Haití

Víctimas del terremoto esperan durante la distribución de alimentos en el barrio de Picot en Les Cayes, Haití.Monica Gonzalez

Fenómenos naturales adversos como terremotos y huracanes son congénitos a Haití. De la mitad del siglo XVI al pasado 14 de agosto, la nación caribeña ha registrado unos 17 terremotos. Seis de ellos de magnitud de entre 7.0 y 8.1 en la escala de Richter causaron serios daños. Tal no es sólo la realidad de Haití sino de todo el Caribe: Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad y Tobago, y Martinica han sufrido sismos de magnitud de entre 7.3 y 7.7 en los últimos 15 años. La República Dominicana tuvo en 1946 un sismo de magnitud 8.1, que fue en promedio 73 veces más potente que los dos últimos terremotos de Haití.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Haiti’s government has become far weaker and more riven by corruption than the one that flailed in 2010.’ Photograph: Reginald Louissaint Jr/AFP/Getty Images

The latest statistics from Haiti’s August 14 earthquake are stark: at least 2,207 people have been confirmed dead and more than 12,000 injured. More than 130,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Aftershocks continue, and new landslides in the wake of the follow-on Tropical Storm Grace mean those numbers are expected to rise in the coming weeks.

But the most dispiriting number is 11. That is the number of years that passed between Haiti’s last major earthquake and this one – years in which corruption has hollowed out the state, armed gangs have expanded their territorial control, and political turmoil has intensified, culminating in the assassination of the president, Jovenel Moïse, in July.…  Seguir leyendo »

Es imposible no conmoverme con cada nueva tragedia a la que se expone Haití, un país que, aunque uno deje de vivir en él, nunca deja de vivir en ti. Haití te sitúa en el mundo de una manera diferente, cambia tus prioridades en materia de progreso y de justicia social, a la vez que convierte en banales no pocas de las cuestiones por las que, en otros países, como España, corren ríos de tinta.

El último terremoto ha sacudido esta vez el llamado Gran Sur del país, impactando con ferocidad la ciudad de Les Cayes. El seísmo ha destruido, entre otros lugares, el hotel Les Mangiers, donde solía hospedarme de manera habitual, segando a su vez la vida de su propietario, Gabriel Fortuné, que había sido senador y alcalde de la ciudad, y con quien conversé en numerosas ocasiones durante los años que residí en el país.…  Seguir leyendo »

Manithe Simon, de 68 años, y su esposa, Wisner Desrosier, de 67, en un cuarto improvisado junto a su casa derrumbada en Marceline, Haití, el 22 de agosto de 2021. El país sufrió un terremoto de magnitud 7.2 y ahora resiste al huracán Grace. (REUTERS/Henry Romero)

“No dejar a nadie atrás” es el compromiso de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas, en su Agenda 2030, de llegar a los más pobres de los pobres, combatir la discriminación y las crecientes desigualdades en los países. Hoy, ese compromiso se centra más que nunca en Haití a través de un llamamiento urgente para asistir a las personas más vulnerables afectadas por el terremoto que azotó el suroeste del país el 14 de agosto. El sismo de magnitud 7.2 ha recordado el de 2010, que mató a 330,000 personas y dejó a miles más desplazadas.

La destrucción y las muertes que ha dejado este nuevo desastre vienen a apuntalar una serie de eventos que han ido agravando la vulnerabilidad de la población en los últimos años y meses.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las ruinas de un hospital en Fleurant, Haití, después de un terremoto de magnitud 7,2 este mes. Credit Fernando Llano/Associated Press

El terremoto de magnitud de 7,2 grados que sacudió a Haití hace una semana ha devastado el país; ha ocasionado la muerte de al menos 2189 personas y trastornado la vida de alrededor de 1,5 millones más al oeste de la capital, Puerto Príncipe. Estas comunidades no tienen acceso a servicios médicos, refugio, agua corriente ni alimentos. Como si esta catástrofe no hubiera sido suficiente, también han tenido que lidiar con inundaciones y deslaves causados por la tormenta tropical Grace y con la amenaza que supone la violencia de las pandillas para las caravanas que traen equipo y provisiones.

Para nosotros, los haitianos, este es otro doloroso episodio de déjà vu.…  Seguir leyendo »

Injured people lie in beds outside the Immaculée Conception hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, two days after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the southwestern part of the country. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

By now, the world has seen the heartrending photos of the aftermath of the Aug. 14 earthquake that devastated Haiti’s southwest, leaving more than 2,000 dead and thousands more injured. The images are reminiscent of those from the 2010 quake that struck the capital, Port-au-Prince. Buildings on the verge of total breakdown lean precariously to one side or, like the National Palace in 2010, crumple like the buckled center of a partially baked cake. More than a decade later, when I visited Port-au-Prince last November, the National Palace still had not been reconstructed, the vacant lot a memorial and a metaphor for a failed state felled by political corruption and nature’s inexorable pummeling.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una casa destruida por el terremoto en Marceline, a las afueras de Les Cayes, una de las zonas más afectadas de Haití. Adriana Zehbrauskas para The New York Times

No hay factores que nos compliquen más la existencia que la naturaleza y las decisiones humanas. Un terremoto o un acto gubernamental pueden dejarnos en situaciones moralmente incómodas, pero, en el fondo, la respuesta a ambas crisis cae en el mismo cuenco: los seres humanos debemos ocuparnos de los seres humanos, sobre todo en situaciones apremiantes.

En los últimos días, Haití y Afganistán volvieron a ponernos ante ese espejo.

El terremoto que costó al menos 1900 vidas en Haití y la salida intempestiva y desordenada de los aliados liderados por Estados Unidos de Afganistán nos han dejado ante un futuro tan previsible como indeseable: ambas naciones pasarán horrores, pero nadie está muy seguro de que el mundo —gobiernos e instituciones, las sociedades prósperas— vaya a hacer demasiado por ellas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Photo: /Joseph Odelyn Associated Press Des enfants déplacés par le séisme se blottissent sous un morceau de plastique le matin après que la tempête tropicale Grace a balayé Les Cayes, en Haïti, mardi le 17 août 2021, trois jours après un séisme de magnitude 7,2

Pourquoi Haïti est-elle devenue si pauvre ? C’est l’une des questions que l’on pose très souvent dans les débats sur le niveau de pauvreté dans lequel patauge la partie occidentale de l’île, considérée comme l’une des principales attractions touristiques de la Caraïbe jusque dans les années 1970.

La question est d’autant plus importante que l’île était considérée comme la Perle des Antilles par les colons français, tellement cette ancienne colonie était riche. D’abord en ressources naturelles, l’or en particulier. Ensuite par sa productivité agricole qui lui permettait d’être considérée comme une grande pourvoyeuse de matière première.

La littérature sur l’économie du développement retient de nombreux éléments de réponse à cette épineuse question.…  Seguir leyendo »

People watch as firefighters try to recover a body Aug. 17 from the rubble of a home destroyed by an earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti.

Haiti has been hit by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake and 10 inches of rain from Tropical Depression Grace, both events complicated by a lack of clarity over who is leading the country. After the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, many commentators, including the The Washington Post editorial board (and some Haitians), have been calling for outside intervention. The international community is highly likely to intervene in some way, as it has so many times before. Observers agree that Haiti suffers from devastating economic and political problems. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, with low quality of life, high inequality, corruption and a stagnant economy that relies heavily on remittances from abroad.…  Seguir leyendo »

A police car filled with civilians and policemen drives up the Jalousie township where men accused of being involved in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, have been arrested on July 8, 2021 at the Jalousie township in Haiti. Valerie Baeriswyl / AFP

What’s the state of the investigation into President Moïse’s killing?

The circumstances behind President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination remain opaque, and conflicting theories as to the culprits abound. According to Haiti’s National Police, a squad of 28 mercenaries carried out the murder in the early hours of 7 July. The police have already killed three alleged suspects and arrested a further twenty, including eighteen Colombian former soldiers and two Haitian Americans. Five are missing. Authorities in Haiti proceeded to capture Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Florida-based doctor, and accused him of plotting the killing through a security company headquartered in Miami. On 13 July, the police issued arrest warrants – listing charges of “murder and armed robbery” – for former Senator John Joël Joseph, an opponent of Moïse’s Tèt Kale Party, businessman Rodolphe Jaar and Joseph Félix Badio, an official who had worked for the country’s anti-corruption unit and was recently sacked.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the Haitian National Police stand next to a truck in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti on July 22, during a protest of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. (Ricardo Arduengo/Reuters)

The July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was the brutal culmination of the country’s decades-long crisis. As investigators scramble to identify those who commandeered, financed and carried out the murder, there’s much more to this story. Irrespective of the individuals responsible, it is the zero-sum politics rooted in old and deep structures of inequality and widespread poverty that provides the context for the assassination of Haiti’s president.

Haiti has a long history of foreign interference

Since Haiti’s revolutionary founding in 1804, governing the country has been based on the illicit acquisition of wealth through the capture of public office.…  Seguir leyendo »

Photo: Adalberto Roque Agence France-Presse

Haïti et Cuba, deux des principales îles des Caraïbes, sont secouées par de forts remous politiques et sociaux depuis les dernières semaines. À Port-au-Prince, l’assassinat du président Jovenel Moïse a plongé les Haïtiens dans l’incertitude concernant les cerveaux derrière l’attaque. Elle a aussi entraîné une lutte entre plusieurs prétendants au pouvoir s’étant soldée par l’assermentation d’Ariel Henry en tant que nouveau président.

À La Havane, des milliers de protestants sont descendus dans les rues pour manifester leur ras-le-bol concernant le manque de nourriture, de médicaments, la gestion de la COVID-19 et les fortes restrictions des libertés civiles par le gouvernement cubain.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un verano de descontento en América Latina

En el Caribe, el verano es el momento del año en que suceden cosas. Con el aumento de temperaturas y el paso de huracanes, tienden a animarse las pasiones y a estallar las crisis. Pero es raro que estas se den en más de un país a la vez, y por lo general los riesgos que plantean son limitados. Este año fue distinto.

El 7 de julio, hombres armados tomaron por asalto a mitad de la noche la residencia privada del presidente haitiano Jovenel Moïse y lo mataron a balazos, un hecho que conmocionó al país y dio inicio a una lucha por el poder político.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 1791 the enslaved people of Haiti, then known as Saint-Domingue, engineered the first and only successful slave revolt in modern history. Credit API/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images

When assassins killed President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti on July 7, pushing the country to the brink of chaos, it may have struck many Americans as the latest in a string of political upheavals and destabilizing disasters in an unfortunate country with which the United States should have little to do. But the revelation that two of the suspects were American citizens was a reminder of the complicated history of our relations with Haiti — a needlessly tragic history, driven by self-interest and the politics of racism. As the United States now offers to help Haiti restore political order, it should be kept squarely in mind that Haiti is more than just a troubled neighbor.…  Seguir leyendo »

This video image from July 9 shows several men in custody, suspected of being part of the 28-member hit squad accused in the assassination plot of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. (AFP/Getty Images)

Last week’s assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has reopened controversies about the global market for force. Many of those implicated in the assassination were involved in or became engaged via the private security sector.

Though details are still emerging around Moïse’s assassination, it seems a Florida-based security company, CTU Security, helped connect Colombian operatives with those interested in changing the Haitian government. At least some of those involved claimed they were deceived — they believed they were contracting to protect important people or, perhaps, to further the mission of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Authorities are investigating possible connections inside Haiti’s security forces.…  Seguir leyendo »

An anti-gangs protest in Haiti in December 2020. (Dieu Nalio Chery/AP)

In the early hours of June 30, I received news of the brutal killing of Antoinette Duclaire, known as Netty, a young Haitian journalist and feminist activist who I had last seen marching during a protest. One week later, on July 7, I learned of the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, de facto president of Haiti.

Human rights organizations in Haiti report that, between August 2020 and May 2021, at least 81 people were killed violently. But how do you count despair? How do you measure the heaviness of feet across the dangerous streets of my city? How do I recall the frequent losses without turning my friends into mere statistics?…  Seguir leyendo »

A police officer watches protests by residents in the Lalue neighborhood who are upset with growing violence in Port-au-Prince on July 14. Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated on July 7. (Matias Delacroix/AP)

This weekend, we learned that the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was allegedly orchestrated by a Florida-based doctor who wanted power for himself. Now, with the president dead and the doctor arrested in Port-au-Prince, Haiti finds itself in familiar territory: on the precipice of a violent upheaval as a power struggle plays out between ambitious, ruthless men vying for the nation’s top job.

There’s a hidden story here — one that is rarely discussed when countries such as Haiti keep repeating their tragic cycle of ruthless intrigue and political violence. And it helps explain why countries such as Haiti so often end up with toxic, destructive leaders.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’insécurité en Haïti, de François Duvalier à Jovenel Moïse

L’assassinat crapuleux du président Jovenel Moïse dans la nuit du 6 au 7 juillet marque le point culminant de l’insécurité et de la criminalité en Haïti au cours des dernières années. Il ramène le pays près d’un siècle en arrière lors du lynchage du président Vilbrun Guillaume Sam assassiné le 28 juillet 1915 à Port-au-Prince. Contrairement à Jovenel Moise, il s’agissait d’une révolte populaire.

L’insécurité et la criminalité politiques ne datent pas d’aujourd’hui dans la première république noire du monde. Le père fondateur de la nation, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a d’ailleurs été assassiné le 17 octobre 1806, moins de trois ans après l’Indépendance nationale proclamée le 1er janvier 1804.…  Seguir leyendo »

The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti on Wednesday will force a reluctant Biden administration to focus more carefully on its next steps concerning the troubled country. Credit Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

For years, the United States has adopted a wary tolerance of Haiti, batting aside the horror of kidnappings, murders and gang warfare. The more convenient strategy generally seemed to be backing whichever government was in power and supplying endless amounts of foreign aid.

Donald Trump supported President Jovenel Moïse mainly because Mr. Moïse supported a campaign to oust President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. And in February, the Biden administration accepted Mr. Moïse’s tenuous argument that he still had another year to serve despite opposition calls for his departure and large street protests. Mr. Moïse, though initially elected to a five-year term due to end in 2021, did not take office until 2017, thus his claim to an extra year as president.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a devastating development in Haiti's constitutional standoff, a group of gunmen allegedly posing as agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency forcibly entered President Jovenel Moïse's private residence and assassinated him in the early hours of Wednesday. The macabre act will prolong the uncertainty as Haiti tries to avert pandemonium.

A history of political upheaval, dictatorship and weak institutions, as well as endemic corruption have wracked Haiti for decades and stymied the consolidation of democratic rule and good governance. The country was already on edge following a protracted political crisis centered around the constitutionality of Moïse's presidential term and a controversial proposal to overhaul the country's constitution.…  Seguir leyendo »