Category Archives: Disaster & Human Rights

Lawyer, Anti-Duvalier Activist & Politician Georges Anglades Killed By Haiti Quake

MSNBC‘s “Breaking News” on Twitter, @breakingnews, is reporting that lawyer, civil rights activist, and politician, Georges Anglades, was killed in the Haiti quake.  Anglades and his wife are pictured here.

Anglades was born in Port-au-Prince in 1944, educated in Haiti as a lawyer, and received a Ph.D. in Vienna.  Anglades came to national attention as an outspoken critic of the Duvalier regime in Haiti.  From 1957 to 1971, Haiti was ruled by the autocrat, Dr. Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, whom it is estimated ordered the deaths of 30,000 Haitians and exile of thousands more.  You can link to a Wikipedia article about Papa Doc Duvalier here.

Papa Doc Duvalier’s reign was followed by his son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.  Although he attempted to soften some of the harsher aspects of his father’s regime, “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s reign was marked by corruption and the continued oppression of any political resistance.  “Baby Doc” Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown by popular uprising in 1986.  You can link to a Wikipedia article about “Baby Doc” Duvalier here.

It was through this popular uprising that Anglades became part of the Haitian political landscape.  He was made a political prisoner by “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1974.  Later, Anglades served as a Haitian cabinet minister and advisor to President Rene Preval.

Anglades and his wife were both killed in the quake.  In addition to the MSNBC BreakingNews report, you can link to an article about the couple’s death from Canadian news outlet, TheStar.com, here.

As of approximately 3 hours ago, reports from Haiti are estimating that the death toll will reach 100,000.  You can link to an article discussing the estimated death toll here.  Describing the earthquake as an “unimaginable disaster,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured that the Haitian death toll will reach tens of thousands.  You can link to an article quoting Sec’y Clinton here.

The damage done to the Haitian Presidential Palace is pictured below.

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Child Slavery Reaches Record Levels In Haiti; Poverty Blamed As Cause

There is a startling new report just released by the Pan American Development Foundation, reporting that almost 225,000 Haitian children have been forced into child slavery in Haiti as a result of poverty.  Most of the children – nearly 2/3 in fact – are young girls, and are subjected to extreme physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

Although the plight of these children is apparently commonly known, and is a source of great shame in the Caribbean country founded by a slave revolt, the practice of enslaving children has become widespread.  According to the report, nearly half of the children interviewed in just one village (257 total ) were living as slaves.

A previous count of the number of enslaved Haitian children was attempted by UNICEF in 2002.  That attempt resulted in a count of 172,000 children, but was criticized as being a gross under-estimation of the problem.  The current report used a broader counting methodology and was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In May 2007, USAID awarded the Pan American Development Foundation $6.4 million to combat trafficking in persons, torture, and organized violence in Haiti.

You can link to an excellent article discussing the problem of child slavery in Haiti here.  The link here is a link to the Pan American Development Foundation.  Finally, I am including a link to a resource showing the current state of slavery conditions in countries around the world as reported by the U.S. State Department, here.

UPDATE!  DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE STRIKES HAITI – REV. PAT ROBERTSON, LIMBAUGH BLAME HAITIANS, OBAMA

A disastrous earthquake struck the already impoverished island nation of Haiti on Tuesday.  The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale, was shallow – only 6 miles deep, and struck the island’s capitol, Port-Au-Prince, especially hard.  The quake, together with the nearly 30 major aftershocks that followed it, have decimated the country.  Thousands were crushed in the rubble as buildings collapsed, and one Haitian Senator fears that the quake may have claimed as many as 500,000 people.  The quake is the largest earthquake to strike Haiti in a century.

According to MSNBC News, the Presidential Palace and most government buildings have been destroyed.  The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Haiti, Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, was killed.  The scene has been described as one of utter devastation.  President Obama has pledged ‘aggressive’ help, but the generally poor infrastructure of the country is expected to hamper relief efforts.  You can link to President Obama’s remarks here and here.

You can link to articles discussing this disaster here and here, as well as MSNBC News here.

The so-called “Reverend” Pat Robertson remarked that the earthquake was Haiti’s own fault.  Here is the text of what this psychotic had to say about the earthquake from today’s 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: [S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island.

They need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.

Not to be outdone by Rev. Insanity, Rush “the Devil’s Douchebag” Limbaugh, had to get in on the game, saying that President Barack Obama and company would use Haiti to get closer to the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black [communities] in this country” while adding that the U.S. has “already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”  You can link to a news article discussing these remarks, as well as Robertson’s, here.

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