The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

U.N. in Haiti
– Rape, Cholera, Trafficking, Corruption

Oct 17, 2011

The following article is a translation from La Voix des Travailleurs (Workers Voice), the newspaper of Haitian comrades of the Revolutionary Workers Organization (OTR). It concerns the United National Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah), an armed force that has occupied Haiti since 2004.

Five Uruguayan soldiers stationed in Port-Salut, in the south of the country, raped an 18-year-old girl. The scene was filmed on a cell phone and went around the world on the Internet. The revelation of this gang rape by U.N. soldiers angered many parents and youth. A protest demonstration was organized in front of the soldiers’ barracks, demanding justice and reparations.

This rape follows numerous violent acts committed by U.N. soldiers. Knowing that they are stationed in the poorest country of the Americas, these soldiers have continuously engaged in the most reprehensible activities: organizing prostitution, trafficking in all types of illegal goods, and rapes, both publicized and hushed up by the Haitian State in the name of security. U.N. soldiers came from Nepal infected with cholera, which led to the death of 5,000 Haitians and sent 20,000 people to the hospital.

People have demanded that these soldiers simply be sent home. The new Haitian president, Michel Martelly, made an issue of this in his electoral campaign last April. But once elected, he’s quieted down. Undoubtedly, he understood that Minustah is the only armed force available to protect his new power and the private property of the bourgeoisie, the big landlords and well-off people.

Rapes, corruption and epidemics – this is the price the Haitian population pays for the presence of this armed force, whose sole objective is to maintain the system of capitalist exploitation.