Other Worlds

Women Farmers and Land Grabs in Haiti: An interview with Iderle Brénus

February 17, 2016

From an interview by Beverly Bell

Involved in all levels of food production, Haitian women need control over land and protection from today's wave of expropriation.  Photo: Salena Tramel, for Grassroots International.

In Haiti, the majority of the people working the land are women. Not only are they there during planting, weeding and harvesting, but they also play a role in transforming and marketing food products. They’re involved in the entire agricultural production process. This is why we call women the poto mitan, central pillar, of the country.


Liberated Haiti: Thirty Years After Duvalier

February 8, 2016
By Robert Maguire
Originally Shared on February 3, 2016

February 7, 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the ouster of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier as President of Haiti, ending the 29 year Duvalier family dictatorship. When Baby Doc fled the country in 1986 for exile in France, massive street celebrations burst out, calling his departure Haiti’s second independence.   In the weeks that followed, it seemed as if almost everyone wore a tee shirt proclaiming “Haiti Libérée.” Optimism reigned that the misgoverned country would transition in relatively short order from dictatorship to democracy and that life would improve for all, particularly the more than 75 percent of the country’s population surviving on an average of $2.00 a day or less.

USFSA Calls for Immediate Release of Saeed Baloch, General Secretary of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum

February 3, 2016

Reposted from US Food Sovereignty Alliance

Originally shared on January 26, 2016

USFSA Member organizations and allies send urgent letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry to push the Pakistani government to release Mr. Baloch, who was unjustly arrested and detained.

On January 16, Mr. Saeed Baloch, the General Secretary of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) was arrested by elements of the Pakistan Army and has since been detained without charges. Mr. Baloch has been a Human Rights activist since the 1980s, and has been involved with PFF since its inception. PFF is a member of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), a global social movement for the food sovereignty and human rights of fisher peoples around the world.

La Via Campesina, Building an International Movement for Food and Seed Sovereignty: An Interview with General Coordinator Elizabeth Mpofu

February 2, 2016

By Elizabeth Mpofu

Women members of the Zimbabwe Organic Smallholder Farmers Forum, member organization of La Via Campesina, display their seeds at a seed fair. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Mpofu. 

This article was drawn from an interview with Elizabeth Mpofu, and conducted, edited, and condensed by Simone Adler.

Elizabeth Mpofu of Zimbabwe is General Coordinator of the international peasant movement La Via Campesina, a coalition of 164 organizations in 73 countries around the world, representing about 200 million peasant, landless, indigenous, and other farmers. She is also Chairperson of Zimbabwe Organic Smallholder Farmers Forumand herself a farmer.


Who we are fighting for is every single peasant farmer – more than 200 million – on the planet. People are eager to join hands in building a global voice.                    

Transnational corporations are pushing policies in African countries for industrial farming and the use of GMO [genetically modified] seeds, while grabbing our land and [stealing] our natural resources.  No one should come and tell us how to produce food. 

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.   


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