Sunday, January 16, 2011


The following petition to the US Ambassador to the UN is sponsored by the SOA Watch group.
Haiti: One Year Later
Click here to send a fax to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations to demand a withdrawal of military troops and a redirection of funds to humanitarian aid.

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic earthquake in Haiti that left 230,000 Haitians dead, hundreds of thousands injured, and over 1.5 million homeless. In spite of an initial massive outpouring of international solidarity, over a million Haitians remain in temporary shelters and over 90% of promised aid has not arrived.

However, one organization in Haiti is receiving over $1 million dollars a day for its operations. That organization is MINUSTAH, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, created in 2004 shortly after the coup that toppled President Jean Bertrand Aristide. Currently, there are over 9,000 military and 3,000 police in Haiti, from over a dozen countries, including the US, Canada, France, Japan, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Korea, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay.

The original mandate of MINUSTAH, according to the UN, was to “establish a secure and stable environment, which would encourage the development of a healthy political process, strengthen government institutions and assist in restoring and maintaining the rule of law and promote and protect human rights". MINUSTAH itself felt first hand the tragedy of the quake, losing its chief officer, his deputy and the acting police commissioner. However, six years after the arrival of the "blue helmets", Haitians are calling for an end to what they consider to be a military occupation of their country by MINUSTAH. Among the concerns expressed by Haitians and international human rights organizations are numerous citations of human rights abuses, including responsibility for the killings of slum dwellers, political activists and even a mourner at the funeral of human rights activist-priest Father Jean Juste. Currently, the Brazilian contingent of MINUSTAH is being tried at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the death of another Haitian activist.

Adding to the wounds of the nation is the recent outbreak of cholera that led to over 2,000 deaths. The outbreak of the disease has been linked to contamination from the Nepal contingent of MINSUTAH.

In addition to concerns for the human rights abuses, the presence of thousands of UN troops in Haiti violates the right to self-determination and sovereignty of a nation under the guise of humanitarian aid after the earthquake. MINUSTAH is the only significant UN military mission in a country with no peace agreement between parties of conflict. Exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide calls MINUSTAH the “neo-colonial occupation of Haiti.” In a country where 70 percent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day, MINUSTAH costs the UN more than 1 million dollars a day, and is requesting to more than double the funds, to $850,000,000 when its renewal is up for approval next October.

On the eve of this tragic earthquake, the SOA Watch movement expresses its solidarity with the people of Haiti, and calls upon member nations of the U.N to immediately halt the MINSUTAH foreign military occupation and redirect funds from guns and ammunition to houses, schools and food. We also join people throughout the Americas who are honoring the victims of Haiti's quake by calling for a complete withdrawal of MINUSTAH from Haiti. Click here to ad your voice by sending a fax to Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

SOMOS UNA AMERICA. We are One America in our struggle to resist militarization and promote a culture of peace.
Please go to this link to send the following letter to the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

As Haitians continue to suffer from the devastating earthquake one year ago, with over 1 million people living in temporary shelters and schools and other basic infrastructure still destroyed, the United Nations continues to spend over 1 million dollars a day to maintain 9,000 military troops and 3,000 police from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

While we honor the sacrifices of many of the leaders and members of the MINUSTAH who, like 230,000 Haitians, lost their lives in the tragic earthquake, we join our voices with those of the majority of Haitians in calling for a withdrawal of these troops. Rather than keep the peace, as was the original mandate of MINUSTAH, its members have been cited by numerous human rights organizations as being responsible for abuses directed against citizens of poor communities and political activists.

In a country shattered by one of the most devastating earthquakes of modern times, where 90% of promised international aid has yet to be delivered and where a majority of citizens earn less than $1 a day, it is abominable that the world’s most significant international body has spent over $380 million on military and police force rather than using these funds to express true international solidarity.

Haiti does not need more tanks nor arms nor ammunition, it needs schools, hospitals, housing and functioning institutions, industries and farms. Call for a withdrawal of MINUSTAH and a redirection of these funds to true humanitarian aid.

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