Haiti – FLASH : Numerous changes in the chain of command of the PNH
According to a public relations document of the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Rameau Normil, the acting Director General of PNH has made several changes in his chain of command. These changes, which occur in a context of anti-government mobilizations, would take into account incidents recorded during recent demonstrations in which law enforcement officers were involved :
The Divisional Commissioner Jean Barzelais Bornelus was installed at the head of the Departmental North. He replaces Divisional Commissioner Hilaire Jackson at this position.
The Chief Commissioner Jean Claude Jean has been installed at the head of the Commissariat of Saint-Marc to replace Commissioner Dienane J. Borgelin.
The Commissioner Jean Claude Bazile was installed at the Command of the Departmental Unit of Maintenance of the Order (UDMO-West). He succeeds Inspector Frenet Duval.
Commissioner Ronald Michel is placed at the head of the command of the Intervention Group of the Haitian National Police (SWAT) replacing Commander Clevens Cetoute.
Commissioner Jorès Charles is the new head of Cabaret’s jurisdiction.
Caribbean Cuisine offers Haitian food in Evansville
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The food of the Caribbean is full of excitement: spices and herbs, fruity chiles, exotic fruits and vegetables, rice and beans and even pasta and potato salads with unique flavors. Most adventurous diners are familiar with the curries and allspice-scented jerk marinades of Jamaica, and the citrusy flavors of Cuba and the Central American coast have made local inroads lately.
Now we have another new Caribbean cuisine to sample — the hearty, homey dishes of Haiti are offered at Caribbean Cuisine on Kentucky Avenue, which opened quietly in November.
Four partners run the business, all originally from Haiti. Meldy Devallon, Lovelie Francois and Frensen and Lorvens Cede came together to offer a taste of home for Evansville’s growing Haitian population and anyone else who enjoys the food of the Islands.
Devallon came up with the idea and brought friends together to make it happen.
“What brought me together with my partners is that Lovelie can cook. She can really cook,” he said. “All my family lives in South Florida and Miami, but in my teen years, I was in Job Corps in Kentucky. After I graduated from high school, I needed a trade and thought I’d work on cars or something. Evansville was the closest city, and I decided to come here because the cost of living in Florida is so high. So I’ve lived in the area since 2013.”
Devallon has had several restaurant jobs and loves cooking and food, and he missed his favorite dishes from the Haitian community where he grew up.
“When I came here there wasn’t any of the food we like — the Caribbean and African foods,” he said. “My dream was one day I want to make something where I can serve those comfortable foods. There’s a lot of Haitians and Dominicans and Africans here, and the Haitian and African foods use similar seasoning.”
Some examples are Maggi seasoning, a dark brown liquid flavor enhancer similar to soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles are used to add fruity heat and punch to dishes, although by no means are all the dishes hot and spicy. It’s more of an accent.
Rice and beans are cooked together with spices to make a universal protein-rich side dish that soaks up sauce, and plantains — the big starchy bananas becoming more familiar in Evansville — are a staple. Thick slices are cooked until soft, smashed into patties and cooked until crisp, just like Cuban tostones.
A unique hallmark of Haitian food is that meats are often braised or simmered in flavorful liquids and then quickly fried for a crisp exterior before serving.
Devallon and Francois first thought of doing a food truck because there would be less overhead, but Francois wanted a brick and mortar location.
Devallon said he learned of this location after talking to his barber, who has a shop next door to the building.
“We had to fix it up a little, but it is a good spot,” he said.
More food news
The menu at Caribbean Cuisine is small but solid. Every day, find oxtail stew and spiced simmered/fried chicken and pork shoulder. Other specials that have been offered include whole fried red snapper, turkey stew and simmered okra. Smaller portions of each are offered at a lower price point.
On weekends, find beef and vegetable soups and a specialty dish of lalo or jute leaves, a green similar to spinach, simmered with spices and served with rice and pureed black beans.
The side dishes are a lot of fun. Everything is accompanied by the lightly spiced rice with red beans. Fried plantains are wonderful topped with an innocent-looking tangy “slaw” called pikliz. Beware, however, those orange strips aren’t all carrot. Habanero chiles give this relish a powerful, lip-tingling heat.
Potato and beet salad is a pretty bright pink color and has a mild, earthy flavor.
Finally, the Haitian macaroni and cheese is different from the American version and very delicious. Penne pasta is cooked and baked with cheese, mayonnaise and strips of mild pickled red peppers. The texture is drier, but the pasta is soft and soaked with flavor.
Watch the Facebook page at facebook.com/Caribbean-Cuisine-102346144564315 for more specials.
Caribbean Cuisine is located at 1010 S. Kentucky Ave., Unit c, just south of the intersection with Washington Avenue.
If you go
Phone: (812) 303-0631
Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Caribbean Cuisine reports that it is wheelchair accessible. Note that parking is on the opposite side of Kentucky Avenue.
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Southern Mexico has its own “Trump Wall”
TAPACHULA, Mexico — Like thousands of migrants yearning for U.S. refuge, Oscar López, his wife and two young children remain snared here on Mexico’s southern border.
López, 30, said the family hit the road from Honduras after months of death threats by a local gang simply because of his job as a meter reader for the country’s widely-hated electric utility.
Wading the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass in early September, the family turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents, expecting to be given an immigration court hearing appointment and set free. Instead, they were jailed unbathed for two nights, then marched south across the border to await their chance to plead their case.
Rather than face the threat of kidnapping or worse by gangs in Nuevo Laredo, they took a free 1,300 mile bus ride south offered by the Mexican government.
Now, with their Mexican visas expired, they’re unable to make court appearances in Laredo. That threatens their long-shot asylum bid, perhaps forcing a return to their gang-besieged home town.
“If they did something to me, I was going to leave my family defenseless,” said López, who as a teenager saw his father murdered, said of the gangs. “With so much fear, how can a person imagine returning to his own country?”
In the nine months since Mexico became President Trump’s ally against asylum-seeking migrants, the shallow Suchiate River that serves here as the country’s border with Guatemala has become an ever more formidable moat.
Some 10,000 migrants have returned to the comparative safety of Mexico’s southernmost Chiapas state. Mexican national guardsmen and immigration agents have stepped up efforts to tighten control of the notoriously porous frontier, driving up fees smugglers charge to evade them.
Tens of thousands more migrants — mostly Central Americans, but Haitians, Cubans and West Africans as well — face months-long waits to obtain either asylum or the temporary residency that will allow them to live and work legally in Mexico.
The result has been double-barreled. Far fewer migrants are reaching the U.S. in search of asylum, and large numbers of them, are failing to show up for their immigration hearings.
“It suggests that the Mexican government’s main interest, like that of the United States, is to make the conditions so difficult for asylum-seekers — either in northern or southern Mexico — that they will opt to return home, many times to the very dangers they were fleeing,” notes a December report by the Washington Office on Latin America, which advocates for human rights.
Now, thousands of Central Americans, Haitians, Cubans and Africans pack Tapachula, a city of 340,000 that has become the operation’s center for Mexico’s border enforcement, waiting months for visas or other permits allowing them to move farther north.
With detention centers and privately funded shelters overwhelmed, thousands pack into overcrowded houses and apartments.
“It’s become the Trump Wall,” said Olga Sanchez, 63, founder of the migrant shelter “Jesus, the Good Shepherd” in Tapachula, where 700 men, women and children pack a space intended for a third as many. “But it was the U.S. that made it so, not Mexico.”
No longer welcome
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador embraced the tougher border enforcement and agreed to accept those awaiting asylum hearings after Trump threatened to impose steep tariffs on Mexican goods sent to the U.S., which buys 80 percent of the country’s exports.
The impact of his actions is dramatic. The nearly 37,000 people apprehended by the Border Patrol or refused admission at official border crossings last month marked a 74 percent decline since the peak last May.
Under the so-called Remain in Mexico program, U.S. officials have poured some 70,000 people awaiting asylum hearings into Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo and other dangerous Mexican border cities to wait out court processes that can take several years. Similar programs are being implemented in Guatemala and Honduras.
Kidnappings, extortion and violence by criminal gangs in those cities have forced many returned migrants to flee deeper into Mexico, all but assuring they’ll give up their attempts at U.S. asylum attempts.
In the Texas border cities where nearly three-quarters of the asylum claims are being decided, as many as 44 percent of petitioners — most of whom lack lawyers — failed to show up for their most recent hearings, according to TRAC, a Syracuse University think tank.
In contrast, the data suggests nearly all of the petitioners living in the U.S. show up for their immigration hearings, according to a January analysis by the news site Vox.
To date, nearly all of the asylum petitions of those migrants returned have been rejected by U.S. immigration judges.
López Obrador’s hard tack has been aided by Mexican’s quickly souring opinion of migrants and migration in the face of the thousands strong migrant caravans coming out of Central America.
“If the government doesn’t enforce the border well, we will have all these people coming in here,“ said Henry Canel, 33, assistant pastor of an evangelical church that hosts a handful of the 3,000 Haitians said to be in the city. “When the government wants to, it can do it.”
Local attitudes toward the migrants hardened still further in late January, when some 3,000 migrants tried to push their way into Mexico. Turned back at the bridge in at the border town of Ciudad Hidalgo, some the migrants forded the river and were met with violence by National Guard troops. Most of the migrants were deported back to Honduras and elsewhere.
Rumors spread that an even bigger group of migrants, dubbed The Devil’s Caravan, was on the way, but it never appeared.
“God’s word teaches us that we have to help the foreigner. ” said Canel, who formerly worked as a customs official in a city bordering South Texas. “The problem is that there are bad people mixed in with all the good ones.”
Migration, especially for the poor, often proves a soul-destroying task. Every migrant has a reason for leaving, few if any of them frivolous.
Poverty and corruption — grinding and remorseless — plagues most of them. But Central Americans also suffer criminal gangs; West Africans bloody ethnic hatreds,’Haitians endless economic and political crises’ Cubans a suffocating Communist regime.
For nearly every migrant reaching this frontier, many of them penniless after being robbed or cheated on the journey, there seems only one solution.
“Everyone has the United States in mind,” said David López, who administers the Good Shepherd shelter. “No one wants to stay here. The migrant flow is never going to top. Even the children say they are going to the United States. It’s the mentality they have.”
Many of the Central Americans arriving here have ridden buses, hitched rides or walked for several days. Africans, Cubans and Haitians have spent months, even, on the trail, often first working in South America and then making their way north by bus, boat and foot.
Here, many await approval of refugee status by COMAR, the tiny and overwhelmed Mexican agency that processes the requests. As the agency adapts to the crush of migrants, what was a humanitarian crisis a year ago has become a better-managed bureaucratic slog, with many migrants facing months, some even a year, waiting for approval.
“The situation is very complex,” said Andrés Ramirez, COMAR’S director general. “It’s a huge challenge.”
Still, most of the cases decided in the past year have resulted in asylum being granted, Ramirez said.
Settling in for the long haul
In the meantime, many are settling in, and postponing plans for getting to the U.S. Municipal governments are hiring many, for about $50 a week, to sweep streets and do other menial tasks. Others find work in construction or restaurants for similar pay.
With detention centers and aid group shelters saturated, many share crowded houses and apartments, or sleep on the street, empty lots or the central plaza of Tapachula and nearby towns. In the evenings, conversations in Haitian Creole and distinctly accented Spanish clash with the local dialect.
Oscar López is working as a bricklayer’s assistant, his wife, Yesenia, is a street sweeper and part-time waitress. She takes their children, José, 8 and Bryana, 4, with her to the jobs. A primary school teacher back in Hondurans, Yesenia home-schools the children.
On a recent visit, Bryana was learning vowels with a cartoon playing on a smart phone as a small fan stirred the rancid air of their apartment. A beaming José pulled out the Bible he’s using to learn to read. Since a Mexican playmate told him that the caravans auger the end of times, Jose has been especially interested in the chapters describing the Apocalypse.
López’s family is lucky. They have a U.S. lawyer working for them pro bono who at the last minute got their hearing rescheduled, this time. Asylum hopefuls without lawyer are almost always denied asylum, according to TRAC statistics.
Watching his children, López’s face darkened as he considered the possibility the family won’t make it into the United States. Returning to Honduras is out the question, he said. The gangs don’t forgive. They can find him even here in southern Mexico, he fears.
“The difference with being in the United States or here is you don’t run risks there,” Lopez said. “There are no kidnappings, no murders. You are afraid to walk the streets.”
The best option might be heading for Monterrey, where other Honduras have found work for better pay. Later, he said, they could make another try to the U.S. border.
Considering all that the family has been through, would he make the trip again?
Lopez’s smile disappeared and his face darkened. His eyes brimmed with tears and his throat thickened.
“Yes,” he finally sighed. “Yes.”
Wilmington students pack thousands of meals for Haitian children
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Families are still struggling to survive, after the devastating hurricane that struck Haiti, ten years ago.
One local high school is pitching in to lend a helping hand.
Founder Renee Hunter says “Hope Changes Everything’s” mission is education and hunger.
Hunter says, for the last four years, Coastal Christian High School students pack a rice-based meal and one meal meets 75% of a child’s daily nutrition needs.
Hunter says this non-profit started, after she met an orphan, during her mission trip to Haiti with Winter Park Baptist Church, eight years ago.
“His parents died in the earthquake and he was on the streets as are many children in Haiti because they can’t afford to go to school and so I inquired and learned that for $200 I could send him to school for a year,” Hunter said.
Hunter says the organization is sponsoring 240 children and feeding 700 children a day.
She says the food will be delivered to a small community near the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake.
Hunter is also a teacher at Coastal Christian High School.
“We try to teach our children here to care about children and adults around the world,” Hunter said.
Bayern Munich’s defense vs. Paderborn troubling – The Haitian Times
With all of his
central defenders either injured or suspended, Hansi Flick had his work cut out
for him when it came to Bayern Munich’s defensive approach against Paderborn.
That seems odd to
say, considering that Paderborn is at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. But
the newly promoted side has taken points from Dortmund and Schalke this season,
and made things close late against Bayern in the reverse fixture – ultimately a
3-2 win for the Bavarians.
experimenting with both David Alaba and Lucas Hernandez in central defense,
Hansi Flick elected to stay true to his defenders’ strengths.
Though Flick’s choices were rational given his options, playing five full- and wing-backs at once was quite the gamble. The result was an incohesive unit that could not handle the worst team in the Bundesliga.
Haitian police put pressure on to achieve their demands
‘As far as we know, the 16,000-strong police force will wait until Sunday before turning everything upside down,’ Joseph told Radio Metropole.
This week, hundreds of troops took to the streets again to demand better working conditions, joining unions and salary increases, in the fourth mobilization of this kind since the end of October.
In the context of the protests, the stands and floats of the carnivals, scheduled to start next Sunday, were burned. Protesters also set fire to the offices of the lawyer and chairman of the Je Klere Foundation, Samuel Madistin, who had told the press that the police trade union was illegal.
In the same way, members of the police exchanged fire in front of the General Direction of the Police, and seized vehicles to block some arteries of the capital.
The authorities also expelled five officers, including Yanick Joseph, whom they accused of sedition. However, they announced the creation of a commission to analyze the claims.
On Friday, President Jovenel Moïse said on social media that they would improve the working conditions of police officers, and assured that he listened to the union’s demands and understood the effort they made daily.
However, Joseph declared that the police union leadership refuses to talk to anyone who is considered to be of a ‘questionable character’, and insisted that they would negotiate the reinstatement of the dismissed policemen and the formalization of the union.
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