Obama sides with UN against Haiti in cholera case

“With the Paul Farmer and Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) crew representing Haiti cholera victims, it’s like the UN was representing the plaintiffs it harmed…The UN is responsible for the cholera contagion. It specifically waived its immunity in Haiti under the SOFA agreement. The United States is the respondiat superior in the Haiti cholera case. The UN is employed as proxy military army, the fig leaf covering up the US occupation of Haiti.” — Ezili Dantò of HLLN

“The apologists and Pollyannas who still treat the UN as capable of conscience and not the tool of empire that its been since Patrice Lumumba are prolonging US-Euro imperialism across the global south. The UN is a criminal organization created to partition off Africa and call it “decolonization” and to maintain the colonial balance between the five (5) post World War II, veto powers. Even if some morality were scraped out from this world body, the point of the matter is, the UN is structurally incapable of ushering in world peace, democracy, reparations or justice by virtue of its own organizational construction and as evidenced by its history. The UN bodies serve the moneyed countries. The enslaved and exploited do not recognize their imperialistic powers, only the assimilated Negro and white saviors who work for white supremacy for the various Asian continent motherlands terrorizing the rest of the 7billion peoples on planet earth. The United State financed UN-MINUSTAH mission in Haiti is  the AFRICOM of the Western Hemisphere” — Ezili Dantò of HLLN, Quiet Genocide in Haiti, How it is wielded from From Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Barack Obama: The United Nations, a criminal organization from Lumumba to Aristide.

Obama worst than Bush for Haiti, Africa, Caribbean
Obama worst than Bush for Haiti, Africa, Caribbean. Haiti protestors say “Obama, stop supporting drug dealers in Haiti“. See also links at, Haiti’s Case Against Bill & Hillary Clinton & Obama installed dictator, Michel Martelly

Obama sides with the UN against Haiti in the cholera case 

http://static.c-span.org/assets/swf/CSPANPlayer.1393874500.swf?clipid=4486390

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki explains the US decision to recommend dismissal of a federal class-action lawsuit against the United Nations on allegations that it caused a cholera outbreak that has killed 9,000 people.

On March 7, 2014, the Obama administration filed a brief  siding with the United Nations against Haiti in the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)’s cholera lawsuit. The U.S. Government asked a New York Federal Court judge to block the lawsuit, give the UN immunity. Haiti did not have cholera until the Nepalese soldiers from the UN-MINUSTAH troops negligently and recklessly imported the disease to Haiti in October 2010. The UN criminally covered up the source of the disease, took unfair advantage of Haiti’s lack of political sovereignty which they caused, and then hid behind immunity to further deny Haitians justice.

Haiti’s water system is poisoned. More than 10,000 Haitians died and over 800,000 are infected with UN cholera. It will take Haiti billions of dollars to detoxify the poisoned water system. The death toll is piling up. (Zili Dlo – Clean water is health, life and the simple solution to cholera-ravaged Haiti.)

Evidently, cleaning Haiti’s water system, compensating the victims and preventing further Haiti cholera victims – like preventing Syrian civilians dying – is not a US government priority. The alleged chemical attack killing 1400 Syrians is enough for Obama to start a war with Syria. But establishment bioterrorism that infects 800,000 Haitians, kills over 10,000 with the death count climbing daily is not worthy of even litigation, explains Barack Obama’s US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

Only 15% of monies raised by the Clintons went to charity: 85% went for salaries, benefits and travel ; The Quiet Genocide in Haiti; and Clinton Cash – The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich

Depopulating Haiti with diseases, famine, regime change, with privatizing public assets to bring in UN/charity worker rape/forced homosexuality on children, pedophilia, forced pregnancy, forced assimilation and the restructured colonial armies in order to take Haiti lands, pristine offshore islands, exploit its riches and place the people in servitude is the barbarity of 1492 continued.

Instead of admitting culpability in helping to bring the illegal chapter 7 UN force into Haiti as its proxy army and admitting that responsibility for the cholera outbreak rest squarely with them, the US is maliciously indifferent to the suffering and oppression it has wrought. Its blithely focused on establishing luxury hotels, tourist resorts, mining infrastructure to drill and dig up Haiti’s vast minerals and oil for its own coffers. While claiming its providing aid to Haiti, the U.S. is stealing Haiti’s gold, copper, marble, iridium, uranium and oil wealth. The U.S. genocidal plans for Haitians continues to displace Haiti’s farmers and fishermen as they battle cholera.

“United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said that he believed the United Nations Charter rendered the organization “absolutely immune from legal process and suit absent an express waiver.”

If the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA), the agreement that governs Haiti’s sanction of UN troops in its territory is legal, which HLLN says it’s not as it was signed, inter alia, by an unconstitutional, former UN employee imposed on Haiti in 2004. But if the SOFA agreement between the UN and its former employee, Gerald Latortue, legally binds the sovereign people of Haiti, then within that SOFA agreement, HLLN argues, the UN specifically waived its immunity. If that waiver is not applicable, as the US seems to be arguing, than contract law has no meaning. Might makes right. And none of the SOFA agreements ruling the current United Nations peacekeeping operations throughout the world bind the UN whatsoever. This would mean the SOFA agreements only give obligations to the host countries. In all these agreements, the UN may sign that it has a legal responsibility to not bring in contagious diseases in accordance with international standards but that responsibility will not be recognized by either the UN nor the United States, the largest funder of the UN/MINUSTAH mission in Haiti.

From the beginning Ezili’s HLLN has been the sole international voice to speak truth and point out that so-called “legal” efforts to bring justice to Haiti, cannot avoid the glaring facts. The United States is the respondiat superior in the Haiti cholera case. The UN is employed as proxy military army, the fig leaf covering up the US occupation of Haiti for over ten years now.

All conversations, in court or out of court that seeks justice for Haitians, simply adds to, is complicit in and prolongs Haiti suffering when it ignores the US elephant in the room; US imperialism in Haiti. The terrible consequences for the people of Haiti, including cholera. (Ezili on Haiti, four years after quake; and, Video report on Haiti Riches, Zili Dlo solar project and the works of Ezili Dantò/HLLN.)

Zili Dlo - dlo pwòp e èneji solèy pou tout moun
Zili Dlo – dlo pwòp e èneji solèy pou tout moun

Many Haiti-led efforts to provide the dying people with clean water and skills-transfer for sustainable Haitianist development are also blocked by the US/Euro charitable industrial complex (the NGOs) in Haiti. (Why Zili Dlo no longer works with Barefoot College; Bunker Roy wins 2013 Clinton Global Citizen AwardsFour Women Return, Two Haiti Villages to Get Solar Electrification.)

The white supremacist won’t allow any positive Haiti action that’s not filtered through its gaze. After February 29, 2004, once the US government had forcibly silenced or co-opted (with satchels of NGO monies), Haiti’s  pro-democracy opposition to regime change, the Clinton Global Initiative, Paul Farmer/UN, George Soros and Bill Gate mafia  stepped in, in earnest, as force-multipliers for imperialism. Dr. Paul Farmer, PAHO, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Monsanto and company poured into Haiti’s fragile bodies, deadly untested pharmaceuticals, vaccines, GMOs and other Western depopulation initiatives cloaked as aid. (See, Haiti: Ezili Dantò on Wash Post Cholera editorial.)

Haiti cholera victims, Mirebalais Haiti
Haiti cholera victims, Mirebalais Haiti | Photo credit – HLLN 2012

Like slavery in the sixteenth century, the US genocide in Haiti is silently accepted as the norm by the civilized nations of the world. The imperialists’ genocidal program in Haiti, in Africa, the Caribbean are tourism in the time of cholera, forcing “developing” nations like Haiti into more IMF/World bank debts, unfair trade, an export economy, sweatshops and to privatize pubic assets, like Haiti ‘s offshore islands. (See also, The Slavery Nicolas Kristof and the White Savior’s Charitable-Industrial  Complex Won’t Expose, January 3, 2014).

It’s naive and silly to think that the U.S. would not block lawsuits brought against its imperial policies  and their deadly consequences. (See, Haitian-American officials to State Department: Don’t intervene in cholera lawsuit.) The consternation that this shameless Obama administration action kicks up, further covers-up the truth of the matter.

Cholera, like the earthquake is an opportunity for the disaster capitalists to fundraise, elevate their “do-gooder” image, make more profits off Black suffering, exploitation and death. (Fatal Assistance and The American Red Cross raised a half billion dollars for Haiti and built all of six houses.)

Taking unfair advantage of the poor and vulnerable for personal financial rewards and covering it up with “saving the soul of the native,” “bringing democracy,”  “helping the Haitians” or whitening Haiti with European presence, apartheid or tourism has always been the colonial game.  That game is viewed as normal for those “Blacks” assimilated into the system. It’s not possible to awaken someone who’s pretending to sleep.

UN-MINUSTAH forces in Haiti equal rape, kidnapping and cholera.
UN-MINUSTAH forces in Haiti equal rape, kidnapping and cholera.

Desalin, Haiti’s founding father, said no. Haiti’s masses are unique in the Caribbean because Desalin said no to Haiti being a Black ruled Euro/US colony. No, to the fake neutrality of blan kolon like the ones running the NGOs. Desalin said the only good white is the one who will load his gun to stop the criminally bad ones in Haiti. (Blan Mannan by Feliks Moriso Lewa; Seismic Shifts: Haiti freestyling to murder Tarzan, Jane & their Uncle Toms.)

There are some well meaning folks in the world, from all the socially constructed races, who are legitimately unaware of the US deceit with the charitable industrial complex; still some well-meaning folks sending their hard earned monies to big business orphanages and the Red Cross to “help” Haitians.

That’s why Ezili’s HLLN writes the non-colonial narrative and circulates it. That’s why, from the very beginning of this new death trap for Haiti, we’ve maintained that the only use of the US courts is to lift up the non-colonial narrative on Haiti. Bring a class action cholera suit under international laws and the Federal Alien Torts Claim Act to spread the truth. The give evidence of the role of NGOs as Trojan Horse for world imperialism, unveil the coup-plotters, expose the US occupation of Haiti that is covered up by the greedy partners-in-death NGOs and how the roots of that rotten tree brought the deadly cholera to Haiti.

Caracol- Obama's Sweatshops as development for Haiti. Haiti industrial park opening Caracol Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pose with workers at the grand opening ceremony of the new Caracol Industrial Park in Caracol, Haiti, on October 22, 2012. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Caracol- Obama’s Sweatshops as development for Haiti. Haiti industrial park opening Caracol
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pose with workers at the grand opening ceremony of the new Caracol Industrial Park in Caracol, Haiti, on October 22, 2012. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

Who would reasonably expect the United States’ government to reverse its historical oppression of Haiti, to not protect its 10-year occupation hidden behind UN proxy guns? That’s just Black mis-leadership and willful complicity with imperialism.

The Barack Obama administration’s imperial policies against Haiti has been worst for Haiti and for the rest of the world than the Bushes’ reigns. Precisely because when the Democrats presides over white supremacy, pillage and imperialism, it doesn’t get as much scrutiny and organized push-back as when the right wing pushes forth the IMF/World bank death plans. Nobel peace prize winner, Barack Obama, did not just pick up that 3:00 am phone call. But, as has been noted, he mostly stayed on the phone making war, sending out drones for his entire terms in office.

The cover-up of the US occupation in Haiti is reinforced by IJDH ‘s “legal” representation of the Haiti cholera victims. The fiction of neutrality obscures the reality. These human rights lawyers, doctors-without-borders and others like the Red Cross are ideally situated as  gatekeepers for empire. These sell-outs are funded by empire to carry out empire’s biddings.

Dr. Paul Farmer is the UN’s appointed special adviser for the (unfunded) United Nation $2.2 billion dollar cholera elimination project for Haiti. Farmer is on the board of directors of IJDH.

It is a glaring conflict of interest for Dr. Paul Farmer, the former UN deputy envoy to Haiti, who took part in the UN public delay and cover-up of the source of the outbreak, to be on the board of IJDH which is bringing the cholera lawsuit for Haiti victims.

The unscrupulous connections and gatekeeper roles of Bill Clinton, USAID, UN, Dr. Farmer and his partner, Dr. Jim Yong Kim,  who is now the president of the World Bank with failed Haiti reconstruction, along with the other usual “peace and justice” suspects, their interlocking directorships at Harvard to the CDC, to Monsanto, to big pharmaceutical, big oil to the Hollywood colonial celebritism (who are pushing the colonial narrative ) in the IJDH case, makes the lawsuit an absurdly tragic joke in the first place.

Petra Nemcova, Czech Supermodel, Named Envoy For Haiti
Petra Nemcova, Czech Supermodel, Named Envoy For Haiti
***Ex-charity exec who helped expose $500G Clinton Foundation donation faces legal threats***

Colonial celebritism is a tool for dumbing down the U.S. masses in order to get away with resource wars, murder and pillage. The deeper truth is hidden behind the Western star power. Smiling faces tell lies. They don’t tell the truth. But, masks imperial terror. The faces of tyranny are that of supermodels, world renowned actors and musicians putting their star power behind the re-enslavement of Haiti, celebrating sweatshops, unfair trade, apartheid, tourism in the time of cholera. The soul of the Haitian reality hidden, opposition to imperialism neutralized, disemboweled as Hollywood starlets use Haiti suffering as a prop. Adding “Haiti charity work” credit to their public portfolios. The Devil’s glee deepens, imperialism camouflaged. It’s willful refusal to unplug from the colonial matrix. (Miley Cyrus Helping Kids In Haiti)

With the Paul Farmer/IJDH/USAID crew representing Haiti cholera victims, it’s like the UN was representing the plaintiffs it harmed. The US and the UN managed to work for their own interests while processing a suit to make it seems as if Haitians can get justice from some of the very actors who took Haiti’s sovereignty. As if the Haiti cholera plaintiffs have unconflicted  and fair legal representation. With this deception, the imperialist and their minions covered all their bases. The outcome is fairly predetermined.

Clinton and Paul Farmer UN spokespersons in Haiti
Bill Clinton and Paul Farmer UN spokespersons in Haiti

The colonial narrative, the pretense that the US has nothing to do with the arrival of deadly cholera in Haiti, continues. Paul Farmer will be giving more ineffective two year cholera vaccines to Haitians. Paul Farmer might continue to give these ineffective cholera vaccines in St. Marc where a world renowned epidemiologist, who, unlike Paul Farmer is an actual cholera expert say there is NO CHOLERA. See, for instance, Piarroux: Haiti Epidemic Could Be Gone in Months, Vaccination Target St Marc Has No Cholera; Excerpts from HLLN complaint against the US/Obama occupational forces for bringing cholera to Haiti and, Kreyòl interviews: Ezili Dantò details legal responsibility of UN for Haiti cholera outbreak.

Bill Clinton will continue to help sell cholera insurance to impoverished and sick Haiti cholera victims. The Obama State Department shall continue throwing its weight behind the fiction that the United States has no responsibility for Haiti’s cholera, famine, resource pillage, the population’s total disenfranchisement; no interests in Haiti other than that of an innocent bystander doing good for a poor neighbor! Stealing Haiti offshore islands. Pillaging Haiti gold, copper. Tourism in the time of cholera! All, while keeping their do-gooder mask on, is win, win for the fake humanitarians and their capitalist funders. (Haiti: Foreign Investment means Death and Repression: A historical perspective; The Uses of Paul Farmer, and Haiti: Ezili Dantò on Wash Post Cholera editorial.)

The uses of Paul Farmer AP Photo: Clinton, Farmer
The uses of Paul Farmer
AP Photo: Clinton, Farmer

Essentially, the IJDH lawsuit reinforces the cover up of the US occupation of Haiti. The case allowed Obama to plea for immunity for the UN bringing cholera to Haiti without ever showing that this US official posture was inevitable as the US is pleading to be absolved of its own wrong in Haiti.

These US “peace and justice” progressives ignore that the US owns the primary responsibility for the UN presence in Haiti that brought the deadly cholera.

The cover-up is mind boggling in its sophistication. Paul Farmer, the UN guru for cleaning up Haiti water system that the UN poisoned is also on IJDH’s board and the former UN deputy envoy to Haiti as well as the head of the NGO providing cholera vaccines to Haitians. The US declaration that the UN has immunity for killing Haitians is an inside job. Those who deliberately ignored the US war on Haiti are complicit with US imperialism and terror in Haiti. The NGOs in Haiti perpetuate the lies for their own survival and greed.

Also, notice how the article (UN has immunity from Haiti cholera lawsuit: US) announcing the US position makes as if the UN came into Haiti not to legitimized the ouster of a democratically elected Haiti government in 2004, but as humanitarians after the earthquake. And the media lies for empire, go on and on.

The article says:

There had been no cholera in Haiti for at least 150 years until it was allegedly introduced to the Caribbean nation by Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent there in the wake of the devastating earthquake in January 2010.

Haiti has less violence than most Caribbean countries – than most nations in the Western hemisphere. The US is responsible for the destruction of Haiti’s fledgling participatory democracy in 2004. Condoleezza Rice and Colin

Powell helped the George W. Bush administration conceal and obscure the US invasion of Haiti through a UN chapter 7 “peacekeeping” force when there’s no war in Haiti. It continues the fiction that it is an innocent bystander. It continues being the primary source of funding for a 10-year UN mission in Haiti for “humanitarian” purposes. (UN claims to be above the law, says its legal to kill 8000 Haitians with impunity.)Haiti is the third largest US importer of rice in the world!

Pleading immunity for itself but under the UN cover that the IJDH/Paul Farmer lawsuit helped to keep in place, Obama State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki sheds crocodile tears, expressing sympathy for the Haiti victims over “the tragic loss of life” due to the cholera outbreak. But, she told reporters:

“the United States has legally binding treaty obligations that require it to afford the UN immunity from suit and also provide immunity of UN officials.”

Haiti is open for business. This Clinton/Obama/US chorus means Haiti is for sale. Haitian death caused by the warmongers and poverty pimp’s “business,” along with Haiti suffering, Haiti labor, Haiti lands, water system, oil, gold, iridium, uranium, offshore islands and deep water ports, are all for privatizing. The imperialist despots, with the help of the “humanitarians” and NGOs with satchels of monies from establishment forces, are there to keep the fiction of the philanthropic role of the US, OAS, UN, USAID, IMF and World Bank going.

Ezili’s HLLN along with other such Haiti grassroots voices are the marginalized voices of truth speaking truth to power for 20-years now. Never wavering. (See, US to Rewrite Constitution to Better the One Percent; Corruption Uninterrupted in Haiti, and Visions of a Plantation Haiti: A White Pearl Again!; and Legal responsibility of UN for reckless transmission of a contagious disease.)

The white saviors of Haiti are always announcing that democracy and justice has won, whether it’s with prosecuting bloody Duvalier or US for cholera through the UN. Yet, Duvalier’s henchmen are back in power, put there by Bill and Hillary Clinton under the Obama administration. Haiti does not have democracy, but dictatorship. The Western human rights lawyers and organizations refuse to take action against the US government and its coup plotters in Haiti. This, hinders the Haitian people from fighting back as they should – wastes time in useless actions that do little more than make the white saviors feel that there’s some redeeming value in US foreign policy in Haiti, in US international financial institutions and the capitalists system that vies for the soul of Black and non-white nations.

NGO/Charitable Industrial Complex are the crisis caravan: The poverty pimping business – advocacy & activism used to maintain the status quo
NGO/Charitable Industrial Complex are the crisis caravan: The poverty pimping business – advocacy & activism used to maintain the status quo

The West has two faces, one evil. The majority of the peace and justice human rights organizations take monies from empire and their minions, shroud their espionage work for empire and how they’re powerful tools in the service of imperialism. The co-opted Western human rights organizations must be ignored. (See, Democratic Party arm criticized in Haiti project for spending on big foreign salaries and Washington office overhead ;  Nonviolence in the Service of Imperialism.)

Every human has the right to self defense. Stand your ground Ayiti. (Haiti: Time to remember Kandyo, the Malfini and Mongoose.)

Ayisyen, alaso! Pa kite blan kolon finn detwi nou ak manti – Haiti, liberate yourself!

Living without honor is worst than death.

“Grenadye alaso sa ki mouri n’ap vanje yo!” –Indigenous Army of Ayiti, 1791

Ezili Dantò of HLLN
Ezili Dantò of HLLN

Èzili Dantò of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN )
March, 2014
E, e, Mbomba! Kanga Bafyòti. Kanga Mundele. Kanga Ndòki. Kanga li!



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MINUSTAH is the AFRICOM of the Western Hemisphere * Never forget the foundation of the United State’s Law and Order forces.

UN has immunity from Haiti cholera lawsuit: US

AFP | Washington, March 8, 2014 | Source- Business Standard

A New York court should grant the United Nations immunity from legal action brought by victims of a cholera outbreak in post-earthquake Haiti that killed thousands, US officials have said .

The petition demanding compensation was filed last year on behalf of a sample group of five Haitians and said at least 8,300 people had died from cholera and a further 679,000 others had fallen ill since the outbreak began in October 2010.

There had been no cholera in Haiti for at least 150 years until it was allegedly introduced to the Caribbean nation by Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent there in the wake of the devastating earthquake in January 2010.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday the US administration had filed a statement to the court “asserting that the United Nations, the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and assistant secretary-general for UN peacekeeping operations are immune from suit in this case.”

The brief, which was filed by the Department of Justice, had met a yesterday deadline as the New York district court decides whether the case can proceed.

Expressing sympathy for the victims over “the tragic loss of life” due to the cholera outbreak, Psaki said the US government did not lack empathy.

But “the United States has legally binding treaty obligations that require it to afford the UN immunity from suit and also provide immunity of UN officials,” she told reporters.

The source of the cholera epidemic was traced to a river that runs next to a UN camp in the central town of Mirebalais, where Nepalese troops had been based.

The strain of cholera is the same as one endemic in Nepal.

“The outbreak resulted from the negligent, reckless, and tortuous conduct of the defendants,” the petition says.

It further alleged that the UN failed to “exercise due care to prevent the devastating outbreak of such disease,” even though it knew that Haiti’s weak water and sanitation made it vulnerable to waterborne diseases.

The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, which brought the petition on behalf of the victims, appealed to US Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter Tuesday “to do everything in his power to ensure that victims of Haiti’s ongoing cholera epidemic have their day in court and can access justice.

***

The three Haiti questions all Haitians and world citizens should have an answer for:

1. QUESTION: What’s so important in Haiti that the US would built its fourth largest embassy in the world there, while funding a UN proxy occupation force for over 10-years now?

Haiti homicide rate is 6.9 per 100,000. But the Dominican Republic has FOUR times more violence than Haiti at 25.0 per 100,000. Why is the UN not bringing stability to the more violent DR?

2. QUESTION: Why is there a UN, Chapter 7 peace enforcement mission in Haiti for over 10 years? A country not at war, without a peace agreement to enforce and with less violence than most countries in the Western Hemisphere?

3. QUESTION: Haiti has trillions of dollars in natural resources – gold, oil, natural gas, iridium, copper, et al– why does Haiti need Obama/Bush/Clinton’s meager 41cent an hour sweatshop jobs or US charity (false aid) with so much of its own resources to develop the local economy?

***

The Aid Racket: Food Aid and promoting hunger as a Weapon
The Aid Racket: Food Aid and promoting hunger as a Weapon

***

Martelly held a US passport, US Ambasador Kenneth Merten coded language implying Martelly had not violated the Haiti Constitution to become President is as corrupt and lawless as Martelly-Lamothe Regime
Martelly held a US passport, US Ambasador Kenneth Merten coded language implying Martelly had not violated the Haiti Constitution to become President is as corrupt and lawless as Martelly-Lamothe Regime

***

Ndòki - The evil forces of empire
Ndòki – The evil forces of empire

***

Ndòki - How the imperialist wields oppression and underdevelopment
Ndòki – How the imperialist wields oppression and underdevelopment

***

Haitians launch new lawsuit against UN over thousands of cholera deaths

Plaintiffs hold UN responsible for outbreak of disease, which they say was carried into Haiti by peacekeepers from Nepal, in New York | theguardian.com, Tuesday 11 March 2014 17.32 EDT

UN cholera Haiti

The UN has consistently denied any wrongdoing over the cholera outbreak. Photograph: Ramon Espinosa/AP

The United Nations is facing a huge new lawsuit over the outbreak of cholera in Haiti that has widely been blamed on its peacekeepers, after 1,500 Haitian victims and their family members sued the international body in a federal court in Brooklyn in a class action.

The size of the suit substantially increases the stakes for the UN in this long-running saga. The plaintiffs seek to hold the UN responsible for the health catastrophe, as well as demanding compensation for victims and a UN-sponsored mission to help devastated Haitian communities.

The UN has consistently refused to accept any role in the disaster, and has claimed immunity from legal actions such as the one just lodged in Brooklyn, and a similar class action filed on behalf of a sample group of five Haitians last year. Latest figures suggest that more than 9,000 people have died in the outbreak, which has spread from Haiti to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico, with a total of about 700,000 having been sickened.

There have also been at least confirmed cases of cholera in New York which is home to one of the largest communities of Haitians outside the Caribbean nation.

The lawsuit alleges that the cholera outbreak resulted from “the negligent, reckless, and tortious conduct of the … United Nations; its subsidiary, the United Nations Stablization Mission in Haiti; and its officers… The sickness, death and continual ongoing harm from cholera suffered by Haiti’s citizens are a direct result of the UN’s multiple systematic failures.”

The legal action chronicles the mounting evidence that UN peacekeepers from Nepal carried with them the Asian strain of cholera when they arrived in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. The outbreak, which began in October of that year, was the first instance of cholera in Haiti for at least 150 years.

The lawsuit catalogues what it claims were the UN’s negligent actions. UN troops coming from Nepal, where cholera is endemic, were not screened for the disease.

The UN mission hired a private contractor to ensure sanitary conditions for its force in Haiti, but the contractor was poorly managed and failed to provide adequate infrastructure at the UN camp in Mirebalais. As a result, contaminated sewerage was deposited in the Meille river, a tributary of the Artibonite, Haiti’s longest and most important river.

Crucially, the lawsuit argues that the UN is not immune from liability in such cases. It points out that acceptance of liability “was an express condition agreed to by the United Nations when it created Status of Forces Agreements such as the one which permitted it to enter Haiti.”

The first named plaintiff, Marie Laventure, is a Haitian living in Atlanta, Georgia, who has eight siblings still living in Haiti. She lost her father and stepmother to the cholera contagion.

In a statement, she said: “The death and injury caused by the UN cholera contagion in Haiti is heartbreaking. It has taken my parents and is threatening the lives of my young brothers and sisters in Haiti. Justice demands UN accountability for violating the most important human right, the right to live.”

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