Africa Now October 29, 2014 Cholera and the UN in Haiti

Topic and Guests: Cholera and the UN in HaitiWPFW has continuously been YOUR BEACON OF LIGHT AS THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES and with that spirit, today’s Africa Now! will highlight the on-going movement to make the UN accountable with its role bringing cholera to Haiti.  Last week on October 23, 2014 a Manhattan court heard the case against the UN presented by families of victims of cholera outbreak in Haiti.  Meanwhile just as the case was about to be heard, the UN Security Council on October 16, 2014 voted to extend the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah) until October 15, 2015.

Since October 2010 cholera has killed over 8,000 people and over 700,000 have been infected—prior to October 2010 there was no cholera outbreak reported to have occurred in Haiti.  From various scientific studies, the source of the disease was suspected to be from a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping base (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti [Minustah]) because of the negligent dumping of sewage into a nearby river by UN peacekeeping soldiers.  The river where the waste was dumped was a vital water source for Haitians and due to the poor sanitation systems, the illness spread rapidly.  Haitians have constantly protested in the streets the UN’s denial.  Haitians are demanding reparations for the damage that the UN’s actions have done.  To discuss cholera and the UN in Haiti are:   Mr. Jake Johnston, Research Associate, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR); and Ms. Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq. a human rights lawyer and Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). 

Mr. Jake Johnston, is Research Associate, at Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), where his research has focused predominantly on economic policy in Latin America, the International Monetary Fund and U.S. foreign policy.  He is the lead author for CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog and has authored papers and articles on Haiti concerning the ongoing cholera epidemic, aid accountability and transparency and the U.S. foreign aid system in outlets such as The Hill, AlterNet, Truthout, and the Caribbean Journal.

Ms. Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq. is a human rights lawyer and Staff Attorney at the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), where she manages litigation and advocacy seeking accountability from the U.N. for its role in causing Haiti’s cholera epidemic and currently representing Haitian families in court in the suit against the UN.  Prior to joining IJDH, Ms. Lindstrom worked with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she focused on aid accountability, fact-finding and human rights reporting in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.

Originally broadcast on WPFW 89.3FM, Washington, DC.  Tune into Africa Now! live on WPFW 89.3 FM in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area or visit www.wpfwfm.org on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00PM (Eastern).