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BACK School Collapse, Nov 7, 2008

Turning Haiti into a (Penal) Colony: Criminalization
of Haiti's Children for Haiti's own good and democratic development

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Children's prison reflect Haiti's woes
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Tyrants and Despots in Haiti dressed-up by the Internationsls (Neocolonialists) as peacemakers and police cleansing Haiti of thugs and "bandits" by Ezili Danto, HLLN Haitian Perspectives, Jan. 2007
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HLLN's position of the sham elections

“We’re Not Participating In Selections!”

Condemn Sham Elections in Haiti

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School Collapse HAITI FLASH INFO NOV 10, 2008 (Blan yo pa vle rantre vrèman, yo pa gen volonte, yo gen mank dangajman- Kite moun lan zone ede. Se san nou ki andan, se Ayisyen kòm nou...)

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Dessalines Is Rising!!Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


 



Haiti's Efforts to Save Trees Falters
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A call to halt deportations
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Families Furious Over School Collapse

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Girl, 8, recalls 12-hour Haitian school collapse ordeal
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Haiti: storm victims starve
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US sends search and rescue teams to Haiti school collapse

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Haitian president slams building sector
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No more victims found in collapsed Haitian school

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Turning Haiti into a (Penal) Colony:
Criminalization of Haiti's Children

The systemic criminalization of black males in Haiti by the Haiti's US-imposed Miami government parallels U.S. habits

"...For, in Haiti, the imperialists have also found the formula for outsourcing wars so that the blood of their sons and daughters are maintly not on the line.

The UN forces in Haiti, are made up of troops from the developing countries. These poor Black and Brown soldiers are now fighting the imperialists' wars for him in Haiti. Even the African Union's rejection of the re-colonization of Haiti is reported to have been neutralized with the sending, to Haiti, of African soldiers from the Francophone countries. Not surprising considering France's investment in Haiti's bicentennial coup d'etat. It was, after all, Francophone Africa that was used to stop the spread of Pan-Africanism after the independence movement, mainly through French expatriates like Houphouet Boigny and Leopold Cedar Senghor.

The Haitian comparison with Miami's Latortue, or US-citizen Andre Apaid or to Marc Bazin are inescapable. (The comparison also applied to Texas' Simeus when he was attempting to negate the Haitian Constitution, illegally profit by the coup detat and unconstitutionally become a candidate in the Feb. 7, 2006 elections. Simeus was even indirectly endorsed by a Condoleezza Rice visit to Haiti.) Houphouet Boigny and Leopold Sedar Senghor were seen by many as the main destroyers of Pan Africanism and African unity in Africa. They were both President of their countries, held in power by the foreign interference of France, as well as being French citizen, and were, even for a time, French National assembly members. Boigny even initially opposed independence outside the French community. These Eurocentric Africans, like US/Euro-centric- Latortue, Apaid, Bazin, et al, share many similarities. For instance, both Latortue and Bazin played pivotal roles, as middlemen, in coup d'etats in Haiti (1991 for Bazin and 2004 for Latortue and Bazin) intended to destroy Haiti's pro-democratic Lavalas Movement and to legalize the re-colonization of Haiti. Boigny and Senghor helped to destroy the institutionalization of Patrice Lumumba and Krame NKrumah's Pan-Africanism and the democratic initiatives of their own countrymen, effectively keeping their African countries as French colonies with themselves as France's handpicked overseers to run their countries as a plantation for the French. (Simply...A history Pan-Africanism - http://www.newint.org/issue326/simply.htm )

Like the Ivory Coat's Boigny and Senegal's Senghor, Latortue, Bazin, Apaid, et al, are the Haitian middlemen who forged international careers on the premise that economic development in Haiti will only come when the white men and his IMF-World bank structures dominate Haiti and, thus, they represent these international structures, UN, World Bank, are the "subcontractors" for sweatshops conglomerates and transnational corporations, ultimately helping to give a "black" face to the re-colonization of Haiti through the bi-centennial coup d'etat that is a cover for implementing the Washington consensus, financial colonialism and UN de facto protectorate. HLLN, November 4, 2005.

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Turning Haiti into a (Penal) Colony: The systematic criminalization of young Black males in Haiti, parallels their criminalization in the U.S. by Marguerite Laurent

They say people do what they know how to do. Our habits control us. It's a white habit to put Black males in prison "for their and their own communities' good". A racists, colonial habit. Not to mention it's a very profitable habit that feeds white bellies, psyches and self-esteem. Absolute win-win.*

The Criminalization of Haiti's Children

Prisons are in the US a new form of slavery. And we know how profitable that enterprise was for the white settlers in the Western Hemisphere. Today, in the U.S., the successors to the East Indian Company, the multinational corporations, benefit by having "legal" and "morally acceptable" access to a cheap, free and captive labor force.

Thus, while everyone seems purposely distracted by the upcoming sham elections in Haiti, the systematic criminalization of young Black males moves forward unimpeded in Haiti. (See below October 31, 2005 AHP report on an USAID financed prison for children in Haiti.)

The hard part these days at HLLN is not the thousand deaths, physical and emotional pains associated with facing the coup d'etat countries, their insulated powers, their Haitian agents and their massacres, imprisonments, but also simultaneously dealing with what the accumulated desperation of 21-straight months of internationally sanctioned acts of terror in Haiti, diets of daily fear and the massive coup d'etat beatdowns suffered by the poor majority of Haiti, at home and abroad, has wrought.

No human being is talented enough to express the depth and breath of the horrors of Bush and Carney in Haiti today. But the fear and terror has made some headway against Haiti's freedom fighters; has pushed some otherwise well-intentioned people to irrationally reach for these elections-under-occupation as something that could give HOPE to Haiti.

But at HLLN, standing on truth, disappointed by what we've experienced these last 21-months, in terms of racism, illustrated by the disrespect and personal agendas of our "progressive" white allies variously using Haiti's pains; disapointed by the silence of Black progressives on Haiti's sufferings or, alternatively by the disservice of Black "progressive," like the Ron Daniels of this world, acting as self-annointed "honest" brokers while gleefully turning the US candidate and IMF/World Bank-boy, Marc Bazin, into a "Lavalas candidate;" terrified by the enormity of the new phase of this fight for Haitian dignity and liberty, we work everyday to live without fear.

That is, to articulate and face the fears.

We face that Haiti Democracy Project runs Haiti now with Timothy M. Carney as U.S. Ambassador Foley's replacement. We face that UN troops have killed and abused, with impunity, in Haiti and continue to do so with no consistent public denouncement, except from HLLN and Kevin Pina at HIP.

We face so-called "peacemakers" threading lightly, racism making them afraid of the possible "Haitian stain" on their resumes if their organizations fight too hard a fight that seems like it cannot be won.

We grapple with and absorb that the grassroots for development, justice and equality in Haiti, are facing daily occupation-repression, virtually alone; facing alone the Damocles Sword of more July 6, 2005 UN iron fist operations to slaughter more unarmed Haitians; facing alone the uncertainty, improbability that they will EVER hear authentically from President Aristide, who is himself, facing the State Department's own Damocles Sword, that Aristide may, as the coup d'etat powers keep threatening, be summarily thrown into a Miami jail by the US, for corruption and drug dealing, at the drop of a hat, if he indeed breaks his silence. An act that would also place his and his family's hard fought refuge and asylum in South Africa at risk and put South Africa under greater pressures and troubles from US powers, their global bases, political and military allies.

The repression against Haitians at home and in exile, is varied but total. It is exercised with the full repressive political, economic and judicial (indefinite-detention) force of the world's most powerful countries and armies, thus with the full force of shock and awe. That is why, it is not surprising, and somewhat not totally incomprehensible, giving human frailties and survival instincts, for some in the grassroots in Haiti, some bought off, others terrorized, to find themselves moving to support the candidacy of Rene Preval as a way, a reluctant "strategy" to put the coup d'etat resources to "positive use", they falsely think, and pull victory out of hopelessness - to keep, that is, the Lavalas democracy movement against being totally dismantled and decimated.

They're looking for a way out and grasping at straws. It's ludicrous, but they actually believe they will somehow hoodwink the imperialst with a Preval win, when its the Washington Imperialist who wooed Rene Preval out of retirement and into running to falsely give Lavalas a decoy, a false straw, this bait that ensares.

In addition to the terrorized grassroots in Haiti, many very beaten down and desperate Haitian men in exile also feel a Rene Preval candidacy is the ONLY way they may have an immediate HOPE of returning to their homes in Haiti or even perhaps to get a job with his government if he's selected!!!

It's all very desperate, demoralizing, dehumanizing, disappointing and undignified.

But when you are a tiny Black island, located within a hostile American Mediterranean; a Black country that still OWNS SOMETHING the powerful imperialists haven't yet privatized (colonized), but surely feel racistly entitled to take from you as a divine right! and you have no great military allies, the choices for survival are fairly untenable.

Meanwhile, the scariest thing to happen to Haiti and Haitians this month, has gone unnoticed with these election terrors of the imperialists and their Haitian sycophants morbidly drawing attention away from the colonial realities of the matter.

USAID has started its FIRST prison for children in Haiti.

Yes, the systematic criminalization of young Black males in Haiti, parallels their criminalization in the U.S. There are some white towns in the US where the townspeople's sole income comes from the incarceration of young Black and brown men who make up the bulk of the prisoners. The imperialists' game plan for Haitian boys and men, is moving along well. By the time a puppet Haitian president, like Preval, Simeus or Bazin, is installed in Haiti on February, 2006, more prison centers will have to be built to contain the Haitian "criminal elements," right?

Haiti doesn't have capital punishment. But not for long, if the Texans are pulling the strings, as surely they will be with UN troops having to be permanently stationed to "uphold the newly elected" collaborating Haitian president and government, right?.


France's role in Haiti provides the formula to destroy Desaline's vision of Black-ruled independent nation


In Haitian history, Toussaint Louverture stood for Black ruled French colony and
Desaline stood for Black ruled independent nation.

After Desalines death, with the 1825 French debt, France established, through endless debt that institutionalized poverty, ecclesiastical colonialism and French pèpe schooling, a Black ruled French colony until the US took over to forge Haiti into a Black ruled US-colony from 1915 on until the 1990's election of Aristide re-ignited the people's hopes for Dessalines' vision of a Black-ruled independent nation.

Today, France's role in Haiti appears to provide the formula to destroy Desaline's vision of Black independence, by destroying Haitian rule and helping the re-colonize Haiti. The formula this time is through the mechanism of third world troops and the rule of Haitians who have more ties to Washington and the UN then they do to Haiti.

It's a formula the French, with Boigny and Senghor having more ties and allegiances to Paris than to Abidjan or Dakar, perfected into a colonial blueprint in Africa.

It won't cost the US, Canada, or France many lives to re-colonize Haiti. For, in Haiti, the imperialists have also found the formula for outsourcing wars so that the blood of their sons and daughters are maintly not on the line.

The UN forces in Haiti, are made up of troops from the developing countries. These poor Black and Brown soldiers are now fighting the imperialists' wars for him in Haiti. Even the African Union's rejection of the re-colonization of Haiti is reported to have been neutralized with the sending, to Haiti, of African soldiers from the Francophone countries. Not surprising considering France's investment in Haiti's bicentennial coup d'etat. It was, after all, Francophone Africa that was used to stop the spread of Pan-Africanism after the independence movement, mainly through French expatriates like Houphouet Boigny and Leopold Cedar Senghor.

The Haitian comparison with Miami's Latortue, or US-citizen Andre Apaid or to Marc Bazin are inescapable. (The comparison also applied to Texas' Simeus when he was attempting to negate the Haitian Constitution, illegally profit by the coup detat and unconstitutionally become a candidate in the Feb. 7, 2006 elections. Simeus was even indirectly endorsed by a Condoleezza Rice visit to Haiti.) Houphouet Boigny and Leopold Sedar Senghor were seen by many as the main destroyers of Pan Africanism and African unity in Africa. They were both President of their countries, held in power by the foreign interference of France, as well as being French citizens, and were, even for a time, French National assembly members. Boigny even initially opposed independence outside the French community. These Eurocentric Africans, like US/Euro-centric- Latortue, Apaid, Bazin, et al, share many similarities. For instance, both Latortue and Bazin played pivotal roles, as middlemen, in coup d'etats in Haiti (1991 for Bazin and 2004 for Latortue and Bazin) intended to destroy Haiti's pro-democratic Lavalas Movement and to legalize the re-colonization of Haiti. Boigny and Senghor helped to destroy the institutionalization of Patrice Lumumba and Krame NKrumah's Pan-Africanism and the democratic initiatives of their own countrymen, effectively keeping their African countries as French colonies with themselves as France's handpicked overseers to run their countries as a plantation for the French. (Simply...A history Pan-Africanism - http://www.newint.org/issue326/simply.htm )

Like the Ivory Coat's Boigny and Senegal's Senghor, Latortue, Bazin, Apaid, et al, are the Haitian middlemen who forged international careers on the premise that economic development in Haiti will only come when the white men and his IMF-World bank structures dominate Haiti and, thus, they represent these international structures, UN, World Bank, are the "subcontractors" for sweatshops conglomerates and transnational corporations, ultimately helping to give a "black" face to the re-colonization of Haiti through the bi-centennial coup d'etat that is a cover for implementing the Washington consensus, financial colonialism and UN de facto protectorate.

 

Bait and Switch: Turning Haiti into a US colony through sham elections

The white "friends" of Haiti are rapidly turning Haiti into a Black penal colony. If these rigged elections go unchallenged, there may be no stopping them. Our Black children in Haiti will be living in chains, subject to arbitrary arrest, summary executions, repression and all that the bloodbath the Bush administration has brought so far to Haiti. And, whoever becomes their puppet president, following these rigged elections, will be there solely to legitimize their colonial rule further, protract Haiti's misery and struggle for liberty. If said puppet president should ever try to rebel, well then, Condi Rice may well be sent to Haiti, for a day, to set him straight, as she did to Latortue recently when he tried to refuse the candidacy of Dumarsais Simeus. And if political pressure from Condi doesn't work, well then, the UN soldiers are readily available to cover-up US stealth military actions and participations in summary executions. No problem. Timothy M Carney knows how to turn the truth into a lie and lies into truth. Isn't that what the Haiti Democracy Project he ran did to sell the public "Aristide's corruption and dictatorship" and bring forth the 2004 bicentennial coup d'etat in the first place?

Father Jean Juste is in prison, So Ann is in prison, Yvon Neptune is in prison, along with a thousand more political prisoners. Yet, under this climate and through fear and institutionalized coup d'etat terror from the courts, prisons and police run by Canada, the Bush Administration and France, with the OAS and UN, are promoting sham democracy through new digitalized balloting, to be counted and ratified, of course, by these said same foreigners. These, the very countries which destroyed Haiti's authentically elected government. (See HLLN's position on these selections at: Standing on Truth, Living Without Fear
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/withoutfear.html )

Yes, indeed, Haitians have more horrors to look forward to at the hands of these white "friends of Haiti," well versed in the bait and switch game.

The bait that has some in the grassroots compromising. The dangling carrot holds that these elections will restore the validity of the Haitian vote. These digitalized Ohio-type elections is to establish "democracy, stability and security" in Haiti. But just as the Feb. 29, 2004 "humanitarian intervention" was suddenly switched into a hunt for "gang members" and a mission to run and "provide security for elections", unless successfully transformed, these elections will legitimized the current dictatorship and foreign occupation in Haiti. And, be the pretexts for initiatives taken to improve Haiti's "prison conditions" whereby schools will no longer be necessary for Blacks in Haiti, literacy won't be an important national goal, so won't clean water, good roads or sewage systems. Living wages and decent jobs in Haiti shall become forever deferred dreams. Instead, Haitians will suddenly see how completely hopeless they and their Black children are; how the best thing to do with their life-force is pay off IMF and World Bank debts, being the backdrops (as maids, cooks, housekeepers and butlers) to foreign tourists like the areas other IMF "developed countries", such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, which no longer own any of their country resources, are annexed to debt and have a greater crime and violence problem than Haiti EVER had under its democratically elected Lavalas Presidents (1990, 1995, 2000) And, whatever energies are left over from the strain of staying "good Haitians" who pay "their debt", will perhaps be put into begging the imperialist and reigning Miami or Texas bureaucrats/middlemen/overseers to replace their intake and prison centers in Haiti with "readjustment, rehabilitation and re-education centers for minors." (See, "Inauguration of a reception center for minors" -AHP, October 31, 2005)

We would have abandoned our hearts desires. No one will notice the contraction and downsizing of Haitian hopes and dreams and the penal colony that Haiti has become. We won't focus on how Haiti survived for two hundred years without the prison industrial complex. No.! We'll be too busy being grateful for the nice prison conditions being brought to us by white experts and prison scholars! Too grateful for the silence of the cemetery brought to Haiti by Bush and company.

Any Haitian who claims to represent the hopes of the masses, but who forgets Haitian history, forgets moral suasion didn't bring Haiti its independence and is idealistically giving credibility to the promises of the white men, men like Haiti Democracy Project's Timothy M. Carney, who brought coup d'etat, the rule of lies instead of laws and the rule of the bullet instead of the ballot to Haiti in the first place, is too desperate, too traumatized to lead themselves, much less Desalines' people.

Marguerite (Ezili Danto) Laurent
Li led li la
November 4, 2005
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(Last updated April 6, 2006), see also Children's prison reflects Haiti's woes (March, 2007)

*Slavery on the New Plantation, American Torture Chamber: A Report on Today's Prisons and Jails, Part 2 of 2 by Kiilu Nyasha, Guest commentator, The Black Commentator, Feb. 15, 2007;Record 7 million Americans in Justice System, - Incarcerating dissent by criminalizing the dissenters and victims of Imperialism's death and destruction policies: Haitian Nights, Again: Haiti's
Children Suffer More under the Bushes' policies and Colonial Regime changes
and, What White People Feed on is not so eye opening, just typically parasitic, fearful, self-serving, narcissistic and delusional: Ezili Dantò Responding to two racest articles on Haiti
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- HLLN's position of the sham elections
Standing on Truth, Living without Fear: HLLN's position on foreign-sponsored
elections under coup d'etat, dictatorship and occupation | Haitian
Perspectives by Marguerite Laurent, October 31, 2005

- HLLN's responds regarding position taken on sham elections,Windowsonhaiti
There are no free rides
http://www.haitiforever.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=12214#12214

- “We’re Not Participating In Selections!” Says Haitians in Haiti
(May 27, 2005) Ezili Danto Witness Project

- NY Fanmi Lavalas denounces Marc Bazin and his renegade Fanmi Lavalas acolytes

- Condemn Sham Elections in Haiti

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Inauguration of a reception center for minors in conflict with the law: the director of CARLI welcomes the initiative but would prefer readaptation centers


Port-au-Prince, October 31, 2005- (AHP)- The director general of the Haitian National Police, Mario Andrésol, opened a center at the police station of Delmas 33 on Saturday to receive minors who are having problems with the law.

The center was opened in connection with International Prisoner Days on
October 31.

Mr. Andrésol said he was pleased with this initiative and urged parents and other sectors of national life to support this experience, which the prison authorities expect to repeat in other parts of the country.

Construction of the Center to receive minors was financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

For her part, the administrator of this intake center, Mme. Erna Kens, considered that this project marks an important step in Haitian-American collaboration with respect to reinforcement of the law pertaining to the system of detention in Haiti.

This funding, said Ms. Erna Kens, should enable the Haitian National Police to improve security in the prisons and provide onsite training of detainees. The director of the human rights organization CARLI reacted to the opening of the center, praising all the initiatives taken to improve prison conditions but he said he would prefer to see the creation of centers of readjustment, rehabilitation and re-education for minors.

It is important, said CARLI director Renan Hédouville, to focus on conditions of detention, but it is just as important to focus on the ineffectiveness of the judicial system and on cases of prolonged preventive detention, because, he continued, many detainees are kept in prison without reason and without being brought before a judge. AHP October 31, 2005 11:30 AM
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“Be true to the highest within your soul and then allow yourself to be governed by no customs or conventionalities or arbitrary man-made rules that are not founded on principle.”
Ralph Waldo Trine

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5-Points From the Democratic Base In Haiti speaking for self (since Haiti's Democratic Party Leaders are in Jail or in Exile)

5-points from the grassroots Lavalas Movement and party-base in Haiti in order for the majority and forces of peoples in Haiti they represent
to go to elections:


1. Liberation of all political prisoners including Father Gerald Jean-Juste who the Fanmi Lavalas grassroots-base in Haiti has chosen as their candidate for the presidency of Haiti.

2. The Latortue government must go.

3. The repression and killings in the popular neighborhoods must stop

4. Disarmament. Arms must be gone. There cannot be elections with all these arms on the streets (even those in the hands of the
"no-nationality" Haitian bourgeoisie, their "anti-poor" thug enforcers and former
military).

5. President Aristide and all those in exile must be allowed to return to Haiti

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Haiti's Efforts to Save Trees Falters
By JONATHAN M. KATZ

GRAND COLLINE, Haiti (AP) — Far from the spreading slums of the Haitian capital, past barren dirt mountains and hillsides stripped to a chalky white core, two woodcutters bring down a towering oak tree in one of the few forested valleys left in the Caribbean country.

Fanel Cantave, 36, says he has little choice but to make his living in a way that is causing environmental disaster in Haiti. And these days, he and his 15-year-old son, Phillipe, must travel ever farther from their village to find trees to cut.

"There is no other way to get money," the father said, pushing his saw through splintering wood that will earn him as much as $12.50, depending on how many planks it produces.

Such raw economics explain the disappearance of Haiti's forests, a process that has led to erosion that has reduced scarce farm land and left the island vulnerable to deadly flooding.

U.N. experts say just 2 to 4 percent of forest cover remains in Haiti, down from 7 to 9 percent in 1981. And despite millions invested in reforestation, such efforts have mostly failed because of economic pressures and political turmoil.

For example, the U.S. Agency for International Development embarked on an ambitious $22.8 million project in the 1980s to plant some 30 million trees that could provide income for peasants. But the project focused on trees that can be made into charcoal for cooking, and nearly all were eventually cut down.

Environmental Minister Jean-Marie Claude Germain said reforestation projects and efforts to preserve trees in three protected zones were set back by the violent rebellion that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004 and prompted the U.N. to send in thousands of peacekeepers to restore order.

"Even though there were agricultural laws, the laws were not respected," Germain said. "We are trying to create order now."

Stability returned with the 2006 election of President Rene Preval and U.N. military action against Port-au-Prince's powerful gangs. But in a nation where 80 percent of the 8.7 million people live on less than $2 a day, trees mean income for those lucky enough to have access to them.

Some groups say they've found success on a limited scale by planting fruit trees and protecting hardwoods through micro-loans and agricultural assistance. Floresta USA, based in San Diego, has been working in Haiti for the last decade and is now planting about 33,000 fruit and hardwood trees a year. The Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment, based in southern Haiti, has produced more than a million fruit trees since it began work in 1985.

Compared to the USAID's failed plan, smaller programs have had more luck by focusing on fruit trees, which farmers are more likely to preserve to sell the fruit. And smaller organizations are able to work with individual farmers and tailor planting to the needs of specific areas.

"People aren't excited about, 'Hey let's go plant trees.' They're excited about, 'How can I feed my family? How can I make ends meet?'" said Scott Sabin, executive director of Floresta.

But many who are dedicated to restoring Haiti's forests have grown pessimistic. Despite small successes, prospects are grim for implementing such programs on a grand scale.

"Everything has been studied and all the solutions are already known," said Mousson Finnigan, the head of the Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment. "But when it comes to implementation, it becomes a place where everybody's fighting for the money. They're not fighting for results."

Christopher Columbus found dense tropical forests in 1492 when he arrived on the island colonizers named Hispaniola, now shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

But the trees began falling quickly, first as the Spanish and French cleared forests for plantations and later as hardwoods were logged for U.S. and European markets. Peasants then burned and cut down what was left in desperate search of farmland.

While the Dominican Republic still has some of the most impressive forests in the Caribbean, parts of Haiti now resemble a moonscape of denuded mountains billowing dust. Hillsides are blasted away to make bricks for the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Without trees to anchor the soil, erosion has reduced Haiti's agricultural land, making the island more vulnerable to floods each hurricane season. More than 100 Haitians died in last year's floods, including dozens killed when a river jumped its banks during a gentle but steady rain unrelated to any tropical system. And in 2004, Tropical Storm Jeanne killed some 3,000 people in the coastal city of Gonaives alone.

And yet the trees keep falling. Orange fires can still be seen in the hills above the capital as farmers clear land at night. At the La Saline market, charcoal vendors arrive each day with mountains of bags, their faces coated with black dust.

"In Haiti we destroy instead of produce," acknowledges LeClaire Bocage, 38, who sells 110-pound sacks for $6.25. "They're going to tell the poor to stop cutting down trees. But what will we do to make a living?"

It may be too late to restore Haiti's lost forests, said John Horton, an environmental specialist who has overseen Haiti projects for the Washington-based Inter-American Development Bank. He suggested planting crops that can stabilize the soil and be sold or used for bio-fuels. Others promote raising money through carbon credits from overseas firms emitting greenhouse gases elsewhere.

"They need cash crops, they need food, they need energy immediately," Horton said.

Associated Press researcher Barbara Sambriski contributed to this story.

 

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A call to halt deportations
Haiti's President René Préval asked the U.S. government to stop deporting undocumented Haitians and instead grant them temporary protected status.

By JACQUELINE CHARLES, Miami Herald, Feb. 15, 2008


After refusing for two years to ask for a U.S. halt in deportations of undocumented Haitians, Haiti's President René Préval has asked President Bush to grant them temporary protected status.

In a two-page letter to Bush dated Feb. 7, Préval wrote that while he had apprehensions about seeking the TPS designation in the past, the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Noel in October has changed his mind.

`LIMITED RESOURCES'
''It will take years for our fellow citizens . . . to recover from the consequences of that storm and of other other natural disasters that preceded it,'' Préval wrote.

``The extension of the TPS to Haitians would protect the children born on U.S. soil as well as their parents, and would enable my government to concentrate its limited resources upon economic and political reconstruction instead of having to provide social services to [deportees].''

Veronica Nur Valdez, a spokeswoman with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the agency is processing the request.

The decision on TPS is made by the president, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can make a recommendation on whether to grant it. DHS did not act on a similar request by former Prime Minister Gérard Latortue in 2004 following devastating storms that killed thousands.

Local immigration advocates and South Florida elected officials have long advocated TPS for the 20,000 Haitians they believe are living in the United States illegally. TPS would entitle them to temporary residency and work permits for up to 18 months.

In Miami, those advocates applauded Préval's request and urged Bush to approve it.

''This is a significant development which again strongly raises the need for Haitians in the United States to receive equal treatment and protection under the law,'' Steve Forester, senior policy advocate for Haitian Women of Miami, said in an e-mail.

''There is a great strain being put on his government having to absorb people who are being deported from the United States,'' added Miami Democrat Rep. Kendrick Meek.

''We are putting Haitians in a situation where roads are washed out, areas of the country are experiencing hard economic times and they are not going to serve a purpose to the families they leave behind,'' he said.

But Meek, like others, said he doubted Bush would approve the request because of the president's failure to approve it in the past, the electoral campaigns and the fact that immigration reform remains a divisive battleground.

''I would love to be proven wrong,'' Meek said.

Dan Erikson, a Caribbean analyst with the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington, said Haiti faces an uphill struggle.

`SUCCESS STORY'
''The Bush administration recently has been touting Haiti as somewhat of a success story. The argument becomes that if the U.S. is spending all of this money helping to stabilize Haiti and yet its citizens still require TPS, then things are not going as well as has been advertised,'' he said.

A spokesman for Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Miramar Democrat who unsuccessfully championed a TPS bill in the last three sessions, welcomed Préval's request but questioned its timing.

''The concern we have is what message is the president trying to send to the U.S.: That the instability in Haiti is so great that he thinks we ought to keep people here?'' said the spokesman, David Goldenberg.

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(Support HLLN's Campaign 5)

(in 1990)"...Haitians, through the ballot box, rebelled against their neocolonial status. They rebelled against a racist world economy that locked them into the role of producers instead of consumers. Under Aristide, they wanted to complete what they began in 1803 – joining the world community as equals. If Haiti, as the hemisphere’s poorest nation, was successful in escaping from their international debt and seizing control of their own destiny, it could prove to be as devastating to the global sweatshop economy as Haiti’s first revolution was to the slave trade.......

"...the new (US-imposed Miami) government also, as one of its first acts in office, cut Haiti’s minimum wage by 50%, from about $3.60 for a 12 hour day, down to $1.60. This is a big perk for Haitian-American Andre Apaid, owner of numerous Haitian garment manufacturing plants making cheap wares for American companies such as Disney, owner of the ABC network. ABC joined the US corporate media in selling this American citizen as a legitimate leader of Haiti’s “civil resistance” to the popular Aristide Government. "Our nasty little racist war in Haiti by Michaeli, NimN, June 7, 2004 | Source: http://coldtype.net/Grip.04.html
(Scroll down to 7 June 2004)

 
 
Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


"When you make a choice, you mobilize vast human energies and resources which otherwise go untapped...........If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is a compromise." Robert Fritz

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Ezili/HLLN Note: On the School collapse in Haiti and the refusal of the UN to provide Haiti with long-term and necessary development assistance
HLLN, November 7, 2008, Ezili Danto Witness Project

(Click for Video Links: CNN, NBC, BBC...)

When he first took office in 2006, President Rene Preval said that Haiti needs technical assistance, tractors and bulldozers, not tanks and war machinery.

Today, Friday November 7, 2008, a Church school collapsed in Petionville, Haiti, with hundreds of children buried beneath the rubble and there is no crane, bulldozer, special electronic guiding equipment - no heavy search and rescue equipment to get those still trapped out.

 
Haitians try to help victims at a school that collapsed Friday in Petionville, near Port-au-Prince.

AFP/ Getty Images, Nov. 7, 2008

AP reported that "roughly 500 students from kindergarten through high school attend the school." AFP reports there that 700 students attend the collapsed school. What is certain is that there may be hundreds beneath the rubble right now. The various medias are reporting 30 bodies recovered and that cries can be heard of those still alive underneath the concrete rubble that Haitians rushing to the scene are digging out with their bare hands. (See update below -
94 bodies had been recovered
as of Nov. 11, 2008)

Recently, on Oct. 14, 2008 when the UN mission in Haiti - which is paid over $600 million per year to point guns at starving Haitians - renewed their mandate, U.N. Special Representative Hedi Annabi, said that the UN in Haiti would NEVER have a development mandate for Haiti. (See, "We don't have a development mandate and never will" Annabi said."; and, Pointing Guns at Starving Haitians: Violent Haiti is a myth).

In that article, the AP, wrote "While Haitian President Rene Preval has called on the force for more than two years to provide long-term assistance with "fewer tanks and more tractors," Annabi said he would not request a shift to development work this year because it is not the council's mission.

'I'm not going to ask for something that will never happen,' Annabi told The Associated Press as he entered the council chamber." (UN force in Haiti likely to be renewed By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press)

If the UN-MINUSTAH is not in Haiti to help Haiti with what the people actually NEED and to help in the case of emergencies like the school collapse, then why are 9,000 of them there? What use are they to the people of Haiti? Are they there to simply turn Haiti into a penal colony while the pedophiles and perverts amongst them molest, rape and sexually abuse Haitian children and women in the same manner as the so-called "humanitarian aid workers" are show to do? Since the international contingents arrived in Haiti in 2004, the market for human trafficking, especially in Haitian children has exploded.

But last week, from November 2nd to the 5th, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, visited Haiti. During that visit, making no comment on the UN soldiers rape and abuse of Haitians and seemingly unaware of that Annabi had decal red the UN would never shift to development work in Haiti, Navi Pillay, set about expressing the UN's "concerns" for the long term human rights/economic and political "development" of Haiti.

These folks refuse to do anything except write reports, issue high-falluting press releases, make speeches, pose for publicity photos, take pictures of starving, dying, crisis-ridden Haitians in order to file media reports, go get more NGO grants and monies off Haiti's disasters and generally get paid for pointing guns at starving Haitians in famine-stricken, unable-to-retaliate-Haiti. Haitians so destroyed by the neo-liberal economic policies, so ravaged by fraudulent free trade, that they had to do a food riot last April, before the world took notice. Ms. Pillay and Mr. Annabi and their UN troops in Haiti do nothing except point guns at hurricane ravaged Haitians, providing no immediate rescue equipment either during the hurricanes or now for the collapse of this school.* (See update).

But, they can wax lyrically about Haitian government weaknesses and what Haiti MUST improve while they tie Haiti's hands, IGNORING the Haitian presidents' priorities and therefore exacerbating stability and security to assure chronic poverty, dependency, their own job security and continual presence in Haiti. There are building codes in Haiti, but when the international community (France, US, Canada in 2004) sponsor the ouster of democratically elected governments in Haiti, anarchy and political instability ensues for years and there's no authority to enforce violations of building codes or any other unlawful activities. (The mayor of Petionville has told local Haitian radio that during her previous term as mayor she had stopped construction on the school, but it resumed sometime between 2004 and 2006 when Bush regime change's Boca Raton interim government was imposed on Haiti).

Moreover, the international community, even after food riots because of massive hunger in Haiti in April 2008 and four hurricanes/natural disaster in less than three weeks in September 2008, still forces Haiti to pay the World Bank over $1million dollars per week on old Duvalier dictatorship debts, while the people's needs for a more responsive government remains unattended. The hypocrisy in all this is telling.

To wit, on that visit, last week, said UN human rights' Commissioner, Navi Pillay, to quote the AP: "expressed concern about the vulnerability of the population to natural disasters and discussed the issue of development of public policies to protect human rights to adequate food, health, housing and water. Access to primary education, for which very limited financial and human resources are available, minimal national quality and safety standards in schools, and equality and non-discrimination in primary and secondary education were also discussed. " (See High Commissioner in Haiti
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EGUA-7L4RY8?OpenDocument).

Since the UN says it will not provide development assistance, not substitute long term assistance, and tractors and bulldozers for tanks and guns, then how real is its concerns about "the vulnerability of the population to natural disasters"...and the needs to "protect human rights to adequate food, health, housing and water..." and for "minimal national quality and safety standards in schools?

"Today if Haiti had more bulldozers, more children would have been rescued. "One boy was trapped by debris that pinned his legs beneath the rubble. He begged the rescuers to "please cut my feet off," a firefighter told Reuters."

"At the scene, crying and screaming parents searched desperately for their children while bodies of students lay crushed under blocks of concrete.

If some of the over $2 billion dollars spent on the UN to be in Haiti since 2004, had been apportioned to buy some bulldozers, then right-at-this-moment, the still-alive students and teachers, shouting for help beneath the rubbles of the collapsed three-story La Promesse (The Promise) school in Petionville school, Haiti, could have been rescued. The Haitians on-the-scene, right now, would not have to climb over the pile of crumbled concrete-and-steel bars, on hands in knees, in order to try to "rescue those pinned underneath, their faces covered in the grey dust of the cement."

If the UN had answered President Preval's call, made in 2006, then today, in 2008 doing this tragedy, Haitians would have some rescue equipment, some bulldozers, some tractors. They would not be using bare hands and hand tools to get to the school children trapped beneath the crumbled concrete. (See AP, Reuters and AFP, Reuters and AFP reports).


Ezili Dantò
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network ("HLLN")
November 7, 2008, 5:45 pm

 

UPDATE: On Friday, May 7, 2008, the three-story La Promesse school building in Petionville, Haiti, collapsed while class was in session with more than 500 to 700 students inside. The bodies of at least 94 children killed have been recovered so far, over 200 injured have been either treated or admitted for care; as the death toll is expected to reach in the hundreds. Up to 200 may still be buried under the rubble. Trinite Hospital is the only working hospital open in Port-au-Prince. The other two, General Hospital and Hospital de la Paix, are closed by strikes. Mothers of the school children and neighbors who live around the school that our Haiti correspondents spoke to late yesterday evening say the screams and moans of more students, buried in the rubble of the concrete building, can still be heard throughout Friday night, the day of the collapse. Our HLLN correspondents in Haiti assisting the neighbors and families with the rescue efforts put their cell phones next to the wreckage to have our Network listen to the buried children's desperate cries for rescue in the fallen darkness.


TOO LATE

*By the time international rescue teams arrived (from Martinique and Virginia) with floodlights and with search dogs wearing huge "USAID" signs around their torso for the requisite publicity shots, by the time trucks carried oxygen and medical supplies down the mountain road, by the time international rescue teams arrived to help on Saturday, the day after the collapse, it was too late. The crane, sonar, cameras and USAID rescue
dogs were too late. Only four survivors - two girls, ages three and five, and two boys, a seven-year-old and a teenager - were pulled alive from the ruins on Saturday, and no other survivors have been found since. Fortin Augustin, the Protestant minister who owns the school and church, was arrested on Saturday as authorities investigated him on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. Fortin Augustin was denied a permit to build the school in the 1990s but went ahead with the project during the coup d'etat years of rebellion and government upheaval and anarchy that followed.

The mayor of Petionville has told local Haitian radio that during her previous term as mayor she had stopped construction on the school, but it resumed sometime between 2004 and 2006 when Bush regime change's Boca Raton interim government was imposed on Haiti. (See, No more victims found in collapsed Haitian school by Jacqueline Charles, Nov. 9, 2008 Miami Herald; See also, I am sick and tired of the cowardice displayed by the Haitian leaders. Kote moun yo?; Hope Fades, Grief Sets in Near Fallen Haiti School; and Haitian Families Furious Over School Collapse).

By Tuesday, Nov. 11, AP Reported "Nearly all other survivors were found in the frantic first hours by neighbors who leaped on the rubble and dug with their bare hands, sometimes with the help of U.N. peacekeepers. No survivors have been found since the U.S. and French teams arrived Saturday." (Girl, 8, recalls 12-hour Haitian school collapse ordeal).

But what was most galling was that even when these international rescue teams, with specialized equipment reached Haiti, driving off the hundreds of neighbors, parents and concerned Haitians who had been urgently and earnestly working on searching the wreck, AP Reported and others would report that the Haitians driven off from participating in the search watched the foreign rescue teams from balconies and died a thousand more deaths of frustration as they saw "long stretches where nobody could be seen working on the pile."

Parents and the good samaritans who had found so many of the children before the special teams arrived wanted to be allowed to resume searching because they did not feel the rescue teams were working hard enough to find their children. Anger and frustration over the slow pace of the rescue effort boiled over on Sunday afternoon, when hundreds of people rushed the wreckage and began trying to pull down the massive concrete slab. Thousands of onlookers cheered them before Haitian police and U.N. peacekeepers drove them back with batons and riot shields. "They threw rocks at police and U.N. peacekeepers demanding they be allowed to help speed up the rescue process. The situation was calmer Monday as more locals were given jobs participating in the search." HLLN, November 11, 2008, Ezili Danto Witness Project, 8:08 am.

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AP, CNN,NBC, AFP, Reuters, Counterpunch Articles, Photos and Videos On Haiti School Collapse:

-Photo Gallery/Slideshow of School Collapse

- Haitian Families Furious Over School Collapse
Anger and Hope
by Bill Quigley, Counterpunch, Nov. 10, 2008

-Children found alive in Haiti school rubble. Death toll in school collapse rises to 82 with the discovery of 21 bodies in a classroom. 200 or more may still be under the rubble, International search-and-rescue officials have arrived with specialized equipment to assist. (CNN. Nov. 8, 2008)

- Rescuers race through night to save Haiti students, Jonathan M. Katz, AP, Nov. 8, 2008
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hHOomf3U8hUR7ep44gyz4xKgtuOQD94AKNS00

- Dozens still missing after Haiti school collapse
Frantic rescuers search for children in rubble as death toll reaches 47
The Associated Press | updated 4:15 a.m. ET, Sat., Nov. 8, 2008
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/275954

- Rescue continues into the night after Haiti school collapses
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/11/07/haiti.school.collapse/


VIDEOS:

Night search for Haiti survivors
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJMjGnGS9Ns

Hope fades at Haiti school rescue

Rockmaster - School Collapse

Tele Max
-Teacher and Survivors at School Speak (In Kreyol)

(MOPET - Movement Pou Education TiMoun is offering psychological help to the parents of the Haiti school collapse disaster. Some parents have had all their children die at the school - four, five children, all gone in one horrible disaster. These parents will require psychological help, said one of the teachers who left the school not long before the collapse after teaching an advance seminar class. All 15 students in the class, save one perished. This teacher and others, along with Haitian officials such as Steven Benoit, Petionville's representative in Parliament and Minister of Youth and Sport Evans Lescouflair, designated by Preval to coordinate the operation, have promised MOPET, says the teacher on the video, assistance in providing counseling for the traumatized parents and survivors. For MOPET, call - 713 6718 or 474 -4513. Others can help in Haiti by donating blood for the injured children in hospital.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5dllWVApPI and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFybUvXcrJM&feature=related )

FLASH INFO Video (in Kreyol) School Collapse, Nov 10, 2008 - Victim testimony from hospital bed, Anger and frustration of parents and Haitian rescue volunteers

(Blan yo pa vle rantre vrèman, yo pa gen volonte, yo gen mank dangajman- Kite moun lan zone ede. Se san nou ki andan, se Ayisyen kòm nou...)

msnbc news - Rescuers Search for School collapse survivors
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27599993#27599993

NBC News - Haitian school building collapsed during classes on Friday, Nov. 7, 2008 | http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1cWgQ9CKs0&feature=email

CBC News Video: Haiti School collapse
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OLZJqANl-M&feature=channel

BBC World News - Haiti school collapse kills 50
http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndxy5L4O7Os&feature=channel

CNN Video - Haiti School Collapse
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/am ericas/11/07/haiti.school.collapse/#cnnSTCVideo
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Haitian president slams building sector
November 11, 2008 | UTC, Radio Netherlands Worldwide


Haitian President René Preval says Friday's collapse of a school in Port-au-Prince is the result of government weakness and an irresponsible failure to comply with building regulations.

The three-storey school building collapsed after a fourth storey was added, killing at least 90 school children. Up to 200 may still be buried under the rubble. In recent days, rescue workers have only found four survivors.

The president also blamed anarchy in the building sector for the high death toll due to the collapse of houses during recent storms on Haiti.

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*
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Hope Fades, Grief Sets in Near Fallen Haiti School
Grief sets in for neighbors of fallen Haiti school as rescuers abandon hope for more survivors By JONATHAN M. KATZ Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press, Nov. 11, 2008

PETIONVILLE, Haiti

From her front porch, Janita Geneus has a clear view of the collapsed school where her daughter was crushed to death along with at least 93 of her classmates and teachers. But she has not looked at the wreckage once.

The mourning 48-year-old mother has barely moved from a thin mattress in her living room since the concrete school collapsed during a party on Friday. She refuses to join the thousands of others who watch rescuers scour the rubble for victims.

The searchers announced Monday they did not expect to find more survivors.
Piles of backpacks and notebooks lie scattered in the gnarled, dusty debris — all that is left of the former three-story school. An ungraded page of English homework found under a piece of broken concrete reads: "I work hard. I study my lessons. I take my bath."

Geneus was at church Friday when her husband rushed up the street on a motorcycle to tell her the College La Promesse had collapsed with three of their five children inside. Eleazar, 9, and Mika, 16, survived with serious injuries. Twelve-year-old Ketura was dead.

"She didn't like that school but I couldn't afford anything else," Geneus said in a whisper. "We lost her because we don't have money."

More than 150 people were badly injured and two houses behind the school were destroyed in the hillside slum of Nerette, a maze of precarious buildings below the wealthy Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville.

Neighbors had long complained the school was unsafe, and people living nearby have been trying to sell their homes since part of it tumbled down eight years ago.
Now grief is setting in.

Friends and family in white funeral clothes descended a staircase built into the steep hillside to visit the second-story concrete home where Geneus and her husband have lived for 21 years. Some carried limes to ward off the smell of corpses still trapped in the rubble.

They described Ketura as a gregarious, talkative child who loved singing gospel music and studying Haitian history. She wore her hair braided and in photos often posed lying on her side, smiling coyly into the camera.

Her unemployed parents struggled to meet a $212 yearly tuition bill for each of their children at the school, but Ketura complained that the teachers were not competent.
"Her father promised she could go to another school next year," Geneus said.

Authorities have not been able to say with certainty how many students were inside the building when it collapsed, but the Protestant church school had about 500 regular students.

Some weren't at school because they could not afford the 63-cent tuition to a fundraiser in which students planned to watch movies and were allowed to show up in street clothes instead of the school uniform.

Cherly Louis, a classmate of Mika and Ketura's friend, said about a quarter of her class did not show up that day. She recalled the walls crashing around her just after a class break about 10 a.m., then hurtling through the air toward the ground.

"I fell right out of the building," the 17-year-old said, grimacing in a bed at Port-au-Prince's General Hospital. "I'm very grateful that I'm alive."

Some made it out as the building fell. Nearly all other survivors were found in the frantic first hours by neighbors who leaped on the rubble and dug with their bare hands, sometimes with the help of U.N. peacekeepers. No survivors have been found since the U.S. and French teams arrived Saturday.

"We think the opportunity for anyone to be alive is over," Capt. Michael Istvan, a leader of the Fairfax County, Va.-based team, said Monday.

Thousands of onlookers scrutinized the rescuers' every move from balconies and frustration boiled over after long stretches where nobody could be seen working on the pile.

About 100 Haitians stormed the site Sunday afternoon only to be driven off. They threw rocks at police and U.N. peacekeepers demanding they be allowed to help speed up the rescue process. The situation was calmer Monday as more locals were given jobs participating in the search.

The government has pledged to pay for funerals and compensate the families of the victims, said Steven Benoit, who represents Petionville in Haiti's Chamber of Deputies.

The school's owner and builder, Protestant preacher Fortin Augustin, appeared before a judge Monday as authorities investigated him on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, police spokesman Garry Desrosier said.

Minister of Justice and Public Security Jean Joseph Exume said the case was still being investigated but the owner could face up to life in prison.

Officials said Augustin was denied a permit to build the school in the 1990s but went ahead with the project during the years of rebellion and government upheaval that followed.
————
Associated Press Writer Evens Sanon contributed to this report.

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I am sick and tired of the cowardice displayed by the Haitian leaders. Kote moun yo?
by Jean Saint-Vil (jafrikayiti@hotmail.com), Saturday, November 8, 2008

"2nd Floor pancaked on first floor. About 700 kids attend this school every day said the official of Haiti Red cross" (CNN, Nov. 7, 2008)
*
"Haiti will not receive relief from its international debts despite suffering from two months of deadly storms, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said.

...The bank president told officials in Haiti that despite their request, the World Bank would not forgive its portion of the $1.7 billion Haiti owes foreign creditors.[HAITI] pays about $1 million a week in foreign debt, the report said. (UPI, Oct. 23, 2008)
-----------------------------------------------

Is there a President in Haiti?Is there a Parliament in Haiti?

Kote moun yo?

Are there men and women with courage and decency in this country to finally do the right thing:

1) Declare Haiti to be in a state of EMERGENCY - therefore...

2) DEBT payments are to stop immediately

3) Investment in the nation's infrastructure to begin on a priority basisHow can it not be obvious, that Haiti cannot afford to be financing the World Bank and its blood-suckers international associates to the tune of $1 million a week !!!!!

When there is not even one good General Hospital on the 27 750 KM2 of the country

When there is a whole school system to rebuild from scratch

When there is a road network to be build.

When the farmers cannot expect the basics they deserve and need from their State to produce food for the nation.

It is criminal for the Haitian government to be so coward in its discussions with the former colonial powers (who now like to be called international community - in order to hide their RESPONSIBILITY in the mess nations like Haiti, the Congo etc... are living today).

We know the French assassinated Thomas Sankara when he stood up and unilaterally declared the obvious - that Africa should not be financing its former torturers - through upside down "debt". The money Duvalier, Bokassa and Mobutu stole was spent in Europe with their sponors, not by the peoples of Haiti or Africa. They helped finance the electoral campaigns François Mittterand and others - so stop this non-sense about "debt". Who owes who what?

France has stolen at gunpoint over 40 billion dollars from Haiti from (1825 to 1947) - with U.S. complicity (Go read about the Charles X Ransom) - Who in the so-called "World Bank" is seeking payment of that debt back to Haiti?

President René Préval needs to stop traveling to stupid neo-colonial club meetings like the Franco-phony and start standing for the rights of the Haitian people.

We, in the Haitian diaspora need to get our act together and stop being giddy and satisfied with symbolic gestures like the nomination of Michaelle Jean as Governor General of Canada or a brother or a sister getting a good position here or there. It is time we get serious and start advocating for what truly matters at a national scale.

It makes no difference if a thousand of us get "good jobs" and "make it" when we leave our mothers and fathers, our children and our very selves vulnerable to the next rainfall, the next school collapse, the next boat that capsizes or the next malaria outbreak.

The Wretched of the Earth is not our natural destiny.

How many Barack Obamas died in the rubbles of that school in Petion-Ville yesterday?

How many Nelson Mandelas?

How many Phillip Emeagwalis will never become the scientist, the geniuses they were meant to be.

I am sick and tired of the cowardice displayed by the Haitian leaders. It is not only shameful, it is criminal. 150 million African women and men (including babies killed in their mother's womb) did not die in the middle passage, on the deadly torture fields called plantation, on the battlefield against the bullets of the British, Spanish, French enslavers....so that today we would become stupid adults who are happy to wine and dine in Franco-phony or not-so-CommonWealth orgies - as if valsing on a slave ship while our people's screams continue to fall on death ears.

WE ARE GUILTY OF COWARDICE AFRICAN PEOPLE!

The bones of these children shall never rest in peace until we assume the responsibility that is OURS to ensure these tragedies stop to occur.

The so-called "World" bank has nothing to forgive. It is up to us to garner the courage to decide we are no longer throwing our meager resources to imperialist thieves!

Se swa nou aksepte ret ak moun oubyen nou asime dwa granmoun nou!

Jafrikayiti
«Depi nan Ginen bon nèg ap ede nèg!»
(Brotherhood is as ancient as Mother Africa)
(L'entraide fraternelle date du temps où, tous, nous fûmes encore dans les entrailles de l'Afrique-mère)
http://www.jafrikayiti.com
http://www.godisnotwhite.com

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Haitian Families Furious Over School Collapse
Anger and Hope by Bill Quigley | counterpunch, Nov. 10, 2008

"No one cares about the children, living or dead,” one furious father of children in the collapsed school outside of Port au Prince Haiti swore Sunday in an interview. “No one has come to provide any counseling to the children and families who survived. Nothing has been done for the families whose children died. The children now have no school and no books. They are sick and have nightmares. Government officials and people from all the NGOs, they all come, take pictures, make speeches and they leave us with nothing. We need action!”

Reports of the deaths caused by the collapse of the school on Friday continue to climb, reaching nearly 100 on Sunday. Several hundred other children escaped or were rescued. Many are still missing.

“The families of the victims are mad,” the father said. “But it is not just the families who are mad. All the people know the government is not making good decisions. We do not trust that the government will help us. No doctors have come. Nobody comes except those who want to take pictures, make reports, and make money. We have been promised everything, but we have received nothing. Watch,” he said. “After fifteen days, no one is even going to be talking about this. Only the victims and the families will be talking about it. The government and some other people will get some money out of the disaster and the children and their families and the community will see none of it.”

Haiti has been plagued by a string of disasters this year with over 800 dead from four hurricanes that raked the island nation; many of those dead were also children.

The three story school which collapsed, College La Promesse, has for years served hundreds of children from pre-school through high school, ages 3 to 20. The school operated on a hillside in Petionville, a suburb of Port au Prince.

One eight year old girl, who attended the school for three years, reported that her class had just returned from recess when they saw the ceiling in their classroom falling down. She told this writer that she prayed to God to save her and started running but could not see because of all the dust and smoke in the air. “I tried to get out. I heard the building breaking down. I was crying and I ran away. A man teacher grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the school as the whole building was falling.

After I got outside, the teacher went back in. I cried and cried because I could not find my brother and sister.” The little girl eventually found her family and her brother and sister were not seriously harmed.

“When I try to sleep,” said the little girl, “I fear the house is going to fall on me and I see the school falling again.” She has bruises on her leg and stomach. Some friends are still missing.

While Petionville is a prosperous suburb of Port au Prince, the school was in a poor neighborhood of the city called Nerrette. Though some news reports have indicated the school tuition was $1500 US a year, parents say that is absolutely wrong. “It was an inexpensive community school run by a community church,” one said.

Reverend Fortin Augustin, founder and operator of the school, was being held and questioned by Haitian authorities over the weekend. Family members of Rev. Augustin said he voluntarily turned himself in Saturday after receiving numerous threats against himself and his family.

Though the government is reportedly considering charging Reverend Augustin with involuntary manslaughter, relatives think he is being blamed for common construction problems in Haiti. The Reverend had his own two daughters in school that day, said a nephew, who brought the injured children for medical treatment. Family members taught there. And for years all his nieces and nephews attended the school. His nephew, who brought food to him on Sunday morning, said that his uncle did not even know that two of his little cousins died in the collapse. “He cried when I told him that,” he said. “The family understands why people are angry,” the nephew reported,” but this was a family church and a family low-budget school. They were just trying to help the community.”

One parent agreed. “I do not think it is the Reverend’s fault,” he said. “This is all about the government. They allow any type of construction anywhere. Many schools and other buildings in this country are built the same way. Why didn’t the Mayor stop the school construction if it was wrong? The Mayor campaigned in this very school and in the church. I accuse the government – the Mayor, the Ministers, even President Preval.”

Reverend Gerard Jean-Juste, a Haitian priest and longtime advocate for and with the poor, was deeply saddened by the disaster. “The poorest ones in Haiti cannot continue to live in hazardous conditions, in abject poverty condemned to suffer and die inhumanly. This neighborhood where the school was, Nerrette, is one of the poor areas in the rich city of Petionville. With some sharing from the wealthy Haitians and good will from municipal authorities, the poor ones next door to the rich ones could have had better treatment and greater services. It is unbelievable that alongside the castles and beautiful and well-built schools for the rich residents of Petionville, there lie, without zoning regulations, the shanty towns.”

Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere. Over half the population (over 4 million) lives on less than $1 per day and over three-quarters (over 6 million) live on less than $2 a day. Meanwhile, Haiti is forced to send over one million dollars a week to repay off its foreign debt, over half of which was incurred when the country was ruled by dictators friendly with the US. The 7000 UN troops in Haiti cost over one million dollars each day.

When asked if the parents considered going to court to seek justice from the government, the father scoffed. “Justice in courts in Haiti exists only for the people in the government and the people with money. When you are poor, your justice is in the bible and in Jesus alone.” The parent asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisal. “Everyone knows this is the truth, but in Haiti you can be killed for telling the truth.”

The father saw hope in the US Presidential election last week. “Maybe now that Obama is President of the US he can put some pressure on Haiti to do good for the people. Obama is a hope not just for the U.S. but for all America. There are many countries in America, including Haiti. We hope he will be a leader of all the Americas and can help.”

Pere Jean-Juste admits the current situation is grim but also sounds a note of hope.
“We can provide for the basic needs of the poor in Haiti,” he promised. “We cannot continue to just apply bandage solutions to various emergencies while other major catastrophic threats remain over our heads in Haiti. No more bloody coup d’etats, no more privatization of public institutions, no more violations of human rights. We can build a new Haiti. All together, with or without support from our allies, yes we can.”

Bill Quigley is a law professor and human rights lawyer at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill has visited Haiti many times as a volunteer advocate with the Institute for Justice and Peace in Haiti. www.ijdh.org. Vladmir Laguerre, a journalist in Port au Prince, helped with this article. Bill can be reached at quigley77@yahoo.com.

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Girl, 8, recalls 12-hour Haitian school collapse ordeal
BY JACQUELINE CHARLES, Miami Herald, Sun, Nov. 09, 2008

The school bell had just sounded, officially putting an end to the game of hide-and-seek, when 8-year-old Murielle Esta noticed the blocks of cement falling from the sky.
''Rocks, rocks, rocks are falling,'' she told the school's director.

Instead of sending Murielle and her classmates to safety, however, School Director Jimmy Antoine ordered them back to class. Before she could make it up the stairs, her archaically built three-story school building collapsed.

Murielle would remain trapped for 12 hours beneath piles of cement from a collapsed wall near the staircase -- and two dead classmates -- before a Good Samaritan eventually pulled her out of the rubble amid her desperate pleas for God to ``please save me, please save me.''

As Murielle recalled the horrifying tragedy Sunday from her hospital bed, both of her legs were wrapped in bandages and her right arm was also taped up. She moaned and cried ''Papi! Papi!'' from the excruciating pain.

Leonard Esta, an unemployed construction worker, tried desperately to console his daughter, all the while mourning the loss of his other child, 6-year-old son Ostevé.

The boy, who also attended the school, made it out alive but eventually died at a local hospital. Esta has yet to tell Murielle, saying he wants to spare her any more grief. Adding to his fears, he said, is that doctors have told him that despite an operation to save Murielle's swollen legs, she could still lose them.

''That is a load I cannot carry,'' he said, breaking into tears.

After spending all night searching for more survivors in the rubble of the collapsed College La Promesse Evangelique in this Port-au-Prince suburb and then chasing false rumors Sunday of trapped victims calling relatives on their cellphones, emergency workers moved into recovery mode.

LITTLE HOPE
The decision was a recognition that after nearly 72 hours there was little hope of finding any more children or teachers alive in the tragedy that had already claimed 89 lives and injured 150 teachers and children, including 8-year-old Murielle.

''We don't want to risk the life of the population or the rescue workers,'' said Haitian President René Préval as he was being briefed by rescue workers from the United States and Martinique. ``But the more time that passes, the less time we have of finding anyone alive.''

The decision to begin the recovery came amid growing frustrations from angry residents who tried to push past United Nations peacekeepers in riot gear.

Residents in the area complained that the effort was taking too long, and they should be allowed in to find their children -- dead or alive.

At one point, the residents hung a sign saying, ''These are our children,'' and later another, saying, ``Give Haitians a chance. The task is tremendous. It's a catastrophe. Please.''

There are likely to be more victims, but excavating deeper into the collapsed school has proven tricky.

MAIN OBSTACLE
Disaster experts on the scene say the main obstacle to reaching deep into the rubble is a large, collapsed beam in the rear of the school.

And on Sunday, winds from Tropical Storm Paloma in the Caribbean were causing vibrations and increasing fears that there could be a secondary collapse of the building and that the chances of finding anyone alive would diminish.

''The biggest issue is the large slab. We need to figure out a way to save it or take parts of it away,'' a member of the Fairfax County, Va., rescue team told the president. ``It's going to be quite difficult and dangerous.''

With help of teachers, the team had drawn a map of the building and said they have been checking pockets. They have even called some of those believed trapped on their cellphones -- but have gotten no answer. But every check costs time in the recovery, they said.

''We have to work faster,'' a member of the Martinique brigade said, joining his American colleagues in asking the politically delicate question of whether rescuers should stop looking for survivors and begin the recovery phase.

Préval left the decision to his minister in charge, emphasizing the primary objective is to find as many people alive as possible but at the same time he agreed that the process has to move faster.

On Sunday, authorities also launched their investigation into what happened, questioning the owner of the school, whom residents say also lived inside the building with his wife and children.

Leonard Esta and others in the school's vicinity paint a portrait of an ''ambitious man'' who continued to add floors and rooms to the school without any regard to the safety of the children.

For instance, one reason why authorities still do not know how many children were in the school is because Fridays are what the school calls ''Color day'' when students are allowed to trade in their gray uniforms for jeans and polo shirts. But to participate, students must pay a fee. Because of that, some suspect all 700 children may not have attended school that day.

Esta said when he could not pay the $312 for both Murielle and her brother last month, for instance, the pastor sent the children home, telling Esta he needed to pay for them to attend school. Esta, who says he chose the school because it was more affordable than others, borrowed the money from friends.

''Even if it means I can only own a single pair of pants, it's important for me to make sure that my children can attend school,'' he said. ``The hope that I have is tomorrow, they could help me get, five pairs, 10 or even a dozen. All of my sacrifice in life is for my children, to school them and help them advance.''

Esta himself pulled seven children from the rubble -- three of them dead -- by the time he found Murielle. He had all but given up hope, he said, when the Good Samaritan, Ronaldo Charilus, told him they had found the girl.

Charilus said Murielle was in an extreme amount of pain and at one point asked for a cookie, as rescuers discussed what to do about her legs. A Brazilian peacekeeper suggested cutting it, in order to save her, but he stood firm and said no.

''I said cutting her feet was not an option and that she had all of the chance in the world to survive with her feet intact,'' he recalled. 'They told me, `No, there wasn't a chance.' I told them if they cut her feet off, we were going to fight. They asked who am I? I said I am a citizen of this country, and I love my country.''

Charilus took a knife and cut off Murielle's shoes. Then he and another volunteer poured oil and grease down her legs and pulled her out.

Charilus, who is going on his fourth day without sleep and without going home, said he didn't get involved with the rescue operation for pay or glory -- or because he knew any of the victims.

REQUEST TO PREVAL
When President Préval chatted with him earlier in the day, he told him the only thing he wanted as gratitude ``was a piece of paper so that I can go to Canada, or Martinique or Guadeloupe for six months or a year to study. I want to serve my country.''

After saving Murielle on Friday night, he would later save 2-year-old Jerry Corilan, who remains until now the last person to make it out alive from the building.

''Murielle and Jerry are two miracles,'' said Charilus.

Leonard Esta was happy for that miracle. Even as he wondered how he would cope with a child possibly losing her legs, he gave praise to God and Charilus.

''I had given up all hope of finding her,'' he said.
***********************

Haiti: storm victims starve
Submitted by WW4 Report on Tue, 11/04/2008


About a dozen people reportedly died of starvation in the Baie d'Orange communal section in Belle-Anse in Haiti's Southeast department towards the end of October. Local authorities say malnutrition is a major problem in the area, which was hit by a series of storms two months ago; people are also suffering from dysentery, fevers and skin diseases. Apparently food relief failed to reach Baie d'Orange until recently because of the area's isolation, which was worsened by the storms. (AlterPresse, Oct. 30)

International institutions have sent minimal aid to Haiti after the storms. There is still no sign they will offer the country debt relief, or even admit that there is a problem.
During a visit to Port-au-Prince on Oct. 20, World Bank president Robert Zoellick reportedly told journalists that Haiti's $1.7 billion debt was "half-forgiven" and promised "the rest of the debt" could soon be cancelled. $500 million of Haitian debt had already been cancelled, he said, according to reports. Local and international groups say that in fact none of Haiti's debt stock has been cancelled by the World Bank, and in recent weeks the World Bank has delayed debt cancellation for Haiti by six months. (AlterPresse, Oct. 31)
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US sends search and rescue teams to Haiti school collapse
Sat Nov 8, 1:28 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US search and rescue teams are en route to a school that collapsed in Haiti Friday, killing dozens of children and burying many more in rubble, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said.

After sending a team to assess the situation, USAID dispatched 38 emergency search and rescue workers, four search dogs and 31,000 pounds of rescue equipment, "due to arrive in Haiti on Saturday morning," a statement said.

"This is a tragic situation, especially since children are involved. We are working alongside the Haitian government to provide immediate assistance in the rescue efforts," said USAID Administrator Henrietta Fore, expressing sympathy to the victims "on behalf of the American people."

About 50 schoolchildren and teachers were killed when a shantytown school packed with hundreds of students collapsed during classes Friday, a government official said.
The three-story La Promesse (The Promise) school in Petion-ville, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, caved in in a heap of cement slabs and twisted steel rods at about 10:00 am (1500 GMT) Friday, trapping scores inside.

By late in the day around 50 bodies, most of them children, had been found, officials said.
"We have counted about 50 dead for the moment, and around 85 injured," said Nadia Lochard of the civil protection bureau.

"But there are still numerous children stuck in the rubble. We have signs that they are still alive and we are organizing help to try to save them," she said.

As many as 700 students aged from three to 20 attend the church-run school in a suburb of the capital, but an accurate count of how many had been inside when it crumbled was not available.

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No more victims found in collapsed Haitian school
Jacqueline Charles
PETIONVILLE, Haiti, Nov 09, 2008 (McClatchy Newspapers - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- (source copied from: Individual.com)

After spending all night searching for more survivors in the rubble of a collapsed school and Sunday morning chasing false rumors of trapped victims calling out to relatives, emergency workers have moved into a recovery mode.

"We don't want to risk the life of the population or the rescue workers," said Haitian President Rene Preval, who on Sunday was briefed by rescue workers from the U.S. and Martinique. "But the more time that passes, the less time we have of finding anyone alive."

The decision to begin the recovery comes amid frustrations among residents in the area that complain the effort is taking too long, and also that they should be allowed in to find their children - dead or alive.

"I personally saved nine children," one man told Preval as he was driving away from the scene. "Let us help. We want to help."

But excavating deeper into the collapsed school has proven tricky.

Both the disaster experts on the scene say the main obstacle to reaching deep into the rubble is a large, collapsed beam in the rear of the school that must first be cut piece by piece.

And on Sunday, winds from Tropical Storm Paloma in the Caribbean were picking up, causing vibrations and increasing fears that there could be a secondary collapse of the building and the chances of finding anyone alive will diminish.

"The biggest issue is the large slab. We need to figure out a way to save it or take parts of it away," a member of the Fairfax County, Va. rescue team told the president. "It's going to be quite difficult and dangerous."

With help of teachers, the team had drawn a map of the building and said they have been checking pockets. They have even called some of those believed trapped on their cell phones - but have received no answer.

"We have to work faster," a member of the Martinique brigade said, joining his American colleagues in asking the politically delicate question of whether rescuers should stop looking for survivors and begin the recovery phase.

Preval left the decision to move on to his minister in charge, emphasizing the primary objective is to find as many people alive as possible but at the same time agreed that the process has to move faster.

There have been some bright spots in the tragedy that so far has killed 84, injured 150 and prompted the arrest of the priest who owns the school.

At around 1 p.m. Saturday, with blood dripping from his tiny forehead, 2-year-old Jerry Corilan screamed and wiggled his feet as a rescue worker whisked him from the rubble of the crumbled school building to a nearby triage center.

(EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM)

Jerry calmed down only after he realized he was in his grandmother's arms. She, like scores of others, kept vigil throughout the night as United Nations and Haitian rescue workers sifted through crushed concrete with their bare hands, searching for survivors.

Carelle Romulus said Jerry was the last of her four grandchildren to be rescued from College La Promesse Evangelique in this Port-au-Prince suburb.

"I am grateful to God, he saved all four of them, even though some are injured," she said.

(EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM)
Jerry was pulled from the crumbled building more than 24 hours after the third floor caved in, killing at least 84 people and injuring more than 150.

It was unclear how many students were inside. Some estimates have put the number at 700, causing officials to fear that the toll could increase further.

Jerry was one of at least two students to be rescued Saturday. At 2 a.m., an 8-year-old girl was freed, officials said.

Fortin Augustin, the preacher who owns and built the school, was arrested late Saturday and charged with involuntary manslaughter. He was held at a police station in Port-au-Prince, said police spokesman Garry Desrosier.

(EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM)
Also Saturday, U.S. search-and-rescue experts took the lead in the delicate task of removing massive pieces of concrete from the school.

Firefighters from Fairfax County, Va. Fire and Rescue Department's urban search and rescue joined local emergency workers and others from Martinique just as Jerry was rescued.

(EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM)
The difficulty of the rescue operation is nothing any textbook can prepare even experts.

The poorly constructed building was bordered by two ravines, which hampered rescue efforts.

Officials are unsure of what kind of material was being used by the owners to add a third floor. The absence of a building plan also posed challenges for those trying to figure out just where classrooms or beams may have been located within the mazelike stairwells.

All made it difficult for rescuers to pinpoint precisely where a faint moaning - heard Saturday afternoon - was coming from when they called out, "Is there anyone here?"
While Jerry's rescue did bring some good news, the day was marked with frustration, endless waiting and calls by some government officials for more oversight of Haiti's schools, both private and public.

"There is no concrete on that building, just water and rocks," said Steven Benoit, a member of Haiti's lower house of parliament while visiting the scene. "There are building codes, but the people are not respecting them."

(EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE)

(EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM)
Benoit said the country's education minister, Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre, was expected to appear before parliament on Wednesday to answer questions about how the tragedy happened. Jean-Pierre, who only recently became education minister, said a government commission was in the works and would include educators and elected officials who will be looking at the issue of where children are attending schools.

But the focus for now, he said, "is on saving lives." The effort included not just Haitians, but emergency workers from several United Nations countries involved in the Stabilization Mission here, as well as the U.S. Southern Command.

(EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM)

Throughout the day, Haitian volunteers formed a human chain to move water and juice into the Red Cross triage as others toted plywood and other rescue equipment down the steep hill.

As they worked, thousands of onlookers surveyed the scene from a dusty street leading into the shantytown and from nearby hills.

Fairfax, Va., firefighters used metal cables to secure and shore up the building as concerns grew that what was left of the third floor with its cathedral columns could fall onto workers. They used fiber-optic scopes as well as dogs to search for survivors. The Martinique brigade also had two dogs, including a pit bull, which they used to search for signs of human life while some of the brigade workers carefully tried to secure parts of the roof.

Below, Haitian volunteers, wearing only latex gloves, dug through fallen debris.
"Every time I find one, I have to thank God," Michaele Gedeon, president of the Haitian Red Cross, said as one of volunteers ran past carrying Jerry amid applause.
"The biggest difficulty is the state of the building. It's a building that presents a lot of problems because of the way it is constructed. . . . Every time they get ready to intervene, there is a problem," said Minister of Youth and Sport Evans Lescouflair, designated by Preval to coordinate the operation.

Lescouflair appealed for patience, from the population, saying both Haiti and the international community were working hard to find survivors on ending the tragedy but the situation was dangerous and has "reached a point where they are critical."
Lescouflair said authorities still cannot confirm how many children and teachers may have been inside when the building crumbled.

(EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE)
There was a party at the school on Friday, and in addition to students there were vendors as well as a DJ who was reportedly trapped with two students. The estimated number of students has ranged from 300 to 700.

Minister for Public Safety Eucher-Luc Joseph said the building had been poorly constructed and was structurally flawed.

He later blamed the tragedy on "the way we are living in this country."

The mayor of Petionville has told local Haitian radio that during her previous term as mayor she had stopped construction on the school, but it resumed sometime between 2004 and 2006 when an interim government was put in place.

Preval said tragedies such as this speak to the need for political stability.

"Every time there is instability a bidonville (shantytown) gets constructed. When there is no political stability, politicians come and they don't have the force to make laws," he told The Miami Herald shortly after visiting the site. "

People profit through poor construction, he said.

"A government has to have the courage to take decisions that are difficult," he said. "The laws are there but people don't respect them."

---
(Miami Herald staff writer Kathleen McGrory contributed to this report.)
---
(c) 2008, The Miami Herald.
Visit The Miami Herald Web edition on the World Wide Web at http://www.herald.com/
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


 

 

 
 
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zilibutton Slide Show at the July 27, 2004 Haiti Forum Press Conference during the DNC in Boston honoring those who stand firm for Haiti and democracy; those who tell the truth about Haiti; Presenting the Haiti Resolution, and; remembering Haiti's revolutionary legacy in 2004 and all those who have lost life or liberty fighting against the Feb. 29, 2004 Coup d'etat and its consequences
     
 
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