Martelly: UN made errors but should stay

Haiti's new president said Friday that U.N. peacekeepers have committed ``unacceptable errors'' in his country but they should remain to help with the stalled post-earthquake reconstruction.

President Michael Martelly's first speech to the U.N. General Assembly bridged the anti-U.N. sentiment he campaigned on in an election held months after the January 2010 earthquake with his more conciliatory approach to the foreign troops since taking office.

``I am aware of the fact that unacceptable errors were committed that marred the prestige of the mission, but the trees must not hide the forest,'' Martelly said.

Sen. Kerry sponsors bill to hold Haiti aid groups accountable

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) has co-sponsored a bill to evaluate the progress on all post-quake aid efforts in Haiti. Through this bill, Assessing Progress in Haiti Act, U.S. agencies would be held accountable for effective use of aid funds that bolsters the Haitian government and participation of the civil society.

In a statement released today, Senator Kerry said that the transition to long-term recovery needs to ensure "our relief efforts are doing the most possible for people who need them."

Candlelight vigil tonight for toddler who died in parked van

The family and friends of Gabriel Josh-Cazir Pierre are hosting a candle light vigil on Monday, September 19 at 7 p.m. The vigil will be held at the corner of Blue Hill Avenue and Floyd Street.

The 17-month old Dorchester toddler died last Monday after he was left unattended in a van for most of the day. His death remains under investigation.

In a statement released though the Boston Police Dept. today, the public was invited to attend the vigil.
"The family understands that there are many who are grieving with them and many of whom will come out to be there during this time. All are welcome to share this time with family," the statement read.

Haiti's prime minister nominee clears first hurdle

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Former aide to ex-U.S. President Bill Clinton has been overwhelmingly approved by Parliament's lower chamber to be Haiti's next prime minister.

Dr. Garry Conille's nomination was approved Friday on an 89-0 vote in the Chamber of Deputies. The nomination now goes to the Senate for a vote expected Tuesday.

Haitian President Michel Martelly's administration has been without a prime minister for four months. Martelly's first two picks were rejected and many reconstruction efforts from last year's earthquake have been on hold.

Putting a new lens on Haiti news coverage

A photo session during the Solidar’IT web-journalism training at RSF Operational Media Centre in Bourdon. By Frederick AlexisA photo session during the Solidar’IT web-journalism training at RSF Operational Media Centre in Bourdon. By Frederick Alexis
Haitian media have an essential role to ensure that Haiti and its reconstruction stay in the news -- now that international attention has faded away while problems remain unresolved. Many media turned to the web to reach a wider audience, especially
towards the diaspora, but challenges persist. A training program specifically designed to form web journalists in Haiti has seen its light in Port-au-Prince.

Solidar’IT is a project that supports Haitian journalism after the earthquake of January 12, 2010. Through the voices of Haitian journalists and the use of web and multimedia tools, it aims to improve awareness about Haiti and its reconstruction.
The web-journalism training program, in partnership with Groupe Medialternatif in Haiti, Solidar’IT is supported by and financed by the Fondation de France, Reporters Without Borders and Unesco.

Among the many effects that goudou goudou has had in Haiti, many media saw their moral role in society strengthened.

100 Days: Bloated Promises and Dangerous Games

Patrick SylvainPatrick Sylvain
As an individual who is at the apex of symbolic political power, President Michel Martelly lacks sufficient material and procedural power to be an effective president, even if his desire is to truly transform Haiti. He is removed from the sphere of power itself, which is that of a political party within the chamber of parliamentary power where deals are made on a basis of give and take, or at its worst, plain political corruption instituted in the Haitian body politic. Given the level of material damage, and the absence of institutions that are needed to bolster democracy and sustainable growth in the country, one would think that the political class would rise above the morass that has dragged Haiti into the political and economic gutter and try to create a new political atmosphere for the safeguarding of the nation. Instead, the arrogance expressed by Martelly and members of Parliament has increased the repugnancy of Haitian politics.

Uphold our principles through the vestiges of tragedy

In almost two years we’ve covered numerous stories about the challenging path to recovery and reconstruction for Haiti – since the earthquake that split our collective memory and testimony into two – before and after January 12, 2010. Throughout these stories, Haiti’s people remain at the core, whether it’s the encouraging stories of neighbors helping each other restore a sense of normalcy or those of protests against the oppression and malfeasance of the country’s leaders along with its international benefactors. An engaged diaspora heeds the renewed call to invest their talents and energy to contribute to the next chapter of the Haitian struggle – and what some claim -- an unfinished revolution.

Here in the states, there is one such event that has divided the American consciousness of time in two: September 11, 2001. For the past 10 years Americans (and many around the world who stand in solidarity) have mourned and memorialized loved ones, and displayed gratitude to the hundreds who tried to save them. The government has waged two wars, while beefing up security measures and economic endeavors to rebuild an economy that remains fragile as a result of that treacherous attack.

Young diaspora bring human capital to Haiti

September issue is available now.September issue is available now.

Retiring in Haiti has long been a dream for many in the diaspora. So for many years, most of the people who returned to live in Haiti were from an older generation. Over the last 5-7 years that trend has shifted to a younger generation. Many young Haitian professionals have been actively involved in Haiti. Many had even worked there, on limited-time contracts for non-profits, government agencies and the private sector.

However, once the earthquake hit, the diaspora returned in droves for numerous missionary trips, school-building and agricultural stimulus initiatives and to support family affected by the destruction. And many returned to live for good – including some of Boston’s brightest.

Linda Accime holds a Masters of Arts degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University. She was born in Miami, Florida and grew up in Boston, and had been interested in working in Haiti for quite some time. As part of her experiential learning for her graduate work, she went back to Haiti to work on a public health initiative in 2008. Through a project with Hospice St. Joseph, she worked to increase access to health care services for Haitians living in the countryside.

From Andrew Square to Port-au-Prince, Brian Concannon fights for Haiti’s causes

It may be hard to imagine any parallel between Ireland and destitute, still earthquake-ravaged Haiti, and yet there are any number: analogous gripping histories of famine, long stretches of political and economic repression, and the bad geographical luck of being adjacent to a super power or dominant force that presents undesirable attention. It is always difficult fighting a bully in your own backyard.

Human rights attorney Brian Concannon wrote of these dilemmas three years ago in the Boston Irish Reporter and in the Boston Haitian Reporter.

“Like the British response to Ireland’s famine, bank programs (in Haiti) do not rise to the need,” he wrote, predicting the inevitable in a column headlined: Eating Dirt in Haiti and Ireland. “They are too late—they will not provide relief for months, perhaps years. They are too little—they stop where the requirements of helping poor people conflict with the requirements of the bureaucrats’ economic theories. In the meantime, just as Ireland exported food during a famine, Haiti will keep exporting money. So more Haitians will die of the diseases of hunger, and more children will grow older without going to school.”

Suspect arraigned, held without bail in Julaine Jules murder

Shabazz AugustineShabazz AugustineShabazz Augustine stood silently in a Suffolk Superior courtroom today as he was officially charged with the heinous murder of 26 year-old Julaine Jules, his one-time love interest who was found dead in the Charles River nearly one month after she went missing from her South Boston workplace back in 2004.

Augustine, 32, was arrested on a warrant issued after the Boston Police Cold Case Squad began probing the Jules murder this year. Augustine was a suspect early in the murder investigation, but according to prosecutors, his recent arrest was prompted by "incriminating remarks" that he allegedly made after the killing. The Dorchester man, who has been working at a dental clinic in recent years, was taken into custody at his workplace in Roxbury in June. He's been jailed ever since and was once again ordered to be held without bail pending his trial — which will not likely take place until September 2012.


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