne pollutant concentrations in nearby communities declined.

Many people present at the WTC at the time of the attacks are still checked regularly, because long-term effects may eventually show. It is thought there may be an increased risk of development of mesothelioma, consequential to exposure to asbestos. This is a disease where malignant cells develop in the protective cover of the body’s organs. Airborne dioxins in the days and weeks after the attack may increase the risk of cancer and diabetes. Infants of women that were pregnant on September 11 and had been in the vicinity of the WTC at the time of the attack are also checked for growth or developmental problems.

Asia

Afghanistan war – In October 2001, the United States attacked Afghanistan as a starting chapter of the ‘War on terrorism’, which still continues today. The ultimate goal was to replace the Taliban government, and to find apparent 9/11 mastermind and Al-Qaeda member Osama Bin Laden. Many European countries assisted the US in what was called ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’.

During the war, extensive damage was done to the environment, and many people suffered health effects from weapons applied to destroy enemy targets. It is estimated that ten thousand villages, and their surrounding environments were destroyed. Safe drinking water declined, because of a destruction of water infrastructure and resulting leaks, bacterial contamination and water theft. Rivers and groundwater were contaminated by poorly constructed landfills located near the sources.

Afghanistan once consisted of major forests watered by monsoons. During the war, Taliban members illegally trading timber in Pakistan destroyed much of the forest cover. US bombings and refugees in need of firewood destroyed much of what remained. Less than 2% of the country still contains a forest cover today.

Bombs threaten much of the country’s wildlife. One the world’s important migratory thoroughfare leads through Afghanistan. The number of birds now flying this route has dropped by 85%. In the mountains many large animals such as leopards found refuge, but much of the habitat is applied as refuge for military forces now. Additionally, refugees capture leopards and other large animals are and trade them for safe passage across the border.

Pollution from application of explosives entered air, soil and water. One example is cyclonite, a toxic substance that may cause cancer. Rocket propellants deposited perchlorates, which damage the thyroid gland. Numerous landmines left behind in Afghan soils still cause the deaths of men, women and children today.

Cambodia civil war – In 1966 the Prince of Cambodia began to lose the faith of many for failure to come to grips with the deteriorating economic situation. In 1967 rebellion started in a wealthy province where many large landowners lives. Villagers began attacking the tax collection brigade, because taxes were invested in building large factories, causing land to be taken. This led to a bloody civil war. Before the conflict could be repressed 10,000 people had died.

The rebellion caused the up rise of the Khmer Rouge, a Maoist-extremist organization that wanted to introduce communism in the country. In 1975 the organization, led by Pol Pot, officially seized power in Cambodia. The Khmer considered farmers (proletarians) to be the working class, as did Mao in China earlier. Schools, hospitals and banks were closed, the country was isolated from all foreign influence, and people were moved to the countryside for forced labor. People were obligated to work up to 12 hours a day, growing three times as many crops, as was usually the case. Many people died there from exhaustion, illness and starvation, or where shot by the Khmer on what was known as ‘The Killing Fields’.

The Khmer Rouge regime resulted in deforestation, caused by extensive timber logging to finance war efforts, agricultural clearance, construction, logging concessions and collection of wood fuels. A total 35% of the Cambodian forest cover was lost under the Maoist regime. Deforestation resulted in severe floods, damaging rice crops and causing food shortages. In 1993, a ban on logging exports was introduced to prevent further flooding damage.

In 1979 the Khmer Rouge regime ended with an invasion by Vietnam, and the installation of a pro-Vietnamese puppet government. Subsequently, Thai and Chinese forces attempted to liberate the country from Vietnamese dominance. Many landmines were placed in the 1980’s, and are still present in the countryside. They deny agricultural use of the land where they are placed. In 1992 free elections were introduced, but the Khmer Rouge resumed fighting. Eventually, half of the Khmer soldiers left in 1996, and many officials were captured. Under the Khmer regime, a total of 1.7 million people died, and the Khmer was directly responsible for about 750,000 of those casualties.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki nuclear explosions – Atomic bombs are based on the principle of nuclear fission, which was discovered in Nazi Germany in 1938 by two radio chemists. During the process, atoms are split and energy is released in the form of heat. Controlled reactions are applied in nuclear power plants for production of electricity, whereas unchecked reactions occur during nuclear bombings. The invention in Germany alarmed people in the United States, because the Nazi’s in possession of atomics bombs would be much more dangerous than they already where. When America became involved in WWII, the development of atomic bombs started there in what was called the ‘Manhattan Project’. In July 1945 an atomic bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert. The tests were considered a success, and America was now in possession of one of the world’s deadliest weapons.

In 1945, at the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, nuclear weapons were applied to kill for the first time in Japan. On August 6, a uranium bomb by the name of Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima, followed by a plutonium bomb by the name of Fat Man on Nagasaki on August 9. The reason Hiroshima was picked was that it was a major military centre. The bomb detonated at 8.15 p.m. over a Japanese Army parade field, where soldiers were already present. Nagasaki was picked because it was an industrial centre. The bomb, which was much larger than that used on Hiroshima, exploded at 11.02 a.m. at an industrial site. However, the hills on and the geographical location of the bombing site caused the eventual impact to be smaller than days earlier in Hiroshima.

The first impact of the atomic bombings was a blinding light, accompanied by a giant wave of heat. Dry flammable materials caught fire, and all men and animals within half a mile from the explosion sites died instantly. Many structures collapsed, in Nagasaki even the structures designed to survive earthquakes were blasted away. Many water lines broke. Fires could not be extinguished because of the water shortage, and six weeks after the blast the city still suffered from a lack of water. In Hiroshima a number of small fires combined with wind formed a firestorm, killing those who did not die before but were left immobile for some reason. Within days after the blasts, radiation sickness started rearing its ugly head, and many more people would die from it within the next 5 years.

The total estimated death toll:
In Hiroshima 100,000 were killed instantly, and between 100,000 and 200,000 died eventually.
In Nagasaki about 40,000 were killed instantly, and between 70,000 and 150,000 died eventually.

The events of August 6 and August 9 can be translated into environmental effects more literally. The blasts caused air pollution from dust particles and radioactive debris flying around, and from the fires burning everywhere. Many plants and animals were killed in the blast, or died moments to months later from radioactive precipitation. Radioactive sand clogged wells used for drinking water winning, thereby causing a drinking water problem that could not easily be solved. Surface water sources were polluted, particularly by radioactive waste. Agricultural production was damaged; dead stalks of rice could be found up to seven miles from ground zero. In Hiroshima the impact of the bombing was noticeable within a 10 km radius around the city, and in Nagasaki within a 1 km radius.

Iraq & Kuwait – The Gulf War was fought between Iraq, Kuwait and a number of western countries in 1991. Kuwait had been part of Iraq in the past, but was liberated by British imperialism, as the Iraqi government described it. In August 1990, Iraqi forces claimed that the country was illegally extracting oil from Iraqi territory, and attacked. The United Nations attempted to liberate Kuwait. Starting January 1991, Operation Desert Storm began, with the purpose of destroying Iraqi air force and anti-aircraft facilities, and command and control facilities. The battle was fought in Iraq, Kuwait and the Saudi-Arabian border region. Both aerial and ground artillery was applied. Late January, Iraqi aircraft were flown to Iran, and Iraqi forces began to flee.

The Gulf War was one of the most environmentally devastating wars ever fought. Iraq dumped approximately one million tons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf, thereby causing the largest oil spill in history (see environmental disasters). Approximately 25,000 migratory birds were killed. The impact on marine life was not as severe as expected, because warm water sped up the natural breakdown of oil. Local prawn fisheries did experience problems after the war. Crude oil was also spilled into the desert, forming oil lakes covering 50 square kilometres. In due time the oil percolated into groundwater aquifers.

Fleeing Iraqi troops ignited Kuwaiti oil sources, releasing half a ton of air pollutants into the atmosphere. Environmental problems caused by the oil fires include smog formation and acid rain. Toxic fumes originating from the burning oil wells compromised human health, and threatened wildlife. A soot layer was deposited on the desert, covering plants, and thereby preventing them from breathing. Seawater was applied to extinguish the oil fires, resulting in increased salinity in areas close to oil wells. It took about nine months to extinguish the fires.

During the war, many dams and sewage water treatment plants were targeted and destroyed. A lack of possibilities for water treatment resulting from the attacks caused sewage to flow directly into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Additionally, pollutants seeped from bombed chemical plants into the rivers. Drinking water extracted from the river was polluted, resulting in widespread disease. For example, cases of typhoid fever have increased tenfold since 1991.

Movement of heavy machinery such as tanks through the desert damaged the brittle surface, causing soil erosion. Sand was uncovered that formed gradually moving sand dunes. These dunes may one day cause problems for Kuwait City. Tanks fired Depleted Uranium (DU) missiles, which can puncture heavy artillery structures. DU is a heavy metal that causes kidney damage and is suspected to be teratogenic and carcinogenic. Post-Gulf War reports state an increase in birth defects for children born to veterans. The impact of Depleted Uranium could not be thoroughly investigated after the Gulf War, because Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate. Its true properties were revealed after the Kosovo War in 2001 (description below). DU has now been identified as a neurotoxin, and birth defects and cancers are attributed to other chemical and nerve agents. However, it is stated that DU oxides deposited in the lungs of veterans have not been thoroughly researched yet. It was later found that this may cause kidney and lung infections for highly exposed persons.

After the Gulf War many veterans suffered from a condition now known as the Gulf War Syndrome. The causes of the illness are subject to widespread speculation. Examples of possible causes are exposure to DU (see above), chemical weapons (nerve gas and mustard gas), an anthrax vaccine given to 41% of US soldiers and 60-75% of UK soldiers, smoke from burning oil wells and parasites. Symptoms of the GWS included chronic fatigue, muscle problems, diarrhoea, migraine, memory loss, skin problems and shortness of breath. Many Gulf War veterans have died of illnesses such as brain cancer, now acknowledged as potentially connected to service during the war.

Iraq & the United States – The war in Iraq started by the United States in 2003 as part of the War on Terrorism causes poverty, resulting in environmental problems. Long-term environmental effects of the war remain unclear, but short-term problems have been identified for every environmental compartment. For example, some weapons are applied that may be extremely damaging to the environment, such as white phosphorus ammunition. People around the world protest the application of such armoury.

Water
Damage to sanitation structures by frequent bombing, and damage to sewage treatment systems by power blackouts cause pollution of the River Tigris. Two hundred blue plastic containers containing uranium were stolen from a nuclear power plant located south of Baghdad. The radioactive content of the barrels was dumped in rivers and the barrels were rinsed out. Poor people applied the containers as storage facility for water, oil and tomatoes, or sold them to others. Milk was transported to other regions in the barrels, making it almost impossible to relocate them.

Air
Oil trenches are burning, as was the case in the Gulf War of 1991, resulting in air pollution. In Northern Iraq, a sulphur plant burned for one month, contributing to air pollution. As fires continue burning, groundwater applied as a drinking water source may be polluted.

Soil
Military movements and weapon application result in land degradation. The destruction of military and industrial machinery releases heavy metals and other harmful substances.

Read more on restoring water systems in Iraq

Israel & Lebanon – In July 2006, Hezbollah initiated a rocket attack on Israeli borders. A ground patrol killed and captured Israeli soldiers. This resulted in open war between Israel and Lebanon.

The war caused environmental problems as Israelis bombed a power station south of Beirut. Damaged storage tanks leaked an estimated 20,000 tons of oil into the Mediterranean Sea. The oil spill spread rapidly, covering over 90 km of the coastline, killing fish and affecting the habitat of the endangered green sea turtle. A sludge layer covers Beaches across Lebanon, and the same problem may occur in Syria as the spill continues to spread. Part of the oil spill burned, causing widespread air pollution. Smog affects the health of people living in the city of Beirut. So far problems limiting the clean-up operation of oil spills have occurred, because of ongoing violence in the region.

Another major problem were forest fires in Northern Israel caused by Hezbollah bombings. A total of 9,000 acres of forest burned to the ground, and fires threaten tree reserves and bird sanctuaries.

Russia & Chechnya – In 1994 the First Chechen War of independence started, between Russian troops, Chechen guerrilla fighters and civilians. Chechnya has been a province of Russia for a very long time and now desires independence. The First War ended in 1996, but in 1999 Russia again attacked Chechnya for purposes of oil distribution.

The war between the country and its province continues today. It has devastating effects on the region of Chechnya. An estimated 30% of Chechen territory is contaminated, and 40% of the territory does not meet environmental standards for life. Major environmental problems include radioactive waste and radiation, oil leaks into the ground from bombarded plants and refineries, and pollution of soil and surface water. Russia has buried radioactive waste in Chechnya. Radiation at some sites is ten times its normal level. Radiation risks increase as Russia bombs the locations, particularly because after 1999 the severeness of weaponry increased. A major part of agricultural land is polluted to the extent that it can no longer meet food supplies. This was mainly caused by unprofessional mini-refineries of oil poachers in their backyards, not meeting official standards and causing over 50% of the product to be lost as waste. Groundwater pollution flows into the rivers Sunzha and Terek on a daily basis. On some locations the rivers are totally devoid of fish. Flora and fauna are destroyed by oil leaks and bombings.

Vietnam war – The Vietnam War started in 1945 and ended in 1975. It is now entitled a proxy war, fought during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union to prevent the necessity for the nations to fight each other directly. North Vietnam fought side by side with the Soviet Union and China, and South Vietnam with the United States, New Zealand and South Korea. It must be noted that the United States only started to be actively involved in the battle after 1963. Between 1965 and 1968 North Vietnam was bombed under Operation Rolling Thunder, in order to force the enemy to negotiate. Bombs destroyed over two million acres of land. North Vietnam forces began to strike back, and the Soviet Union delivered anti-aircraft missiles to North Vietnam. The ground war of US troops against the Viet Cong began. The United States would not retreat from Vietnam until 1973, and during those years extremely environmentally damaging weapons and war tactics were applied.

A massive herbicidal programme was carried out, in order to break the forest cover sheltering Viet Cong guerrillas, and deprive Vietnamese peasants of food. The spraying destroyed 14% of Vietnam’s forests, diminished agricultural yield, and made seeds unfit for replanting. If agricultural yield was not damaged by herbicides, it was often lost because military on the ground set fire to haystacks, and soaked land with aviation fuel en burned it. A total of 15,000 square kilometres of land were eventually destroyed. Livestock was often shot, to deprive peasant of their entire food supply. A total of 13,000 livestock were killed during the war.

The application of 72 million litres of chemical spray resulted in the death of many animals, and caused health effects with humans. One chemical that was applied between 1962 and 1971, called Agent Orange, was particularly harmful. Its main constituent is dioxin, which was present in soil, water and vegetation during and after the war. Dioxin is carcinogenic and teratogenic, and has resulted in spontaneous abortions, chloracne, skin and lung cancers, lower intelligence and emotional problems among children. Children fathered by men exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War often have congenital abnormalities. An estimated half a million children were born with dioxin-related abnormalities. Agent Orange continues to threaten the health of the Vietnamese today.

“Drafted to go to Vietnam
To fight communism in a foreign land.
To preserve democracy is my plight
Which is a God…Given…Right.
Greenery so thick with hidden enemies
Agent Orange is sprayed on the trees.
Covering me from head to toe
Irate my eyes, burns through my clothes.
Returned home when my tour was done
To be told “You have cancer, son”.
Agent Orange is to blame
Government caused your suffering and pain.
Fight for compensation is frustrating and slow
Brass cover-up, not wanting anyone to know.
From cancer many comrades have died
Medical Insurance have been denied.
Compensation I now receive
My health I hope to retrieve.
In Vietnam , I was spared my life
Just to be stabbed with an Agent Orange knife” Yvonne Legge, 2001

Today, agriculture in Vietnam continues to suffer problems from six million unexploded bombs still present. Several organisations are attempting to remove these bombs. Landmines left in Vietnam are not removed, because the Vietnamese government refuses to accept responsibility.

Europe

Kosovo war – The Kosovo war can be divided up in two separate parts: a conflict between Serbia and Kosovo, and a conflict between Kosovo and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The first conflict originated in 1996 from the statement of Slobodan Milocevic that Kosovo was to remain a part of Serbia, and from the resulting violent response of Albanian residents. When Serbian troops slaughtered 45 Albanians in the village of Racak in Kosovo in 1999, the NATO intervened. NATO launched a 4-month bombing campaign upon Serbia as a reply to the massacre at Racak.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) investigated the environmental impact of the Kosovo war. It was concluded that the war did not result in an environmental disaster affecting the entire Balkan region. Nevertheless, some environmental hot spots were identified, namely Belgrade, Pancevo, Kragujevac, Novi Sad and Bor.

Bombings carried out by the United States resulted in leakages in oil refineries and oil storage depots. Industrial sites containing other industries were also targeted. EDC (1,2-dichloroethane), PCBs en mercury escaped to the environment. Burning of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) resulted in the formation of dioxin, hydrochloric acid, carbon monoxide and PAHs, and oil burning released sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, lead and PAHs into the air. Heavy clouds of black smoke forming over burning industrial targets caused black rain to fall on the area around Pancevo. Some damage was done to National Parks in Serbia by bombings, and therefore to biodiversity. EDC, mercury and petroleum products (e.g. PCBs) polluted the Danube River. These are present in the sediments and may resurface in due time. EDC is toxic to both terrestrial and aquatic life. Mercury may be converted into methyl mercury, which is very toxic and bio accumulates. As a measure to prevent the consequences of bombing, a fertilizer plant in Pancevo released liquid ammonia into the Danube River. This caused fish kills up to 30 kilometres downstream.

In 1999 when NATO bombed Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, the resulting environmental damage was enormous. Petrochemical plants in suburbs started leaking all kinds of hazardous chemicals into air, water and soil. Factories producing ammonia and plastics released chlorine, hydrochloric acid, vinyl chloride and other chlorine substances, resulting in local air pollution and health problems. Water sources were polluted by oil leaking from refineries. The Danube River was polluted by oil more severely, but this time hydrochloric acid and mercury compounds also ended up there. These remained in the water for a considering period of time and consequently ended up in neighbouring countries Rumania and Bulgaria.

Clean drinking water supplies and waste treatment plants were damaged by NATO bombings. Many people fled their houses and were moved to refugee camps, where the number of people grew rapidly. A lack of clean drinking water and sanitation problems occurred.

Like in the Gulf War, Depleted Uranium (DU) was applied in the Kosovo War to puncture tanks and other artillery. After the war, the United Kingdom assisted in the removal of DU residues from the environment. Veterans complained of health effects. It was acknowledged by the UK and the US that dusts from DU can be dangerous if inhaled. Inhalation of dust most likely results in chemical poisoning.

World War I: Trench Warfare – In 1914, the assassination of archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary resulted in the First World War, otherwise known as The Great War, or WWI. It started with Austria-Hungary invading Serbia, where the assassin came from, and Germany invading Belgium. The war was mostly in Europe, between the Allies and the Central Powers.

Allies: France, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Montenegro, Rumania, Albania, Greece, Portugal, Finland, United States, Canada, Brazil, Armenia, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Liberia, China, Japan, Thailand, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama
Central Powers: Austria-Hungary, Germany, Turkish Empire, and Bulgaria

The war was fought from trenches, dug from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. In 1918 when the war was over, empires disintegrated into smaller countries, marking the division of Europe today. Over 9 million people had died, most of which perished from influenza after the outbreak of the Spanish Flu (see environmental disasters). The war did not directly cause the influenza outbreak, but it was amplified. Mass movement of troops and close quarters caused the Spanish Flu to spread quickly. Furthermore, stresses of war may have increased the susceptibility of soldiers to the disease.

In terms of environmental impact, World War I was most damaging, because of landscape changes caused by trench warfare. Digging trenches caused trampling of grassland, crushing of plants and animals, and churning of soil. Erosion resulted from forest logging to expand the network of trenches. Soil structures were altered severely, and if the war was never fought, in all likelihood the landscape would have looked very differently today.

Another damaging impact was the application of poison gas. Gases were spread throughout the trenches to kill soldiers of the opposite front. Examples of gases applied during WWI are tear gas (aerosols causing eye irritation), mustard gas (cell toxic gas causing blistering and bleeding), and carbonyl chloride (carcinogenic gas). The gases caused a total of 100,000 deaths, most caused by carbonyl chloride (phosgene). Battlefields were polluted, and most of the gas evaporates into the atmosphere. After the war, unexploded ammunition caused major problems in former battle areas. Environmental legislation prohibits detonation or dumping chemical weapons at sea, therefore the cleanup was and still remains a costly operation. In 1925, most WWI participants signed a treaty banning the application of gaseous chemical weapons. Chemical disarmament plants are planned in France and Belgium.

World War II: – World War II was a worldwide conflict, fought between the Allies (Britain, France and the United States as its core countries) and the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy and Japan as its core countries). It started with the German invasion of Poland and Czechoslovakia in 1939, and ended with the liberation of Western Europe by the allies in 1945.

Estimates for the total casualties of the war vary, but most suggest that some 60 million people died in the war, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians.

World War II: Hunger winter – In late 1944, the allied troops attempted to liberate Western Europe. As they reached The Netherlands, German resistance caused the liberation to be halted in Arnhem, as allied troops failed to occupy a bridge over the River Rhine. As the Dutch government in exile in Britain called for railway strikes, the Germans responded by putting embargo on food transport to the west. This resulted in what is now known as the Hunger Winter, causing an estimated 20,000-25,000 Dutch to starve to death. A number of factors caused the starvation: a harsh winter, fuel shortages, the ruin of agricultural land by bombings, floods, and the food transport embargo. Most people in the west lived off tulip bulbs and sugar beet. Official food rations were below 1000 cal per person per day. In May 1945 the Hunger Winter ended with the official liberation of the west of The Netherlands.

Source

The there is this.  So what do they do with weapons of mass destruction?  Coming to an Ocean Near YOU! The cost in dollars for the pollution caused by war is staggering. The cost to human life is horrendous. The price of war to the Environment is deadly.  This is of course a Global problem.  What you don’t see can hurt you.  If you don’t know it is only because they don’t want you too. They will never tell you the true unless we as a Global community force them to. This will affect our children for many years to come. War is probably one of the worst polluters on the planet.  Stopping the WAR MACHINE is in everyone’s best interest.

Here you find tons of weapons that were dumped into the oceans among other things.

Depleated Uranium Information

The US Dumps staggering amounts of Chemical weapons in the oceans.

THE DEADLINESS BELOW

The US  still air testing bombs in the US.
US Air Testing Bombs

This to is a form of pollution a very deadly one.

Injuries and Deaths From Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance in Afghanistan, 2002-2006

This is part of the war pollution as well.
Uranium Mining, Grand Canyon now at Risk, Dangers, Pollution, History

Plague of bioweapons accidents afflicts the US

US Nuclear Weapons accidents – 1981 report

Added January 9 2009

Israel killing their own by Using Deadly Weapons of Mass Destuction again Gaza

Added November 18 2009

Doctors report “unprecedented” rise in deformities, cancers in Iraq (Photos)

Added January 9 2010

Cancer and Deformities – The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq

NATO bombings: Aftermath takes toll on Serbia, now left with DU Poisoning (Radiation and DU fallout maps included.)

Addiction is also part of war pollution. Because of the NATO and US invasion in Afghanistan, Heroin addiction has grown like wildfire around the world. Millions are now addicted to Heroin.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

Switzerland’s explosive war effort threatens environmental disaster

Pentagon’s Role in Global Catastrophe: Add Climate Havoc to War Crimes and War Pollution

“Military emissions abroad are exempt from national reporting requirements under U.S. law and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

Added January 3 2010

Gaza sees more newborns of malformation

Added January 24 2010

Study finds: Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination

Added March 1 2010

2.5 million Iraqi women were widowed by Iraq war

Added March 17 2010

Another Gulf War Syndrome? Burn Pits

Added March 18 2010

More Toxic waste for Veterans to deal with.

Erroneous Reports Deny our Veterans Benefits

Added July 22 2013

Najaf: A toxic “health catastrophe” – US weapons blamed for Iraq’s birth defects