Haiti

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The House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington held a hearing Tuesday on the worsening crisis in Haiti. Haitian expats, some from Miami, expressed frustrations with Trump Administration policy towards Haiti.

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

With Miami Art Week in full swing, there’s a lot of art galleries and shows geared towards travelers descending upon South Florida. Some of the highlights have been a giant, contorted “Bent Pool” that arches over Pride Park, and a life-sized traffic jam sculpted out of sand near Lincoln Road. 

VALERIE BAERISWYL / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

It started around noon, when male detainees inside a prison for men and women north of Haiti’s capital heard there was no charcoal or propane gas to cook their food, and began violently protesting prison conditions and attempting to escape.

By the time it was over and the jail break had been stopped by Haiti National Police, at least one inmate was dead, several others had been injured and 10 female detainees, including a 15-year-old teen girl and 62-year-old woman, had been gang raped, two Haiti-based human rights groups said.

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

In a short story by Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat a man sees his life flash before his eyes as he falls 500 feet from the sky. 

"It's a story that is meant to be compressed in those seconds that he's falling," says Danticat on Sundial.  There's a list of thoughts that goes through the man's mind: love, loss and regret. And the burning image of his son.

Kisley Jeannot / COURTESY OF US EMBASSY HAITI

One man needed a hernia operation that he could not afford. A young girl came to seek help for her 3-year-old cousin whose skin was inexplicably covered with sores. And a mother of four needed help with a chronic allergy reaction.

They all took the chance to travel miles away from home to the Haitian Coast Guard base Killick on Thursday in search of medical care from the U.S. Navy ship Comfort, the floating U.S. naval hospital that arrived Monday. It was a rare calm following two months of sustained protests, burning tires and impassable barricades.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Amnesty International is calling on Haitian President Jovenel Moïse to guarantee the rights of Haitians who are taking to the streets to protest against his government, and to put an end to the use of excessive force by his security forces.

The human rights organization said Thursday that it has verified multiple instances of “security forces under the command of President Jovenel Moïse” using unlawful and excessive force, and it must end.

Graphic by Alejandra Martinez

In Miami during the '90s, when kids would "quote their favorite television shows like the Simpsons," Haitian-American authors and sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite say they did not watch television — instead finding themselves uncovering different worlds and characters at the library. 

REBECCA BLACKWELL / AP

Haiti’s embattled president broke a weeks-long silence Tuesday, telling his protesting nation that while he hears their cries in the streets, he has no intentions of stepping down.

“It would be irresponsible on my part for me to stand here today, to sign and submit a letter of resignation and say ‘I am leaving’ and leave the country like this and the system regenerates itself,” President Jovenel Moïse said during an impromptu press conference on the grounds of the National Palace.

CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

When the United Nations deployed 6,200 blue-helmet soldiers and 1,200 police officers in 2004 to restore order in an unruly Haiti, ruthless armed gangs freely roamed the streets, corruption ran rampant in the judiciary and the country’s volatile politics were in a free fall.

Meanwhile, the Haiti National Police, awash in drug-trafficking and corruption allegations, numbered no more than 2,500 out of the 6,300 the U.N. had trained years earlier and two-thirds of its 182 police stations had been vandalized and burned.

Editor's note: This story includes images that some readers may find disturbing.

Sherrine Petit Homme LaFrance was crying on the side of a road when China Laguerre spotted her.

Hurricane Dorian destroyed LaFrance's newly constructed house in Great Abaco Island on the northern edge of the Bahamas the same night she moved in. That was on Sept. 1.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Over the weekend Haitians again took to the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand the ouster of President Jovenel Moïse. They've been protesting for a year now – and they say they’re tired of an endless economic crisis that’s made it hard to find food and fuel. Or to pay for it if they do find it.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Violent protests continued to grip Haiti on Monday, as the international community urged opponents of Jovenel Moïse to enter into a dialogue with the president, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since Wednesday.

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

COMMENTARY

Right now the western hemisphere – believe it or not, America – is dealing with behavior by federal politicians that's more outrageous than President Trump’s alleged Ukrainian shenanigans. This week the dubious prize goes to Haitian Senator Ralph Fethiere – who repeatedly fired a gun outside the legislature in Port-au-Prince on Monday, wounding two people, including an AP photographer.

The other day, I went down to the National Mall here in Washington, D.C., and heard the sound of hope in sweet, strong, young voices.

A youth choir and chamber ensemble from Haiti are on a U.S. tour that's taken them from Maine to Manhattan to Kentucky over the past month. This stop was in a lush garden of the Smithsonian museums. The tour is meant to showcase Haiti's rich musical heritage — and to raise awareness of the country's rebuilding efforts.

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