What's up Little Haiti

Justice: Michel Martelly will receive a subpoena…

Reached on the phone by HPN, André Michel, Jean Nazaire Thidé’s attorney, who recently warned Michel Joseph Martelly and asked him to publicly apologize for the obscenities he uttered during the Les Cayes Carnival, confirmed that the former president would receive a subpoena to appear in criminal court for offenses against public decency.

Michel Martelly, who had received a warning, seems to despise Jean Nazaire Thidé and his lawyer André Michel. It is what led to this new accusation against the singer of the group Sweet Micky last Friday.

According to Patrick Pierre Louis, any attempt by Michel Joseph Martelly to ignore this warning would be pursued legally as a violation of public decency and public modesty according to provisions of Articles 281 and 283 of the Penal code.

The former Haitian president, Michel Joseph Martelly, risks three years of prison, a 10-year ban from public performances for himself and his group Sweet Micky, and getting assigned to a psychiatric center after he is released from prison, learned HPN.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the former president, following the example of Jean Bertrand Aristide who keeps avoiding justice, will appear in criminal court, indicated André Michel. HPN

Justice: Secretary Camille Edouard on Guy Philippe's arrest

Guy Philippe was not covered by any immunity during his arrest, announced outgoing Minister of Justice Camille Junior Edouard. He assured that he did everything his predecessors before him had done, within the framework of the agreements between Haiti and the USA.

"I was only obeying the prescribed agreements and the conventions linking both countries," said the leader of the MJSP, who added having a clear conscience.

Within the framework of a conference given last Friday, Edouard said that while he recognized the right of the Members of Parliament to adopt resolutions, he denounced the hypocrisy of some regarding this case.

The elected senator from Grand’Anse is not the first nor will he be the last whom the Americans will capture in such a manner, if the agreement remains current, said Edouard.

Guy Philippe's arrest and transfer to the United States on January 5th raised the indignation of many Haitian citizens. HPN

Port –Au-Prince Mayor grants a 72-hour extension to free the public roadway

In a press release, the municipal administration of Port-au-Prince said it will grant an extension of 72 hours to the occupants along the public roadway going from Oswald Durand Street up to the Portail of Leogâne.

This decision was taken within the framework of safeguarding the area neighboring Sylvio Cator Stadium, the School of Medicine and the School of Law, said the press release.

"Consequently, the following activities will be forbidden: the washing of vehicles, the street sales of drinks, food, furniture, the circulation of wheelbarrows and any other activities hampering daily life," specified the press release.

According to the press release, the municipal administration of Port-au-Prince will obtain the support of the Haitian National Police Force (PNH) to execute its plan. HPN


The release of nine individuals involved in the trafficking of 31 adolescents and young girls is denounced by several organizations

The National Committee Fighting Against Human Trafficking (CNLTP) and the Group supporting repatriates and refugees (GARR) denounced the release by the Public Prosecutor of Port-au-Prince of nine people allegedly implicated in the trafficking of 31 adolescents and young girls in Haiti.

This trafficking network was dismantled in a hotel on February 6th, 2017.

These traffickers were interrogated along with the 31 adolescents and young girls. Found in their possession were drugs, pornographic photos and videos.

Among the victims were 14 minors between the ages of 13 and 17.

These presumed traffickers were gradually released between February 15th and March 8th, 2017, indicated Ely Thelot, President of CNLTP and also Advisor to the Ministry of Social Affairs, during a press conference on Thursday, March 16th, 2017, which was attended by AlterPresse, the online news agency.

The case was closed without follow-up, and without reaching a judge's chambers, he chastised.

The public must rise up against this injustice, because Haiti was placed on a blacklist among countries which are deprived of international aide for development, asserted Jean Philipe Thomas, President of GARR, and also a member of CNLTP.

The Public Prosecutor did not inform CNLTP about the motive for the release of the "accused", indicated Thelot. He called upon the Commission for Social Affairs and Commission for Justice, Defense and Law and Order of the Parliament to launch an investigation to shed light on the case.

The charged "individuals" were identified on pornographic videos found in their possession, which demonstrates their full implication, he added.

The release of "the accused" with such ease, in spite of public opinion, demonstrated the extent of difficulty the fight against human trafficking is in Haiti, he explained.

This could damage the country’s image on the international level even more, he lamented.

In a press release, Garr condemned the behavior of the Haitian judicial authorities to have hesitated to enforce the law.

No assistance was given to any of the minor victims, nor were any of them granted the accompaniment of their parents, he criticized.

MARCH 17, 2017 6:44 PM

U.N. secretary general: Time for peacekeeping mission in Haiti to end



It’s time for the United Nations’ 2,300 blue-helmet soldiers in Haiti to head home after 13 years, the head of the world body recommended in a report to the U.N. Security Council this week.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said that the peacekeeping operation in Haiti should close by Oct. 15. Guterres made the recommendation in a 37-page U.N. report obtained by the Miami Herald.

“The military component should undergo a staggered but complete withdrawal of the 2,370 personnel,” Guterres said of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, which is more commonly known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH.

Guterres’ recommendation comes as President Donald Trump seeks to significantly cut the United States’ U.N. contribution with a particular focus on reductions in peacekeeping, environment and development. At the same time, the Trump administration is proposing to slash funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Haiti’s biggest donor.

As part of the phasing out of MINUSTAH after more than a decade in Haiti, Guterres is recommending that the 6 million mission “be extended for a final period of six months” after its current mandate expires on April 15. The U.N. Security Council is expected to debate Guterres’ recommendations — including the future role of the United Nations in Haiti — on April 11.

While Security Council members all agree on the draw-down, there is disagreement on the future of the U.N.’s presence in Haiti. Guterres is recommending that a smaller mission replace MINUSTAH to focus on police development and the country’s dysfunctional judiciary.

The move had been expected since last month, when U.N. Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous visited Haiti and told the Miami Herald that “the military component is not necessary anymore.”

Guterres agrees.

But the last time the U.N. attempted to transition out of Haiti, an armed revolt forced the deployment of more than 6,000 troops. This time, Guterres said, the proposed withdrawal should be “gradual” in order to give the Haiti National Police time to take responsibility for the country’s security.

“Such a strategy would reduce the possibility of a repetition of the failures of past transitions, such as the rapid decline of HNP capacity, impartiality and credibility following the closing of the U.N. peacekeeping operation in Haiti in March 2000 which led to the ensuing electoral crisis and large-scale public unrest,” Guterres said in the report.

Guterres said the new mission also would be mandated to help strengthen human rights in Haiti. It would still maintain a political section, while the number of civilian employees would be reduced by 50 percent. Meanwhile, the U.N. foreign police presence also would be reduced, deployed only to five regions to provide back-up to Haiti National Police.

Overall, the number of foreign police officers in Haiti would be reduced from 1,001 to 295. They would be charged with mentoring and offering strategic advice to senior-level Haiti National Police officers.

Foreign diplomats acknowledge that the Haiti police force has made great strides — it was key in the recent arrest of alleged drug trafficking fugitive Guy Philippe — but Guterres said it “has yet to build adequate capacity to address all instability threats inside the country, independently of an international uniformed presence and in line with human rights standards.”

Haiti’s “longstanding risks of instability caused by a combination of a culture of zero-sum politics, deep-rooted political polarization and mistrust, poor socio-economic and humanitarian conditions as well as weak rule of law institutions and serious human rights challenges,” suggests the need for continued support for the national police, Guterres said, especially in gang-ridden metropolitan Port-au-Prince, and in the southern and northern region where police presence remains low.

“Haiti is still in a delicate period of political transition, pending the formation of the new government and the definition of its governance priorities,” he said.

On Thursday, Haiti’s Senate approved the policy statement of recently designated Prime Minister Jack Lafontant. Lafontant, who lacks political experience and has made sweeping promises to turn around the country’s fortunes, still must get the approval of the Lower Chamber of Deputies. He and his cabinet are expected to go before the body on Monday.

The new government’s lack of political experience is not the only challenge facing Haiti, which has seen a steep decline in foreign aid dollars since its devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, and the suspension of some budgetary support from donors after a fraud-marred 2015 presidential election led to an interim government.

Guterres noted that the U.N. has struggled to raise money for humanitarian assistance for Haiti after it was slammed by Hurricane Matthew in October, and to address the cholera epidemic. A March 6 letter sent to U.N. member states asking how much they intended to contribute to a 0 million Haiti cholera eradication plan has received lukewarm responses.

“As the United Nations gradually and responsibly draws down its presence, I encourage international partners and individual member states to also review the support they provide to Haiti to minimize the risk of jeopardizing the gains so far achieved,” Guterres said.