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Active-duty US Marine charged with illegally flying guns into Haiti

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A U.S. Marine caught smuggling guns into Haiti told investigators he wanted to help the country’s military learn marksmanship and defeat “thugs” causing instability in the country, according to a criminal complaint.

The criminal complaint filed last week in a North Carolina federal court charges Jacques Yves Duroseau with smuggling firearms. Prosecutors say Duroseau flew from North Carolina to Haiti with baggage including eight firearms — at least five of which he bought himself — but lacked needed authorization to take them abroad.

Duroseau, an active-duty U.S. Marine, and another unnamed person departed an airport in New Bern, North Carolina, on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, bound for Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, with two plastic containers of firearms and a third with ammunition, according to the criminal complaint.

Duroseau had filled out a firearm declaration form with American Airlines stating he was carrying unloaded guns, but didn’t have permission from the U.S. Marines to leave the country or permission from U.S. authorities to export firearms, according to the complaint signed by Homeland Security Special Agent Charles Kitchen. Media representatives for the airline didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Haitian authorities took Duroseau into custody and ultimately, he was questioned by U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in that country.

The criminal complaint said he told the agents he had traveled there to “defeat the thugs that have been creating a little bit part of the instability in Haiti.” In describing the eight firearms, he told the agents he “picked every gun” to teach marksmanship to the Haitian Army, according to the court documents.

The Miami Herald first reported on what was in the criminal complaint.

The complaint says the firearms included five handguns and three rifles, and they were able to trace at least five of them to purchases made by Duroseau. Authorities say they found a 2018 receipt for one of the guns, which was bought at a store in North Carolina, in his trash.

Kitchen stated that Duroseau also brought body armor and an officer’s uniform with him.

The complaint, which doesn’t state his rank, said he’s a firearms instructor and knew that bringing the guns to Haiti was illegal. He told investigators he knew he would be arrested in Haiti and that it was part of a plan to get attention to make a statement, according to the court documents.

Spokesmen for NCIS and the U.S. Marine Corps said they were preparing responses to questions about his rank and whether he would face further military charges.

The criminal complaint said the other person with Duroseau, who wasn’t identified, told agents Duroseau “was in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Haiti to tell them that he wanted to be President of Haiti.” The criminal complaint doesn’t list any charges against the second person.

The electronic court docket doesn’t identify a defense attorney who could speak on Duroseau’s behalf. A spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, Don Connelly, declined to answer questions about whether Duroseau had a lawyer or when he would be brought back to the U.S. The docket also lists a variation of his surname as Durosau, but the indictment refers to him as Duroseau throughout.

A federal magistrate judge issued an arrest warrant for Duroseau last week and asked the U.S. Marshal’s Office to serve it.

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Population of Hispaniola to reach 24 million in the next ten years

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In the next decade (2021-2030) the territory of the island of Hispaniola made up of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, will have to bear on its surface of approximately 76,192 square kilometers about 2.1 million people more than the existing ones.

By 2030 it is projected that the Dominican Republic will have 804,785 inhabitants more than the current 2020 population estimated at around 10.4 million, and within ten years it is expected to exceed 11.2 million.

In the case of Haiti, the population is forecast to increase from 11.4 to 12.7 million, for an increase of 1.3 million. Together, both countries will add up to a total population of about 24 million inhabitants, according to the projections of the National Statistics Office (ONE) and the Latin American and Caribbean Demographic Center (Celade), a unit of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ( ECLAC).

This population increase represents a challenge for both countries, because the more people there are, the more food, more water, housing, medicines and more public services are needed.

Bilateral policies

Researchers and experts on development issues and social policies Rafael Jovine and Flady Cordero agree that the population situation has to be viewed from an island perspective and adopt policies for the entire territory.

“Regardless of cultural differences and others, we must think of the territory as whole energy, environmental, etc. policies must be viewed from a binational perspective because everything concerns both sides,” says Jovine.

For Jovine, one of the main challenges of population growth is the limitation of resources, especially water. This is why he recommends paying attention to the aquifer sources of the island. While Cordero believes that the problem will not be the 24 million people on the island, but the absence of migration policies that regulate flows from Haiti to the Dominican Republic.

In his view, migration policies cannot be aimed at the expatriation of undocumented immigrants, but rather at the regularization of employers with workers without regulated immigration status, at the reduction of the entry of citizens and the improvement of Dominican consular policies in Haiti.

He considers that it is necessary to boost border development and that Dominicans and other businessmen invest in Haiti so that the economy of that country improves, because “if there is an economic improvement in Haiti, the flow of migrants is reduced.”

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Flady Cordero believes that it is necessary to promote development and contribute to the generation of jobs in Haiti to reduce migration.

Improvements

The expert also believes that social policies must be implemented so that Haitian immigrants have better living conditions, such as Dominicans in other countries.

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10 Years After Haiti Earthquake, Rural …

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When a powerful earthquake struck near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince in 2010 — killing more than 220,000 people, injuring more than 300,000 and rendering some 1.5 million homeless — Conor Shapiro was only two weeks into his new job as the director of Health Equity International’s St. Boniface Hospital in a rural area about three hours away.

Hospitals and clinics in the capital had crumbled, making HEI, then known as the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, a key national medical facility despite the distance. Some of the most critically wounded patients took a 40-minute helicopter ride from Port-au-Prince to HEI for treatment — the aircraft had to land in a mango grove by the hospital.

“It was very difficult,” says Shapiro, who now serves as HEI’s president and CEO. Beyond the torrent of injured patients, many of the doctors had to deal with their own trauma. Shapiro tells of Dr. Berthony Guerrier, the head of obstetrics and gynecology at the time, who was badly injured in the earthquake. Despite a broken leg, Guerrier completed an emergency cesarean section. “It’s hard to put into words,” Shapiro says. “The amount of collective national trauma is really hard to quantify.”

But the team pulled through and used the experience to move forward. The disaster sprang progress in the form of new training, donations and collaborations — including partnerships with organizations like the GE Foundation, the Boston-based company’s charitable arm. Today the results of these programs and connections allow the hospital to service more people, in more ways, than they ever imagined.

“Ten years after the earthquake, there’s going to be a lot of difficult stories — projects that didn’t work out, hopes and plans that didn’t come to fruition,” Shapiro says. “The healthcare we provide, and this hospital, is really a direct contrast to that. This team brings a ‘never give up’ attitude.”

GE has been supporting HEI’s resilience for six years now, but first the company focused on helping the Caribbean nation as a whole right after the earthquake. GE Foundation initially donated $1 million to the Red Cross for immediate care in the affected area, $2 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help rebuild Haiti’s national lab, and roughly $3 million in water, power and healthcare equipment. In 2012, GE Foundation provided approximately $2 million in medical imaging equipment to a new academic medical center, University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti.

GE’s relationship with HEI began in 2014 when GE donated equipment for the then-new maternal and newborn health center. Since then, the company has contributed approximately $1 million in materials or cash over the past five years. GE has stocked the hospital with medical equipment from GE Healthcare, GE Lighting has donated lights to the hospital’s operating room, GE Water & Process Technologies (which GE no longer owns) provided the infrastructure with a water filtration system, and GE Foundation has offered financial support for a solar power system. In addition, in the aftermath of 2016’s devastating Hurricane Matthew, GE in Latin America funded two Clinics in a Can, which are shipping containers fully outfitted with all the equipment necessary to become health clinics.

Dr. David Barash, executive director of the GE Foundation and an emergency physician, knew of HEI because he was acquainted with Shapiro. Barash has visited Haiti three times. “I was truly wowed by the work they were doing, the scope of service provided, the commitment of leadership and local providers, and the vision for where the hospital could and should be,” Barash says. “Our first investment was an equipment donation to the new Maternal Care Center at Saint Boniface Hospital, and it was clear from the start, and when I first visited, that our investment was thoughtfully deployed and very carefully stewarded.”

HEI began as the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation in 1989, as residents practicing at the St. Boniface Parish, a Roman Catholic church in Quincy, Massachusetts, started making donations to Haiti and organized an effort to open a small clinic. In three years, they opened a one-room service with 20 beds.

Today, the renamed HEI sees 500 patients a day and delivers more than 500 babies a month. The hospital boasts a neonatal intensive care unit, emergency and surgical maternity wards, and an operating room available around the clock — all still rare in rural Haiti. And the HEI’s Spinal Cord Institute, started in 2010 to provide specialized care and rehabilitation to the many earthquake survivors left with spinal cord injuries, has treated more than 1,000 patients.

The hospital prides itself on training local healthcare professionals and working with local doctors, nurses and other community health providers. “They know that their success is really the success of their local team and based on the confidence of their local community,” Barash says.

Parents and patients travel from six or seven hours away for HEI services. Babies who need NICU stays sometimes arrive via motorcycle, through an unpaved mountain pass that’s so rough it takes a Land Rover an hour to drive 10 miles. Some patients arrive on donkeys. Many Haitian families subsist on less than $2.41 a day, as the World Bank notes. But no one is turned away from St. Boniface Hospital, even if they can’t pay.

Ten years ago, the earthquake changed Haiti and changed the hospital. But 10 years from now, Shapiro says, he hopes HEI becomes a model for bringing modern healthcare to impoverished areas around the world.

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Native Son Returns Home to Heal Haiti’s Youth After Earthquake

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So, in 2016, Julio Volcy, a charismatic young minister with a sonorous voice, created Rendez-Vous. He called it a church by believers for non-believers. “I wanted to take the passion of the young people and use it,” Volcy said. “I told them we love God and we love the people. We are going to have a church.”

But the young man, who grew up in the Montagne-Noire area of Haiti, didn’t return to his homeland to create a church. Nevertheless, his journey to the United States and back—and his desire to equip the next generation to battle corruption and poverty—has its roots in how he saw his own family spiral into “misery” when his father left. 

“I hated everything that I saw my mother going through,” he said. “I hated poverty.” 

The struggle put a fire in his soul. He determined he would work hard and make a difference. At 12, he mopped floors in a mission house, earning a $1 a week. He plucked oranges and grapefruit from his grandmother’s yard and sold them at the market. 

But, at 12, something else was also happening to Volcy. Based on his experiences in Vacation Bible School, he gave his life to Christ. “I didn’t fully realize what was going on, but I knew that God had placed something inside me, I just didn’t know what it was.” 

This emerging faith led him at 16 to decide he would live an honest life. At 19, he started a small Bible study group to teach literacy in his home village. It later became a not-for-profit organization, Hope Outreach International, which his wife currently leads. Still, as a young Christian, as he walked through the mountains, he saw nice homes and cars and he aspired to a more prosperous life. He determined that education was the way out – and up – for him.

At 23, he moved to America. He landed in New York but moved on to Boston. Shocked by the cold weather, he soon headed South, to Atlanta, where he earned a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in Biblical Studies at Beacon University, a school devoted to developing Christian leaders.   

Volcy lived in the U.S.  for 17 years. He studied hard, built influential relationships, started and led a church in Florida, and married a Haitian native who grew up in New York. But he never stopped wanting to return home. During his first 10 years in the U.S., he purposely drove “beat up” cars, did not invest in a house, or pursue more lucrative employment because he “didn’t want to get stuck in America,” he said. 

He went home three or four times a year, mostly to support ministry efforts and Teen Challenge, an international program he brought to Port-au-Prince in 2009. And, then, on the morning of Jan. 10, 2010, he was at a business meeting in Atlanta when he announced he was resigning from his Florida church to return to Haiti. On his way from the meeting, he received the call that Haiti had been struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Whole swaths of Port-au-Prince, the capital, were destroyed. More than 250,000 people were killed. 

Volcy rallied friends and businessmen for support. NASCAR Florida loaned a private jet and the next day flew Volcy and 44 physicians into Haiti to aid in recovery. “When there is a disaster,” said Volcy, “the light comes on. Then the light goes off and people look away.” Support for Haiti waned, too, but Volcy didn’t look away, he kept going, and going, and going. After 2010, it was not unusual for him to travel to Haiti every other week.

Finally, he said, to make a real difference he needed to stay. In 2014, the native son came home.

He came to strengthen Haiti Teen Challenge,  which provides outreach, mentoring, and services to young men ages 16 to 24 to help them turn around their lives. Volcy wanted to address issues of fatherlessness and to attack the mindset that nothing good could come of being in Haiti. He and his wife soon created a Teen Challenge for women, too. But when he saw so many young people being rejected by Christian churches, he felt compelled to act.

At 44, Volcy says he is the “old man” of the church. Rendez-Vous is intentionally welcoming to young people. But the doors are open to all. And the growth is driven by cultural change. He told the poorest of the poor in Haiti that God loves them. The people without shoes were welcomed in the church and could stand side by side with the well-heeled. LGBTQ individuals, often shunned in Haiti, are welcome. “We have a theology of love, based on the death and resurrection of Christ,” says Volcy. 

“Rendez-Vous is a table of inclusion,” said Odneal Eleazard, who left his Catholic congregation to join the church. Eleazard advocates for the disabled and lives across the street from the church. He recalled that when the church started, Volcy knocked on every door in the neighborhood to explain the mission and let residents know he wanted to be a part of the neighborhood.

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Haitians suffer from hypertension 4x more than African Americans – The Haitian Times

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Rachele Viard

Managing Editor at Haitian Times

Born into a Haitian family in the state of Georgia, Rachele visited Haiti several times in her youth and connected to the country and the culture. She moved to Haiti in 2009, where she put her English degree to use as a writer, using her voice and pen to promote tourism in the country and highlight the richness of the Haitian culture and people.

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Moïse is Taking Urgent Measures against gangs – The Haitian Times

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Rachele Viard

Managing Editor at Haitian Times

Born into a Haitian family in the state of Georgia, Rachele visited Haiti several times in her youth and connected to the country and the culture. She moved to Haiti in 2009, where she put her English degree to use as a writer, using her voice and pen to promote tourism in the country and highlight the richness of the Haitian culture and people.

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Haiti ranks 168 of 180 on Corrupt Countries List – The Haitian Times

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Rachele Viard

Managing Editor at Haitian Times

Born into a Haitian family in the state of Georgia, Rachele visited Haiti several times in her youth and connected to the country and the culture. She moved to Haiti in 2009, where she put her English degree to use as a writer, using her voice and pen to promote tourism in the country and highlight the richness of the Haitian culture and people.

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