Keyword: Haïti

The lingering scandal of the 'independence debt' Haiti was forced to pay France

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The centre of Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, in November 2019. © FB / Mediapart The centre of Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, in November 2019. © FB / Mediapart

Haiti has been in the news recently after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse by foreign mercenaries in early July 2021. Away from the headlines, however, there remains an unresolved issue between France and its former Caribbean slave colony. For more than a century, from 1825 to the 1950s, Haiti paid France a colossal sum in exchange for recognising its freedom and independence. As Mediapart's co-founder François Bonnet reports, some prominent figures are asking whether the French authorities should now pay this money back.

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The spiral of state-driven terror in 'gangsterized' Haiti

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A protest march in Port-au-Prince against President Jovenel Moïse, February 10th 2021. © AFP/Valerie Baeriswyl A protest march in Port-au-Prince against President Jovenel Moïse, February 10th 2021. © AFP/Valerie Baeriswyl

In Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, a succession of massacres since 2018 by criminal gangs of inhabitants in several neighbourhoods is denounced by rights organisations as a strategy by the country’s deeply unpopular president, Jovenel Moïse, to terrorise the population into submission. François Bonnet reports on the horrific events, and interviews one of Haiti’s leading young writers, Jean D’Amérique, whose recently published novel, Soleil à coudre, centres on one such neighbourhood.

Why an international investigation into Haiti aid scandal is urgent

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A camp for Haitians made homeless by the 2010 quake. © Reuters A camp for Haitians made homeless by the 2010 quake. © Reuters

This week marked ten years since a devastating earthquake hit the impoverished Caribbean state of Haiti, when up to 300,000 people were killed and 1.5 million others were left homeless. The ensuing reconstruction programme drew billions of dollars in aid, but also led to massive corruption. Mediapart co-founder and former editor François Bonnet, who has regularly reported on the tragedy in Haiti, details the fiasco and argues here why a thorough investigation into the gigantic scams must be led under the auspices of the UN, and those found responsible must be prosecuted. Nothing less can restore confidence in international institutions – beginning with the UN itself.

Hollande in Haiti dodges reparation demands

The French president, the first to make an official visit to the Caribbean island, sidestepped demands for repayment of imposed 19th-century debt.

Racism monitor to sue over French bank's Haiti 'plunder'

Racism watchdog group says it will file a legal suit against French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots over its role in the slave trade in Haiti.

Who helped Baby Doc's shock return to shattered Haïti?

 © Francis Concite © Francis Concite
Confusion continues to surround the circumstances of the surprise arrival in Haïti on Sunday of the country's former dictator Jean-Claude ‘Baby Doc' Duvalier (right), after 25 years of exile in France. While the Haïtian senate has summoned the country's justice and interior ministers and police chief to explain events in a special hearing Thursday, questions are raised over how the former despot was able to leave France on an expired diplomatic passport.

Haiti tinderbox as cholera catastrophe looms

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Dans le parc Sainte Thérèse, 2.500 réfugiés. © (F.Bt.) Dans le parc Sainte Thérèse, 2.500 réfugiés. © (F.Bt.)

Cholera has entered the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, devastated by an earthquake in January. Mediapart editor François Bonnet reports from a country on the verge of an unprecedented health catastrophe and a major social and political crisis, amid popular fury towards the authorities accused of negligence and corruption and at the peace-keeping force for allegedly introducing the epidemic.