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).
The doctrine of national security imposed by the United States on Latin America, which fostered the dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s, is making a comeback in Honduras where a new law is combining military defence of the country with police strategies for maintaining domestic order.
The execution-style killing of a leader of the Landless Workers' Movement in a sugarcane plantation in the southeastern Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro, where bodies of opponents of the dictatorship were incinerated in the 1970s, recalls one of the most tragic chapters in this country's history.
When the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission
failed to approve, or even respond to, a proposal by the University of the State of Haiti (UEH) for a unified campus to replace the nine destroyed or badly damaged faculties in the capital, Vice Rector Fritz Deshommes was not surprised at the silence.
Two years after the earthquake, and despite the proposals written, the consortiums organised and the foreign delegations entertained, the University of the State of Haiti (Université d'Etat d'Haïti or UEH) still has not seen any "reconstruction", and the proposal for a university campus that would unite all 11 faculties remains a 25-year-old dream.