⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Haiti Political Issues

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 5:27:52 AM

Haiti Political Issues

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Political fallout after Haitian president's assassination

At time of writing, Haiti was entering its 10th week of demonstrations and political clashes. Corruption, vulnerability to natural disasters, resurgent gang violence, and disproportionate use of force by police against protesters remain major human rights concerns in Haiti. Haitians remain susceptible to displacement by natural disasters, including tropical storms and hurricanes. Over , households still need decent shelter more than three years after Hurricane Matthew caused, by various estimates, between and 1, deaths.

Nearly 9, more people were displaced in , the majority due to housing destroyed by an earthquake in October. As of January , nearly 35, people , more than half of them women and children, lived in displacement camps formed after a earthquake. Authorities have not provided assistance to resettle them or return them to their places of origin. Some 2. Low rainfall chronically affects much of the country. Since its introduction by UN peacekeepers in , cholera has infected more than , people and claimed nearly 10, lives.

However, intensified control efforts—including an ambitious vaccination campaign—have resulted in a significant decline in cases, from more than 41, suspected cases and deaths in to just over suspected cases and three deaths from January through April Over people died in Haitian prisons in and 19 died between March 1 and May 15, As of May , Haitian prisons housed just over 11, detainees, 73 percent of whom were awaiting trial. Illiteracy is a major problem in Haiti. The quality of education is generally low, and 85 percent of schools are run by private entities that charge school fees that can be prohibitively expensive for low income families.

Nearly , children and youth remain out of primary and secondary school throughout the country. In February , as police sought to remove barricades and control massive anti-government demonstrations, clashes broke out and at least 34 people were killed and over injured. Twenty-three police officers were also injured. Among those injured was an Associated Press photojournalist shot in the jaw by a Haitian senator who opened fire near the Senate building, and a cameraman for Radio Sans Fin shot in the wrist as police fired into a crowd. In October a radio journalist covering the protests was found shot dead in his car. In November, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights released a statement on the unrest, attributing at least 19 of the 42 deaths in protests since mid-September to government security forces.

Reports by the UN and the Haitian police in June indicated the involvement of two former Haitian National Police officers and two senior government officials. In September, as protests intensified, both government officials were removed from their posts. Accountability for past human rights abuses continues to be a challenge in Haiti. Duvalier died in , six months after the Port-of-Prince Court of Appeal ruled that the statute of limitations could not be applied to crimes against humanity and ordered that investigations against him should continue for crimes committed during his presidency Allegations of violations include arbitrary detentions, torture, disappearances, summary executions, and forced exile.

Gender-based violence is a widespread problem. Haiti does not have specific legislation against domestic violence, sexual harassment, or other forms of violence targeted at women and girls. Rape was only explicitly criminalized in , by ministerial decree. There has been little progress toward passage of a criminal code reform submitted to parliament in April that would address some of these gaps in protection. Moise won a first round of elections in October But the vote was marred by widespread voter fraud and a presidential runoff was pushed back several times. A vote was held again in November and Moise won with He officially took office on February 7, In a tweet on January 13 of last year, Moise announced the close of the 50th legislature, saying the terms of all deputies in the lower house Chamber of Deputies were over, as were those of two-thirds of the Senate.

Translation: My administration received a month constitutional mandate from the Haitian people. We have exhausted 48 [months]. The next 12 months will be focused on energy sector reform, holding the referendum and organising elections. Moise recently issued decrees that effectively removed judges from the supreme court Cour de Cassation in violation of the Constitution. He then appointed replacements to the court, also without following constitutional guidelines, HRW said.

He has also formed an electoral council and consultation committee to prepare a new constitution, for which he plans to hold a referendum on April As part of his reforms, Moise intends to eliminate the position of prime minister, a post he has argued gives too much power to someone who is not directly elected. Guichard Dore, an adviser to the president, also did not respond to a request for comment. Amid the political tug-of-war, much of Haitian society has come to a standstill: the education system has been paralysed and businesses are running at half-speed.

He was released three days later after international pressure. Police have cracked down on demonstrations, and several protesters, as well as journalists, have been injured. Pro-government and pro-opposition armed groups have instilled fear in neighbourhoods in which they exercise control, the Fondation Je Klere civil society group wrote in a June report. Last February, the UN urged the Haitian government to end impunity for gang leaders, including former police officer Jimmy Cherizier, who now heads an alliance of gangs called G9.

Cherizier has been accused of being involved in a massacre in La Saline neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. Pierre Esperance, coordinator of the National Network in Defence of Human Rights RNDDH , a Haitian human rights group, pointed to the large swaths of Haiti under the control of armed gangs and accused the government of losing control of the situation.

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