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Tuesday
Mar052013

TransAfrica Mourns the Loss of President Hugo Chavez

President Hugo Chavez died today at the age of 58.TransAfrica was deeply saddened to learn of the death of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela today. After fighting cancer for the last two years, Chavez passed away today at the age of fifty-eight. Chavez was first elected president of Venezuela in 1998 and was serving a six-year term he won in October 2012.

Although he was often reduced to one-dimension by the mainstream media, Hugo Chavez was a dynamic leader who will be remembered for his tremendous contributions to the strengthen the well being of the most disadvantaged. Chavez’s policies had an impact not only on the poor in Venezuela, but with his leadership Venezuela also reached out to help support those most in need beyond its borders.

As TransAfrica President Nicole C. Lee noted today, “Many Venezuelans attribute higher standards of living to President Chavez’s leadership. His regional vision for Latin America was pioneering and his actions made a tremendous positive difference that will be his legacy.”

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Wednesday
Feb272013

Cholera in Haiti: Murder by foreigners with internal support

By Etant Dupain

Finally, through its response to the legal complaint brought on behalf of the victims, the United Nations has made it clear that they couldn’t care less about the families of the 8,000 people who have died and the more than 650,000 people infected with cholera. 

Despite the fact that it lacked mobilization and action at the grassroots level, the legal complaint was a critical part of asking the United Nations to take responsibility. The demobilization of popular organizations in the struggle against MINUSTAH has had a large effect and has given the public much to reflect on: what is the reason there hasn’t been a major mobilization from the population after the arrogant declaration of the United Nations?

One of the greatest deceptions is the position the Haitian government has taken throughout this cholera epidemic.

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Monday
Dec102012

Forced Evictions of Displaced Haitians are Flagrant Abuse of Human Rights

UNDER TENTS: STATEMENT ON FORCED EVICTIONS

At least 340,000 people live in official tent camps, while many more live in unofficial camps or have moved to more precarious living conditions after being forcibly evicted.December 10, 2012 - Human Rights Day 

On the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we call on the international community to act against the human rights abuses taking place in Haiti in the form of arbitrary and illegal forced evictions. 

On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, killing over 250,000 people and displacing 1.5 million. 358,000 men, women and children still remain in displacement camps in and around Port-au-Prince. Haiti’s displaced face not only the challenges inherent to living in tent camps, but one in five are currently at risk of forced eviction.

Forced evictions or the involuntary removal of individuals or communities without appropriate forms of legal or other protection are often prompted by private landowners with complicity from local authorities and police. Most are carried out with no legal protection to displaced families.

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Monday
Dec032012

Evictions of Homeless Earthquake Victims: How the Government Treats the Most Vulnerable in Haiti

By Etant Dupain

Nearly three years after the earthquake in Haiti, nearly 400,000 people remain humiliated and forgotten in camps, while at the same time impoverished urban neighborhoods – slums or bidonvil – have grown and sprung up in new places. Since the arrival of the new government and President Martelly, there has been a strategy of forced systematic evictions, that have exacerbated the problem, feeling like injury upon injury for the victims of the January 12 earthquake who continue to live in camps.

It isn’t a secret that President Martelly does not believe people are living in tents because they are homeless. He stated this himself in an interview with Al Jazeera. Martelly said:

“people leave their homes, they come under the tents because they know because they know that there they are going to have free food, free water, free assistance and they won’t be paying rent, they won’t be paying electricity. So some people are living under the tents but it’s more of a business deal than actually living under the tents.” (see the video of President Martelly here, begins around minute 43) 

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Monday
Dec032012

The UN Must Respond to Haiti's Cholera Victims

Civil Society Groups Appeal to UN Secretary-General for Response to Haiti Cholera Claims

November marks one year since filing of claims without substantive response from UN

November 29, 2012, NEW YORK — Forty-eight prominent human rights groups from civil society and academia appealed to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to demonstrate UN leadership in human rights by responding to claims of victims of the raging cholera epidemic that UN troops brought to Haiti two years ago. 

This month marks one year since over 5,000 victims of cholera filed claims with the UN seeking justice for their injuries. The claims seek a) provision of the water and sanitation infrastructure necessary to control the cholera epidemic, b) compensation and c) a public apology.  In its acknowledgement of receipt of the victims’ claims in December 2011, the UN promised a response “in due course,” but has since not responded to the victims or publicly disclosed any information about its legal process beyond that it is “studying the claims.”

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