Celebrating 25 years of the Haiti Briefing...

Detailed, unique and incisive journalism from the Haiti Support Group

unwanted-giftsThe Haiti Briefing is twenty-five years old this year! Published quarterly, since 1992, it provides our members, Haiti watchers and decision-makers with analysis of Haiti’s development issues, reflected through the voices of popular organisations on the ground.

The Haiti Briefing is available in English, French and Spanish, is the key publication of the Haiti Support Group. The Briefing covers a broad number of themes covering contemporary issues of interest in Haiti.

Our team of Haiti watchers includes grassroots activists and campaigners, members of the Haitian and Caribbean Diaspora, legal experts, journalists, academics and development specialists. We are always looking for new writers and contributors so please click here to contact a member of our editorial team.

You can also search past Haiti Briefings by theme, including:

Cholera & the UN
Crime, Drugs & Security Crime, Drugs & Security
Development Policy & NGOs
Displacement & Land Reform Displacement & Land Reform
Dominican Republic 
Elections & Politics in Haiti
Haitian Arts
Haitian Civil Society
Haitian History
Human Rights
Mining, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security
Music
Natural Disasters in Haiti
Sport
Sweatshops & Labour Sweatshops & Labour
Tourism
Vodou & Religion

THE HAITI BRIEFING ARCHIVE - 25 YEARS OF GROUNDBREAKING REPORTING

Unwanted Gifts: A Concise History of Harming Haiti (HB81)
Unwanted Gifts: A Concise History of Harming Haiti (HB81)
Download PDF A historical insight into centuries of international meddling and mishaps in Haiti. Will they ever learn? In October 2010, a United Nations Stabilisation Mission (MINUSTAH) base near Mirebalais polluted the Meille River with faecal matter....

An Electoral Farce: But who is laughing? (HB80)
An Electoral Farce: But who is laughing? (HB80)
Download PDF The international community requires that elections in Haiti be ‘credible’, that is that they bear just enough resemblance to the ‘real thing’ for them not to be laughed off the stage... Jockeying for position On 12 January...

New Pirates of the Caribbean (HB79)
New Pirates of the Caribbean (HB79)
Download PDF Tourism in Haiti is big business and set to get even bigger. Yet while most independent visitors to the country stay with family members or are off-road backpackers, the government is focusing its efforts on high-end luxury travel from North...
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Who needs elections? (HB78)
Who needs elections? (HB78)
Download PDF We are now fast approaching the fifth anniversary of the 12 January 2010 earthquake. In many ways, it will be a historic moment for Haiti. Not only because of the devastation caused five years ago but also as it is the day on which the country...
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The Miners Next Door (HB77)
The Miners Next Door (HB77)
Download PDF This edition examines the current state of mining in Haiti, the role of global mining corporations in taking advantage of local mining codes and the interest of foreign investors in exploiting Haiti's natural resources. We also speak to...

Stateless in the Caribbean (HB76)
Stateless in the Caribbean (HB76)
Download PDF In 2013 the Dominican Republic Constitutional Court rescinded the nationality of hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian parentage sending shockwaves throughout the Caribbean and wider Americas with far-reaching consequences...
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Caracol: None of Your Business (HB75)
Caracol: None of Your Business (HB75)
Download PDF This Briefing analyses the situation at the Caracol Industrial Plant, a $424,000,000 assembly-plant "development" project that has created fewer than 2000 less-than-minimum wage jobs. Production may benefit foreign investors and consumers...
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Cholera: Immune. Immoral. Illegal? (HB74)
Cholera: Immune. Immoral. Illegal? (HB74)
Download PDF Haiti Briefing 74 concentrates on the United Nation's mendacious response to the cholera epidemic it has caused in Haiti. In the first article, we demonstrate how the UN is not only making a mockery of the concept of rule of law in failing...
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A Better Class of Dictator? (HB73)
A Better Class of Dictator? (HB73)
Download PDF Rebelling against the lies and illegalities. Three years after the earth- quake of January 12, 2010, Haiti paused last month to remember and reflect. It might seem unimaginable given a cholera epidemic with a death toll now nudging 8000,...

Haiti
Haiti's Hunger Games (HB72)
Download PDF Disastrous Food Policy Bites Hands that Feed One mamit (5.75lb tin) of rice? 150 Haitian Gourdes (about £2.24 or $3.57), up 50% since July. Corn meal? At 100 Gourdes a mamit, that has doubled in the past year. Beans? Well, they are...

Wanted - An Agenda for Change (HB71)
Wanted - An Agenda for Change (HB71)
Download PDF EU Development – the Real Road to Poverty Reduction. The report slipped out al- most unnoticed and it is still hard to find. But the untitled document, the product of a four-day trip to Haiti by five MEPs on the Budgetary Control Committee...

Truth Out, Dying Season In (HB70)
Truth Out, Dying Season In (HB70)
Download PDF UN Cholera Response: Disdainful, Disingenuous and Deceitful Has the UN’s intestinal worm turned? On an inspection of the solar energy capacity of the new teaching hospital in Mirebalais on March 7, Bill Clinton, UN Special Envoy to...
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Beyond Relief, Beyond Belief (HB69)
Beyond Relief, Beyond Belief (HB69)
Download PDF Beyond Relief, Beyond Belief As they quaffed champagne in their Port-au-Prince head- quarters on Harry Truman Boulevard, the staff of the secretariat of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC) finally seemed to have something...

Nou Bouke Viv Anba Tant (HB68)
Nou Bouke Viv Anba Tant (HB68)
Download PDF We're fed up of living in tents! Nou Bouke Viv Anba Tant The sit-in that blocked the road in front of the Ministry of Social Affairs on World Habitat Day was peaceful but noisy. “We are people not animals!” “Get us out of these pigeon...

Haiti Briefing 67: Victims Become Victims – Again (HB67)
Haiti Briefing 67: Victims Become Victims – Again (HB67)
Download PDF Relocation, Relocation, Relocation—Haiti style Amass of torn tarpaulins, broken stakes and a jumble of personal possessions – it looked like an early season hurricane had passed through. In fact it was a demolition job by armed thugs...

No joke as carnival music stops (HB66)
No joke as carnival music stops (HB66)
Download PDF Post-election political paralysis. Michel Martelly supporters seize control of Port-au-Prince, in response to official election results. The smoldering ruin of the ruling Inite party’s headquarters on Avenue Lamartinière Port-au-Prince...

Plus ça change – the Republic of NGOs, but which ones? (HB65)
Plus ça change – the Republic of NGOs, but which ones? (HB65)
Download PDF Rescued Yes, Recovery No, Redevelopment: by whom, for whom? First the good news. To date there has been no second disaster in Haiti, in the form of epidemics, famine or tropical storm damage in the wake of the most deadly earthquake...

No Room at the Inn (HB64)
No Room at the Inn (HB64)
Download PDF Haiti's biggest humanitarian challenge since Second World War You see it first and best from the air. Translucent, deep blue specks, as yet unfaded by the remorseless sun, they stand out against the turquoise seawater and the beige of the...

Farmers want to end food dependence (HB63)
Farmers want to end food dependence (HB63)
Download PDF Haiti’s peasant farmers are organising and taking action to try and bring an end to the country’s dependence on food imports, and to avert the prospect of looming famine. ...

Haiti’s Horrible Year (HB62)
Haiti’s Horrible Year (HB62)
Download PDF The year started off badly, and it was downhill from then on. The fragile sense of stability that had been growing steadily since President Préval took office in mid-2006 was severely undermined by a sharp rise in the price of food...
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Crackdown on gangs brings fragile calm (HB61)
Crackdown on gangs brings fragile calm (HB61)
Download PDF At the beginning of the year, the Police Nationale d’Haïti (PNH) and the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (Mi- nustah) made a concerted effort to break up the larger gangs based in the sprawling Cité Soleil slum to the north of...

Insecurity’s hidden hands (HB60)
Insecurity’s hidden hands (HB60)
Download PDF The government has faced its sternest challenge since it took office in early June following a dramatic increase in violent crime and, in particular, a wave of kidnappings for ransom, many of them involving children. ...

‘Standing Up to Defend our Rights’’ (HB59)
‘Standing Up to Defend our Rights’’ (HB59)
Download PDF Eramithe Delva, leader and founder of KOFAVIV on why women on the protest march wore black masks over their faces: “We are veiling our faces because this is how they come to our homes to rape us, beat us, destroy our homes, burn our...

Can Préval’s government deliver? (HB58)
Can Préval’s government deliver? (HB58)
Download PDF Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis and President René Préval have demanded that all armed gangs surrender their weapons or risk being killed. ...

Election victory for the Haitian people (HB57)
Election victory for the Haitian people (HB57)
Download PDF Préval supporters took to the streets of Port-au-Prince to protest against alleged fraud and vote-rigging. ...

Doubts About Elections (HB56)
Doubts About Elections (HB56)
Download PDF Voters stand in line outside a polling station in Port-au-Prince in 1995. Size of turn-out will determine success of this year’s elections. ...

Military approach criticised (HB55)
Military approach criticised (HB55)
Download PDF In June, 800 more troops were added to UN stabilisation mission in Haiti, bringing the number of soldiers to a total of 7,500. But with the situation only deteriorating since the UN troops arrived over one year ago, are more soldiers the...

Gunning Down the Poor (HB54)
Gunning Down the Poor (HB54)
Download PDF Police or ‘police’ – Uniformed men carry out operations in Port-au-Prince and other cities, but no one can ever be quite sure who they are. When rebel gangs overran police stations at the beginning of 2004, they seized not only...

Return of the Death-Squads (HB53)
Return of the Death-Squads (HB53)
Download PDF The news from Haiti over the last few months has been unremittingly bad. The interim government – appointed in March in place of the overthrown Fanmi Lavalas (FL) administration – has shown itself to be totally unequal to the challenge...

The End of Aristide (HB52)
The End of Aristide (HB52)
Download PDF The collapse of Aristide’s Lavalas Family government at the end of February can only partly be explained by the sudden appearance of former Army and FRAPH death- squad figures from the past, although they were the ones who enacted...

Bicentennial Blues (HB51)
Bicentennial Blues (HB51)
Download PDF As the two-hundredth anniversary of the declaration of Haiti’s independence from France draws close, disagreements have emerged over how to celebrate the Bicentennial. ...
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Armed opposition now part of a new strategy (HB50)
Armed opposition now part of a new strategy (HB50)
Download PDF With apparent guidance from the US International Republican Institute (IRI), the anti-Aristide opposition is engaged in a three- pronged strategy to undermine, and it hopes, eventually topple the government. ...

Learning from the Occupation of Haiti (HB49)
Learning from the Occupation of Haiti (HB49)
Download PDF A coalition invading to restore democracy. A massive show of military strength. The concentration of regular soldiers in the cities, and the deployment of Special Forces to remote villages. Billions of dollars of aid promised for reconstruction....

Petrol Price Rise Fuels Discontent (HB48)
Petrol Price Rise Fuels Discontent (HB48)
Download PDF In January, the cash-strapped Haitian government bowed to pressure from the International Monetary Fund and withdrew the state subsidy pegging petrol, diesel and kerosene prices at well below the world market rate. The price of vehicle fuel...

Long Hot Summer for Aristide (HB47)
Long Hot Summer for Aristide (HB47)
Download PDF The government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, which came to power with a landslide electoral victory only two years ago, is facing sliding popularity and mounting protest on all fronts. At root of the deepening disillusionment is the continued...

Suffering from Sanctions, Again (HB46)
Suffering from Sanctions, Again (HB46)
Download PDF The Haitian economy is more than just on its knees - it's now a matter of skin and bones. Sanctions against the military regime in the early 1990s failed to shift the generals but did succeed in reducing economic capacity by a quarter. Since...

Danger Signs After Coup Bid (HB45)
Danger Signs After Coup Bid (HB45)
Download PDF Political tensions deepened and violence flared following an apparent coup attempt against the government on the night of the 16th December. Around 30 armed men took over the Presidential Palace, but after exchanges of gunfire with police...

Feeling the Fallout from the attacks on the US (HB44)
Feeling the Fallout from the attacks on the US (HB44)
Download PDF The United States' declaration of a "war on terrorism" following the 11 September attacks was met with some scepticism, if not cynicism, by those familiar with the case of Emmanuel 'Toto' Constant. Haiti's number one terrorist fled to the...

Time for the
Time for the 'Politicians' to Step Aside (HB43)
Download PDF Diplomatic missions have come and gone. Eleventh hour meetings have been boycotted; others have been postponed. Shots have been fired, and stones have been thrown. Foreign development aid has been suspended, and dire warnings have been issued....

A Full House but Nobody Home (HB42)
A Full House but Nobody Home (HB42)
Download PDF Almost one year since elections that returned a Parliament completely dominated by President Aristide's Lavalas Family Party, the political scene in Haiti continues to waiver between farce and tragedy. ...

Aristide is Back (HB41)
Aristide is Back (HB41)
Download PDF Ten yearssince he was first elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide has returned to power following an election in November that was boycotted by all the main opposition parties. They refused to take part, claiming that, far from being...

Solidarity Boosts Union Action (HB40)
Solidarity Boosts Union Action (HB40)
Download PDF After a year-long campaign, the labour union representing some 300 workers at the Marnier-Lapostelle orange plantation in northern Haiti has won wage increases and some improvements in conditions. In late July, the French company that imports...

Scale of Lavalas Victory Questioned (HB39)
Scale of Lavalas Victory Questioned (HB39)
Download PDF The May 21st elections returned a huge victory for Jean-Betrand Aristide's new, populist Lavalas Family party. According to the official results, the Lavalas Family won 18 out of 19 Senate seats (the other went to an independent), 26 out...

Chronicle of an Election Postponed (HB38)
Chronicle of an Election Postponed (HB38)
Download PDF Elections for every single elected office in Haiti, save the Presidency and a third of the Senate, have been due since the end of 1998. Members of Parliament had blocked new elections by vetoing the President's nominees for a Prime Minister,...

Unwelcome, Unwanted: Haitian Migrant Workers (HB37)
Unwelcome, Unwanted: Haitian Migrant Workers (HB37)
Download PDF When a boat carrying some 400 Haitians ran aground just two miles off the Florida coast on New Year's Day, the British media had its first Haiti headline story for several years. Haiti 'boat-people' is an old chestnut that is easy to roast...

Death and Confusion - who Controls the Police? (HB36)
Death and Confusion - who Controls the Police? (HB36)
Download PDF The question of criminal and political violence in Haiti has raised a great deal of controversy since the resignation on 7 October of the Secretary of State for Public Security, Robert Manuel, and the assassination, two days later, of former...

Doing the Election Dance (HB35)
Doing the Election Dance (HB35)
Download PDF In 1990, the majority of Haitians were enthusiastic voters, but then saw their elected candidate overthrown by a military coup. When, three years later, President Aristide was returned to power by the United Nations, part of the deal was...

Sowing the Seeds for a Grassroots Revival (HB34)
Sowing the Seeds for a Grassroots Revival (HB34)
Download PDF These are dark days in Haiti. The promise of economic renewal funded by international development aid has come to nothing. Impunity for human rights violators has given birth to a pervasive sense of insecurity. Common crime is on the increase,...

Fed Up with Violence (HB33)
Fed Up with Violence (HB33)
Download PDF In Creole, there are many ways to express a dilemma. But these days, most Haitians would probably tell you that they are "caught between two fires". One fire is the 'forces of darkness', the legions of former Tonton Macoutes, soldiers, paramilitary...

Collapse of Parliament Heralds Aristide Comeback (HB32)
Collapse of Parliament Heralds Aristide Comeback (HB32)
Download PDF The political crisis, simmering for the best part of two years, finally came to the boil in January. Parliamentary elections due in 1997 and 1998 had been cancelled, and the existing Parliament had rejected several attempts by the President...

Les nouveaux pirates des Caraïbes (HB79)
Les nouveaux pirates des Caraïbes (HB79)
Download PDF Les yeux fixés sur le butin, les investisseurs étrangers en Haïti vivent des moments grisants : les affaires prospèrent et sont on ne peut plus prometteuses... ...
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Qui a besoin d
Qui a besoin d'élections? (HB78)
Download PDF Le cinquième anniversaire du séisme dévastateur de 2010 marquera un autre moment historique : ce jour-là, Haïti deviendra officiellement une dictature, faisant ainsi, à peine quelques mois après la mort de Jean-Claude Duvalier, un...

Les Mineurs d
Les Mineurs d'à Côté (HB77)
Download PDF Le gouvernement haïtien mise sur les récentes découvertes d’or et d’argent de son côté de la frontière pour sortir le pays de la dévastation causée par le séisme de 2010. Pourtant, évictions provoquées par l’industrie...

Apatride aux Caraïbes (HB76)
Apatride aux Caraïbes (HB76)
Download PDF « J’ai 28 ans et… je n’y suis jamais allée [en Haïti]. Je ne sais pas comment c’est…je n’y suis jamais allée parce que je suis née ici...» ...

Caracol : c’est pas vos affaires (HB75)
Caracol : c’est pas vos affaires (HB75)
Download PDF Le cumul des échecs : plus grand mais pas mieux ...

Immunité. Immoralité. Illégalité? (HB74)
Immunité. Immoralité. Illégalité? (HB74)
Download PDF L’envoyé Spécial de l’ONU sur la question du Choléra: « Le Silence est la Pire des Réponses » ...

Un dictateur plus classe ? (HB73)
Un dictateur plus classe ? (HB73)
Download PDF Révolte contre les mensonges et les illégalités   ...

L’Enjeu de la Faim en Haïti (HB72)
L’Enjeu de la Faim en Haïti (HB72)
Download PDF Le Désastre d’une Politique Alimentaire qui s’en prend aux Producteurs ...

Recherche agenda pour le changement (HB71)
Recherche agenda pour le changement (HB71)
Download PDF Le développement européen : trouver la bonne voie ...

Adieu Vérité, Bonjour Saison Mortelle (HB70)
Adieu Vérité, Bonjour Saison Mortelle (HB70)
Download PDF La Réponse de l’ONU au Choléra : Mépris, Mystifications et Mauvaise Volonté ...

Un incroyable fiasco (HB69)
Un incroyable fiasco (HB69)
Download PDF Déconstruction de la Reconstruction de la CIRH ...

    Apátridas en el Caribe (HB76)
    Apátridas en el Caribe (HB76)
    Download PDF “Nunca he estado en Haití. No tengo dónde ir” ...

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