Oxfam: Investigation into Sexual Abuse and Misconduct in Haiti. Final Report. Confidential (2011).

“This is Oxfam’s final internal investigation report from 2011 into allegations of sexual misconduct and other unacceptable behaviour during Oxfam’s humanitarian response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

We are making this exceptional publication because we want to be as transparent as possible about the decisions we made during this particular investigation and in recognition of the breach of trust that has been caused. We are also meeting with the Government of Haiti to apologise for our mistakes and discuss what more we can do, including for the women affected by these events. We hope this also contributes to rebuilding trust with those who support our work.

However difficult it is to meet the demands of transparency, and however hard it is to confront mistakes of the past, we believe that ultimately, this will help us take meaningful action and become more effective in our mission to tackle poverty and help people hit by disaster.”

To download the report visit Oxfam.org.


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Black Inhabitants of France

Lying so much off the beaten track, the village of Port Lesne, in the Jura department of France, is visited by but few from the outside world, and consequently this tiny community of men and women of color is but little known. It is not a large village, for its inhabitants number only about a hundred, but everyone is either black or copper colored. It owes its origin to the fact that about a century ago the famous negro chief, Toussaint L’Overture was brought from Haiti and imprisoned in Fort de Joux. Many of his friends, all negroes, followed him and encamped near his prison on the bank of the little River Loue. From that encampment grew the village of Port Lesne, and when Toussaint L’Overture died more than 100 years ago his friends decided to remain in France. The passing of years and intermarriages have transformed the settlement into a French village of colored folk, all of whom are enfranchised.

“Black Inhabitants of France,” Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, February 27, 1911.

Image: Fort de Joux, [juin 1923] : [photographie de presse] / [Agence Rol], Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, EI-13 (1029)


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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 12 January 2010

Evelne Alcide, Seisme (Earthquake), 2010. Museum of International Folk Art/Museum of New Mexico. Click links for more information; click image for larger version.

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Lubaina Himid and the History of Haiti


Turner Prize-winning Black British artist Lubaina Himid has had a long standing interest in the intersections of the politics of race, representation, history, and memory. This interest has included a concern with Haiti. In the 1980s, she created a series of fifteen watercolors as part of the series Scenes from the Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture. More recently, her  1792, above, depicted L’overture and was part of a set of portraits of Black historical figures.

Image: Lubaina Himid, 1792, (2015).


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Langston Hughes, A Poem for Jacques Roumain

Source: New Masses, October 2, 1945 via UNZ.org

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Hunger Strikers at California’s Adelanto Detention Center

Miami’s Krome Service Processing Center has a well-deserved reputation for the particular cruelties it has dispensed upon the Haitian asylum seekers detained within its walls. Yet Krome’s notoriety may soon be superseded by a new breed of detention centers in the southwestern United States. A string of private prisons contracted by ICE operate near the US-Mexico border. In Chaparral, New Mexico the Otero County Prison Facility is run by the Management & Training Corporation, as is Calexico, California’s Imperial Regional Detention Facility. San Diego’s Otay Mesa Detention Facility is managed by CoreCivic, a company previously known as the Corrections Corporation of America, while the Adelanto Detention Facility, in Adelanto, California, is run by the GEO Group, formerly Wackenhut. While the majority of detainees locked up in these facilities are from Central America, they also hold increasing numbers of Haitians, non-criminal asylum seekers who journeyed to the US not by sea across the treacherous Florida Straits – but seven-thousand miles overland from Brazil, through South and Central America.

Of these detentions centers, Otero reportedly holds the most Haitian detainees. But Adelanto has the worst reputation. It sits isolated in the bleak desert of San Bernadino County, eighty-five miles northeast of Los Angeles, in a depressed municipality desperate for revenue for its government and jobs for its residents. Adelanto is the largest immigrant detention center in California. It holds some 1800 immigrants, including 240 women. ICE guarantees the Geo Group a minimum occupancy rate, paying the corporation $112 dollars a day per inmate, and allowing them to clear a cool $40 million per year. Adelanto ranks third amongst immigrant detention centers for sexual assaults by guards on inmates and with three detainees dying in custody since the beginning of 2017 (and five since July 2016), it is arguably the deadliest immigrant detention center in the US. Medical care is inadequate and indifferent and has been cited as the direct cause of inmate deaths. When not making $1 a day cleaning, inmates have been used as forced labor. Racism, maltreatment, and abuse is pervasive and inmate suicide is not uncommon. Bond amounts are set at excessively high rates: between $15,000 and $25,000 is the norm though some bonds have been set at $50,000.  The bond rates work to both deny and delay detainee release, keeping cells profitably filled for the GEO Group in the process. In addition to frequent check-ins with ICE officials and parole officers, those detainees who are released must wear electronic ankle monitors – shackles, really – embedded with satellite tracking chips. Provided by BI, Inc, a subsidiary of the GEO Group, the monitors cost close to $500 a month. Those wearing the shackles shoulder their costs.

On the morning of June 12, 2017, a hunger strike was initiated by a group Adelanto detainees from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, their solidarity forged through their participation in a Refugee Caravan that carried them to the border. Soon known as the Adelanto 9, the strikers presented a list of demands they wanted delivered to ICE and asked for a meeting with the agency to discuss conditions in the detention facility. They spoke of the costs of bonds, the denial of the right to political asylum, the humiliation and discrimination meted out on the detained by the GEO Group guards, the poor administration of paperwork and processing and the lack of Spanish-language forms, the incompetence of medical staff, and the quality of the food. Their demands included that bonds be set at fair rates for all prisoners, that they be given the right to political asylum, that conditions within the detention center (from new and hygienic underwear to better food to clean water) be improved, and that inmates be given more time for religious services.

The protests were quickly broken up. Communication between the strikers and media outlets Univision and La Opinion was severed. GEO Group employees beat and peppered sprayed the hunger strikers, breaking the nose of one of the group, before throwing them into hot showers, exacerbating the intense burn of the pepper spray. Members of the Adelanto 9 were placed in solidarity confinement. One was deported. Others were threatened by guards who claimed they would inform the immigration judges of their conduct as a way to undermine their asylum cases.

The Adelanto detainees were undeterred. Two days after the first strike, thirty-three women prisoners began a short hunger strike, demanding better medical care, high bond amounts, basic respect from staff and guards, and to reunification with their children and families. On July 4th, another group of Central American inmates began a hunger strike, this time joined by twenty Haitian detainees.

The strikes did not lead to their release but it did alert many in the outside world to the conditions of Adelanto and the collusion of the GEO Group, the City of Adelanto, ICE, the bond companies, and the US Department of Justice in the mistreatment and monetization of asylum seekers. Now, emerging from those efforts, there is a push by a coalition of organizations to raise the bond funds to release the remaining hunger strikers. Led by CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) and sustained by a tireless group of activists, academics, lawyers, and most importantly, the detainees themselves, they are trying to raise $60,000 to create a bail fund for the remaining Adelanto detainees. They are also working to help support, settle, and integrate asylum seekers upon their release.

Donations in any amount will help free the asylum seekers imprisoned in Adelanto. And each individual freed helps alert the world to those still detained.

Please donate to: Set the Captives Free: Adelanto Bond Fund.

For further information:

Clergy and Laity United For Economic Justice

Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement CIVIC

Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice 

Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Detention Watch Network (DWN) 



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Diagnóstico regional sobre migración haitiana

The International Organization for Migration and the Institute for Public Policies on Human Rights of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) has just released Diagnóstico regional sobre migration haitian, an in-depth study on the recent migration of nearly 85,000 Haitians to Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. While the full report (in Spanish) can be downloaded here, the journal Haiti Libre has posted a useful English-language summary of findings. They write:

The study used institutional and normative survey questionnaires on Haitian migrants in each of MERCOSUR countries. Additionally, the field work included qualitative interviews focused on the conditions and strategies of reception and assistance to Haitian migrants in San Pablo, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires.

Haitian migration flows between 2014 and 2016 to Brazil and Chile and to a lesser extent towards Argentina, have different characteristics compared to Haitian migration that entered between 2010 and 2014. Between 2014 and 2016, Haitian migration flows were mainly composed by direct and indirect relatives of migrants already settled in those countries.

According to the study, Brazil is the country with the highest number of Haitians. By the end of 2016, 67,000 residencies had been granted, including temporary and permanent. In Chile, there were almost 18,000 residencies by the end of 2015, while in Argentina, the number was less than 1,200.

As regards social rights, there is no robust correlation between regular migratory access measures and effective access to health, education, housing and work. However, in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, there is evidence of an acceptable level of guarantee of access to social rights, in particular to education and health. Additionally, in Brazil, the regularization of migrants has significantly contributed to the access to the formal labor market.

The study includes public policy recommendations at two levels of action: 1) entry and visa policies and 2) mechanisms of integration in the destination country.

Explained Matteo Mandrile, the IOM Regional Project Development Officer who coordinated the study: “The dynamism of Haitian diaspora requires designing and implementing integrated public policies of mobility and integration, especially considering that Haitian migrants in South America have settled in, but at the same time part of them continue to move at the intra-regional level.”

This study, funded by the IOM Development Fund and the Government of Brazil, is part of a series of projects that IOM has been implementing in South America in relation to Haitian migration, including a study on Haitian migration to Brazil conducted by IOM in 2014, which analyzed the main migration routes to Brazil, and a research in 2016 on the labor insertion of Haitians in the Southern region and the Federal District of Brazil.

Source: “More than 85,000 Haitians have migrated to Brazil, Chile and Argentina,” Haiti Libre (August 24, 2017).  @HaitiLibre.

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CLR James: Conversations and Interviews, 1938-1989

C.L.R. James, “Six Questions to Trotskyists – And Their Answers,” Controversy, vol. 2 nos. 17–8 (February–March 1938).

Leon Trotsky (with JR Johnson aka CLR James et. al) on Black Nationalism: Documents on the Negro (1933-39), published in Bulletin of Marxist Studies No. 4, George Breitman, ed. (1962).

La Cuarta Internacional en Francia: Entrevista de CLR James a León Trotsky, Abril de 1939. Versión castellana desde “La Quatrième Internationale en France. Interview par CLR James” en Le mouvement communiste en France (1919-1939), textos escogidos y comentados por Pierre Broué, Les Éditions de minuit, París, 1967, páginas 631-638.

Mr. C. L. R. James interviewed by A. Mainame, Herskovits Library of African Studies Audio Collection, Northwestern University, (circa 1960s?).

C. L. R. James lectures and interviews collection, New York Public Library, 1963-1969.

“On Literature, Exile, and Nationhood,” CLR James interviewed by Robert A. Hill for “Towards a New Culture,” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, February 13, 1967, transcribed and printed in You Don’t Play with Revolution: The Montreal Lectures of C.L.R. James, David Austin, Ed. (Oakland: AK Press, 2009), pages 217-225.

C.L.R. James: You Don’t Play with Revolution,” McGill Reporter (Montreal), 1 no. 7 (November 4, 1968). h/t David Austin.

C.L.R. James and Studs Terkel discuss the Black Jacobins on WFMT Chicago (1970).

Interviews: C. L. R. James, The Black Scholar, vol. 2, no. 1,(1970) [$$$].

Patrick Griffith, “CLR James and Pan-Africanism: An Interview,” Black World/Negro Digest (November 1971).

Kas-kas: Interviews with three Caribbean writers in Texas: George Lamming, C. L. R. James, [Wilson Harris, edited by Ian Munro and Reinhard Sander (Austin: African and Afro-American Research Institute, University of Texas at Austin, 1972).

CLR James talking to Stuart Hall, BBC, 1976. (Also see this post from the Stuart Hall Library).

A Meeting with Comrade James, New Society, 26 June, 1980.

Tariq Ali, “A Conversation with C.L.R. James,” Socialist Challenge, 3 July 1980, pp 8-9.

Tariq Ali en discussion avec C.L.R. James (French translation of 1980 Socialist Challenge interview), Revue Periode, 14 Janvier 2016.

Radical Pan-Africanism in the 1930s: A Discussion with C.L.R. James, Radical History Review 24 (Fall 1980), 68-75. [$$$].

Extract from transcript of Kenneth Ramchand interviews with CLR James, OWTU Guest House, San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago, September 5th, 1980.

“Interview: James Early, E. Ethelbert Miller, and Noel Ignatiev with C.L.R. James, October 1980 and January 1981,” Urgent Tasks, no. 12 (Summer 1981).

Language and the seizure of power: an interview with C. L. R. James by Chris Searle, Brixton, August, 1982. Published in Race and Class, 50 no. 1 (July 1, 2008), 79-87. [$$$]

Talking History: C.L.R. James and E.P. Thompson (H.O. Nazareth, Dir., 1983).

Pamela Beshoff, Conversation with CLR James, Jamaica Journal (February-April 1986).

CLR James and British Trotskyism (interviewed by Al Richardson, Clarence Chrysostom & Anna Grimshaw on Sunday 8th June & 16th November, 1986 in South London. Originally published as a pamphlet by Socialist Platform Ltd in 1987.

“The Making of a Literary Life: C. L. R. James Interviewed by Paul Buhle, May and September, 1987, Brixton,” in C.L.R. James’s Caribbean, P. Henry & P. Buhle, ads (London: Macmillan, 1987),  56-62.

Black struggles in Britain: interview with CLR James, Critical Social Policy 7 no. 21, (December 1, 1987), pages 49-55 [$$$]

John Fitzpatrick, “You never know when it’s going to explode (CLR James interviewed in Brixton, April 1989),” Living Marxism (April 1989). Podcast available here.

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