Radio Nizkor

Audio Documents

February 2011

Fichero AudioHti - Serious human rights violations which occurred during Duvalier's rule should not go unpunished. Radio Nizkor, 05Feb11.

On January 16th 2011, Jean-Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti after 25 years of having been ousted and in exile in France. Duvalier exercised a repressive dictatorship in Haiti over a period of 15 years.

Duvalier's return has sparked reflections on Haiti's tormented past, and questions, doubts, fears and concerns regarding the purpose and possible impact of his sudden presence in Haiti.

On the other hand, this is also being seen as an opportunity to expose the full truth about Duvalier’s heinous regime and related human rights abuses, bringing him to justice and thereby tackling the cycle of impunity that has prevailed for decades in Haiti...

The Duvalier era is widely known as having been a time of extreme repression and human rights abuses that began under François Duvalier, also referred to as Papa Doc. After taking power in 1957 as the President of Haiti, he established the "Tonton Macoutes", a sinister secret police to suppress opposition...

Baby Duvalier is said to have made one change to his father's regime, which was to rename the Tontons Macoutes and call them instead "the volunteers for national security" -- but he did not dissolve the internationally condemned force of state thugs. It has been reported that more than 100,000 Haitians fled the country under the younger Duvalier, many of them escaping on barely seaworthy rafts to seek asylum in the United States...

Duvalier returned unexpectedly to Haiti on January 16th, 2011, for the first time since he was driven from power by a popular uprising in 1986.

Despite the concerns and doubts regarding Duvalier’s presence in Haiti, it seems to have opened an opportunity for administering justice...

In fact, Port-au-Prince Chief Prosecutor Aristidas Auguste has affirmed that on Tuesday, January 18th, his office filed charges against Duvalier of corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds and other alleged crimes committed during the former president’s 1971-1986 period in power.

Duvalier was brought in for questioning on the same day and is now under investigation by a Haitian judge who will decide whether a criminal case should go ahead.

One day later on Wednesday, January 19th, four Haitians filed criminal complaints against Duvalier, accusing him of crimes against humanity including arbitrary exile, destruction of private property, torture and moral violation of civil and political rights...

File name Real Media format Mp3 format Duration Language
duvalier Click on icon REAL PLAYER Click on icon MP3 00:12:48 ENG

January 2011

Fichero AudioHti - Violence and serious crimes against women increase amidst poverty and politics. (Inter Press Service - IPS). Radio Nizkor, 27Jan11.

"A full year after a 7.0 earthquake in Haiti obliterated 230,000 lives, injured 300,000 and rendered a quarter of the population homeless, Haitian women are now weathering a second catastrophe.

In the 2,000 makeshift displaced persons camps clustered across the country, women and girls are caught in the midst of an onslaught of sexual abuse...

Jocie Philistin, project coordinator for the Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim (KOFAVIV), says that 'Violence has two aspects - one is poverty, meaning it's economic. The other is politics.'

Whenever there is political turmoil or the economy worsens, violence against women increases. Rape has been used as a political weapon. Young people, especially girls, trade sex for a meal or a roof over their heads...

Now, one year after the quake, KOFAVIV admits a sense of hopelessness. "In the camps, in the communities, things have gotten worse," Philistin said. "We have a completely absent state, we have NGOs who are in the camps mostly for public relations and they aren't even allowed to work in the 'red zone' areas, which are the most dangerous neighbourhoods."

In early October, a coalition of prominent legal and social justice groups, including MADRE, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and the Bureaux des Advocats Internationaux filed a formal request with the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of 13 Haitian women and girls. The Inter-American Commission accepted the request and issued unprecedented recommendations to the Haitian government, which are binding under Haitian national law...

In a report entitled "Our Bodies Are Still Trembling: Haitians Women's Fight Against Rape", the parties of the IACHR request record in chilling detail testimony from women and girls in the camp. Women as old as 60 and as young as eight or nine have all been subjected to unspeakable cruelty which has increased sharply since the 2010 elections..."

File name Real Media format Mp3 format Duration Language
haiti2 Click on icon REAL PLAYER Click on icon MP3 00:05:12 ENG

Fichero AudioHti - Foreign Aid to Haiti needs to be reviewed. (Inter Press Service - IPS). Radio Nizkor, 27Jan11.

"The international community's response was fast and effective during the emergency cause by the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti that claimed at least 230,000 lives. But the "impressive" outpouring of solidarity stalled when reconstruction began, as international and local institutions failed to measure up to the challenge.

That was the assessment of Rubem Cesar Fernandes, executive director of Viva Rio, a Brazilian NGO active in Haiti since 2004, who stressed the need to "invent, to innovate institutionally in international agencies" in order for foreign aid to function adequately and with the necessary momentum... He said there is 'a disconnect in the dialogue between international and local know-how,' between the traditional political leaders of this Caribbean island nation and the leaders of the international aid efforts...

Moreover, international financial institutions like the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank "are not prepared" to meet the immediate needs of 1.3 million people left homeless in cities that have been destroyed, in a country where at least two-thirds of all workers are under- or unemployed...

Benito Baranda, president of the Fundación América Solidaria, said that the activities and performance of the NGOs have been affected by a lack of coordination, caused by 'chaos in the very structure of the government, which has great difficulties coordinating policies and actions.'...

Fernandes sees the continued military presence of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) as indispensable for keeping order, even though the Haitian police have significantly improved.

But that view is not shared by Ricardo Seitenfus, the Brazilian diplomat who represented the OAS in Haiti until he was removed two weeks ago after speaking out against the peacekeeping force in Haiti, a country that "is not an international threat" and is not 'caught up in a civil war'", and where the numbers after the eathquake are as follows:

  • 230,000 - the number of people believed to have died in the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake
  • 1,000,000 - the number of people still living in tents one year later
  • 5 - the percent of rubble that has been cleared one year later
  • 3,481 - the number of cholera deaths as of Jan. 5, 2011
  • 5,700,000,000 USD - the amount pledged by the international community in March 2010 to rebuild Haiti over two years
  • 6.3 percent - the amount of money pledged that had been delivered as of December 2010
  • 4,000,000,000 USD - the amount raised by private charities for earthquake relief, according to CBS
  • 14,000,000 USD- the U.S. contribution to Haiti's highly criticised election

File name Real Media format Mp3 format Duration Language
haiti1 Click on icon REAL PLAYER Click on icon MP3 00:08:42 ENG

December 2004

Fichero AudioHti - Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste released after almost seven weeks of illegal detention. (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti). Radio Nizkor with the collaboration of the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, 08Dec04.

File name Real Media format Mp3 format Duration Language
juste Click on icon REAL PLAYER Click on icon MP3 00:05:32 ENG

Fichero AudioHti - El Consejo de Seguridad prolonga seis meses las operaciones de la MINUSTAH, hasta el 01jun05. Radio Nizkor, 04dic04.

File name Real Media format Mp3 format Duration Language
minustah Click on icon REAL PLAYER Click on icon MP3 00:05:21 ESL/SPA

November 2004

Fichero AudioHti - Special program on the situation of violence in Haiti. Radio Nizkor with the collaboration of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, 12Nov04.

"Six months after the abrupt and violence-laced departure of constitutionally elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and over three months after the deployment of U.N. peacekeeping units which were hailed as an instrument for order and stability in this long-troubled Caribbean island, Haiti remains poised on the edge of chaos."

On September 7, 2004, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a statement expressing concern "over several key areas in which the basic rights and freedoms of Haitians remain weak and imperiled."

In this regard, on September 16, 2004, Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, during a Radio interview, said that human rights criticism was making his relations with donor countries difficult. Later that day police officers raided the offices of the Confederation of Haitian Workers labor union and arrested nine union members, all without a warrant...

On October 2, 2004 the police raided a radio station and arrested two Senators and a former Deputy from the Fanmi Lavalas party who had criticized the Interim Government during a radio program, again without a warrant...

On October 13, 2004, Haitian police forcibly entered the Sainte Claire Catholic Church in Port-au-Prince and arrested the Pastor, Rev. Gérard Jean-Juste, without a warrant. Fr. Jean-Juste is an activist for peace, justice and the rights of immigrants in Haiti and the U.S.

The critical human rights situation in Haiti has also been the concern of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, who has made public a letter saying that human rights conditions are now worse then they have been in years. "Journalists, human rights workers, teachers, church workers, and labor unions are being threatened regularly and are clearly at risk...."

File name Real Media format Mp3 format Duration Language
haiti Click on icon REAL PLAYER Click on icon MP3 00:37:34 ENG

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