Haiti, Latin America: Week in Review

Haiti: Port-au-Prince Mayor to Clear Tent Camp

August 11, 2011 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Port-au-Prince Mayor Jean Yves Jason announced Wednesday that he intends to move nearly 20,000 Haitians living in one of the country’s largest refugee camps to temporary shelters on Morne Cabrit mountain north of the capital. The refugees have been living in the Champs de Mars plaza across from the destroyed National Palace since the 7.0 magnitude quake last January that killed more than 300,000 people, according to Haitian government figures. Before the quake, the Champs du Mars was the political center of Haiti’s capital city, home to the palace and government ministries as well as police and army headquarters. Citing an “act of banditry”, the mayor says that criminal activity has prompted his decision to close the camp. According to the Associated Press, students at Champs de Mars have burned tires in protest of the shooting of another student when his laptop computer was reportedly robbed. The mayor’s plan to relocate the refugees and provide them with compensation must be approved by Haiti’s central government. Despite government plans to close six camps in public areas and relocate the residents, Haitian President Michel Martelly has publicly opposed the forced removal of refugees in Haiti, where some 630,000 people still remain without shelter nineteen months after the earthquake.

Read more from the Associated Press.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • Violence against Mexico’s LGBT community is darkening what should be its shining moment — the passage of milestone legislation, including a law legalizing gay marriage in Mexico City. Daniel Hertz reports from Mexico’s capital.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


Central America


  • Venezuelan prosecutors charged two former prison officials and a soldier for corruption and the facilitation of drug and arms trafficking inside El Rodeo Prison, where a riot killed 22 people in June.
  • The Colombian government is waiting to extradite Indonesian fugitive and former Democratic Party treasurer Muhammad Nazaruddin, who is accused of accepting $3 million in bribes and has in turn accused other party members of corruption.

Southern Cone

  • Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Ahani met with Brazilian Deputy Foreign Minister Maria Edileuza Fontenele on Tuesday to strengthen diplomatic ties.
  • An opinion poll by Ibope on Wednesday showed that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating, while still high, has dropped to 67 percent in the wake of budget cuts and this week’s corruption scandals.
  • An explosion at a Petrobras refinery in Bahia Blanca, Argentina killed one worker and injured another on Wednesday.
  • Paraguayan soccer star Salvador Cabañas, who survived being shot in the head last year, said at press conference in Mexico on Wednesday that he planned to make a comeback.

Image: Timoluege @ Flickr.

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