Press Release

International fact-finding and solidarity mission to Haïti

4 April 2005 by Jubilee South

Argentine Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Nora Cortiñas of the Mothers of May Square-Founders’ Line, will head up an INTERNATIONAL FACT-FINDING AND SOLIDARITY MISSION TO HAITI, April 3 to 9.

The Mission’s goal is to investigate the present situation of the Haitian people, in the context of their long struggle to achieve democracy, self-determination, and a dignified life for each and everyone, in order to reinforce and generate new initiatives of solidarity and support for the building of peace and justice.

One of the main issues on which the International Mission will focus is the role and functioning of the UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH), which includes military troops from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay and several other countries of the region. In the context of the deep political, economic, environmental, and social crisis that continues to plague the country, for more than a year now Haiti has also been suffering another foreign military intervention, under a mandate approved by the UN Security Council at the request of the U.S. and France. The MINUSTAH has been increasingly criticized from different perspectives, and in recent weeks suffered its first two losses (soldiers from Nepal and Sri Lanka) in the nmidst of an increase in political tensions and paramilitary violence in the country.

Another of the issues on which the Fact-finding and Solidarity Mission will focus attention is the situation with respect to Human Rights and Impunity, with a special emphasis on the defense of economic, social, and cultural human rights in the most impoverished country in the region and one where the International Financial Institutions, such as the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

and the IDB, together with other so-called creditors, continue to insist on collecting first - in this case on back-due debt service Debt service The sum of the interests and the amortization of the capital borrowed. - in order to make new loans later.

The International Mission will also gather information and testimony with regard to the imposition of duty-free zones and free trade agreements, migrations, corruption, and medium-term political perspectives, with an intense program of visits planned with representatives of diverse social movements and organizations in popular neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, rural communities, prisons, etc., in Port-au-Prince and other cities of the interior of the country. The Mission will also meet with officials of the national interim government, the UN, the MINUSTAH, the IFIs, ministries, and embassies.

This initiative is being coordinated by the continental network JUBILEE SOUTH/AMERICAS, together with the support of participating organizations and others. The Mission itself is composed of more than 15 representatives of different national and international groupings: Diálogo 2000 and Movimiento de Documentalistas (Argentina); Latin American Peace and Justice Service and the Interamerican Plataform on Human Rights, Democracy and Development (Uruguay); the Landless Peoples’ Movement (MST/Vía Campesina), the Bar Association, the National Council of Christian Churches the actress Lucélia Santos, the Jubilee Campaign against the Debt, the FTAA, and Militarization, and the Conference of Parlamentarians of the Américas (COPA) (Brasil); the Southern Peoples’ Ecological Debt Creditors’ Alliance (Ecuador); the Caribbean Peoples’ Assembly (Rep. Dominicana); Alternatives and the American Association of Jurists (Canadá); the AFSC (USA); and the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (Congo-Brazzaville), among others. In Haiti, the coordination of the Mission is being done by the Platform of Advocacy for an Alternative Development (PAPDA), Karl Lévèque Cultural Institute, and the Plataform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH). -March 31, 2005

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