Posts Tagged ‘MINUSTAH’

“In Haiti, Brazil is just a puppet,” Haitian senator declares

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Tropas_brasileiras-Marcello-Casal-Jr_After almost nine years in the country, MINUSTAH prolongs conditions of poverty and repression, securing the political and economic interests of the United States

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for May 9, 2013.  See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

By Márcio Zonta

The United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be nine years old in June.  Created in 2004 by the UN Security Council, it brought the activities of foreign troops into the country after the coup against then President Bertrand Aristide.  He was kidnapped and deposed by United States forces, being forced into exile in Africa. (more…)

Case of alleged sexual abuse by UN troops in Haiti moves forward

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

 

((Johny Jean in Montevideo — El Mostrador photo))

[Translations of two articles, the first by Spanish news agency Efe as published in El Observador of Montevideo on May 9, 2012, the second from El País of Montevideo for May 11. See originals here and here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

Haitian youth who denounced rape by Uruguayan marines to testify in Montevideo

Haitian Johny Jean, who accused five Uruguayan blue helmets of abusing him sexually last year in Haiti, will travel to Uruguay on Tuesday to testify before the judge in charge of the case.

The director of the [Haitian] Reseau National de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH – National Network for the Defense of Human Rights), Pierre Espérance, confirmed the trip, in which a member of that organization will take part in order to observe Jean’s testimony before the Uruguayan court, planned for Thursday afternoon. (more…)

Haiti: Maneuvers by former soldiers are cause for concern

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

[Translation of an article from AlterPresse Haïti for February 10.  See original here.]

Port au Prince, February 10 – Citizens are wondering about maneuvers, with weapons, that have been carried out for several weeks in different parts of the country by groups of former members of the military, wearing uniforms, who have taken over  camps of the disbanded armed forces of Haiti.

The training exercises have been observed particularly in the municipality of Carrefour, in the Ouest department south of the capital, in Gonaïves in the department of Artibonite to the north, and in the central plateau, in the northeast.

No relevant information has been released on the source of financing or on the sponsorship of these groups, who, since 2011, with no discussion or administrative orders, have assumed the position of “demobilized former soldiers” in order to resume military training exercises. (more…)

Brazil: Government seeks to bar Haitians, setting dangerous precedent

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

[Translation of a column from the Brazilian web site Carta Maior for January 14, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Gilberto Maringoni

The administration of the daughter of Bulgarian immigrant Pedro Rousseff, who arrived here in the late 1930s in search of a better life, has just placed restrictions on the entry of immigrants into Brazil.

Last Friday, the National Council on Immigration, an agency tied to the Ministry of Labor, decided that it would halt the annual entry of more than 1,200 Haitians who come to the country in search of better luck. This is a matter of a perverse version of the policy of racial quotas, promoted by several sectors of Brazilian society as a means of providing those of African descent with access to universities and public offices. Now they are quotas to prohibit and not to facilitate. (more…)

Haiti: Can the nation be reconciled in the reign of impunity?

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

((Michel Martelly, Jean Bertrand Aristide – Haiti-Liberté photo))

[Translation of an article from Haïti-Liberté for October 20, 2011. See original here.]

By Thomas Péralte

With a view toward the reconciliation of all the sons of the nation of Haiti, President Michel Martelly has arranged meetings with the former heads of states, de facto and de jure, during a week called the “Week of National Reconciliation” or “Week of National Understanding.” During that week President Martelly met with five former presidents: Prosper Avril, Jean Bertrand Aristide, Jean Claude Duvalier, Boniface Alexandre and Henry Namphy, in their respective homes in the vicinity of the capital and in the Dominican Republic.

According to the presidential communications office, led by journalist Joseph Lucien Jura, the president’s move is aimed at encouraging dialogue and unity among all the actors and former leaders of the country. This week of reconciliation also has as an aim a national understanding, a space for discussing some major matters of state, among them: education, the army, MINUSTAH (Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haïti – United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti), the CIRH (Commission Intérimaire pour la Reconstruction d’Haïti – Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti). (more…)

Uruguay: Haitian youth has not appeared and investigation is pending

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

[Translation of an article from El Observador of Montevideo for October 17. See original here and related articles here.]

The Criminal Justice Department has taken new testimony in the case of alleged abuse by Uruguayan military personnel, members of the United Nations blue helmets, against a minor in Haiti. On Monday, new questioning was carried out of associates of the five military personnel being investigated.

Prosecutor Eduardo Fernández Dovat told El Observador that he and Judge Alejandro Guido took a statement via Skype from a marine in Haiti who is close to the military men under investigation. Three other associates on leave in Uruguay were also questioned.

The content of their statements cannot be divulged because it is part of the reserva presumario, stated the prosecutor, who indicated that the questioning of the four marines on Monday has ended.

The lawyer for the five marines, Gustavo Bordes, told Últimas Noticias that what is being sought with these statements is to show that after what occurred the Haitian youth maintained friendly relations with the uniformed personnel and that he would go to the compound gate for conversations. The lawyer holds that sufficient evidence thus exists to show that it was a matter of a prank.

Fernández Dovat stressed that “there have been no new developments concerning the location of the Haitian youth, whose statement is necessary in order to continue moving forward. We cannot move forward without locating him and this remains pending until the day he appears.”

The youth has not filed any charge in Uruguay, Fernández Dovat stated. “There is no indication in this country of the youth’s desire to move forward. We are waiting for his appearance, if he does appear,” he added.

If the youth does not appear, the case could be archived. “In order to indict in the crime of rape, it is six months from the time of the act; if during that time there is no indictment it would be archived,” the prosecutor explained.

Haiti: An occupied country

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

A speech by Eduardo Galeano

[Translation of a speech by Uruguayan historian and writer Eduardo Galeano during a forum held on September 28, 2011,  at the National Library in Montevideo entitled “Haiti and the Latin American response.” See original here and related articles here. Galeano’s remarks were dedicated to Guillermo Chifflet, who resigned from the Chamber of Deputies in 2005 to protest the Uruguayan military’s participation in MINUSTAH, the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti.]

Look it up in any encyclopedia. Ask which was the first free county in America. You will always get the same answer: the United States. But the United States declared its independence while it was a nation with 650,000 slaves, who continued being slaves for a century, and in its first constitution established that a black was the equivalent of three fifths of a person.

And if you ask any encyclopedia what was the first country to abolish slavery you will always get the same answer: England. But the first country to abolish slavery was not England but Haiti, which is still atoning for the sin of its dignity. (more…)

Uruguay: Military court sentences five marines to prison

Monday, September 19th, 2011

[Translation of an article from El País of Montevideo, Uruguay, for September 19. See original here and related articles here.]

The military court late yesterday convicted and sentenced to prison the five Uruguayan marines involved in the case of abuse of a youth in Haiti, made known through a video recording.

Military Judge Washington Vigliola, who investigated the charges, interrogated the five accused marines over the weekend after they had been transferred from Haiti and were held incommunicado at the Carrasco naval school. The military judge ruled at 11:00pm yesterday that the marines, who were part of MINUSTAH, a peace force sent to Haiti by the United Nations, committed the crimes of disobedience and dereliction of duty, as established by the military penal code. The sentence includes prison terms and the five will be transferred to a military unit to serve their terms, information obtained by El País indicates. As of press time, it was not known where they will be held.

The military court ruled quickly, 48 hours after the marines returned. An examining magistrate had been sent to Haiti for the purpose of furthering the investigation.

Meanwhile, the case of these members of the National Navy will be taken into consideration by the Supreme Military Tribunal, which will make a ruling on the discharge of the five involved in the case.

The ruling does not prevent an investigation by the civilian justice system, since the Ministry of Defense filed a criminal denunciation to have the controversial incident investigated.

The civilian case will go to criminal judge Alejandro Guido, who could begin the proceedings next week…

Uruguay, Haiti and United Nations missions

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

[Translations of three articles from Uruguay for September 9, 2011, from El País, El Espectador and Montevideo Portal respectively. See original articles here, here and here and related articles here and here. Uruguay’s participation in United Nations missions, which has been controversial from the outset, became particularly so when Uruguayan navy personnel were filmed allegedly raping a Haitian youth in Port Salut and another Uruguayan was accused of impregnating a 16-year-old Haitian girl. With a population of about 3.5 million, Uruguay has a military force of about 23,500, of whom about 2,500 are assigned to 12 different United Nations missions. The Uruguayan government is dominated by the Frente Amplio (FA), the Broad Front, a coalition of leftist and center-left parties. The president and the majorities of both chambers of the legislature are members of the FA. The president, 76-year-old José Mujica, is a former member of the Tupamaro guerrillas, as is Defense Minister Eleuterio Fernández Huidobro. Mujica spent 14 years in prison as a result of his Tupamaro activities. As president, his political outlook is closer to that of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva than to Hugo Chávez or Evo Morales.]  

Mujica wants to keep troops in Haiti despite scandal over abuse

President José Mujica referred today to the rape of a youth by Uruguayan navy personnel in Haiti and described response to the event as “a hard road to travel” (“un viaje de arena gruesa”) for Uruguay.

The president said in a press conference that “this kind of thing has been happenings as long as the world has existed” and added that “among soldiers there is always a fringe of rowdy gangs, it is inevitable.” (more…)

Ministers agree to gradual withdrawal of troops from Haiti

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

[Translation of an article from El País of Montevideo, Uruguay, for September 8. See original here.]

The defense ministers who met today in Montevideo have agreed to a gradual withdrawal of blue helmets deployed in Haiti. The intention is to reduce the personnel to the level that existed before the earthquake of 2010, when there were 9,000 military and police personnel in the country.

In a press conference, Foreign Minister Luis Almagro read a joint statement by Unasur (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas) that “recommends supporting the United Nations in the reduction of troops to the levels authorized before the earthquake without damaging the stability and security of the country.” (more…)

Brazilian minister of defense argues for withdrawal of troops from Haiti

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

 

Celso Amorim — Agence France Presse photo

[Translation of an article from BBC Brasil for September 5, 2011. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Marcia Carmo

Brazil needs to begin thinking about the gradual departure of its troops from Haiti, Defense Minister Celso Amorim said Monday in the Brazilian embassy in Buenos Aires.

In an interview, Amorim said that before the complete withdrawal there should first be a gradual reduction of troops in accordance with a schedule agreed to jointly by the countries of Unasur (Unión de Naciones Sudamericanos – Union of South American Nations) and the United Nations. (more…)

Haiti: UN soldiers accused of contaminating river again as Brazil considers withdrawing its troops

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

[Translations of two articles from August 9, the first from Radio Metropole, the second from AlterPresse Haïti. See originals here and here.]

Brazil contemplates departure of Blue Helmets from Haiti

The new Brazilian defense minister, Celso Amorim, is contemplating withdrawal of the  Blue Helmets of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH). The former foreign minister, who has made two visits to Haiti, Amorim considers that the Brazilians’ mission is nearing its end with the strengthening of democracy and economic growth.

This represents a radical change of position for Amorim, who, during the Lula administration, had encouraged Brazil’s involvement at the center of MINUSTAH.

Assuming office last Monday, Amorim bases his decision on a slow-down of the Brazilian economy. “On the international level, this is a time for military disengagement and from the economic point of view, Brazilian growth has slowed,” he explains. Amorim draws attention as well to an improvement in the security climate in Haiti. “Even if the country is far from being a haven of peace, it is now endowed with a president with the outlook of institutions regaining their normal functioning,” he remarked.

(more…)