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A Need for Independent Journalists in Haiti

March 4, 2007

A Need for Independent Journalists in Haiti

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. Anyone out there catch MINUSTAH being challenged? If I were here longer, I'd start attending their press conferences and corroboration the testimony we've been gathering from people on the ground When I pointed out the seeming lack of interest in journalism critical of MINUSTAH, Mario Joseph, one of Haiti's leading human rights lawyers, concurred and said it is a reflection of the polarization of the media in Haiti: the corporate media don't care about the poor, and in fact would rather have places like Cité Soleil disappear all together. There is an ongoing need for intelligent honest critical voices here. Collaborations with young independent voices here are a great idea too, such as what I've been doing with Wadner Pierre. This is a relevant place for independent Canadian and American journalists to come given our countries' conduct towards Haiti. The Minustah APC's are still rumbling through the streets and poor people continue to get killed and arrested with a form of accountability I don't understand.

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Dominion Weblogs compiles the weblogs of Dominion editors and writers. The topics discussed are wide-ranging, but Canadian Foreign Policy, grassroots politics, and independent media are chief among them.

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