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Haiti

WNYC News

Isaac Drenches Haiti, Cuba, Heads Toward Florida

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac pushed over Cuba on Saturday after sweeping across Haiti's southern peninsula, where it caused flooding and at least four deaths, adding to the misery of a poor nation still trying to recover from the terrible 2010 earthquake.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Julia Alvarez: A Wedding in Haiti

Friday, May 04, 2012

Novelist Julia Alvarez talks about her new memoir, A Wedding in Haiti, and her experiences as a Dominican woman visiting Haiti.

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Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts: Helping Out

Sunday, March 04, 2012

“Help”, wanted, unwanted, sought, and refused, is the topic of today’s two stories; one focusing on present-day Haiti and one from an American master.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Haiti: The Aftershock of History

Monday, January 23, 2012

Even before the devastating 2010 earthquake, Haiti was known for its poverty and corruption. Laurent Dubois discusses the maligned and misunderstood nation that has long been blamed by many for its own wretchedness. In Haiti: The Aftershock of History, he shows that Haiti's troubles can only be understood by examining its complex past.

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Transportation Nation

PICS: Haiti's Transportation Two Years After the Earthquake

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Festively decorated vans and buses called tap taps comprise Haiti's most common public transportation and brighten the drab and damaged streets of Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

Today is the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people, left 1.5 million homeless and destroyed much of the poor nation's existing infrastructure. I visited Haiti last week to report on the recovery. Listen to that coverage at TN partner programs Marketplace and The Takeaway. Here is a visual tour of Port-au-Prince's transportation as I saw it.

A ride through Haiti's capital today is smoother than  in recent months. Rubble piles are mostly removed from roadways easing the chaotic flow of cars, trucks and bikes, though unpredictably vicious traffic jams remains the bane of any punctual visitor—a 20 minute ride can take two hours for no discernible reason. The photos and notes collected below of Port-au-Prince's vehicles and public spaces, are, for the most part, typical of what you'd see on a ride through town. The most vibrant vehicles in Haiti are by far the the tap taps--privately owned buses festooned with flags and coated from bumper to bumper with vivid designs, murals and bold slogans.

The roads are bumpy and inconsistent but repair work is happening in many parts of the city. And public space is coming back too. Almost every inch of plaza and parkland in Port-au-Prince was co-opted by displaced families in hundreds of makeshift tent cities. For almost two years, residents have lived without open gathering places. Some of those are just now starting to come back to life as most tent camp residents have found semi-permanent housing. See a sampling of public space, festive tap taps, chaotic traffic, and at the very bottom, my attempt to videotape a mototaxi ride through a dense traffic jam.

The Toussaint Louverture International Airport is rebuilt with a shiny new multi-level departures terminal with several food kiosks and shops. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Arrivals and baggage claim at the Port-au-Prince airport are still rudimentary.  (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

A common view from the back seat of a car in Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Some tap taps promote movie stars, or fictional characters, but religious imagery is most common. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

An influx of cheap Chinese motorcycles has allowed the moto-taxi business to boom. It is the fastest, though by no means the safest, way to navigate the capital's capricious traffic. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Port-au-Prince has been essentially without public space for two years as displaced families moved into more than 1,000 informal tent camps wherever they could fit. With two-thirds of them now in more permanent housing, some of the larger plazas are returning to normal, complete with tropical Christmas decorations. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

No square inch should be left unused on the brightly colored tap taps, Haiti's public transportation for both people and goods. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

An ambulance makes a noble effort to beat a traffic jam by driving on the wrong side of the crowded road. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Occasionally the religious slogans on bus marquees are in English even though few Haitians speak the language. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Though walking is common for residents of Port-au-Prince, sidewalks aren't always clear. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

With a continued heavy U.N. peace keeping presence, some buses need to remind passengers to leave their rifles behind. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Because many people choose to fill up their tanks a few cents at a time, entrepreneurs earn a living with makeshift gas stations. Those plastic containers on the homemade table are filled with gasoline, ready to be served to passing motorists for a slight markup over the official gas stations. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

Lanes? Who needs 'em? (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Abandoned cars could keep an ambitious towing company quite busy in Haiti. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Note the bike carried on the roof. Multi-modal tap tap transport! (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

How much can you pack on your roof? (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

Dump trucks serve as buses too. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

Look carefully and you can see a banquet's worth of chairs strapped to the back of the bus. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 

This is roughly how I was riding while shooting the video below. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

 


If only there were a left turn signal.

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The Takeaway

Two Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday marks the two-year anniversary of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake. The 7.0 magnitude quake devastated the capital city, Port-au-Prince, and Haiti’s government estimates the death toll was more than 316,000 people. An international outpouring of support followed, with NGOs, human rights organizations, and the first mass text-based fundraising campaign bolstering the island nation. A little less than a year after the earthquake, an outbreak of cholera further devastated the country and set back relief efforts. So what has and hasn't been accomplished in the time since?

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WNYC News

Two Years Later, Haitians in NY Reflect on Earthquake

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thousands of Haitians in New York will mark the second anniversary of the earthquake that devastated their homeland on Thursday.

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The Takeaway

Haiti Charges UN With Responsibility for Cholera Outbreak

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lawyers representing the families of thousands of people who died of cholera in Haiti are planning to sue the United Nations for wrongful death. The lawyers say U.N. peacekeeper troops inadvertently brought cholera to Haiti from Nepal after the 2010 earthquake that decimated the country. Since the cholera outbreak began in 2010, nearly 7,000 people have died and over 500,000 have been infected. The BBC's Mark Doyle has been in Haiti investigating the situation and filed this report.

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WNYC News

Haitians Granted Temporary Protected Status Re-Apply For Program

Monday, August 22, 2011

Haitians who were granted temporary protected status by the Department of Homeland Security after the devastating earthquake last year — many of whom live in Flatbush and other Brooklyn neighborhoods — have until Monday, August 22nd to reapply for the designation if they wish to stay in the country until January 2013.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Haiti After the Earthquake

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dr. Paul Farmer discusses the massive earthquake that destroyed much of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in January 2010, killing hundreds of thousands of people. In Haiti After the Earthquake, Farmer describes the suffering and resilience he encountered while treating the injured in Haiti. He explores the social problems that made Haiti so vulnerable to the earthquake—the issues he says make it an "unnatural disaster."

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Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts: Edwidge Danticat Writes of Haiti and New York

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A contemporary writer’s two worlds are tenderly revealed.

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The Takeaway

Haiti's Election, Fundraising from the US

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Elda James is a Boston lawyer who has been organizing fundraising events for Haiti's Michel Joseph Martelly. She is very excited about the win of her candidate and hopeful for the future of the country. She says, "I think the people of Haiti voted for social justice and voted for change." She give us her perspective on the election.

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The Takeaway

'Sweet Micky' Martelly Set to Become Haitian President

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Results in Haiti show that musician Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly has won the runoff for the presidential election. Martelly defeated former first lady Mirlande Manigat. Running on a campaign of change, the outsider garnered 67 percent of the vote, according to the Provisional Electoral Council, while Manigat only managed just over 30 percent. However, observers say turnout was low and Martelly has a slew of challenges facing him once he is in office.

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The Takeaway

US Deportations to Haiti Begin Again

Friday, January 21, 2011

The U.S. deported 27 Haitians on Thursday, as the Obama administration overturned the freeze on repatriations that began one year ago after the earthquake. This group is the first in an unknown number of detainees that will be sent back to their country, most likely to detention centers with known outbreaks of cholera. Marina Giovanelli, reporter from WLRN and the Miami Herald joins us, along with Marleine Bastien, the founder and executive director of Haitian Women of Miami.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: The Duvaliers

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This week “Baby Doc” Duvalier unexpectedly returned to Haiti after decades in exile. We’ll speak with Amy Wilentz, contributing editor for The Nation and the author of numerous books on the Duvaliers and their long and brutal history in Haiti. 

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The Takeaway

Haitians Press Charges Against 'Baby Doc' Duvalier

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Four Haitians are pressing charges against former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, who unexpectedly returned to Haiti on Sunday. Duvalier was living in exile in France, and came to Haiti on a diplomatic passport. The complainants charge Duvalier with crimes including torture, exile and arbitrary detention. Michele Montas is a former spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. She is one of those pressing charges.

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WNYC News

Ex-Haiti Dictator Duvalier Is a Dangerous Distraction, New Yorkers Say

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The return of the former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier to Haiti had many in the Haitian diaspora glued to Internet radio Tuesday. Duvalier fled during a popular uprising in Haiti a quarter century ago and was questioned in Haitian court Tuesday. His defense attorney said he faces accusations of corruption and embezzlement for allegedly pilfering the treasury before being ousted in 1986. Some Haitians in New York accuse him of stealing attention from Haiti’s most imminent problems: a contested election and hundreds of thousands of people still living in tents.

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WQXR News

Dictator Duvalier Returns to Haiti

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Associated Press reports that former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier is facing accusations of corruption and embezzlement, according to one of his lawyers. The news comes just days after Duvalier unexpectedly returned to his native country.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Duvalier Returns to Haiti

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ricot Dupuy, director and station manager of Radio Soleil, and Javier Zuñiga, special advisor at Amnesty International, discuss the return of former Haitian President Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier to the country, and take calls from Haitian New Yorkers.

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The Takeaway

'Baby Doc' Duvalier Returns to Haiti

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as Baby Doc, returned to Haiti on Sunday after spending nearly 25 years in exile in France. Duvalier became president of Haiti in 1971 when his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier died. Baby Doc was known for torturing his opponents, and was accused of massive embezzlement; many considered him more of a dictator than a president. A popular revolt overthrew Baby Doc in 1986, ending nearly three decades of Duvalier rule. What are the implications of Baby Doc's return to the country in unstable times? Does the former leader return to lend aid or grasp political opportunity?

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