Tag Archives | Haiti

Why can’t we stop cholera in Haiti?

Blue Skyz Studios (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Blue Skyz Studios (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

An outbreak of cholera in Haiti that began in 2010 is still killing people. Why have attempts to get it under control failed? Rose George reports.

In early February, when Jenniflore Abelard* arrived at her parents’ house high in the hills of Port-au-Prince, her father Johnson* was home. He was lying in the yard, under a tree, vomiting. When Jenniflore spoke to him, his responses, between retches, sounded strange: “nasal, like his voice was coming out of his nose”. He talked “like a zombie”. This is a powerful image to use in Haiti, where voodoo is practised and where the supernatural doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it might elsewhere. Her father’s eyes were sunk back into his head. She was shocked, but she knew what this was, because she has lived through the past five years in Haiti. She has lived through the time of kolera.… Read the rest

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The Zombies of Haiti

An interesting history of zombie-ism in Haiti.

via Mysterious Universe:

Bloodthirsty fictional zombies have become very popular in recent times, inhabiting everything from books, to TV shows, to movies, delighting and scaring many horror aficionados. Yet many people may not realize that in some cultures, zombies are considered to be very real. In these societies, zombies are not the stuff of imagination or fiction, but rather real flesh and blood creations that shamble through the shadows and our nightmares. However, how much truth is there behind these traditions of actual real-life zombies? Do real zombies actually exist somewhere out there in the dark corners of the world?

"Zombie". A Zombie, at twilight, in a field of cane sugar of haïti.

“Zombie”. A Zombie, at twilight, in a field of cane sugar of haïti.

To find answers to this question, perhaps a good place to look is the island nation of Haiti, located in the Caribbean Sea on half of the island of Hispaniola, which has a long tradition of real zombies, also spelled as zombi.

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Into Haiti’s Zombie Underground

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 9.52.03 AMWriter Mischa Berlinski traveled to Haiti in search of zombies. Epic Magazine has the story.

Via Epic:

About a month after I arrived in Jérémie, a rumor swept through town that a deadly zombie was on the loose. This zombie, it was said, could kill by touch alone. The story had enough authority that schools closed. The head of the local secret society responsible for the management of the zombie population was asked to investigate. Later that week, Monsieur Roswald Val, having conducted a presumably thorough inquiry, made an announcement on Radio Lambi: There was nothing to fear; all his zombies were accounted for.

Shortly after that incident, I started taking Creole lessons from a motorcycle-taxi driver named Lucner Delzor. Delzor was married with four children, but he kept a mistress on the other side of town. He told me that he had never so much as drunk a glass of water at his mistress’s house for fear she might lace his food with love powder.

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A Response To The Question “Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?”

Pic: Steve Lee (CC)

Lately there have been a slew of “Why Do People Believe In Conspiracy Theories” articles, no doubt a reaction to the slew of conspiracy theories offered after recent tragedies such as the Aurora shooting, the Sandy Hook shooting, and the Boston Marathon bomb attack. The reasons given in these articles mirror many of the thoughts I have expressed when speaking to those with their own conspiracy theories. I frequently argue with conspiracy theorists here on Disinfo, but not for the reasons they typically give (“government shill” is the most common). I certainly believe there are and have been conspiracies within the US government to break the law at the expense of other people’s lives for the sake of greed and lust for power. What annoys me about the articles I mentioned is that they have all left out, or at the least severely underestimated, a very important reason people believe conspiracy theories.… Read the rest

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Four Children Beaten to Death During Exorcism

Photo credit Thom Quine

Via France 24:

Four children have been found beaten to death, the results of an exorcism:

Four children from the same family have been found dead in Haiti after being treated by a witch doctor who claimed to be able to cure them of a mysterious illness, a local official said Friday.

“Three girls and a boy, the eldest of whom was seven years old and the youngest only 15 months, suffered abuse from the healer who was treating them,” said Wilfrid Brisson, an official from the southern town of Marbial, told AFP.

“They were then abandoned in their mother’s bed.”

According to neighbors, the sorcerer — who was assisted by his brother — persuaded the victims’ mother that the children were possessed by a demon and said he could rid their soul of the devil.

The witch doctor and his brother beat the children repeatedly, in steps they said were necessary to expel the demon, and the youngsters died from the blows, said Brisson.

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UN Forces Spread Deadly ‘Superbug’ Strain Of Cholera

UN peacekeeper in Haiti. Photo: Robert Miller (CC)

UN peacekeeper in Haiti. Photo: Robert Miller (CC)

As if Haiti didn’t have enough problems already… From ABC News:

Compelling new scientific evidence suggests United Nations peacekeepers have carried a virulent strain of cholera — a super bug — into the Western Hemisphere for the first time.

The vicious form of cholera has already killed 7,000 people in Haiti, where it surfaced in a remote village in October 2010. Leading researchers from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere told ABC News that, despite UN denials, there is now a mountain of evidence suggesting the strain originated in Nepal, and was carried to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers who came to Haiti to serve as UN peacekeepers after the earthquake that ravaged the country on Jan. 12, 2010 — two years ago today. Haiti had never seen a case of cholera until the arrival of the peacekeepers, who allegedly failed to maintain sanitary conditions at their base.

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Wikileaks: U.S. Forced Haiti To Nix Raising Its Minimum Wage To 62 Cents

ouanaminthe_784119Wikileaks unveils an incredibly infuriating revelation, via the Nation. To sum up: desperately poor Haiti planned to raise its minimum wage from 24 cents per hour to 62 cents, angering the contractors for U.S. corporations such as Levis and Hanes, who pay slave wages to Haitians who sew our clothes. The Obama administration intervened on behalf of those companies, and bullied the Haitian government into setting the mark at 32 cents. To put things in perspective, upping the hourly wage to 62 cents would have cost Hanes an additional $1.6 million each year. Hanesbrands turned $211 million in profit last year and CEO Richard Noll personally was paid $10 million.
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How Monsanto And Evangelical Christian Organizations Hijacked The Taxpayer Money Intended For Haiti

only-solution-to-haitiThe Awl has an infuriating exposé detailing how Billy Graham’s evangelical organizations are sucking up U.S. tax dollars intended for Haiti. With the country in tatters and foreign aid flowing, Christian groups such as Graham’s are on a mission to “Christianize” Haiti and wipe out Haitian voodoo culture. Agribusiness behemoth Monsanto is another private player taking advantage of the crisis to expand their empire:

Overall, Haiti has become one of the greatest money laundering operations in history, an island engine turning public funds into private profits.

What’s more, U.S. taxpayer dollars are, against Presidential directive, being funneled from the United States Agency for International Development to Billy Graham’s charities for use in Christian proselytizing—all while building Sarah Palin’s 2012 campaign army.

“At that time, they were not open to the Gospel, and now they are,” said “Festival of Hope” director Sherman Barnette, of the difference in Haiti before and after the earthquake.

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“Baby Doc” Duvalier Questioned By Haiti’s Authorities

1AIt didn’t take long after his arrival before “Baby Doc” Duvalier was questioned about his crimes. BBC News reports:

Former Haitian leader Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier has been questioned by judicial officials and was later led out of his hotel by police.

He was questioned over claims he stole from the country’s treasury. It is not clear whether he has been arrested.

Haiti’s chief prosecutor and a judge were seen arriving at his hotel in Port-au-Prince earlier on Tuesday.

Mr Duvalier, who ruled the country for 15 years before being ousted in 1986, made a surprise return to Haiti Sunday.

“He will be questioned and he will remain at the disposal of the judicial system,” a senior government official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters news agency earlier.

[Continues at BBC News]

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Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier Returns To Haiti

Photo: Francios Duvalier and Jean-Claude Duvalier shortly before Francios death and Jean-Claudes presidency

Photo: Francios Duvalier and Jean-Claude Duvalier shortly before Francios' death and Jean-Claude's presidency

Shortly after Haitians remember the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake, Haiti is struck with another surprise. The return of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who took over the country at the age of 19, continuing his father’s dictatorship of fear and torture. His arrival gave rise to mix emotions: some are questioning if his crimes will finally be tried, some remember the time of his dictatorship as the last time of stability in Haiti, some wonder if this will encourage exiled former President Jean-Bertrande Aristideto visit the country. One thing is for certain, he returned out of the concern of his homeland and it’s people. Can a man and his country put aside differences to help his people in a time of need? Forbes reports:

Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, a once feared and reviled dictator who was ousted in a popular uprising nearly 25 years ago, has made a stunning return to Haiti, raising concerns he could complicate efforts to solve a political crisis and the stalled reconstruction from last year’s devastating earthquake.

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