Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jean-Juste is ½ free

Wadner snapped this photo of Father Gerard Jean-Juste at his recent hearing in front of a Haitian court. Jean-Juste was held as a political prisoner by the former interim government in Haiti and has recently been undergoing medical care in south florida. Pooja Bhatia, Esq, a lawyer and Harvard Law School Satter Human Rights Fellow, has an excellent piece here. Liz Pierre Pierre, a close friend of the former Minister of Justice Bernard Gousse under the unelected Boniface / Latorture government, is the presiding judge with
her assistant judge and the Commissaire of the Government (Government Prosecutor) in the Court d’Appel. When Judge Liz Pierre Pierre brought up one of the two bogus charges against Jean-Juste (that have never been presented with any evidence), he responded, "My Bible and my rosary are my guns." Both in the courtroom and outside crowds gathered to cheer the persecuted priest.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who Is The Biggest Vulture In The Room?

As investigative reporter Greg Palast (Project Censored #10 for this year) showed in his two-part series for the BBC, vulture funds and the inability of poor governments to properly fund social programs for their citizenry are inextricably linked.

Vulture funds, as Meirion Jones observes, are defined by the IMF as companies which buy up the "debt of poor nations cheaply when it is about to be written off and then sue for the full value of the debt plus interest - which might be ten times what they paid for it". But similar types of predatory practices are not favored only by private companies such as Debt Advisory International (DAI), they have been utilized by the IFIs themselves - the IDB, IMF and World Bank - to destabilize out of power poor governments that engage in economically sovereign policies.