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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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‘Zombi Child’: When The Real Horror Is Colonialism

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Before the zombie, there was the zombi: the original undead corpse, a creature of Haitian folklore typically summoned back to life by Vodou or other means. Often these shuffling souls were returned to our world to work manual labor in the fields without complaining, stretching the tendrils of capitalism and colonialism into the spirit realm.

Cerebral and slippery, the French writer-director Bertrand Bonello’s new film Zombi Child isn’t really a horror movie. Bonello wants his undead to provoke (mild) discomfort and (major) self-reflection, rather than shock or terror. So he uses pop culture’s favorite brain-dead punching bags as an excuse to beef up our own noggins, in ways that will strike some viewers as too subtle and others as far too obvious. Given that Vodou (Voodoo) and zombies are the only things most white people already know about Haitian culture, a director from the nation that once colonized Haiti needs to do a lot of legwork if he wants to employ these elements in an anti-colonialist fable.

Our story begins in 1962 Haiti. A young man (Mackenson Bijou) is buried in a cemetery, but he’s later resurrected and sent to the sugarcane fields in a long line of shuffling, empty-headed guys, with no memory of the family who once wept over his grave. In the script the character is named “Clarvius Narcisse,” a real-life Haitian man who was supposedly “zombified” for years. The opening scene shows a poison being prepared from the oils of a fish, one possible explanation scholars have offered for Narcisse’s condition.

Bonello cuts between Clarvius and his imagined granddaughter, Mélissa (knockout discovery Wislanda Louimat). She attends an all-girls boarding school in France in the present day, where bored students wander palatial hallways in-between humanities lectures and perform choreographed greetings in spotless red sashes. Mélissa is an anomaly at the school, both racially and behaviorally, and seems to float through class in a semi-conscious daze. She’s quiet, and so is the film; it’s slow, often languidly paced, and unconcerned with building any sort of tension or dread. Its longest stretch of dialogue comes when one of her teachers delivers a thorough lecture on France’s tainted legacy of expansionism.

That lecture scene is as clear a sign as any of where Bonello wants to take his ideas. Zombi Child is opening a path between the Caribbean nation and the colonizer it overthrew, a path that’s powered by a mixture of guilt and fear, just as the magical elements of the story open up a liminal space between the living and the dead. Mélissa is carrying considerable trauma on her shoulders: Not only was her grandfather an enslaved walking dead, but she also lost both of her parents in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. All of this only serves to make her more fascinating to white classmate Fanny (Louise Labeque), who develops a strange obsession with her. Fanny is rooted in sheltered teen concerns, what the Internet likes to derisively call “first-world problems”: exams, a tight-knit sorority, a boyfriend who’s somewhere far away and may or may not be imaginary. When she hears about the awesome power of Vodou, her thoughts turn to: How could this help me?

It’s true the film needs Fanny to be a bore in contrast to Mélissa in order to carry its themes to the end, when the white girl’s selfishness and cultural ignorance lead her to mess with forces she doesn’t understand. Yet even with this awareness, having to watch a wooden plank idealize her exotic best friend for an entire film feels, frankly, a bit tiresome. We’ve seen this movie before.

But Bonello, who burned up the festival scene in 2016 with the student-radicals thriller Nocturama, is far more concerned with mood than story anyway. The Haiti segments are spliced together with a delicate rhythm, in long, quiet stretches that allow us to find a sense of place and feeling: the gentle moon overhead, the lush fields that hide terrible exploitation. A poem Mélissa delivers to her wowed friends (with the refrain “Listen, white world”) carries an undercurrent of rage. And then the style shifts rapidly in the film’s Vodou-inflected climax, when the tectonic plates of the dead shift and the legendary underworld trickster Baron Samedi (Néhémy Pierre-Dahomey) rears his mischievous head. Clad in a top hat and white face paint, dancing with a devilish grin, the Baron is here to punish someone. But who?

All this reanimation, zombie and otherwise, is rough on the soul, and the film is likely biting off more brains than it can chew. Yet by turning to Narcisse’s story for inspiration, and by making the legacy of his “zombie years” multigenerational, Bonello has found deeper cultural significance in something that’s until now mostly been framed as a weirdo dark-web curiosity. Haiti’s rich history of revolution and rebirth is still in want of filmmakers willing to take it seriously. But at least this one returns the undead to their roots, before they themselves were colonized.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Haiti reaches one-year free of Cholera

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Washington D.C. / Port au Prince. 23 January 2020 (PAHO/WHO) – The cholera outbreak in Haiti that began in October 2010, affecting over 820,000 people and killing 9,792, has been stopped in its tracks, with the country reaching 1-year free of confirmed cases this week.

The achievement follows concerted efforts from Haiti, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other partner agencies to address the root causes of cholera, including through increased surveillance to detect and respond to possible-flare-ups; the implementation of rapid diagnosis initiatives; and the treatment of cases with adequate rehydration and care.

“Cholera is a disease of inequity that unduly sickens and kills the poorest and most vulnerable people – those without access to clean water and sanitation,” said PAHO Director, Carissa F. Etienne. “Death from cholera is preventable with tools that we have today but to ensure that cholera remains a distant memory, we must also accelerate investments in clean water and adequate sanitation in Haiti,” she added.

The last confirmed case of cholera was reported in I’Estère in the Artibonite department of Haiti during the last week of January 2019. It concerned a boy under the age of 5, who was admitted to hospital on the 24th of January 2019 but who recovered shortly thereafter.

Rapid detection and testing are key to controlling outbreaks. PAHO and the Haitian Ministry of Health’s Labo Moto project, which works on the ground to enable field nurses to rapidly transport samples from treatment centers to laboratories on motorcycles, has enabled testing of suspected cases to increase from 21% in 2017 to 95% in 2019.

LaboMoto is part of a three-step strategy to ensure that all suspected cases from high-risk areas are tested; that random sampling of patients with diarrhea is implemented in all areas of the country; and that event-based (rumor) surveillance is also carried out by epidemiologists.

PAHO has also supported Haiti in equipping primary health clinics with trained personnel that are able to respond quickly and manage cases; and in the implementation of cholera vaccination programs. For example, over 900,000 people were vaccinated following Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Towards cholera elimination

Despite progress, Haiti remains behind the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean in terms of access to potable water and sanitation. Over a third of the population (35%) lack basic drinking water services and two-thirds (65%) have limited or no sanitation services. This is far below the regional average of 3% and 13% respectively.

“While cholera is under control for now, we must collectively remain alert and ready to maintain this status and verify elimination. Only when we ensure all Haitians enjoy access to clean water and sanitation can we breathe more freely.” – Dr. Etienne

In order to end cholera in Haiti and receive validation from the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating the disease, the country must maintain effective surveillance systems and remain cholera-free for two more years (three years in total).

Early detection and response to possible flare-ups must also continue and addressing the issue of clean water and sanitation for all Haitian people is key to preventing the transmission of cholera, and other water-borne diseases, in the long-term.

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Haiti – FLASH : 2 billion credit for young entrepreneurs

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Haiti – FLASH : 2 billion credit for young entrepreneurs
24/01/2020 08:04:57

Haiti - FLASH : 2 billion credit for young entrepreneurs

Thursday, January 23 at the National Palace, President Jovenel Moïse launched the 2nd phase of the Youth Entrepreneurship Support Program (PAPEJ), with the aim of helping young people to start their small businesses.

Next June, following a national business plan competition, PAPEJ will select 1,000 companies that will be able to benefit from preferential financing under the Youth Credit program of PAPEJ.

In addition, the young entrepreneurs selected will receive training on leadership, entrepreneurship and management, among other things…

During this year, around 2,000 companies will be financed by the National Old Age Insurance Office (ONA), at a preferential rate of 12% per year for a total amount of 2 billion Gourdes which will be guaranteed by the State in the next budget to protect ONA funds which are the contributions of Haitian workers.

In December 2020, 1,000 other companies will be selected following a second national business plan competition.

Recall that 2 years ago President Moïse, had launched the PAPEJ, https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-25790-haiti-politic-moise-launches-the-youth-entrepreneurship-support-program.html a way to allow young people to start their own businesses and give others, jobs, in the communities where they live. Already nearly 150 young entrepreneurs have benefited from PAPEJ loans https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29343-haiti-economy-ona-grants-prime-loans-to-young-entrepreneurs.html https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29211-haiti-economy-delivery-of-checks-to-50-young-entrepreneurs.html co-funded by ONA and the Industrial Development Fund (FDI).

See also :
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29343-haiti-economy-ona-grants-prime-loans-to-young-entrepreneurs.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29211-haiti-economy-delivery-of-checks-to-50-young-entrepreneurs.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-25790-haiti-politic-moise-launches-the-youth-entrepreneurship-support-program.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-25660-haiti-economy-training-for-150-beneficiaries-of-the-support-program-for-youth-entrepreneurship.html

HL/ S/ HaitiLibre

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Haiti – FLASH : Me Claudy Gassant, DG of ULCC revoked

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Haiti – FLASH : Me Claudy Gassant, DG of ULCC revoked
23/01/2020 10:35:56

Haiti - FLASH : Me Claudy Gassant, DG of ULCC revoked

Wednesday, The former Government Commissioner of Port-au-Prince, Me Claudy Gassant named in the official newspaper “Le Moniteur” N°203 on November 29, 2019 https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29422-haiti-news-zapping.html Director General of the Unit for the Fight against Corruption (ULCC) has been revoked, 50 days after its installation (December 3, 2019 https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29440-haiti-news-zapping.html ). Note that Me Gassant has been informed of his revocation on social networks…

He was replaced by Presidential Order dated January 22, 2020 by Me Rockefeller Vincent, originally from Cap-Haitien

According to Prime Minister Lapin, this decision taken in agreement with President Moïse was due to clashes between the ULCC and the Prosecutor’s Office. A vague explanation while many other disturbing files, in the hands of Gassant, may be more the cause of his dismissal, among others : the open conflict with the Chancellery and in particular the complaint filed by the ULCC against Chancellor Edmond and the 2nd Secretary of the Embassy of Haiti in Santo Domingo Kerby Alcante Desormaux https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29613-haiti-flash-the-ulcc-files-a-complaint-against-chancellor-bocchit-edmond.html in the case of the scandal of corruption of diplomatic personnel in the Dominican Republic https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29569-haiti-flash-7-employees-of-diplomatic-staff-suspected-of-corruption-in-dr.html ; the refusal of State lawyers to let the ULCC investigate SOGENER in the case which opposes it with the State (note that this investigation had been requested from the ULCC on the Commission of the investigating judge of the Public Prosecutor’s Office) https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29670-haiti-news-zapping.html ), the ultimatum and threats concerning the filing of heritage declarations hhttps://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29735-haiti-politic-ulcc-ultimatum-for-asset-declarations.html the two arrests of diplomat Kerby Alcante at the instigation of the ULCC, for forgery and use of false https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29793-haiti-flash-arrest-of-the-2nd-secretary-of-the-embassy-of-haiti-in-dr.html and released twice by the Prosecutor’s Office etc…

To be continued…

See also :
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29613-haiti-flash-the-ulcc-files-a-complaint-against-chancellor-bocchit-edmond.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29586-haiti-flash-the-chancellery-reframes-the-ulcc-in-the-case-of-corruption-of-diplomats-in-dr.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29569-haiti-flash-7-employees-of-diplomatic-staff-suspected-of-corruption-in-dr.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29487-haiti-justice-message-from-the-dg-of-the-unit-against-corruption.html

SL/ HaitiLibre

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Haiti – FLASH : A truck strucks a school, at least 5 student victims

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Haiti – FLASH : A truck strucks a school, at least 5 student victims
23/01/2020 08:41:09

Haiti - FLASH : A truck strucks a school, at least 5 student victims

Wednesday morning around 9:00 am, a truck whose brakes failed, struck and destroyed the perimeter wall of the Assumption Mixed College located at Stret Beauvais (Delmas 105, not far from Saint-Jean Bosco church in Pétion-ville), when students were on the college courtyard…

The partial assessment is heavy at least 6 victims were removed from under the rubble : 1 student died, 4 others were injured as well as an adult. 3 students were rushed to two hospitals by the Haitian Red Cross. Two other victims who were seriously injured, a pupil Pierre Marc Webens (5 years old) and Julienne Chéry (70 years old), were transferred to Bernard Mevs hospital.

Dominique St Roc the Mayor of Pétion-ville went there to talk and tried to comfort the parents of the young victims.

TB/ HaitiLibre

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Haitian and Jamaican Patties, Traditional and Not, in Brooklyn

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If you took a slow-motion video of yourself biting into a Haitian patty at Kafe Louverture in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, it would look like this: The outer layer of pastry would shatter dramatically, like powdery snow blasting off a pair of skis. Then your teeth would sink into the gently simmered filling — beef or lamb, maybe, punctuated with sprightly flecks of pepper.

For the dough, thank Joanne Saget’s grandmother Andrea Remy. When a 7-year-old Ms. Saget moved to Brooklyn from Haiti with half of her family, they lived with her grandmother in Midwood. The matriarch made patties daily, and eventually taught Ms. Saget her technique.

Ms. Saget updated the recipe, swapping in butter for shortening, and adding a dash of whole-wheat flour for a whisper of nuttiness. At Kafe Louverture, which she opened in 2015 with her husband, Anthony Cunningham, she is carrying on a larger family tradition than she originally thought.

“Two years ago my aunt told me that my grandmother owned the biggest bakery back in Haiti,” Ms. Saget said. “I thought she just owned a market — but my aunt said no, she made patties and she made bread.”

Patties and excellent Haitian coffee are the main draw here, and you’ll often see neighbors popping a head in to ask which fillings are currently available. The chicken and beef are prepared identically, marinated in what Ms. Saget calls “green seasoning” before their eventual sauté. The seasoning’s green and Scotch bonnet peppers are the loudest ingredients, punctuating an otherwise sultry filling with bitter, fruity and spicy outbursts.

Under Ms. Saget’s watch, dried fish are resurrected into softness, then packed into her handmade puff pastry. Dried herring soaks overnight before its time in the pan with green seasoning; in patty form, it’s smoky and salty, its toughness turned into something sturdy but delicate.

Kafe Louverture has the look of an artsy-industrial coffee shop, with exposed brick and a warm wooden counter that overlooks the street. Haitian art — portraits, woodwork — hangs on one wall, opposite a row of shelves offering hot sauce, handicrafts and coffee from Haiti.

The couple have pledged to import $250,000 worth of products this year. “We want to keep the Haitians working,” Mr. Cunningham said, considering the political turmoil that has disrupted the economy since 2018. “We want to make sure that when the country slows down, the money is still funneling to the people — the farmers, the artists.”

Just across the borough, another husband-and-wife team is reimagining traditional Caribbean patties. At Branch Patty, which pops up each weekend at Artists & Fleas Williamsburg, Sam Branch and Lisa Lloyd-Branch serve Jamaican patties with crusts that skew more colorful than their Haitian counterparts, shaped into half-moons rather than rectangles.

When the couple were first dating, they would visit Christie’s Jamaican Patties on Flatbush Avenue. The restaurant, which has since closed, had been a childhood favorite of Mr. Branch, who grew up in New York and whose family is from Barbados. Its patties were the ideal on which he modeled his own.

Christie’s and its competitors often used food coloring for their crusts’ signature ocher hue, but Mr. Branch wanted to go all natural. His chicken curry and squash curry patties — two of his best — glow with a crust made yellow from turmeric; the beef patty’s red exterior comes from paprika. He is careful about his meat, and eager to note that the beef is pasture-raised, the chicken freshly ground by a local butcher.

And while Jamaican patties are Mr. Branch’s favorite style, he is not too beholden to tradition. He uses Guyanese curry powder instead of Jamaican, for its stronger punch. And his fillings are generous, each patty a full meal, almost all of them electrified by Scotch bonnets.

People have teased the couple for their flavor combinations, Mr. Branch said. “People say, ‘Oh, that’s so … different.’ But you have to push boundaries.”

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