Haiti two years on

A note from the editor

Chris Brazier

One of my more pleasurable monthly duties is to choose a cartoon for our Open Window feature. This involves sampling work from cartoonists all over the world who contribute to the website cartoonmovement.org When our friends at Cartoon Movement told us about their project to produce a series of comic books marking the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, we leapt at the chance to feature some of the material in this issue, not least because it is both written and drawn by Haitians in Port-au-Prince – Jean Pharès Jérôme and Chevelin Pierre.

The cartoon work also, however, provided us with the opportunity to explore Haiti’s current plight in more detail and to lay out some of the historical context – with notable contributions from Phillip Wearne and Eduardo Galeano.

The cover photo shows nine-year-old twins Renalda and Renane Bernabe in their house in Petionville. Renane lost her leg in the earthquake but is sporting a new prosthetic limb.

The anniversary may well prove to be a rare point when the mainstream media will revisit Haiti (having broadly forgotten about the country since the disaster). At the moment media the world over are finding it difficult to focus on anything else but the economic crisis – particularly that in the Eurozone.

Our Argument section this month takes the opportunity to ask if the European Union as currently constituted is damaging its citizens’ democratic rights.

Elsewhere, we hear from former child soldiers in Colombia who are trying to make their way in normal society – and we see what happens when private security companies are given the responsibility of delivering aid in poor countries.

Meanwhile, among our regular features is a round-up of the best film, music and books of 2011 – and an interview with actor Juliet Stevenson about, amongst other things, her passionate concern for human rights.

Chris Brazier for the New Internationalist co-operative.

The big story

Haiti two years on: beyond relief, beyond belief

Haiti is not just recovering from the
earthquake but from the political and
economic interventions of recent decades, as
Phillip Wearne explains.

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‘This is my house,’ says Wilson Sylvie almost proudly, as he stops to glance at the patchwork of cardboard, salvaged wood, and rice sack walls before pushing aside the torn bedsheet door. ‘Ten people sleep here,’ he says, inside the three-metre-square shack.

How? Wilson pulls down various pieces of odd shaped plywood and cardboard to demonstrate how his family bed down for the night. Two years on from one of the world’s most deadly natural disasters, the earthqu...


A street vendor in Port-au-
Most Haitians
are still waiting for
to begin.

Haiti: where did all the money go?

More than $10 billion was raised worldwide for Haiti after the earthquake. But, two years on, what have NGOs done with the cash? Nick Harvey investigates.

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Guns and Bread: how mercenaries moved into aid

Michael Lewis explores what happens when private security companies muscle in to 'deliver aid'.

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Tents beyond tents

A cartoon introduction to life in the camps in and around Port-au-Prince.

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A stolen childhood: for those recruited into the
FARC’s rebel army, returning to civilian life is
a new challenge. This photo of a young girl
holding a weapon was found on the body
of a rebel killed in combat in 2008.

From child soldier to civilian - a tough transition in Colombia

Having handed in their weapons, former child soldiers face a new battle - for acceptance into society. Seth Biderman reports.

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We will be free! This revolt was against an
unpopular leader in 1908 . Haitians have
had to contend with all too many dictators
and exploitative governments.

Occupied Again

The first independent country of the Americas-but Eduardo Galeano asks will Haiti ever be free?

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The credit union boom

The credit union boom

Fed up with being fleeced, North Americans are flocking to co-operative savings societies. Wayne Ellwood reports.

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New year, new start

John Jordan and Isa Fremeaux up sticks and head for their utopia ‚ even if it doesn't yet exist.

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Margaret Thatcher is The Iron Lady

Horror flick: Mrs T at the multiplex

Forget Scream, The Exorcist and Jaws: The nightmare on Downing Street is coming to a cinema near you.

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Is the European Union damaging to democratic rights?

Anti-poverty campaigner John Hilary and politics professor Carlos Closa go head-to-head - read their arguments and join the debate.

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A moment to celebrate

A moment to celebrate

Why are we so bad at celebrating our successes? It's time to step back and commemorate a remarkable year says Mark Engler

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Fighting for freedom: in 2005, journalists
felt able to voice their concerns – here,
at a gathering to celebrate World Press
Freedom Day. Now, fear of reprisals is
silencing many of them.

Malawi battles for press freedom

In Malawi fear of reprisals silences journalists over press freedom.

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A sign of hope? US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Burma – and Aung San Suu Kyi – in November 2011.

Are Burma’s reforms for real?

Changes in Burma over the past year have been astounding, but as the country celebrates 64 years of independence, its people remain far from free.

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Split society: shack dwellers
in Cape Town are dwarfed by
a huge billboard promoting a
‘brighter’ future.

Has the ANC ushered in neo-apartheid?

As the African National Congress turns 100, Brett Scott criticises its failure to share South Africa's prosperity with the poor.

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Why cross-border electrics are not such a bright idea

Renewable energy mega-projects are causing environmental damage and mass displacement says Joyce Nelson.

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A community under
siege: Bedouin face
threats of evacuation,
house demolition, travel
restrictions and harassment
on a daily basis.

Israel evicts Bedouin villagers

More than 30,000 Bedouin, which the Israeli government call 'squatters', face eviction to make way for settlements, reports Libby Powell.

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Letter from Cairo

Letter from Cairo

The future is unknown, but we can learn on the job, says Maria Golia.

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Papua New Guinea

A small group of islands with a long history

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Cartoon Corner Special

Big Bad World, Only Planet plus guest cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh from Palestine.

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And Finally... Juliet Stevenson

Successful actor and would-be human rights lawyer Juliet Stevenson on the disgrace of locking up children, and the importance of good-story-telling.

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Film, Book & Music Reviews


Films, books and music from around the world reviewed.

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Human potential and
happiness in Benda Bilili!

Best of the Arts 2011

We watched, we read, we listened: New Internationalist's favourite films, books and music from last year.

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