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Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

WikiLeaks Reveal: U.S. and UN Officials Oversaw Integration of Ex-Army Paramilitaries into Haiti’s Police Force

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 18, 2011

(A shorter version of this article appears in the newspaper Haiti Liberté )

Throughout 2004 and 2005, Haiti’s unelected de facto authorities, working alongside foreign officials, integrated at least 400 ex-army paramilitaries into the country’s police force, secret U.S. Embassy cables reveal.

For a year and a half following the ouster of Haiti’s elected government on Feb. 29, 2004, UN, OAS, and U.S. officials, in conjunction with post-coup Haitian authorities, vetted the country’s police force – officer by officer – integrating paramilitaries with the goal of both strengthening the force and providing an alternative “career path” for paramilitaries.

Hundreds of police considered loyal to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s deposed government were purged. Some were jailed and a few killed, according to numerous sources interviewed.

At the same time, former soldiers from the disbanded Haitian Armed Forces (FAdH), who were assembled in a paramilitary “rebel” force which worked with the country’s elite opposition to bring down Aristide, were stationed – officially and unofficially – in many towns across the country.

As part of this, an extrajudicial strike brigade was assembled in Pétion-Ville. It carried out brutal raids (sometimes alongside police), often several times a week, in the capital’s coup-resisting neighborhoods, as documented in a November 2004 University of Miami human rights study.

The secret U.S. dispatches detailing the police force’s overhaul were part of 1,918 Haiti-related cables obtained by the media organization WikiLeaks and provided to Haïti Liberté.

The cables show that UN and U.S. officials saw the program as a useful way to disarm and demobilize combatants, but the implications of providing coup-making paramilitaries with government security jobs have been hidden or ignored.

The cables also make clear that the US officials – using “redlines” and red flags” – took on a leading role in the “reforms,” minutely following the process of repopulating Haiti’s police. Read the rest of this entry »

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The man who screwed an entire country

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 11, 2011

The Economist

The Berlusconi era will haunt Italy for years to come

SILVIO BERLUSCONI has a lot to smile about. In his 74 years, he has created a media empire that made him Italy’s richest man. He has dominated politics since 1994 and is now Italy’s longest-serving prime minister since Mussolini. He has survived countless forecasts of his imminent departure. Yet despite his personal successes, he has been a disaster as a national leader—in three ways.

Two of them are well known. The first is the lurid saga of his “Bunga Bunga” sex parties, one of which has led to the unedifying spectacle of a prime minister being put on trial in Milan on charges of paying for sex with a minor. The Rubygate trial has besmirched not just Mr Berlusconi, but also his country.

However shameful the sexual scandal has been, its impact on Mr Berlusconi’s performance as a politician has been limited, so this newspaper has largely ignored it. We have, however, long protested about his second failing: his financial shenanigans. Over the years, he has been tried more than a dozen times for fraud, false accounting or bribery. His defenders claim that he has never been convicted, but this is untrue. Several cases have seen convictions, only for them to be set aside because the convoluted proceedings led to trials being timed out by a statute of limitations—at least twice because Mr Berlusconi himself changed the law. That was why this newspaper argued in April 2001 that he was unfit to lead Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Natural Disasters Displaced 42 Million In 2010; Climate Change Could Be Factor, Experts Say

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 6, 2011

In this rate this year could be worse than last year.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Michel Martelly Wins Haiti’s Presidential Election: Report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 5, 2011

At least people can listen to his songs rather than unnecessar­y lectures.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Toddler Chic, Environmentally Sound

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 11, 2011

Respect them who are qualified for that.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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“Baby Doc” Duvalier Haiti Return Sparks Rumors

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 18, 2011

The big world became very small to the dictator and could not hide himself.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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WikiLeaks Nepal Document: UN chief to appoint Haiti cholera panel

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 18, 2010

An expert scientific panel will be appointed to investigate the origin of the cholera outbreak in Haiti, says the United

UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon touched on a wide range of subjects including Haiti, WikiLeaks and the Ivory Coast elections in a year-end speech in New York on Friday. (Associated Press) Read more:

Nations secretary general.

Details of the independent panel, which will include world-renowned microbiologists and epidemiologists, among others, will be rolled out as soon as possible, Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York on Friday in his year-end speech.

“We want to make the best efforts to get to the bottom of this outbreak and get the answers the people of Haiti deserve.”

Since it emerged in late October, the disease has spread throughout much of Haiti, killing 2,535 people and sickening 114,497more. The UN says up to 650,000 people in Haiti could get cholera over the next six months.

There is widespread belief in Haiti that UN peacekeepers from Nepal are the source of the disease. A French epidemiologist, who studied the outbreak on behalf of the Haitian and French governments, came to the same conclusion.

In his wide-ranging speech Ban also touched on the recent elections in the Ivory Coast. Ban said Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo must step down and hand power over to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara. Read the rest of this entry »

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