Blog post

“Almost everyone now accepts that the UN brought cholera to Haiti” — Peter Hallward in the Guardian

Tamar Shlaim22 November 2010

Peter Hallward, author of Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment, writes in the Guardian on yet another "shameful betrayal" of the Haitian people.

A new edition of Damming the Flood will be published on 12th January 2010, updated with a substantial new afterword addresssing the international response to the earthquake.

Almost everyone now accepts that the United Nations brought cholera to Haiti last month ... Probably as a result of UN negligence, more than 1,200 people are already dead and 20,000 infected, and the toll is set to rise rapidly over the coming weeks. So is the number and intensity of popular protests against this latest in a series of UN crimes and misadventures in Haiti in recent years, which include scores of killings and hundreds of alleged rapes.

Rather than examine its role in the epidemic, however, the UN mission has opted for disavowal and obfuscation. UN officials have refused to test Nepalese soldiers for the disease or to conduct a public investigation into the origins of the outbreak. Rather than address the concerns of an outraged population, the agency has preferred to characterise the fresh wave of protests as a "politically motivated" attempt to destabilise the country in the runup to presidential elections on 28 November. Protesters have been met with tear gas and bullets; so far at least three have been killed.

So far, in fact, so normal. The truth is that the whole UN mission in Haiti is based on a violent, bald-faced lie. It says it is in Haiti to support democracy and the rule of law, but its only real achievement has been to help transfer power from a sovereign people to an unaccountable army.

Visit the Guardian to read the article in full.

Filed under: articles