November 19--Today's edition of Democracy Now has an important interview with Ansel Herz from behind the barricades in Cap Haitien. Angry protests there have continued for a third straight day against MINUSTAH. The link here begins at the 11 minute mark of the daily, one hour program.
Herz reports that a third person has been killed by MINUSTAH in the city. He explains that he was in the city one year ago and there were protests at that time against MINUSTAH. He explains further that the protests are not only in response to the cholera calamity but also to the death on August 17 of Haitian youth Gerald Jean Gilles inside the MINUSTAH base located in the center of the city. The base's contingent is Nepalese. Incredibly, MINUSTAH says the youth entered the heavily guarded base and then hanged himself. Witnesses reported at the time hearing cries from the base, "Help, they are suffocating me."
Protests against the cholera outbreak and the likely culpability of the MINUSTAH military occupation force will take place today in Port au Prince and continue in other parts of the country. The Pan American Health Organization has told Agence France de presse that the cholera outbreak could kill as many as 10,000 people. The following e-mail is being circulated by an international health agency in Haiti:
Please note, I am opting on the side of safety (i.e., the safety of all field-deployed personnel) in releasing this information. Word is now being released among NGO security personnel that the UN is about to make an announcement regarding the source of the epidemic that will likely incite violence. We urge caution among all field deployed staff as we await further information.