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I've just published a new article about the UN's propaganda machine in Haiti and the way it has been misrepresenting its humanitarian work in the country. The article deals with the mass arrests in February in Cite Soleil and the photo ops and lies that followed each phase of these arrests. These lies continue to this day via the UN News Service and were unexamined by Canadian journalist Jean-Michel Leprince (Radio-Canada) when he was embedded with MINUSTAH in February during these missions. To read the article, go to Montreal Serai Magazine.
To see the latest version of facts by Canadian mainstream TV on recent operations in Cite Soleil, go to the link below. It's in French, but my summary and criticism below is in English.
It's a report called "Au coeur du mal" (Into the heart of Evil) by a big dude with Radio-Canada: Jean-Michel Le Prince. Let's ignore the title of the report. His report just reached probably over a million Quebecois and a couple hundred thousand Francophones outside of Quebec. In the report, he's embedded with the MINUSTAH troops and follows the recent mass arrests and gang hunt in Cite Soleil. I was there for the end of the operation. Check out the report and blog in your comments. Here's mine:
Mario Joseph, the leading human rights lawyer in Haiti, granted me a long interview yesterday in Port-au-Prince. We discussed many things (published soon), but when I asked him about what activists should be doing in Canada and the US, he said: "Keep your eyes wide open, watch your governments closely, be sophisticated in your research." He expressed deep gratitude as well to all those who have been working for democracy in Haiti.
The two part photo essay about recent arrests and spin by MINUSTAH is now online at Haitianalysis.com As the title of this blog entry suggests, the title of the photo essay is "Brutalized and Abandoned." The photo essay addresses mass arrests, lies about social services in Cité Soleil and the demands of the victims of MINUSTAH.
I couldn't help but notice the lack of journalists in Cité Soleil yesterday as we interviewed yet another person who spoke of a neighbor being illegally arrested by MINUSTAH forces. MINUSTAH now claims they have "a nice catch," meaning over 60 "armed marauders" in the last month. Seeing as we connected with five cases who said the victims of the arrests had nothing to do with crime at all (and this was definitely not an exhaustive investigation) the question can at least be raised as to the legality of MINUSTAH operations in Haiti (yet once again). I haven't seen that question asked of MINUSTAH, but maybe I didn't catch it.
As we entered Cite Soleil this morning with Brian Concannon, founder of the IJDH (Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti) we got a call saying a crowd had gathered outside one of the MINUSTAH headquarters in the Boston quarter of the Cite. We pulled up and sure enough there was a group of about 15 people facing the two armored MINUSTAH vehicules. Someone had been arrested that the crowd felt shouldn't have been arrested and they were demanding he be released. As has been the way every time we pull up with cameras, the MINUSTAH troops run away. All the soldiers piled into the vehicules and took off.
To find out the scale of lies coming out of MINUSTAH on the ground, read any of the UN News Service press releases in the last two weeks. According to interviews we have conducted in Cite Soleil, and according to a source in the Cite today, the arrests continue to be arbitrary. People are being arrested who have nothing to do with what the UN is calling "gangs" or "criminals" or "bandits" No warrents are issued. This is only part of the lie. Every UN communique in the last two weeks talks of setting up health clinics and transforming former gang leaders homes into community centres. Again, complete lies easily verifiable by a stroll through these areas.
Been in haiti for two weeks. Some content is now online. Check HaitiAction.net for a two part interview with Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, coordinator of the 30th of September Foundation that works with the victims of the coup d'états of 1991 and 2004. Also check my new photo essay, done with local photojournalist Wadner Pierre, on Haitianalysis.com. Pretty gripping. Finally, if you to keep up to speed on my wanderings, read my blog with the NFB website Citizenshift. Eventually I'll be putting together a full dossier for them with interviews I'm conducting with human rights people, former pol
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.