COHA Research Associate Courtney Frantz has submitted a report on the impact of the MINUSTAH’s presence in Haiti. Follow the link below for the full article.
- Although at first glance it may seem that Haitian protests against the presence of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) are due to scattered incidents of violence committed by its members against locals, a close examination reveals a pattern of systematic acts of heavy repression against the population.
- Several officials have indicated that Haiti does not offer a credible threat to international peace and security, which the UN Charter stipulates as the basis for MINUSTAH’s presence in the country.
- Not only has MINUSTAH been ineffective at providing security for the average Haitian, but it also has ignored extra-judicial killings and perpetrated acts of repeated violence against locals in cases such as the infamous Cité Soleil raid.
- According to numerous Haitian commentators, such violent abuses are MINUSTAH’s basic modi operandi for protecting the U.S.’ and other Western economic interests by targeting poor Haitians, many of whom are involved in Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s anti-neoliberal Fanmi Lavalas movement.
Many media reports, out of reluctance to criticize the UN body, have downplayed Haitian protestors’ outrage over the rampant violence perpetrated by United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), asserting that the demonstrations are merely protesting a few individual acts, such as the inadvertent introduction of cholera and the alleged gang rape of a young man. However, as President Michel Martelly (April 2011-present) asserted, these incidents are in fact pouring “gas on the fire” that has been steadily destroying relations between Haitians and the peacekeepers. Although Martelly did not imply it, these relations are deteriorating due to a pattern of heavy repression against the population.
This violence has become much more calculated than the scattered acts reported by the U.S. media. Mark Schuller, an anthropologist specializing in the impact of international development aid, NGOs, and MINUSTAH in Haiti, explains that the Mission comprises the enforcers. “Many say that they are responsible for keeping Haiti a ‘leta restavek’ – a child servant state, owned by the international community. To many Haitian commentators, the [former] Préval government willingly gave up control [to MINUSTAH] in exchange for continued survival.” The U.S. has been intent on protecting the neoliberal policies which, according to WikiLeaks cables from the State Department, have been threatened by the so-called “populist and anti-market economy” Fanmi Lavalas movement of the poor majority. These policies have allowed Haiti, both before and after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (1991, 1994-1996, 2001-2004) started the Fanmi Lavalas movement, to become fertile ground for privatization, liberalization, and connections between the island and transnational corporations. In the process of suppressing the Haitian poor in general and the anti-neoliberal Fanmi Lavalas movement more specifically, MINUSTAH has perpetrated systematic acts of violence against residents of the island, while failing to provide predictable security for the average Haitian.
To read the full article, click here.
For the original report go to http://www.coha.org/the-enforcers-minustah-and-the-culture-of-violence-in-port-au-prince/