Tag: Haiti

The Battle for Haiti’s Security Is Largely Political

In this blog post originally published on the IPI Global Observatory, Geoff Burt, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Security Governance, analyzes the political challenges Haiti faces in its attempt to address key security governance issues, including paramilitary action, gang violence and the reinstatement of the Haitian armed forces.

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Haiti and the Democracy-Public Security Interface

If the ability to hold credible, peaceful elections is a key litmus test of a country’s progress towards democratic consolidation, the latest evidence from Haiti is far from encouraging. The electoral cycle that began in August 2015 – following months of delays and governance by presidential decree – was meant to renew Haiti’s democratic institutions, but has instead plunged the country back into political crisis.

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Urban Gangs Make Comeback as Political Goons in Haiti

It is commonly perceived that the motivation of Haiti’s urban gangs has changed from political to criminal – falsely so as my research has found. Rather, the function gangs fulfill for their sponsors is constantly shifting between political and criminal, as evidenced by the current re-emergence of political violence ahead of elections later this year.

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With Elections Looming, will Haiti’s Urban Gangs Re-emerge as Political Actors?

As Haiti enters a turbulent period of electoral politics, the country’s long-standing drivers of conflict take on a particular significance. Gangs have figured prominently in Haiti’s recent political transitions, as national-level political actors have deployed urban gangs to generate violence and unrest as a strategic instrument of political influence. In return, politicians have offered gangs funding and impunity from arrest. The nexus of politics and organized crime is explored in this article.

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The Politics of Justice Reform in Haiti

Provides a brief review on a recent paper written by Louis-Alexandre Berg outlining the recent history of justice reform in Haiti. In broad terms, the paper shows how what donors have seen as a technical problem (scarcity of personnel, corruption, inefficiency) actually serves an important role for Haiti’s political elite, who have accordingly been reluctant to advance meaningful reform of the justice system.

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Rethinking “Capacity Building”

Geoff Burt provides a review of a paper written by Wilfrid Laurier University professor, Yasmine Shamsie, on the management of the Caracol export processing zone, an economic development mega-project which when completed promises to generate thousands of jobs and a boost for Haiti’s economic growth.

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Vertically Integrated Peacebuilding and Urban Violence in Haiti

The problems of donor coordination and horizontal integration in Haiti are well documented. The research project I am involved in, which focuses on Vertical Integration in Peacebuilding, hopes to shed some light on an overlooked relationship between local, grassroots efforts at community violence reduction and a distinctly top-down, UN-led police reform process (itself a peacebuilding project on a country-wide scale).

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