Democracy Now! reports that a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of more than 5,000 Haitians against the United Nations over the cholera outbreak that has further devastated Haiti in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. Some 450,000 Haitians have been sickened, and more than 6,000 have died, since the cholera outbreak erupted in October 2010, just over a year ago. It is widely believed the cholera was brought to Haiti by a battalion of Nepalese troops with the U.N. peacekeeping force.
In a complaint to the United Nations, the attorneys for the Haitian victims also accuse the organization of reckless failure in containing the outbreak, arguing it is “directly attributable to the negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and deliberate indifference” for the health and lives of Haitians. “Time after time, the response has been to deny the allegations. We’re hoping that this is the case that’s too big to fail, that the evidence against the United Nations is so overwhelming here that the U.N. will have no choice but to finally take responsibility for its malfeasance,” says attorney Brian Concannon of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. “What we are asking for, what our clients are asking for, is the U.N. and the international community to step up and to give Haiti the sanitation infrastructure it needs to stop the epidemic.”
[Many thanks to Rod Fusco for bringing this item to our attention.]
For original report and program, see http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/8/exclusive_5_000_haitian_cholera_victims