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Current situation in Haiti and Dominican Republic

For those of you who are gearing up for a visit to Haiti during the upcoming elections, I thought I might pass along some info that doesnt normally get disseminated in the mainstream media. The situation here is rather tense, to put it simply. Relations between the two countries that share this island, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, are strained for a variety of reasons, and politicians on my side of the island have been screaming nasty anti-Haitian propaganda because the Haitian migrant population has swelled beyond control (never really was under control, but more and more Haitians are migrating in search of work and they dont stick anymore to the traditional jobs like plantation work, so their presence is harder to control and keep track of). There have been many bloody incidents lately: some murders have sparked lynch mob behavior, and something like 3500 Haitians and Dominicans had to flee the Montecristi area for fear of reprisals. Ironically, though both Haitians and Dominicans like to maintain that their culture is the superior of the two, and that there is no common ground between them, the fact is that the island as a whole is a product of cultural blending for centuries: Vodu, for example, is not just Haitian; in fact, the Petwo division, which is the more rowdy and violent aspect of Vodu, probably originated on the Dominican side of the border. Anyway, one of the ironies of the current situation is that despite the fact that these two nations insist on their differences, when it comes to mob reprisals like the one in Montecristi, Dominicans and Haitians are not easily separated out, with the result that many Dominicans had to flee along with the Haitians in order to escape being killed or injured.

I myself am in the middle of this war of words and occasional assaults, as I am trying to put on an exhibition about the bateys (plantation communities mainly for sugar cultivation), where Haitian migrant workers have traditionally lived, and have met with stiff resistance. The various venues we had lined up for the exhibition are all backing out because they are receiving alot of criticism and are afraid of a violent reaction.

There have been many deportations of illegal Haitians — two of which my own wife witnessed just blocks from our house — and these too pose a problem for sifting out the Haitians from the Dominicans, because many Dominicans of Haitian parentage do not have “cedulas” (identity papers) and are routinely denied them by the governmental offices. So they are considered Haitian, even though in fact they have no idea what Haiti is like, speak no Kreyol, and would be completely lost on that side of the island.

The elections in Haiti are being watched by everyone in power down here — and many up there in Gringolandia. The US has been accused of having a hand in the ousting of Aristide, and it has been confirmed that weapons used in the coup were smuggled from the States through the Dominican Republic. Those of you who are considering coming down to witness the elections should bear the following recent report in mind:

“Seven 12-milimeter rifles, one 45-caliber pistol, and one 38-caliber revolver, together with 20,000 bullets for Fal and M-16 guns destined for Haiti were seized in the community of El Limon, in Jimani province. Hoy reports that this is the largest weapons smuggling operation intercepted during the last months. During a press conference, army spokesman Colonel Rafael Emilio Luna Pichirilo said that the weapons and ammunition were being kept at the Intelligence Department of the Armed Forces. Cesar Diaz Silverio was arrested after admitting that he had been hired by a Haitian to transport the weapons to Haiti for RD$4,000. Luna Pichirilo assured that the army has not lost any ammunition after stating that a daily audit is kept by them. The Intelligence Department is investigating the origin and destination of the weapons and bullets.”

this is just the tip of the iceberg. The border is a wild uncontrolled place, where neither nation has the manpower or ability to control what goes on. Weapons are leaking across the border and finding their way into the hands of people who plan to take drastic action come election day.

stay tuned for more . . . . .

by Jon Anderson at 2005-08-23 15:15:57 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) St Domingo , Dominican Republic | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hey Jon,

Good update on Haiti/Dominican from somebody who’s there. I just read in the news a Canadian was killed trying to flee kidnappers (don’t know if that was right…) but Canadian officials are warning all to stay out and get out – which is common. However, as somebody is preparing to go for the upcoming elections, it always fills you with a little trepidation with news like this. I have also been reading of a trend in Haiti for kidnapping those who have relatives in North America – they’re American, so they must be rich, right?

Thanks for the post. Keep us updated. Also, I posted a little blurb about the Canadian who was killed, from the CBC.

Canadian killed in Haiti fleeing from kidnappers

CBC News

Le Journal de Montreal newspaper reported Saturday that the body of Denis Therrien was found a couple of hours after he was shot to death while trying to flee several men in Haiti.

Therrien — in his 50s — was from Ste-Adele, Que.

He had worked in metal recycling in Port-au-Prince since September 2004, when hurricanes ravaged the Caribbean island.

Therrien had just returned to Haiti on Wednesday following a three-week vacation in Quebec.

The killing took place after he left his home Friday morning on his way to work.

Therrien apparently took a shortcut through an area of the city called Aristide Park, instead of using a safer route used by United Nations forces.

Several men ambushed him in a kidnapping attempt. He was shot as he ran from the scene.

Two weeks ago, Therrien met with representatives of the Montreal newspaper to discuss his concerns about the safety of daily life in the Haitian capital. He was questioning whether to renew his contract with his employer. He claimed to have been involved in three incidents since the spring.

MP Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad, said Ottawa’s embassy in Port-au-Prince is working closely with the employer and family members to provide consular services.

Canada has advised citizens against travel to the impoverished and violence-torn Caribbean country.

The government has urged those already there to leave unless their presence is considered essential.

by [former member] | 23 Aug 2005 18:08 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
what you have read about the kidnappings is true, something new for us on this little island, where such things hadnt occurred before. I think there will be less risk for visiting journalists since their stay will be short and they tend to travel in packs; people targeted so far have been, like this poor victim, working here over a period of time. But there is no avoiding the truth that things have gotten rather ugly and likely to get uglier. On my side of the island the advent of big drug shipments has changed everything, and violence is increasing. Funny enough, in general I would say that Haiti is actually quite safe and its people even friendlier than the Dominicans, who have taken to armed assault with gusto. Plus we are all more heavily armed on this side of the border, believe it or not. Every other person you see is carrying a rod tucked into his pants. We have armed gangs now patrolling most of the barrios calientes, and the scene is beginning to remind me of Rio’s favelas in the 90s. If I get a chance, i will post some pix from Cristo Rey, our current reigning slum with the most shoot outs.

a sus ordenes aqui, en Kiskeya la bella

by Jon Anderson | 23 Aug 2005 18:08 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
when i was in haiti last year, in port au prince, i noticed that there where many people who where wandering the streets naked, more like ghosts than anythign else. on an early morning trip through town there where 3 that we passed, later in the afternoon there where more. at first i thought that it was just one or two who had gone mad, but many, what was going on? i asked my driver and he said that over the past few years he’s been seeing more and more of it, he said that it is indeed madness and it’s increasing as life becomes evern more squalid. people living in the slums just can’t take it anymore, they become insane and end up wandering the streets completly naked.

i was in haiti 5 years earlier and upon my return last year (this was after the fighting and during the flooding) it was worse, more desperate, more rundown, the slums more sprawling than before. compared to kibera, the largest slum in africa, merely the edge of solei is worse than the worst in the heart of kibera. (in kibera you kind of pass through layers of poverty until you’re in the center where it’s the most dire.) that haiti could reach even further misery was hard to imagine, how could misery progress beyond the point that was already intolerable? but still, many do tolerate it, and continue to live becasue what other option is there? for those walking through the strees with nothing except their hardned feet and stomachs trying to digest dirt cakes and rotting scraps that dogs leave behind the reality indeed could get no worse and so they’ve escaped in the only way left to them.

by [former member] | 24 Aug 2005 03:08 | rome, Italy | | Report spam→
Jake, you are entirely right, things are worse and worse, which accounts for the incredible rise in the number of Haitian migrants to the DR, and the desperation of many to risk their lives in an attempt to leave (remember Chris Anderson’s harrowing narrative of the yola, published to great acclaim in the NY Times Sunday Magazine?) There are an estimated million Haitians now on my side of the border.

And yet I wonder why with all the media attention focussed on Haiti whenever there is an election or coup we dont have more indepth coverage of the conditions there, of daily life, of more than just political strife and exotic vodu? It seems that journalists are no better than the US, whose ineffective and capricious ministrations last no more than a few months. The wave of foreigners arrives on the shore here — soldiers and cameramen (anyone remember Alex Webb’s coverage of the last landing, the pack of journalists facing the pack of marines?) — they oust a president, install another, build a police force, guarantee a fair election, and so on, and then leave toute suite.

The Aristide govt had its failings, but basically the little priest’s hands were tied because the US, once the media shifted its attention, did very little to support him and ensure that the necessary reforms were enacted thoroughly. Aristide failed in part because of a hypocritical policy of institutionalized neglect. And the major networks and newspapers were not there to report it. We need some committed journalists who will really follow up and stay the course instead of coming here for the exotica and the bang bang. So those of you who are planning to visit this Fall, think about all the stories you could be filing from Haiti, and think about sticking around, or at least visiting more often than the disasters dictate. Of our LS membership, I believe we have only one member, Shaul Schwartz, in Haiti. Shaul won an award for work done there previously, and it looks like the place sunk its hooks into him. So we can expect to see more good work in the future. There are so many stories to be done: not just the dire poverty, but the deforestation, the disease (something like 80 percent of all Caribbean AIDS cases exist here in DR and Haiti), tourism, plantation life, — our own Gigi Cohen has been working longterm on a story about “reste-avecs,” children who are basically sold into a kind of domestic slavery.

For those of you who might be interested, a good place to start is by reading Herbert Read’s The Best Nightmare on Earth, about his experiences during the Duvalier years. Out of print now, but available in second hand stores and libraries.

by Jon Anderson | 24 Aug 2005 05:08 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
hi jon, i’ve been wanting to do an environmental piece for a while. i had a great chance to do it when i was there working for a particular agency who sent me there to cover the floods. knowing a bit about the history of the island i tried to get them interested in the deforestation issue which is so intrinisic to the problems there. however once the marines stopped their flights as far as they where concerned they story was over. go home they told me. but i’m already here let’s do something more worthwile than taking pictures of desperate and dead haitians. go home, the story’s over, trees don’t sell, dead bodies do. (this was not said but more or less it was.) i was pretty much broke at the time and so when they pulled the plug and stopped financing i got on the place and headed back. but yes, it’s never far from my mind go go back and do that piece….

by [former member] | 24 Aug 2005 05:08 | rome, Italy | | Report spam→
Well Jake, I personally would love to see you do that essay, and as you already have experience here, you are made for the job! R & R will be arranged for you here in my Dominican Dacha. But the funding is, of course as you point out, the crucial thing. The media doesnt want to fund these kinds of stories, so the few photogs willing to do longterm work here have to find other resources and it aint easy. Believe me I understand. I myself am trying to eke out a living covering my side of the island, and the media is even less interested in what happens here,though in many ways the country is the perfect example of modern American style development and the inequities involved in the process. but I am hooked.

By the way, how about this for an old style photo essay: a story about what we call here “carbon”— accent on the second syllable — (charcoal), which is the whole reason behind the deforestation in Haiti. You see, poor people in Haiti and here in DR too cannot afford to buy propane, which is what we use to cook with (and to propel our cars, being cheaper than regular gasoline). So they cut down the trees and turn them into charcoal for cooking. Imagine a photo essay that follows the production of carbon from start to finish and along the way describes both the environmental devastation and the economic imperatives and suffering that attend the creation of this simple commodity. The trouble is that the media no longer does this kind of story, but what a wonderful essay it would make. I remember once seeing, I think in an old issue of Life from the 40s, a photo essay on the creation of bread, from wheat field to kitchen table. It was beautifully done. I for one dont believe that the reading public, with its insatiate desire for celebrity reporting, doesnt also have the desire to look at such stories as the one I am proposing. I think publishers listen too much to the putative wisdom of the market analysts.

You know, I like the story idea so much I may have a whack at it! Anyway, jake, I look forward to seeing you again and the door to my house is always open to you.

by Jon Anderson | 24 Aug 2005 06:08 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
hi,i’m just running out now, so just a few quick thoughts, i think it would be a great essay, i’ve had some experience with that too, in homa bay, kenya it’s devistated in large part due to aids. parentless, the only way many orphans can make any money at all is to chop the trees down and then turn them into charcoal because it’s the one commodity that people must have and therefor there’s money in it. ….and yes i’ve thought a lot about markerters basically running the newsroom and telling editors what people want and don’t. in teh end it has little to do with the readers and all with what the markerts think people want spcifcally the 20-40 year olds. …take the times as an example: they’ve expanded sicence, technology, style sections….but news? less and less space. america is still challenged, more than ever from within and from the outside, why didn’t they keep that insert as well which was so valid and in depth? not many ads in i. even the front page has been gaered to non news: 20 years ago it was all news, now, at least one some days that’s divided up into non news stories as well that are marketd closer to the entertainemt side of things….talk to you later….

by [former member] | 24 Aug 2005 09:08 | rome, Italy | | Report spam→
Well guys I’ve been to Haiti twice, last coup and the floods of tropical storm Ivan. And I want to go back to Haiti, because sure it’s wild! But it’s also so alive and there’s a lesson for everyone about dignity and nobility. The Haitians are beautiful even in the hell they live.

I would be in on getting organized with some of you on doing a large scale job on the environment and the coal situation. Perhaps we can organize ourselves pre elections, during and post to put something meaningfull that can find a solution to finding or giving Haiti the means to cheap fuel.

I know they tried using solar panels for cooking, these little portable things, but they never really got them out to the people.

As for the gun issue, I unfortunately believe things will be reaching the ugliest level ever.

by Cazalis | 24 Aug 2005 10:08 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
You got it Carlos. I have no idea where i will be or what exactly I will be doing during the elections, but whatever support I can lend to the LS membership that intends to go there, you can count on me. And you are right about the people.

by Jon Anderson | 24 Aug 2005 10:08 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
The Sun-Sentinal did a piece on the issues of environmentalism in Haiti, namely the deforestation due to the production of charcoal and what effects that has on the island—fishing, water (aquifers), etc. It was a good piece. I’ll get the info on it, maybe it’s available on the web.

It’s a great idea for a piece though.

One could also do a piece on how charcoal effects people on the island and even in the DR. For example, a piece on the production of charcoal and then follow the finished product to it’s recipients to see how they use it.

The island is over 99% deforested. When it rains, there aren’t any trees to hold the soil on the mountains and it is washed downhill and into the ocean, destroying fishing communities and natural aquifers, making water even harder to find. Following a fisherman around to see how much farther he must go out to sea for smaller fish would be another good segment to a large report.

Then there is the DR. The Domincan military is going nuts, as I’m sure Jon Anderson can tell you, about Haitians going over the border to cut trees down for charcoal. I don’t remember the man’s name but he stated that the Haitians were a threat to ‘national security’. Now, factor that in with the other happenings on the border and the situation looks grim.

Gonaives would be a great story in and of itself but also another good segment to a large report on charcoal/environmentalism. There are absolutely no trees on the mountain above the city. I wrote a piece about Gonaives, Hurricane Jeane, and a man named Luke, who lived through it. Very sad stuff.

There’s plenty more ideas but reading the posts got me excited about it. I’d love to contribute to a report on it. I should be there in December of this year.

by Nick Whalen | 30 Aug 2005 07:08 | Pittsfield MA, United States | | Report spam→
Nick if you are heading this way, let me know, though most people en route to Haiti dont stop here, because the bus from here to PAP, Gonaives, etc is a bit slow and tortuous, though certainly an interesting trip.  But the route could be cheaper, given that Jetblue now flies to Santiago for about 120 bucks one way.  If you find that piece you mentioned, post the link.  I would be interested to read it: following the charcoal from source to consumer is exactly how i envisioned the piece.

Just to clarify:  I dont think the island as a whole is 99 percent deforested, but Haiti at this point probably is at least 90 percent deforested.  I suppose it depends on how you define deforestation.  When you hit the frontier you notice the difference between the two sides in a moment’s glance.  A Dominican photojournalist made the trip along the border highway there and brought back great pix of the devastation.   Haiti is even more mountainous than DR, through which run  I think five major cordilleras or mountain ranges, and that accounts for the severe problems related to deforestation.  (Aïti is the original Taino word for the place, and it means "mountainous").  We have a similar problem on this side of the border but not to the same degree.  Lots of Peace Corps volunteers here are out in the "loma" teaching the people to vary their crop production in order to inhibit erosion.  DR has been deforested in the sense that its original forests, which were quite expansive, have been converted into farm and grazing land.  We have extensive national forests, true tropical marvels, but little of the original environment remains.  Haiti is deforested in the sense that — literally — there are no damn trees in some places.  Mountains are just bare.

The Dominican generals and politicians screaming about possible deforestation at the hands of migrant Haitians are referring to the many groups who cross the border illegally and sometimes do in fact dwell in the "loma" and do chop down trees to survive; and while the effect of this is not negligible, the truth is that the politicos use this as an excuse to rally the people against Haitians, divert attention from their own problems, foment fear of Haiti in order to justify a large military and appointment of more generals (we have more than any other similar or even greater sized Latin country), and just play up traditional fears and prejudices while at the same time confirming their own unimpeachable Dominicanness (which is, in fact, an illusion of sorts) — in other words, they manipulate the people for political purposes.  Haitian migration is a real problem, but it has always been used to justify repressive political programs.

Following the fishermen would indeed be interesting, and I am about to do just that on this side of the island, but one of the interesting things about fishing here (in DR) is that they never really developed a fishing fleet, and thus what you find are small fishing villages with small skiffs that go out probably not more than a mile or two or three to bring back small fish.  I never really understood why this island never developed a real fishing industry, being situated where it is, but it could be, like most things here, that the abundance of food close to hand thus stifled any initiative.  Why work if you dont have to?  Anyway there are loads of good stories here, and I have it practically all to myself!

by Jon Anderson | 30 Aug 2005 11:08 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
That’s great to know Jon, thanks. If I don’t fly in with the UN then I will see if I can go Jetblue to Santiago and take the bus to PAP. That would be a long ride, but as you said, an interesting trip. It certainly would be much cheaper than flying into PAP. I’ll try to find the link, or at least when it was published. I wouldn’t mind checking out the DR, haven’t been yet. I should be planning the trip out this weekend, or at least, begin planning it.

Good point about the deforestation. Over 99% is a bit steep, but I think it is 99% and it would depend on what defines deforestation. But, yes, I think that at least 90% is a fair estimate. As a matter of fact, I believe I read 99% deforestation in the Sun Sentinel. Now I have to dig it up.

More later, I need to finish up some reading.

by Nick Whalen | 30 Aug 2005 11:08 | Pittsfield MA, United States | | Report spam→
Hello Jon,
Wondering if you are able to give us an update? I know with the announcement of a “definite” election date of Dec 27 announced, many folks are weighing their options about travel and coverage. Do you have any information on the general mood, danger, or info not often covered by the mainstream press?

Thanks for your time and input with this very interesting thread.

by Logan Mock-Bunting | 19 Nov 2005 13:11 (ed. Nov 19 2005) | Wilmington, NC, United States | | Report spam→
sorry, Logan, but i have been out of the loop due to the rush to get my exhibition  up and ready by December 1st — ironically, on the "Haitian Question" here on this side of the border, where the effects of the recent political and economic disorder are keenly felt.  So I cannot really tell you much about the elections.  This is the recent info that I have:

"The 2005 elections in Haiti were originally scheduled to take place starting on October 9 with the municipal election, followed by national elections on November 13, and a second round in December 18. Later the municipal elections were postponed until after the national elections at an undetermined date in late December. On September 7, 2005 the dates were again changed. The first round of voting for the presidential race was to take place on November 20, 2005 and the second round on January 3, 2006. On 18 November 2005, the date for presidential and legislative elections were postponed for the third time; they are now to take place on 27 December, with a run-off to be held on 31 January 2006. The municipal elections are still set for December 11, 2005. This is the fourth set of dates of elections for a new government since July, due to concerns over security and registration. The plans to hand over power to the elected government on February 7, 2006 have not changed."

That is copied from the Wikipedia.  I am not holding my breath — I think they are still not ready, and one reason that the elections were postponed previously is not the violence but the lack of voter enrollment.  They may have gotten everyone to sign up, but i wonder what kind of a mandate they will have in the end.  There is a lot of pressure of course to hold the elections, since the interim govt is feckless and illegitimate, but is Haiti really ready?  I dont know.  I also think that the international powers are not doing enough to help out, as usual, and without a determined sustained joint effort in good faith, I just dont see how they hope to bring this thing off legitimately.  And in my view the real story is what happens subsequently.  Aristide failed because the US did follow through on reform efforts and help him as they promised.  Who is going to stick around this time and see to it that Haiti heads in the right direction?  And who among us is going to stick around to see that the world pays attention?

The elections are a sidebar to the story that counts, as far as I am concerned, they are just a symptom.  The real story would require undivided attention and a long term commitment by journalists willing to stick around instead of just show up for some exciting bang-bang.

While the world awaits the installment of a stable govt in Iraq, and all eyes are turned on its every car bomb and attack, here the problem is rather different, equally if not more recalcitrant, but almost entirely unmonitored except in terms of the usual superficial coverage of election violence and a half-hearted UN intervention that at times appears to collude with the interim govt.  Yet this country has been a mess during the entire 20th century and still has not made one step out of the mire.  We are dealing with a nation in which economic  inequities are so great that it is difficult to speak of Haiti as a national entity at all — fully one million Haitians have fled the country, most of them crossing the border and ending up in DR.   While  putative ethnic and political strife make Iraq  a living hell right now, here in Haiti it is still the same old story: poverty and the consequences of colonialism which were never, ever properly confronted.  Both the US and France are to blame here.

For my money, the big story, the story that takes the long view, is what goes on in these post-colonial failed states while the rest of the world fattens up in the New World Order.  What is the fate of third world nations while "globalization" sets about arranging the market to favor developed nations?

Ok, I am going to step off my soap box now.  I will make an effort to update LS on things down here once I am free and clear and able to pay more attention.  Some people have expressed an interest in taking an alternate route through DR to arrive at PAP, but I am not sure that will be a good idea, since the Dominican authorities may well seal the borders in anticipation of civil unrest.  The Dominicans do not want another refugee crisis like the one they had at Jimani, and the question of uncontrolled Haitian migration has become so hot, that there have been several violent incidents and murders, and people who are sympathetic to the haitians are being excoriated, threatened, and attacked.  So I would recommend that those of you coming from abroad to cover the elections should try to get direct flights even if it costs a bit more, because you may lose valuable time if you decide to come through from this side of the border, and you might not make it through in the end.

by Jon Anderson | 19 Nov 2005 15:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→

by Jon Anderson | 19 Nov 2005 15:11 (ed. Nov 19 2005) | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Here’s a lnk to the story Nick mentioned:


by Jason Kaye | 19 Nov 2005 17:11 | Tacoma, Washington, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks for that Jason, an excellent article -or series rather- and it is just the sort of broad but in depth reporting I advocate.  Heartbreaking to hear and see what has become of the land, and almost impossible to believe if you wander around the lush valleys and mountains on the Dominican side of the island.  One wonders how one small island could suffer two such different fates.  And you can see this for yourself quite graphically when you travel along the frontier — on one side of the highway there is lush foliage, and on the other a wasted desert.

by Jon Anderson | 19 Nov 2005 18:11 | St Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
I am confident this time around the elections will be held. The date is very appropiate don’t you think? Delaying this election will only keep weakening the current government, which just may be what the people want. However the further it’s delayed the more violence will probably be exerted as the try to drag out those who could propensely be against the elections which so far, look to me as, being a US and EU scam to put in the usual world order.

I hope to be there before and after. If anyone on this list is willing to find a place, a house to share for some weeks, please let me know as I want to start looking into this possibility asap. I’m initially thinking two to three weeks before the Dec. 27 and three weeks after depending on how the Jan.28 date looms forward.

by Cazalis | 20 Nov 2005 08:11 | Seville, Spain | | Report spam→
Just discovered this site…Picking up on what Jon had said about sticking around and doing more in depth stories. I went to Haiti a year ago, but spent my stay in a small town near St Marc. “Haiti is not Port au prince” everyone there told me. The area’s water supply is drying up, (and been diverted) and they can’t farm so must now buy the food they used to produce.

I wanted to go back to cover the elections – but I’ve not been able to find any funding for it, so I’ll have to pay for it myself again. I wonder if it makes sense to spend resources to produce a story that may not see the light of day, since so many others are covering it who actually have an outlet. I can only make one trip this year. If I go back to the provinces, I can afford to stay longer, and with people I know, but it seems like to sell a story, especially something more substantial, you have to show that you can shoot the bloody, sexy stuff first?

by Kate Flock | 27 Jan 2006 19:01 | Boston, United States | | Report spam→
Yes and no Kate, selling the story depends on alot of factors.  Even selling the elections is not so easy, btw, as the wires will have it well covered and most magazines, unless they want to really cover them, will use those cheaper and perfectly adequate pix.

Anyway, I wouldnt hold my breath over the elections.  Carlos, here, writing back in November has now been proved wrong at least twice.  The elections are not going to be held any time soon.  There simply is no way that they can guarantee safe elections.  While in general the countryside is quiet, there is still alot of trouble.  The Lavalas candidate recently arrived in Juana Mendez/ouanementhe to do some campaigning  and sparked a huge conflict with lots of shooting.  It is a very troubled area, and very near the source of the original rebellion. 

by Jon Anderson | 27 Jan 2006 19:01 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Thanks Jon, it’s good to get someone else’s perspective on this. You are probably right – excluding Cite Soleil from voting seems as disastrous as the reaction to any electoral outcome. It will probably be awhile.

by Kate Flock | 27 Jan 2006 20:01 | Boston, United States | | Report spam→
Jon, true to shame I have been fooled on the issues going on in Haiti. I flew to Miami to spend Xmas and NY waiting to go to Haiti right after for the Jan. elections and so be it the election was postponed once again. The story as far as I can tell is not the election anymore but we are riding the wave of it to get the story out.<br> Kate, I don´t know what your doing but if you have a good story then go, and sell it later. The election on Feb 7 and then the possible second round in mid March is all so volatile it will keep making news.<br> Preval is Aristide´s candidate and most likely to win. There is ample violence going on between those supporting Aristide and those being paid not to and to create trouble too, just like the gangs rounding up money to make noise through kidnappings.<br>

by Cazalis | 28 Jan 2006 11:01 | Sao Paulo, Brazil | | Report spam→
Dont worry Carlos, we are sure to meet up there one of these days!

by Jon Anderson | 28 Jan 2006 12:01 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→

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Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Cazalis, Documentary Photographer Cazalis
Documentary Photographer
Mexico City , Mexico
Nick Whalen, Photographer Nick Whalen
Nyc , United States
Logan Mock-Bunting, Logan Mock-Bunting
Coastal Carolina, Nc , United States
Jason Kaye, Photojournalist Jason Kaye
Tacoma, Wa , United States
Kate Flock, Photojournalist Kate Flock
Boston, Massachusetts , United States


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