The rebuilding of Haiti is not working.
By Nixon Boumba
Cross-posted from Washington Post
Orignially released on January 12, 2015
Anti-government protesters in Port-au-Prince last month called for President Michel Martelly’s resignation. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Five years ago this month, a terrible earthquake struck my country. I was in the capital city, Port-au-Prince, when suddenly the earth shook and buildings around me and across the city collapsed—taking with them hundreds of thousands of lives and the hopes of my nation. The world stood with us that day and in the weeks and months that followed. Donations poured in; the United States and many other governments pledged to help us rebuild Haiti. But five years into the reconstruction, as a Haitian, I must ask: For whom are we rebuilding our country?
An Interview with Human Rights Organizer Jackson Doliscar
By Beverly Bell
Jackson Doliscar, community organizer and human rights defender.
Some things never change. In Haiti, no matter the century or decade in question, one can be certain that: the state and elite are trouncing the rights and needs of the majority, the population is protesting to demand land and justice, and the international community is taking the wrong side.
Five years after the earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 (no one knows for sure) and rendered 1.9 million more people homeless, the fraudulently elected administration of Michel Martelly has abandoned any pretense of democracy. Having failed to hold elections three years in a row, instead letting national and local elective seats become vacant, the government now rules by decree. It is also attacking and killing human rights defenders. The elite, in combination with foreign corporations, are seizing land for agribusiness, mining, tourism, and free trade zones. The grassroots has taken to the streets to demand democratic government and an end to foreign occupation by the UN. Social movements are also mobilizing for defense of land, housing, and rights. The US has, until recent months, staunchly supported the government. It has backed this support with “security” funding, including more than $7 million for the police in 2015, for a nation not at war against anyone but its own people.
Jackson Doliscar is a community organizer and human rights defender. Since the earthquake, he has been the primary outreach worker in an international campaign for the right to housing for those left languishing under tents, through the Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA, by its Creole acronym). This is the first in a two-part series.
Other Worlds is excited to announce the launch of our fundraiser for our Hatian land rights campaign on Global Giving!
Read on about our project and our fundraiser, and please consider a donation today!
All recurring monthly donations will be matched by an anonymous donor, so you can double your impact!
On December 10, Global Giving will match all donations of $25 to $1,000 at 15%!
In order for our campaign to have a permanent spot on Global Giving, we must meet our $5,000 goal by December 31. Please make a donation to support Haitians in their struggle for their human rights and land rights today.
Family farmers across Haiti have joined together to protect their lands from theft by tourism corporations, mining, and seizure by large landholders. These farmers are some of the poorest and hungriest people in the world. Other Worlds supports Haitians in their struggle for their human rights and land rights through media, advocacy, education, legal defense, international support, and funds, so they can stay on their ancestral land, keep farming, and feed their children.
Cross-posted from Al Jazeera
By Jonathan M. Katz