Other Worlds

Haiti’s Fraudulent Presidential Frontrunner Seizes Land for His Own Banana Republic

January 21, 2016

By Joshua Steckley and Beverly Bell

The frontrunner in Haiti's rigged election grabbed land from peasant farmers to grow bananas for export. Photo: Joshua Steckley.

This report is based on extensive interviews, on-site and via phone, with more than 20 government officials, economic development professionals, peasant farmers, and community organizers, between July 2015 and January 2016. We reached out to Agritrans for comment, but they did not respond.


The only man running in Haiti’s fraudulent presidential election run-offs on January 24, 2016, Jovenel Moïse, dispossessed as many as 800 peasants - who were legally farming - and destroyed houses and crops two years ago, say leaders of farmers’ associations in the Trou-du-Nord area. Farmers remain homeless and out of work. The land grabbed by the company Moïse founded, Agritrans, now hosts a private banana plantation.

Over 140 Haitian-American Groups & Leaders Warn Kerry: Going ahead with fraudulent elections “a recipe for unrest"

January 20, 2016

Reposted from Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)

Originally shared on January 19, 2016

43 Haitian-American diaspora organizations, 34 political, religious and community leaders, and 66 other individuals wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry today criticizing “the unhelpful role the State Department has been playing in Haiti’s election crisis” and calling for a change of U.S. policy. The letter demonstrates the deep concern felt by Haitian-Americans about this crucial issue for Haiti’s future.

Stop the Raids and Focus Instead on U.S. Policy towards Central America

January 19, 2016

Reposted from CIP Americas Program

Originally shared on January 11, 2016

Image from Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador.

Over the last few days, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been rounding up and deporting dozens of members of Central American families seeking refuge from extreme violence and dire economic conditions in their communities of origin.  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has described the move as part of an effort to “secure” the U.S. border and has announced that “additional enforcement operations such as these will continue to occur as appropriate.”

1,500 Groups Urge Congress to Oppose the TPP

January 14, 2016
Reposted from Citizen Trade
Orignially Shared on 1/7/2016
A united cross-sector movement of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, faith and other organizations have escalated their campaign to defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with a joint 1,525-group letter urging Congress to oppose the trade agreement.

The Blood of the Earth: Agriculture, Land Rights, and Haitian History

January 13, 2016

From an Interview with Ricot Jean-Pierre

By Beverly Bell

In this photo, Haitian farmers maximize productivity in small lots by utilizing a technique - adapted from Nicaragua - of planting in recycled tires. Photo: Roberto (Bear) Guerra.

Yesterday, January 12, on the sixth anniversary of the 7.0 earthquake, Haitians mourned the countless lives lost. Among the many aftershocks they face is disaster capitalism, in which the Haitian elite and foreign corporations - backed by the US  government, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank - are grabbing lands for extraction and mega-development projects. Ricot Jean-Pierre, social worker and program director of the Platform to Advocate Alternative Development in Haiti (PAPDA), tells how inequitable control of land has devastated the vast majority throughout Haitian history, from enslavement to today.   

Honduras: Garifunas Demand the De-Militarization of Our Communities and Territorie

January 11, 2016

An update from OFRANEH 

Originally shared January 5, 2015

The cold blooded attack on a group of Garifuna perpetrated by elements of the Navy last Sunday December 28, which took place on the Sand Bar of Iriona, resulted in the death of Joel Palacios Lino and Elvis Armando Garcia, in the early hours of the morning while trying to dig out a vehicle stuck in the sand of the beach. 

The Naval elements without any warning opened fire supposedly because they confused the Garifunas with Narco traffickers.  Among the Garifunas present were women and children, as the place of these events is frequently used by vehicles on the route between Tocamacho and Iriona, due to the lack of ordinary roads in this area. 

African Women Organize to Reclaim Agriculture Against Corporate Takeover

January 6, 2016

By Mphatheleini Makaulele

Mphathe, kneeling bottom row on right, with women of Dzomo la Mupo. Photo courtesy of Mphathe Makaulele.  

This article was drawn from an interview with Mphatheleini Makaulele, and conducted, edited, and condensed by Simone Adler. Beverly Bell helped with editing. 

Mphatheleini Makaulele is an award-winning indigenous leader, farmer, and activist, and Director of Dzomo la Mupoa community organization in rural South Africa. She is also part of the African Biodiversity Network.


Everybody originated with indigenous ways of living and the way of Mother Earth.

The real role of women is in the seed. It is the women who harvest, select, store, and plant seeds. Our seeds come from our mothers and our grandmothers. To us, the seed is the symbol of the continuity of life. Seed is not just about the crops. Seed is about the soil, about the water, and about the forest.

Guardians of Ancient Foods: 140 Food Communities Celebrate Indigenous Food Systems & Worldview

December 30, 2015

Reposted from Indian Country Today Media Network

Originally shared on 12/21/15

By Rucha Chintis

Indigenous Terra Madre showcased the rich diversity of indigenous dances and songs and how these art forms are tied to harvest ceremonies and their food cultures. Photo by Richa Chintis.

At an ancient sacred grove in Mawphlang, orchids bloomed on towering evergreen trees. Our guide picked a fallen rudraksha seed that is used as a prayer bead and medicine. Nestled in East Khasi Hills in the Indian state of Meghalaya, meaning the abode of the clouds, this sacred grove is a stunning example of how indigenous communities are guardians of their forests and territories. People are forbidden to disturb the grove or gather any forest resources to respect labasa, the forest deity. We walk in quiet contemplation and awe through emerald hues of ferns and vines.

“The Struggle for Land Justice Knows No Borders”: Corporate Pillaging in Haiti

December 22, 2015

An interview with Nixon Boumba, Democratic Popular Movement (MODEP) and American Jewish World Service

Edited by Natalie Miller 

Members of a peasant organization heading to community meeting to discuss their rights. Photo: Roberto (Bear) Guerra.

Since the earthquake of January, 2010, Haiti has increasingly become a target of extraction and private business development by Haitian and foreign investors. Income and trade - if the wages are livable and the trade is fair - would, of course, be helpful for the poverty statistics-topping nation. This would be especially important for the majority of the population who survive on agriculture. However, much of the new business is being planned or executed on lands those farmers’ families have lived on since they were enslaved, leaving them landless and without livelihood.

This article debuts a new series, “Land Rights and Food Sovereignty in Haiti,” to run every other week. The series will feature interviews with those directly impacted, investigation by scholars and other experts, and analysis from Haitian activists. The pieces will examine the problems; the role of the US and UN; and solutions, spotlighting food sovereignty.


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