Ezili Danto

Ezili Danto
Birthday
August 01
Bio
Ezili Dantò is an award winning playwright, a performance poet, author and human rights attorney. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in the USA. She holds a BA from Boston College, a JD from the University of Connecticut School of law. She is a human rights lawyer, cultural and political activist and the founder and president of the Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN). She runs the Haitian Perspectives on-line journal and the Ezili Dantò Newsletter. Ezili’s HLLN is the recognized leading and most trustworthy international voice in Haiti advocacy, human rights work, Haiti news and Haiti news analysis. HLLN’s work is central to those concerned with the welfare of the people of Haiti, Haiti capacity building, sovereignty, institutionalization of the rule of law, and justice and peace without occupation or militarization. Ezili Dantò is also an educator who specializes in teaching about the light and beauty of Haitian culture; the Symbolic and Archetypal Nature of Haitian Vodun; the illegality and immorality of forcing neoliberal policies on Haiti and the developing world... Since the UN-imported cholera outbreak on October 2010, Ezili' HLLN has insisted that environmental clean-up, clean water and sanitation are the only permanent solution to stop the UN cholera spread. Zili Dlo is a humanitarian project that provides free clean water. For more go to the Ezili Danto/HLLN websites at http://www.ezilidanto.com/ and http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili

MAY 7, 2011 9:52PM

Haiti Message on UN responsibility for importing cholera

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HLLN Message to the UN and all decent peoples on the UN importing cholera to Haiti

The Meille River feeds into the Artibonite, Haiti's longest river that fertilizes its breadbasket. At first the UN said its Nepalese contingent in Mirebalais, Haiti use seven septic tanks to contain their raw feces. These tanks were built in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, emptied every week by a subcontractor's trucks, which then take their load to bury at an approved site that is " 250 metres off the Meille River, which is more than 20 times the internationally required distance. "

When an Al Jazeera video showed foul, leaking and unsecured UN septic tanks and the raw feces from the Nepalese base being leaked straight into the Meille River and further filmed UN subcontractor's trucks dumping their load in an open pit draining virtually directly into the river, the UN then said the source of the cholera is not important. It declared the important thing is treating the injured. The UN tear-gassed and shot dead Haiti demonstrators accusing the UN of bringing to Haiti this communicable disease that was killing their children. The corporate media reported the UN side of the story, called the Haiti grievers "insurgents." They said the mourners were demonstrating against the UN because they were looking to destabilize Haiti for political reasons and to influence the upcoming (sham) elections. Then, when world renowned experts pointed out the cholera strain in Haiti was South Asian, not Haitian, the UN proceeded to investigate itself and determined, yes it most likely brought cholera into vulnerable Haiti, but it is not to blame for the lives lost. Haitians disagree. Demand a stop to the denials.

The UN is accountable for not controlling its own troops' hygiene, for importing a communicable disease, for not controlling that communicable disease, for the damage done, the lives lost, the Haiti farmers and Artibonite breadbasket that's been contaminated. The UN's failure to properly dispose of its human fecal waste, is not a "state action" subject to state immunity. It's a personal injury inflicted upon a vulnerable people the UN says its mandated to protect. The UN is paying itself almost $1 billion ($860million) dollars per year for said "protection." The UN is not above the law, immune for violating international sanitary standards, nor for failing to control the spread of its own disease. ---Ezili Dantò of HLLN

In a nutshell, the UN imported the deadly cholera disease to Haiti, but blames the fatal injury on the victim’s pre-existing conditions. (Blaming their injustice on their defenseless victims is not new for the UN forces in Haiti.)

Folks, Ezili’s HLLN needs your help. The UN literally dumped the deadly disease, through gross and perhaps even criminal negligence into Haiti’s waterways and tributaries. It has killed untold thousands of Haitians. But the UN expects immunity from responsibility and prosecution.

Haitians are the first Blacks to stop slavery and colonialism and thus we have no big imperialist nuclear power to throw at the five post World War II powers who have divided the world amongst themselves and sit, with veto power over the 192 countries at the UN. This UN Security Council, their Clinton/Farmer UN Special Envoys, their NGOs with the Obama Administration who took over Haiti’s airport and from the UN after the earthquake to “help” Haitians are killing Haitians, simply letting us die from their constant “help.”

The ugly, racist and interminable quiet genocide must end; the UN expectation of immunity for giving Haitians cholera must not stand. We Haitians, who have been working to save our own lives, are calling on those decent people of the world not involved in false benevolence, pimping poverty, structural racism or colonialism to stand in solidarity with us against UN immunity for this travesty it dumped into Haiti – this new and catastrophic earthquake- brought in by UN peacekeepers that is expected to infect 800,000 Haitians, that’s Rwanda genocide figures.

If might really doesn’t make right then the illegal, gross and perhaps criminal negligence of the UN in giving Haiti cholera will not be immune from prosecution and the reach of justice.

Since October 2010 when the UN-imported cholera outbreak was unleashed, we knew this new international and imported excrement would kill thousands upon thousands of innocent but super-exploited Haitians, destroy our Artibonite breadbasket further than Clinton’s Arkansa rice-dumping US policies, sweatshop/export economy and unfair trade already has. (See also, Haiti’s case against the UN for importing cholera epidemic by Ezili Dantò, written on Oct. 28, 2010. )

As early as Nov. 4, 2010, just weeks after the Oct. 19 Haiti cholera outbreak, John Mekalanos, a cholera expert and chairman of Harvard University’s microbiology department said this was a South Asian strain and most likely brought in by the Nepalese soldiers. The CDC likewise also said this was not a Haiti disease. But the mainstream media took a past. Stopped reporting the Haiti perspective, letting the UN “independently investigate” itself while Haiti’s people died unmercifully. No measures were taken to mobilize the UN’s massive resources or any of its tentacles to stop the contaminated UN carriers, throughout the country, from further infecting the poor Haitians. At one point the international “humanitarians” ordered 200,000 body bags to prepare for the dead they were expecting! That is, paid themselves monies for 200,000 body bags, but laid no monies down for installing not one inch of pipe for clean water or a sanitation system.

More than six-months after the cholera outbreak the UN is confirming it imported cholera to Haiti but obfuscating UN liability with their newly released UN report.

For, this week, the UN, having examine itself is telling all and sundry it indeed brought the deadly disease to Haiti that has, on top of the apocalyptic earthquake trauma, made over 300,000 ill and killed untold thousands upon thousands of innocent Haitians. Cholera is expected to kill thousands more and make up to 800,000 more Haitians suffer sickness. But apparently the UN is not RESPONSIBLE to compensate and make whole for the damage done, the lives destroyed, for toxifying the country's land, water system, food and the entire eco-system it has compromised, nor for the unspeakable indignity of having our people drink its imported fecal excrement on top of and along with the rest of the UN nightmares Haiti's innocents have had to endured these last and interminable 7-years!

In no world except exploited and ravaged-by-”humanitarians-and- peacekeepers”-Haiti would the carriers of this deadly disease not have been immediately tested and quarantined. The damage this has exacerbated is UNIMAGINABLE.

"The road to controlling a cholera epidemic has been paved by hundreds of previous outbreaks worldwide. Yet, in Haiti, there are vast gaps in the deployment of well-established control measures." (Haiti: where aid failed.)

Do the world powers seriously believe that Haitians will accept this conclusion by the UN’s “independent” panel? As I wrote already, that’s like handing over a rapist kit and letting the rapists investigate themselves! (“The accused UN cannot investigate itself” – Ezili Dantò, Oct 30, 2010 interview with Yves Point Du Jour, and Haiti elections and Cholera , interview with Ezili Dantò of HLLN, Oct. 22, 2010, Gorilla Radio.)

The UN and their various “envoys” are not above the law. Yes, they’ve unilaterally usurped Haiti relief and reconstruction and the country’s civil functions, but indigenous Haitians know they are our jailers and executioners, not our rescuers. The powers responsible for bringing cholera and allowing its spread in Haiti will be held liable for whatever criminal consequences their false benevolence has secured and that can be duly determined by independent courts of law.

There are laws against gross negligence, wrongful death, false benevolence, massive infliction of pain and suffering, not to mention destroying Haiti’s water system, territory and environment, already burden with TOURISTAH (aka MINUSTAH) and foreign NGOs! (See the UN “independent panel” report ; “93% of the USAID funds come back to the US” ; It’s called “Tied Aid “ ; Avatar Haiti, part two.)

Since the outbreak, HLLN has attempted to find a commercial law firm with deep pockets who could help us bring this Haiti tort and wrongful death case to a proper court of law. To date, most of those we’ve approached have declined to take on the Clinton/UN/Farmer/USAID gang of “humanitarians” in Haiti “saving” us for our own good.

We know HLLN will file a case against the UN one way or the other on this. But we need the Ezili’s Haiti Network’s support and help. I am so very tired of hitting my head on steel doors that won’t open to help us Haitians and so I come to you, I open this search to you the Ezili Network for you constructive input. Ezili’s HLLN has no financial resources to take on this case but we are the best informed Haitians to defend Haiti with partners who do have the resources and respect for life and dignity of our people. So, write and call me directly if you’re willing to fight against the UN’s callous expectation of immunity and impunity and you are a partner in a law firm or have University connections to an entity with the staff, willingness to defend what’s just and deep pockets to take this on with Ezili’s HLLN as special co-counsel.

We hope to publish your various responses if they are on point and helpful in this case.

Men anpil chay pa lou! Time is of the essence for there ought not to be any general or broad UN immunity for this gross negligence, wrongful deaths, personal injuries, deliberate social and environmental destruction which are caused by the deliberate and illegal dumping of raw feces into a sovereign nation’s main and central water systems. The UN is not and should not be above the law, morally or legally.

The 32-page report, prepared by the so-called UN “independent panel” of medical experts at the behest of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, took over six month to say what the CDC and several world renowned epidemiologists have already said just a few weeks after the outbreak. The UN report:

“clearly states that the source of the epidemic was most likely a camp for U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti, whose human waste was dumped by independent contractors into an unsecured pit that was susceptible to flooding in heavy rainfall. That conclusion, the report notes, mirrors “a commonly held belief in Haiti” virtually from the moment the outbreak began. But the report buries that central finding under a welter of circumstances that caused investigators to conclude that the outbreak, which is ongoing, “was not the fault of, or deliberate action of, a group or individual.” (U.N.-Sponsored Report on Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Points to U.N. Itself as Culprit By George Russell, May 05, 2011| FoxNews.com .)

It seems to us Haitians that the UN “independent ” panel simply took over six months to find the language, the blatant conscience and daring, to package and feed Haitians some more raw feces, this absolute lie to swallow and make us sicker – namely that the Haiti cholera outbreak was caused by a “confluence of circumstances … and was not the fault of, or deliberate action of, a group or individual!”

At Ezili’s HLLN, we herein respond directly to the UN and say, "justice will be done even if new laws must be written or precedents made to cover and avenge Haiti's people against these egregious and daily compounding UN injuries and injustices. The official UN denial of responsibility for importing cholera is a further UN excrement dumped on Haiti to swallow, untreated by international laws. The UN is not immune from prosecution under international conventions but obligated under the Status of Force Agreement with Haiti, for instance, to properly dispose its feces, address sanitary issues and control communicable diseases. This Haiti tort case shall be heard in courts on law. Justice will be done.”

Ezili Dantò of HLLN
May 6, 2011
www.erzilidanto.com/zili
email: erzilidanto@yahoo.com

*****

UPDATE:

- Four spectacular US attorneys respond to Ezili HLLNs call to help bring justice to UN cholera victims

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

- The accused UN cannot investigate itself" - Ezili Dantò, Oct 30, 2010 interview with Yves Point Du Jour.

- Haiti elections and Cholera

-”The (cholera) virus had been eradicated in Haiti”, Haiti’s Health Ministry said.

-"...It is against this backdrop that many non-governmental agencies have launched fundraising appeals, even while their post-earthquake coffers remain filled."(Haiti: where aid failed.)

"The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has repeatedly claimed that underfunding of its $174m cholera appeal, launched primarily to benefit private groups, is hampering the response – despite the fact that Haiti is the top-funded UN appeal for 2010. As nearly a million Haitians remain homeless in the face of a full-blown public health emergency, arguments that existing funds are tied up in longer-term programmes ring hollow..."(Haiti: where aid failed.)

In Haiti, the cholera outbreak will continue to claim lives for the foreseeable future. What is clear, though, is that the aid community at large has failed to prevent unnecessary deaths, in a population already so tragically affected by one catastrophe after another. (Haiti: where aid failed.)

- Study bolsters UN source for Haiti's cholera outbreak
May 9, 2011 (CIDRAP News) - http://bit.ly/is1YXW

- The U.N. cholera panel builds case against U.N. blue helmets, then clears them-By Colum Lynch http://bit.ly/kD0tfg

Video:93% of the USAID funds come back to the US. 93%!

http://bit.ly/fyOpPy

It’s called “Tied Aid – 93% of the USAID funds come back to the US.
http://bit.ly/lUSEOV.

- CDC Says Haiti's Cholera Due to "One Event"

- Haiti caught cholera from UN peacekeepers
http://bit.ly/ircIgC

Verdict: Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Originated In U.N. Camp

- UN Panel Links Cholera to MINUSTAH Base; MINUSTAH Continues to Shift Blame
http://bit.ly/iubeeN

- Haiti’s cholera misery: 5,000 dead – and UN peacekeepers to blame
http://ind.pn/lJy6T4

- The UN Faces Blame for a Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

- UN Final Report Pdf:
http://bit.ly/jNr63o

- Haiti’s case against the UN for importing cholera epidemic by Ezili Dantò
http://bit.ly/aaQpdT

- http://bit.ly/c2GNZI
Is Haiti’s deadly cholera outbreak an imported disease?

- See also: Ezili Dantò on the election of Michel Martelly ; Beating back the elite’s rabid rage; Seismic shifts and Avatar Haiti

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Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network **************************************************

Haiti caught cholera from UN peacekeepers

May 6, 2011, Debora MacKenzie, consultant | Source: New Scientist Blog

Cholera.jpg
(Image: Sipa Press/Rex Features)

Where did Haiti’s cholera come from? Most Haitians believe the bacteria that have so far sickened 286,000 of them – and killed 4870 – were brought in by United Nations peacekeeping troops from Nepal. And this certainly seemed likely, given where and when the disease broke out, and the fact that regions of Nepal were experiencing cholera outbreaks around the same time that the Nepalese left for Haiti.

Yet the UN mission in the country has consistently denied the allegation. It said natural cholera could have invaded Haiti from the sea, and refused to test its troops.

Now it turns out the Haitians were right. A blue-ribbon panel of scientists nominated by the UN to settle the matter has now reported that “the evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion” that someone contaminated Haiti’s Meye river with south Asian cholera.

Other scientists, and New Scientist, had already figured as much. But the new report places the issue beyond reasonable doubt. The team combined data on water flow with hospital records to show an “explosive” outbreak started on the Meye 150 metres downstream from the Nepalese base, on 17 October last year and spread through the Artibonite river system in three days – exactly matching the natural flow of water downstream. Nothing suggested it came in from the sea.

The report concludes that sanitation at the Nepalese base was “not sufficient to prevent contamination”, to put it mildly. As the UN has insisted, the Nepalese who arrived in Haiti just before the cholera began were indeed given a clean bill of health before they left Nepal. But, the panel now adds, after the health checks and before the troops flew to Haiti they were given 10 days’ leave. There was cholera in Kathmandu at the time. Ah.

Then there’s the smoking gun. Previously all we knew was that the cholera in Haiti genetically matched strains from south Asia. But the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, South Korea, sent the panel cholera samples from Nepal. The Haitian strain is a “perfect match” for one from 2009.

The scientists say the outbreak was not the “fault of, or deliberate action of, a group or individual”. But no one serious thinks this was deliberate. It’s arguably more worrying than that: this risk was entirely foreseeable, happened anyway – and the official response was denial.

In future, the panel says UN people from cholera-endemic countries should be screened and given antibiotics or vaccine before deploying, and all UN installations should treat their own faeces. Good idea. And of course, Haiti needs treated drinking water and sanitation, but we knew that.

The fight now, they conclude, is to stop cholera from becoming endemic in Haiti. Signs are not good. The rainy season has just started there. And at last report, cholera cases are starting to rise.

*****************************************

U.N. Haiti cholera panel avoids blaming peacekeepers

A dead body is transported from the cholera pavilion at a general hospital Port-au-Prince November 21, 2010. REUTERS/Kena Betancur

A dead body is transported from the cholera pavilion at a general hospital Port-au-Prince November 21, 2010.
Credit: Reuters/Kena Betancur

PORT-AU-PRINCE | Thu May 5, 2011 12:18pm | Source: Reuters

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Experts charged by the United Nations with probing the cause of a deadly cholera epidemic in Haiti pointed on Wednesday to fecal contamination by a riverside U.N. peacekeepers’ camp as a likely cause, but a U.N. spokesman said that could not be seen as conclusive.

The four-member U.N.-appointed panel, named by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in January, carefully avoided apportioning any direct blame or responsibility to U.N. peacekeepers, citing “a confluence of circumstances” behind the epidemic.

The four experts from Latin America, the United States and India had been asked to investigate the source of the Haitian cholera outbreak, which has killed more than 4,800 people since October, although the death rate has slowed considerably.

The panel was set up following accusations by Haitians that Nepalese soldiers serving in the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH, were the source of cholera, through leakage from latrines at their camp at Mirebalais in central Haiti.

A widespread belief in Haiti that the disease came from the peacekeepers from Nepal, where cholera is endemic, sparked some anti-U.N. riots last year in the poor Caribbean nation.

A French scientist brought in by the Haitian government also backed this theory in a study he made on the cholera emergency that started 10 months after Haiti’s devastating January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people.

In its report published Wednesday, the U.N.-appointed panel said the outbreak was caused by “bacteria introduced into Haiti as a result of human activity; more specifically by the contamination of the Meye Tributary System of the Artibonite River with a pathogenic strain of the current South Asian type Vibrio cholerae.”

Declaring this cholera strain was introduced “as a result of environmental contamination with feces,” the report faulted sanitation conditions at the Mirebalais MINUSTAH camp, saying they “were not sufficient to prevent fecal contamination of the Meye Tributary System of the Artibonite River.”

‘EXPLOSIVE SPREAD’

Explaining the epidemic’s “explosive spread” along the Artibonite River and throughout Haiti, the report said “simultaneous water and sanitation and healthcare system deficiencies” contributed to the spread. It noted Haitians used river water for washing, bathing, drinking and recreation.

Despite pointing an apparent finger at the U.N. peacekeepers’ camp, the U.N.-appointed panel did not directly blame them for starting the epidemic.

“The Independent Panel concludes that the Haiti cholera outbreak was caused by the confluence of circumstances as described above, and was not the fault of, or deliberate action of, a group or individual,” it said.

Repeating a longstanding U.N. position over the cholera in Haiti, a U.N. spokesman in New York said the report “does not present any conclusive scientific evidence linking the outbreak to the MINUSTAH peacekeepers or the Mirebalais camp”

“Anyone carrying the relevant strain of the disease in the area could have introduced the bacteria into the river,” Michel Bonnardeaux, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping department, told Reuters.

While not apportioning blame, the expert panel recommended that U.N. peacekeepers and personnel traveling from cholera-endemic areas be screened for the disease and given antibiotics before departure for their mission country.

It also recommended that to prevent contamination of a local environment, U.N. installations worldwide should effectively treat their fecal waste using on-site systems.

There was no immediate reaction to the U.N. panel’s report from the government in Haiti, where President-elect Michel Martelly, a former singer, will take office on May 14.

The panel was chaired by Alejandro Cravioto, a Mexican who works at the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh.

*********************************************

UN peacekeepers linked to Haiti’s cholera outbreak

Colum Lynch, New York, May 7, 2011, Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

A cholera outbreak in Haiti late last year that killed rampantly prompted mass unrest in Haiti's capital. REUTERS/Allison ShelleyA cholera outbreak in Haiti late last year that killed rampantly prompted mass unrest in Haiti’s capital. REUTERS/Allison Shelley

A UN panel investigating the source of Haiti’s 2010 cholera outbreak has turned up circumstantial evidence suggesting that UN peacekeepers may have introduced a lethal strain of the disease into the Haitian population, triggering an epidemic that has killed more than 4500 people and made 300,000 ill.

But the panel stopped short of blaming the blue-helmeted forces for causing the cholera outbreak, saying the elements contributing to the spread of the disease – including poor sanitation and a dysfunctional healthcare system – were so varied as to make it impossible to identify a specific culprit.

”The independent panel concludes that the Haiti cholera outbreak was caused by the confluence of circumstances … and was not the fault of, or deliberate action of, a group or individual,” the report said.

UN peacekeeping officials highlighted the inconclusive findings to underscore there was no hard evidence linking the UN peacekeeping mission to the cholera outbreak.

The UN will establish a taskforce to study the findings and recommendations, including a call for the screening of peacekeepers for cholera, said Martin Nesirky, the spokesman for Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.

In October, the cholera bacterium appeared for the first time in Haiti in nearly a century, striking its first victims near a UN outpost in Mirebalais, a town on the Meye tributary of the Artibonite River. Cholera causes dehydrating diarrhoea that can kill children and adults in less than 12 hours.

Within days, the disease had spread throughout the river delta to the coast, infecting thousands of Haitians in towns along the river. It has since spread throughout the country and continues to claim lives.

Haitians and public health experts elsewhere suspected that UN peacekeepers contaminated the river. A Nepalese force arrived at Mirebalais between October 8 and October 24, the same period the first cholera deaths were recorded.

In December, Mr Ban commissioned an independent panel to ”investigate and seek to determine the source” of the cholera outbreak. The four-member team concluded that the cholera strain came from south Asia and that it was probably introduced by human activity around the UN base along the Meye tributary. The panel also cited a poorly constructed sewage system at the base, which allowed human faeces and other waste to flow into the tributary.

The panel also noted that UN medical records show no evidence that Nepalese peacekeepers showed signs of illness before or during the outbreak.

Peacekeepers from other countries, including a contingent of 60 Bangladeshi policemen posted at Mirebalais, were also deployed in the area.

*************************

UN: Peacekeepers’ Work Killed Thousands in Haiti

Friday, May 6, 2011 01:47 PM | Source: newsmax.com

By: Martin Gould

Thousands of Haitians were killed and hundreds of thousands more sickened because of shoddy construction work U.N. peacemakers carried out in the wake of last year’s devastating earthquake, an official report has revealed. A total of 5,000 are believed dead and another 300,000 sickened by “an explosive cholera outbreak” resulting from bad drainage, Britain’s newspaper reports.

Haiti, U.N. report, earthquakeHaiti’s toll had just begun after the earthquake, as shoddy workmanship in the recovery led to more death and sickness, a U.N. report says. (Getty Images Photo)

With the rainy season about to start, officials believe another half million people will catch cholera.

The U.N. team from Nepal built septic tanks that drained directly into a tributary of the Artibonite river in central Haiti. Water from the river system is used for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing clothes.

Despite its abject poverty, Haiti had been free of cholera for decades. The cholera strain matches one found in Nepal in 2009, the U.N. report says.

More than 300,000 Haitians died in the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake and its aftershocks. The U.N. and other agencies have faced mounting criticism for poor handling of refugees since. Around 750,000 people are still living in squalid refugee camps.

The septic tanks at the Mirebalais Minustah refugee camp were not sufficient to stop human waste flowing straight into the river system. “There is no fence around the site, and children were observed playing and animals roaming in the area around the pit,” the U.N. report says.

Cholera bacteria spread from the mountainous region along the length of the Artibonite — the longest and most important river in Haiti — all the way to its delta. The river provided “optimal conditions” for the spread of the disease, especially as most Haitians had no immunity to the disease and hospitals were soon overwhelmed, the report said.

U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said he would convene a task force to “study the findings and recommendations.”

**************************

Verdict: Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Originated In U.N. Camp

by Richard Knox | Source: NPR

A man walked by a Port-au-Prince wall in February covered with anti-U.N. graffiti that equates the organization with cholera.

THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images
A man walked by a Port-au-Prince wall in February covered with anti-U.N. graffiti that equates the organization with cholera.

****

Suspicions that U.N. peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti last fall are so incendiary in that beleagured nation that most health experts fighting the outbreak have refused to discuss it.

But an expert panel appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has concluded those suspicions are correct.

In a 32-page report released quietly on Wednesday, the four-person panel leaves no doubt that cholera spread quickly from a U.N. camp in the upper Artibonite River valley to waters used by tens of thousands of Haitians for bathing, washing and drinking.

So far, Haiti’s cholera epidemic has sickened nearly 300,000 people and killed 4,500 of them.

While the U.N. panel stops short of saying Nepalese peacekeepers carried cholera to Haiti, their report says preliminary genetic tests indicate “the strains isolated in Haiti and Nepal … were a perfect match.”

Reflecting the sensitive nature of their findings, the panel takes pains to say the explosive outbreak was due to a “confluence” of factors “and was not the fault of, or deliberate action of, a group or individual.”

Some of those factors are:

  • Widespread use of the Artibonite River and its tributaries for washing, bathing and drinking;
  • Lack of immunity to cholera in Haiti, where the disease hasn’t been seen for nearly a century;
  • Poor water and sanitation conditions in Haiti; and
  • An especially virulent type of cholera, with a toxin that causes more severe diarrhea.

While all of those things contributed, the experts don’t mince words in saying cholera was introduced into Haiti and spread from the U.N. camp where peacekeepers were quartered.

“The sanitation conditions at the [U.N. camp] were not sufficient to prevent contamination of the Meye Tributary System with human fecal waste,” the report says. The Meye River feeds into the Artibonite, Haiti’s longest river.

Sewage from the UN camp could have gotten into the river system in two ways — from a drainage canal running through the camp or from an open septic pit near the Meye River where a private contractor dumped sewage from the camp.

The experts say Hurricane Thomas last November and a flood in the region last summer played no role in spreading cholera.

The report says the U.N. should clean up its facilities around the world to make sure fecal wastes don’t contaminate the environment.

Beyond that, the group says all U.N. personnel mobilized for emergencies should be vaccinated against cholera, receive prophylactic antibiotics, or both. Personnel from areas where cholera is endemic should be screened for cholera before they go to countries where it isn’t a problem.

And the panel says authorities should look into using cholera vaccines to reduce spread of the disease once an outbreak has occurred – an idea that’s controversial among health experts.

Secretary-General Ban says he will appoint a task force to study the panel’s findings and “ensure prompt and appropriate follow-up.”

**********************************************

MINUSTAH denies rumour that it spread cholera in Haiti

Oct. 26, 2010 | Source- Earth Times

Port-au-Prince – The UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) denied Tuesday that it is at the origin of the ongoing outbreak of cholera in the Caribbean country.

“MINUSTAH is keen to shed light around rumours published by certain media that led to the belief that human refuse thrown into a river in Mirebalais by MINUSTAH would be at the origin of the cholera epidemic in Haiti,” the mission said in a statement.MINUSTAH said that it does have a Nepalese contingent in Mirebalais, which uses seven septic tanks. These tanks have, however, been built in accordance with the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the mission said.

The septic tanks in question are emptied every week by a subcontractor’s trucks, which then take their load to a site which has “the authorization of the municipality of Mirebalais,” the statement stressed.”

It is 250 metres off the Meille river, which is more than 20 times the internationally required distance,” MINUSTAH said.

Some 259 people have died and more than 3,000 infections have been confirmed since cholera broke out a week ago in central Haiti.

The government and aid organizations in the impoverished country are working frantically to stop the disease from spreading, amid fears that cholera could reach overcrowded refugee camps still housing around 1 million people since the January 12 earthquake.

 

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I am very skeptical that the UN just happened to station Nepalese soldiers from one of the few places in the world that was currently experiencing a virulent cholera outbreak right next to an important source of drinking water for Haitians. nobody is that stupid not even the UN.

The UN and their various “envoys” are above the law, Ezili and nothing but a world wide revolution will will ever fix that. The Haitian tragedy is a textbook case of racial genocide. I don’t think you will ever find justice in the courts the Judges are even more corrupt than the officials. Having said that I am glad you posted because every once in a while I need to be reminded of just what is going on in Haiti right now.