For the first time ever, on Thursday Haiti’s former dictator faced his accusers, answering questions about corruption and human rights abuses during his brutal 15-year regime (1971-1986).
Angry and frustrated, but also cautiously hopeful, victims, human rights advocates and the Haitian population are waiting for Thursday, Feb. 28, the day former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has been ordered to appear at a hearing to determine whether or not he will face charges for human rights abuses committed during his brutal 15-year regime (1971-1986).
Outraged that they have not been consulted, this week Haitian senators called for a moratorium on all activities connected with recently granted gold and copper mining permits.
A community radio station silenced by Haitian authorities is open again thanks to the mobilisation of other stations as well as organisations and associations both inside and outside of Haiti.
As predicted, the beginning of the rainy season in Haiti brought exponential increases in the numbers of people sickened and killed by cholera.
For two years now, since her husband was one of the estimated 230,000 Haitians killed in the massive earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010 and she and her three children became homeless, little has changed for Dieulia St. Juste.
"In my opinion, there is no such thing as a natural disaster," says Sylvia Richardson, a volunteer broadcaster, mother of two, assistant librarian, and the new vice president of the North American region of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).
One year and one month after Haiti's horrendous earthquake, the world's eyes are focused elsewhere.
Up a rubble-strewn street, turn right past a crumbled house, and 60 men and women are in the yard and parlor of the offices of the Commission of Women Victim-to-Victim (Komisyon Fanm Viktim pou Viktim, KOFAVIV) association.
Neither hurricanes nor floods, nor the devastating January earthquake or Haiti's chronic political instability managed to wipe out the organic gardening initiative underway in that country since 2005. The seed was planted in Argentina twenty years ago.
In Haiti, violence, political divisiveness, exclusion and poverty are inextricably interconnected.
Traffic was steady and people cautiously optimistic in Haiti's capital Monday, after weekend raids by Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers left eight alleged gangsters, some of them ex-soldiers, dead.
For over a year now, Haitian political parties, U.N. officials and foreign consultants armed with plans, charts and millions upon millions of dollars have been planning for Haiti's general elections.
Last Thursday, automatic gunfire rattled away in this residential suburb of Haiti's capital. Roads were blocked. School children scurried. Drivers slipped gears into reverse.
"The 'steamroller' swept across Port-au-Prince ... All night and into the morning furious battles took place throughout the lower city. Finally, as the army gained the upper hand, trucks began picking up littered corpses."