Haitian grassroots groups and their allies across Latin America are calling for the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission (known as MINUSTAH) from Haiti. They elaborate this demand in a recent open letter which describes MINUSTAH as a form of "domination and popular control." Their letter calling for dignity and self-determination has been signed by hundreds around the world; you can add your support by signing onto their words which form the petition text you will see in the next tab over.
If you also want to sign on your organization, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more background, read below.
MINUSTAH in Haiti: The context
Haitian groups and their allies argue that the multilateral mission constitutes a real military and police occupation of the country, undermining the very sovereignty and self-determination it claims to protect. Furthermore, MINUSTAH's seven years in Haiti have been plagued by human rights violations and a suppression of democratic processes in the country.
Human rights violations & protests
Over the past year, protests have risen sharply in Haiti and throughout Latin America - from where more than half the MINUSTAH troops are drawn - calling for the withdrawal of MINUSTAH, for accountability from the UN for its criminal responsibilities, and for a new paradigm of international cooperation and solidarity in its place. Fueling the recent wave of opposition is MINUSTAH's introduction of cholera into the country, spurring an outbreak that has killed more than 6,000 people and led to nearly half a million cases of illness, and the UN’s failure to take responsibility for it. Human rights violations have also included rape and sexual assault, violent repression of peaceful protests, and failure to investigate charges of murder by MINUSTAH members. Due to the immunity troops enjoy as part of a UN peacekeeping mission, their crimes can only be prosecuted in their home countries and Haitian victims have virtually no way of achieving justice.
Illegitimacy & imperialist politics
MINUSTAH first entered the country in 2004, accepted by an unconstitutional interim government in Haiti after a US-backed coup led to the dissolution of the previous administration. Recent US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed that many MINUSTAH member countries only reluctantly contributed troops to the force, under pressure from the United States government. These issues underscore the basic illegitimacy of the MINUSTAH presence - authorized annually by the UN Security Council on the grounds that Haiti is a threat to global peace and security.
As scrutiny of MINUSTAH increasingly reaches diplomatic circles, the movement to support Haitian people by helping them to rid their country of the MINUSTAH military occupation is gaining steam. Join the call from the Haitian grassroots by taking a moment to sign their open letter.
Thus far, the letter has already been signed by 3 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, two Mothers of the Argentine May Square, and literally hundreds of organizations, networks, movements and persons from throughout Latin America and the world.
To see the full list of signers around the world, visit Jubilee South's website.
To read more about MINUSTAH: "MINUSTAH: Keeping the peace, or conspiring against it?" A review of the human rights record of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, 2010-2011. By HealthRoots at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Photo credit: Ansel Herz.
Photo depicts an anti-MINUSTAH protest in September, with a sign that reads:
Another Haiti is Possible