Archive for Januar, 2012

USA: Rendite muss sein

Sonntag, Januar 29th, 2012

“TOILET PAPER

by Bonnie Urfer June 12, 2011

I really want to complain about every woman in this jail receiving one roll of toilet paper to last for the whole week but I can’t because the for-profit jail almost killed my friend Jackie in its “medical” unit.

I really want to complain about the lack of toilet paper but I can’t because Doris walked around with a broken arm for a month before she was taken to the hospital to have it x-rayed and casted.

I want to complain about the toilet paper but I can’t because my friend Ardeth couldn’t eat for most of a month when she didn’t get her medication, neither did Leslie, and Misty who’s a diabetic never gets her sugar tested.

And then there’s the woman who broke her ankle and wasn’t taken to the hospital for a week, and the woman who had open heart surgery and three weeks later was dumped in here on a probation violation near the end of a 5 year term.

When really, I just want to complain because I don’t have enough toilet paper.

(Bonnie is awaiting sentencing for an action on July 5, 2010 at the Y-12 nuclear weapons complex in Tennessee.)”

 

(Quelle: The Nuclear Resister.)

Mexiko: Der stille Femizid

Samstag, Januar 28th, 2012

“The Drug War’s Invisible Victims

By Laura Carlsen, January 27, 2012

Laura CarlsenThere are many kinds of war. The classic image of a uniformed soldier kissing mom good-bye to risk his life on the battlefield has changed dramatically. In today’s wars, it’s more likely that mom will be the one killed.

UNIFEM states that by the mid-1990s, 90% of war casualties were civilians– mostly women and children.

Mexico’s drug war is a good example of the new wars on civilian populations that blur the lines between combatants and place entire societies in the line of fire. Of the more than 50,000 people killed in drug war-related violence, the vast majority are civilians. President Felipe Calderón claims that 90% of the victims were linked to drug cartels. But how does he know? In a country where only 2% of crimes are investigated, tried, and sentenced, the government pulled this figure out of its sleeve.

There is no official information on why these thousands were killed. When their bodies are found in unmarked mass graves, no one even knows who they were. With violence the norm, executions can—and do–target grassroots leaders, human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, and rebellious youth under the cloak of the drug war.

Not Just Homicide

There are also war tolls beyond the body counts. The homicide number misses the disappeared, the thousands whose bodies–dead or alive–are never found to be counted. And it hides the mutilation of lives caused by “collateral damage”: the loss of loved ones, families forced from their homes, permanent injury, orphans and widows, sexual abuse, lives lived in fear.

These costs fall primarily on the shoulders of women–the mothers, daughters, and sisters who are left with the nearly impossible task of seeking answers and redress in a justice system outpaced by the violence and overrun by the corruption. They are often re-victimized by government agencies that ignore, reject, or stifle their pleas for justice.

“Families that demand that our children be found face all kinds of threats… the loss of our property, isolation, rejection by our own families,” said Araceli Rodríguez, a mother whose son, a young policeman, was disappeared on the job. His police unit refuses to give information on his disappearance.  “I wake up and find that it’s not a nightmare, that his absense is real and the impunity is also real.”

It’s rare to hear the voices of the women who bear the brunt of the drug war. Their pain doesn’t make headlines. Some need anonymity to remain alive. Many have been granted protective measures by the government or international human rights organizations because of the extreme threats they face.

Telling Stories

Despite all these difficulties, some 70 women told their stories amid tears and despite fear for their lives in Mexico City on January 22. The meeting called by the Nobel Women’s Initiative brought an international delegation led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams together with Mexican women victims of the violence and women human rights defenders.

From the sketchy statistics available, women make up a relatively small proportion of the murdered in Mexico, but they are the majority of citizens who denounce disappearances, murders, and human rights violations in the drug war. They work on the front lines of defending communities and human rights. For their efforts, they become targets themselves. In Mexico, six prominent women human rights defenders have been murdered in the past two years.

The last report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders recognized that threats and especially “explicit death threats against women human rights defenders are one of the main forms of violence in the region, with more than half coming from Latin America, most of those (27) from Mexico.”

Sometimes it’s the drug cartels that seek to silence women activists. But a recent survey  of Mexican women human rights defenders revealed that they cite the government (national, state, and local) and its security forces as responsible in 55% of cases of violence and threats of violence to women defenders. Among government officials charged with public saftey and justice, they encounter at best indifference and at worst death threats and attacks. A human rights defender from the state of Coahuila explained that searching for a disappeared loved one implies “always having to be in the hell of the institutions, which are often infiltrated by crime.”

Gender-based violence including femicide has skyrocketed in the context of the overall violence. The number of femicides in Chihuahua since sending the army in has risen to 837 for the period 2008-2011 June—nearly double the total femicides in 1993-2007. Women rights defenders report that the vast majority of threats and acts of violence against them include gender-based violence.

Silent No More

Olga Esparza, whose daughter Monica disappeared in Ciudad Juarez in 2009, explains through her tears that the government simply doesn’t care. “We’re the ones who have to carry out the investigations, with our own resources.” She adds that government officials often add insult to injury, “They say she’s probably just gone off with her boyfriend or she’s a prostitute or drug addict.” In her case, as with so many others, there’s no investigation, no results, no justice.

Another woman described how her work with indigenous communities led to her rape and torture by police agents. She continues to live in terror due to threats against her life and her family.

Alma Gomez of the Center for the Human Rights of Women in Chihuahua summed up what she sees in the center, “Women are the invisible victims, we are always at risk in this military and police occupation. We know of gang rapes by security forces that the women don’t even report; arbitary arrests; women who make the rounds between army barracks and city morgues searching for their sons, fathers, or husbands… We are the spoils of war in a war we didn’t ask for and we don’t want.”

“Victim” is really the wrong word for these women. The mother whose son disappeared more than two years ago said, “In the struggle to find my son, I joined the peace movement. I learned that I can transform my pain into a collective force and together we can help more people to have a voice and to now be empowered to defend their rights.”

Valentina Rosendo, a Me’phaa indigenous woman from the State of Guerrero, was raped by soldiers and took her case all the way up to the Interamerican Court of Human Right. She sums up the reason for participating in the Nobel Women’s forum, “It’s really hard to speak out, but it’s more painful to keep quiet.” 

Foreign Policy In Focus columnist Laura Carlsen is director of the Americas Program for the Center for International Policy in Mexico City.
 

(Quelle: FPIF.)

BRD: A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose?

Samstag, Januar 28th, 2012

“Blumengütesiegel Flower Label Program (FLP) vor dem Aus

Köln, Frankfurt, Osnabrück, Stuttgart, Wien, Herne 3. Januar 2012. Mit Wirkung zum 31. Dezember 2011 sind FIAN Deutschland, FIAN Österreich, Brot für die Welt, terre des hommes und das Eine Welt Zentrum Herne als Nichtregierungsorganisationen (NRO) und die IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG BAU) als Gewerkschaft aus dem Flower Label Program e.V. (FLP) ausgetreten. Die Organisationen sahen sich dazu durch die Entwicklungen im letzten Jahr und den Zustand des FLP e. V. am Jahresende 2011 gezwungen. Sie ziehen die erforderliche Konsequenz aus den inhaltlichen Veränderungen des Vereins und dem finanziellen Zusammenbruch des Gütesiegels.

FLP war im letzten Jahr wirtschaftlich nicht mehr tragfähig, die Büros in Köln und Quito (Ekuador) wurden bereits geschlossen. Grund dafür war eine große Zahl von Austritten und Dezertifizierungen von FLP-Betrieben. NROs und Gewerkschaften konnten sich gegenüber Produzenten und Händlern nicht mit dem Vorschlag durchsetzen, FLP in Fairtrade zu überführen. Bislang sind Fairtrade-Schnittblumen in Deutschland in verschiedenen Supermärkten zu kaufen und sollen im Laufe des Jahres auch bei Floristen angeboten werden. In Österreich bieten neben Supermärkten auch Floristen bereits Fairtrade-Schnittblumen an.

“Da FLP aufgrund fehlender Finanzen nicht mehr handlungsfähig ist, besteht die Gefahr, dass das Label missbraucht wird. Unternehmen können damit werben, ohne dass tatsächlich geprüft wird, ob sie FLP-Standards einhalten.”, so Joachim Vorneweg von der Menschenrechtsorganisation FIAN. Die Zertifizierung durch FLP basiert auf dem internationalen Verhaltenskodex (ICC, International Code of Conduct) für die Schnittblumenproduktion. Er war von den beteiligten NROs, Gewerkschaften, Produzenten und Handel gemeinsam entwickelt worden und setzt seit 1998 klare Maßstäbe. Der ICC enthält Arbeits-, Sozial- und Umweltkriterien, die auf den UNO-Menschenrechtspakten, den relevanten Konventionen der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation (ILO) und Umweltnormen beruhen. FLP hat damit für rund 20.000 ArbeiterInnen in Schnittblumen-Plantagen in Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika bessere Arbeitsbedingungen durchgesetzt, wie etwa feste Arbeitsverträge, Mutterschutz, Arbeits- und Gesundheitsschutz. Das ist ein klarer Verdienst derjenigen Organisationen, die mit Bedauern heute nicht mehr ihren Platz im FLP haben.

FIAN, Brot für die Welt und terre des hommes werden sich weiterhin im Rahmen ihrer Arbeit für soziale Rechte im Blumensektor stark machen. Auch die IG BAU unterstützt in Zukunft die Siegelung durch den Fairen Handel. Die vier Organisationen fordern KonsumentInnen dazu auf, sich beim Kauf für Fairtrade zertifizierte Blumen und Pflanzen zu entscheiden.

Kontakt:

FIAN Deutschland: Joachim Vorneweg, u.hausmann [at] fian.de, Telefon +49 172 8063877

FIAN Österreich: Sophie Veßel, sophie.vessel [at] fian.at, Telefon +43 01 235023912

IG BAU: Sylvia Honsberg, sylvia.honsberg [at] igbau.de, Telefon +49 171 7423450

terre des hommes: Michael Heuer, m.heuer [at] tdh.de, Telefon: +49 541 7101145

Eine Welt Zentrum Herne: Martin Domke ewz-info [at] kk-ekvw.de, Telefon +49 2323 994970

Weitere Informationen:

Ausführliche Stellungnahme von FIAN Deutschland zum Austritt aus dem Flower Label Program

 

(Quelle: FIAN Deutschland e.V.)

USA: … und jetzt nach Afrika!

Samstag, Januar 28th, 2012

“East Africa Is the New Epicenter of America’s Shadow War

By Spencer Ackerman January 26, 2012 | 6:30 am |

When Adm. Eric Olson, the former leader of U.S. Special Operations Command, wanted to explain where his forces were going, he would show audiences a photo that NASA took, titled “The World at Night.” The lit areas showed the governed, stable, orderly parts of the planet. The areas without lights were the danger zones — the impoverished, the power vacuums, the places overrun with militants that prompted the attention of elite U.S. troops. And few places were darker, in Olson’s eyes, than East Africa.

Quietly, and especially over the last two to three years, special operations forces have focused on that very shadowy spot on NASA’s map (see below). The successful Tuesday night raid to free two humanitarian aid workers from captivity in Somalia is only the most recent and high-profile example. More and more elite forces have transited through a mega-base in Djibouti that’s a staging ground for strikes on al-Qaida allies in the Horn of Africa, especially in Somalia.

It’s not quite the new Pakistan, or even the new Yemen, but it’s close — especially as new bases for the U.S.’s Shadow Wars pop up and expand. The U.S. military sometimes seemed like it was casting about for a reason to set up shop in Africa. Counterterrorism has given it one.

Fighting Somalia’s pirates might get most of the media attention. But the U.S. is much more concerned about al-Shabab. The al-Qaida aligned movement seeks to depose the Somali government, recruits from radicalized American Muslims and may have sought to bring terrorism back to U.S. shores. Just across a very narrow Gulf of Aden is Yemen, the home of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which has repeatedly tried to attack America.

In 2009, the top U.S. intelligence official pointed to Yemen and “parts of Africa” where al-Qaida’s leadership might “relocate” if it lost its Pakistani safe haven, to “exploit a weak central government and close proximity to established recruitment, fundraising, and facilitation networks.” His successor told Congress in 2011 that al-Shabab would “probably grow stronger… absent more effective and sustained activities to disrupt them.”

That’s where the forces Olson used to run came in.

Located northwest of Somalia is a former French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti called Camp Lemonnier. The U.S. military has been there for a decade. It’s a resupply point for U.S. ships passing by, as well as the home of a multinational, American-led counterterrorism team called the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

Recently, more and more special operations forces have called it a temporary home. Camp Lemonnier was where the commando team took hostages Jessica Buchanan and Poul Thisted for medical care after freeing them. But the camp is much more than just a big medical facility: it’s also a staging ground for the growing Shadow War in Somalia — and particularly a drone war over it.

Much of the day-to-day fight against al-Shabab is outsourced to African peacekeepers. But the raids and strikes that U.S. commandos have launched against specific Shabab targets are becoming more frequent. Cruise missiles and even, apparently, U.S. helicopter strikes have also hit the group. Special operators even launch raids at sea: this spring, they captured captured one Shabab affiliate, Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, offshore in the Gulf of Aden before detaining him for weeks aboard the U.S.S. Boxer.

Then comes the drone war. Lemonnier isn’t the only U.S. base near the Horn. Throughout the last decade, the military ran a smaller special-operations base in Kenya and another in Ethiopia. Now an Ethiopian outpost will become a launchpad for U.S. drones, as will a facility nearby in the Seychelles, all to launch strikes against al-Qaida allies in East Africa. The most recent of them struck Sunday outside Mogadishu, killing a British-born militant.

Nor is the military the only U.S. organization at work in east Africa. Somalia has attracted the CIA as well, which runs a secret prison attached to the Mogadishu airport. During earlier iterations of the CIA’s post-9/11 involvement in Somalia, it blustered that its operations were protected by drones that actually weren’t overhead — all while it assembled a coalition of friendly warlords to help fight al-Qaida. Nor has the FBI been left out of the action: it worked with the special operations forces to free Buchanan and Thisted on Tuesday night, although Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said no FBI personnel accompanied the raiding team.

Another dramatic expansion of U.S. power in Africa, however, may have been hiding in plain sight.

When President George W. Bush created the U.S. Africa Command in 2007, it wasn’t really clear what the organization was. Humanitarian aid dispensary? Laboratory for African troops to train with their U.S. counterparts? Vehicle for Americanization of Africa’s wars?

The question hasn’t totally been settled. But Africa Command has had a very busy year. In March, it led the initial phase of the U.S./NATO war on Moammar Gadhafi, launching a fusillade of Tomahawk missiles, flew jamming jets and operated conventional ships, subs and fighter jets before handing the war off to a Canadian general. In October, it sent a small advisory force to central Africa to help combat the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army.

Its leader, Army Gen. Carter Ham, hasn’t been in charge for a full year yet, but his busy schedule thus far was capped by last night’s Somalia raid — for which he was the senior-most officer in command, according to the Pentagon. The raid is a sign that Africa Command places great emphasis on its relationship with the U.S.’ elite forces, who, tacitly, help entrench the command’s relevance.

That’s going to remain the case as long as a decimated al-Qaida relies on proxies like al-Shabab to retain its own relevance. And it’s going to remain the case as long as Obama leans on special operators and the CIA to prosecute his Shadow Wars, which pursue terrorists indefinitely even while Obama draws down the large land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When looking at where counterterrorism goes next, it helps to squint at the obscured places on Olson’s map.

Photos: David Axe, NASA”

 

(Quelle: Wired.com)

BRD: Orden für Felicia Langer

Donnerstag, Januar 26th, 2012

“Dankesrede von Felicia Langer bei der Entgegennahme des palästinensischen Ordens für besondere Verdienste aus der Hand von Präsident Mahmoud Abbas am 17.1.2012 in Berlin.

Eure Exzellenz, Herr Präsident der Palästinensischen Autorität, Herr Mahmoud Abbas, Eure Exzellenz, Herr Generaldeligierter der Palästinensischen Generaldirektion in Deutschland, Herr Salah Abdel Shafi; meine liebe Familie, mein Ehemann und mein ältester Enkelsohn Dany mit seiner Partnerin Gini, meine Freunde Prof. Dr. Fanny Michaela Reisin, Präsidentin der Internationalen Liga für Menschenrechte,

Ich bin sehr glücklich und tief bewegt von dieser wundervollen und inspirierenden Ehrung, welche ich mit tiefer Dankbarkeit annehme. Ich möchte meiner Familie danken, die mich all die langen Jahre unterstützt hat, ganz besonders meinem geliebten Mann Mieciu und auch meinen Freunden.

Die Palästinenser, enteignet und gequält durch Israel, haben mein Herz und meine Seele gewonnen und dies bis auf den heutigen Tag. So sehr ich konnte, habe ich versucht, den Opfern der israelischen kolonialen Besatzung in und außerhalb der Gefängnisse zu helfen, damit die Wahrheit über die israelische Unterdrückung überall ans Licht kommt, um damit Frieden in Gerechtigkeit zwischen dem palästinensischen und dem israelischen Volk voranzubringen.

Ich habe eins meiner ersten Bücher über die Folter an palästinensischen Gefangenen in den frühen 70-er Jahren betitelt mit „Dies sind meine Brüder“ und so ist es geblieben. Lieber Herr Präsident, liebe werte Gäste und Freunde, Israel ist der einzige Staat in der Welt, der ununterbrochen seit 44 Jahren eine grausame, koloniale Besatzung entgegen den Maximen des internationalen Rechts aufrecht erhält, und die Welt toleriert das. Wir sollten auch niemals die Verbrechen gegen das Volk von Gaza vergessen, die unter dem Namen „Gegossenes Blei“ vor zwei Jahren verübt worden sind.

Ich bin sehr glücklich, durch Sie in einer Ära der arabischen Revolutionen ausgezeichnet zu werden, trotz all ihrer Schwierigkeiten und Rückschläge. Dieser gesegnete Wind der Veränderung wird die Palästinenser nicht vergessen. Wir stehen noch am Anfang. Wir stehen auch am Beginn der palästinensischen Einheit. Das palästinensische Volk ist ein heroisches Volk, sowohl die palästinensischen Kinder, die ich kenne, als auch seine Mütter und Väter, die Gefangenen in den Gefängnissen und außerhalb, und auch die Bauern, die zusammen mit mir gerichtlich gegen den Raub ihres Landes kämpften und dies heute gegen die Apartheidmauer tun. Auch sie demonstrieren für Frieden in Gerechtigkeit. Wenn Israel sich nicht vollständig abwendet von seiner zerstörenden und friedensfeindlichen Politik, wird es eine Insel der Apartheid im Mittleren Osten bleiben, ohne jede Zukunft. Dies ist auch die Meinung der israelischen Friedenskräfte. Die wahren Freunde Israels müssen dies erkennen!

Mein Ehemann, ein Opfer des Holocaust und ich selbst haben daraus eine Lektion gelernt und die heißt: „Menschlichkeit“. Diejenigen, die das nicht wahrhaben wollen, wie die israelische Regierung, verraten unsere Opfer. Das palästinensische Volk hat entsprechend internationalem Recht wie jedes andere Volk unter der Sonne das legitime Recht auf Selbstbestimmung und darauf, ein Mitglied der Vereinten Nationen zu werden. Das wird geschehen, genauso wie es in der UNESCO geschehen ist.

Der Tsunami des palästinensischen Strebens nach Freiheit wird nicht enden, er ist unbesiegbar! Noch einmal, herzlichsten Dank aus der Tiefe meines Herzens.

Vereint im gerechtem Kampf!”

 

(Quelle: Freunde Palästinas.)

Haiti: Schuldig!

Donnerstag, Januar 26th, 2012

“Guilty for Prison Massacre in Rare Trial of Haiti’s Police

Police officers found guilty in Les Cayes Jan 18, 2012, photo Andres Martinez Casares.jpg

 
 

The two reporters here are the New York Times reporters who broke the original story of the Les Cayes prison massacre to the world in The New York Times, ultimately frustrating the efforts by officials of the previous Preval government and the United Nations to cover up the massacre.

By Deborah Sontag and Walt Bogdanich, New York Times, January 19, 2012

In a country where officials who abuse their power are almost never held accountable, 8 of 14 police officers tried for a 2010 prison massacre were found guilty on Thursday in the southern city of Les Cayes, Haiti.

On the second anniversary of the massacre, Judge Ezekiel Vaval handed down sentences ranging from 2 to 13 years of imprisonment and hard labor. The stiffest sentences were given to the highest-ranking officials, the former Les Cayes prison warden, Sylvestre Larack, and the city’s riot police chief, Olritch Beaubrun, who was tried in absentia.

Judge Vaval, who received frequent death threats during the three-month trial and traveled to New York over the holidays to write his decision free from pressure, delivered his verdicts to an initially hushed crowd of hundreds packing the courtroom. He spoke rapidly, looking off into the distance, and then rapidly departed as the audience erupted into cheers and jeers. “The decision of the judge is his expression of the truth,” Judge Vaval said. “There are other versions that exist but this is mine. And that is the law.”

While it was a rough-hewn legal proceeding by American standards, the trial, having taken place at all, represents a rare victory for the rule of law in Haiti. Haitian government officials who break the law, be they police officers or presidents, typically elude justice, benefiting from a weak, corrupt judicial system.

“Wow, this is a real landmark moment for Haitian justice,” said William O’Neill, an American human rights lawyer with decades of experience in Haiti. “To get some senior law enforcement officials held accountable with fairly serious sentences — it’s really historic.”

Fourteen officers were charged with murder, attempted murder and other crimes for killing and wounding dozens of detainees in the aftermath of a disturbance on Jan. 19, 2010, a week after the earthquake. The officers opened fire on unarmed inmates “deliberately and without justification,” according to an independent commission. That commission, run jointly by the Haitian government and the United Nations, was appointed after an investigation by The New York Times in May 2010 contradicted the official explanation for the deaths at the prison. Initially, the Haitian government had accepted the local officials’ explanation that a single detainee had killed his fellow inmates before escaping.

Mr. Larack, in fact, was promoted after the massacre to run the largest penitentiary in the country; when the Times reporters tried to speak with him there, he ordered them to destroy videotape of him refusing to answer questions. And Mr. Beaubrun, before leaving the country for what his lawyer said were medical reasons, told the reporters that his riot squad had never fired a shot.

But The Times found that police and prison officers had shot unarmed prisoners, and witnesses at trial said that Mr. Beaubrun himself not only had ordered the shootings but had participated in them. The Times also reported that the police had moved some bodies before outside investigators showed up and had hurriedly buried some victims in unmarked graves.

The joint commission then conducted an investigation — although hindered by the authorities’ initial failures to collect and preserve evidence — and prodded the government to prosecute the offenders.

The prosecutor, Jean-Marie J. Salomon, charged that officers had killed 20 detainees, but the precise number of deaths and injuries is not known. Testifying at the trial, one detainee, Patrick Olcine, said he had been shot in the back but had never gone to the hospital. “They were taking dead people and living people, and they were picking them up together,” he said. “I didn’t want them to pick me up and go bury me.”

By American standards, the trial often had a circuslike atmosphere, with protracted quarrels between screaming lawyers playing to the raucous crowds that daily packed a theater in Les Cayes, Haiti’s third-largest city. Small bottles of rum were on sale at the door, the trial was conducted in semidarkness when fuel for the generator ran out and the judge, lacking a gavel, rang a small bell in an often futile effort to gain control of the courtroom.

Mr. Salomon inherited the case when he was appointed shortly before the trial. He had never tried a case before, and trial observers said he was often outmatched by highly seasoned defense lawyers. The defense maintained that the police were just doing their jobs. “But killing people was not doing their job,” said Florence Elie, Haiti’s ombudsman.

The prosecutor asked the judge to sentence 11 of the defendants, including Mr. Larack, to life in prison and hard labor. But Ms. Elie said that the judge, who acquitted six of the officers, chose an equitable middle ground in his decision. He gave Mr. Larack 7 years and Mr. Beaubrun 13.

“If they were civilians, they would have gotten life,” Ms. Elie said. “But the judge was wise. If he had given the normal sentence, we would have had bigger problems in the long run with our police force.”

Still, Ms. Elie said she was very concerned about reprisals because the witnesses, the judge and the prosecutor had not been given protection, as recommended by the joint commission. The chief witness for the prosecution was threatened repeatedly and finally fled to Port-au-Prince, she said, adding that she had not been able to locate him since.

Many Haitians wonder whether this trial could have a galvanizing effect on their justice system, but they are wary of being hopeful. Far bigger cases lie on the horizon.

Former President Jean-Claude Duvalier, for instance, has supposedly been under investigation since his return from exile a year ago for human rights abuses committed during his 15-year reign. But the investigation appears to have stalled, and the new president, Michel Martelly, has shown no inclination to encourage it. Instead, Mr. Martelly has claimed that nobody in Haiti wants to see Mr. Duvalier prosecuted and that the push to do so comes from “certain institutions and governments” abroad.

Although supposedly confined to his house, Mr. Duvalier has made increasingly frequent excursions, and presided over a promotion ceremony at the Gonaïves law school last month. But on Thursday, a judge summoned Mr. Duvalier to court to explain why he had violated his house arrest.

Andres Martinez Casares contributed reporting from Les Cayes, Haiti.”

 

(Quelle: Canada Haiti Action Network.)