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Haiti

2011



Pierre Elisem was shot by Aristide supporters in Port-au-Prince in February 2004. (AP/Walter Astrada)

Ten years ago I joined the staff of the Committee to Protect Journalists to launch the Journalist Assistance program, an initiative, as CPJ board member Gene Roberts describes, developed to establish a standing direct response mechanism for journalists facing threats and attacks. When I left the position in 2009, many people asked me what case stood out the most. 

Berhane (Colin McConnell/Toronto Star)

In 2007, my colleague Karen Phillips suggested we do something to mark World Refugee Day. Initially planning to publish a brief statement, I set about reviewing our data for background, checking in with older journalist cases about their current situation and looking broadly for trends to highlight. As the number of cases began counting into the hundreds, it became clear that what we had was a new indicator of press freedom conditions. Today, we're marking our fifth year of publishing the CPJ survey of journalists in exile, which is based on 10 years of data on 649 cases. 

New York, April 26, 2011--The Community to Protect Journalists condemned Thursday's arson attack on Haitian community radio station Tèt Ansanm Karis and called on local authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. The blaze destroyed the station's offices and all equipment and left the northeastern city of Carice without a local radio station.

In Latin America, A Return of Censorship

The Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional leaves white space for an image the government won't allow. (Reuters/Jorge Silva)

By Carlos Lauría

As the preeminent political family in the northeastern state of Maranhão for more than 40 years, the Sarneys are used to getting their way in Brazilian civic life. So when the leading national daily O Estado de S. Paulo published allegations in June 2009 that linked José Sarney, the Senate president and the nation's former leader, to nepotism and corruption, the political clan did not sit idly by. The Sarneys turned to a judge in Brasília, winning an injunction that halted O Estado from publishing any more reports about the allegations. Eighteen months later, as 2010 came to a close, the ban remained in effect despite domestic and international outcry.

Top Developments
• Journalists persevere after quake, working from tents and homes.
• Dozens of reporters jobless. Print media sustain heavy losses.

Key Statistic
95: Percent of radio stations knocked off the air by the January earthquake. Most had returned by late year.


Reflecting the devastation across all of Haitian society, the news media suffered massive losses in the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck just west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, on the afternoon of January 12. More than 220,000 people died and 1.5 million were left homeless, according to official estimates. Government offices, schools, hospitals, and entire neighborhoods were reduced to ruins, as was most of the infrastructure supporting Haitian news media. More than 95 percent of commercial and community radio stations--the primary source of news in Haiti--went off the air as their equipment and premises sustained heavy damage, according to Joseph Guyler Delva, president of the local press freedom group SOS Journalistes. The human losses were great as well: At least 30 journalists died in the earthquake and its immediate aftermath, SOS Journalistes reported.

Montas is seeking justice in a criminal complaint against Duvalier. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

Former dictator Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier is facing some blowback after breezing into Haiti last Sunday following a 25-year absence. On Wednesday, prominent Haitian journalist and former UN spokesperson Michele Montas joined three others in filing criminal complaints against the former dictator who returned to the country Sunday, just days after the anniversary of last year's devastating earthquake. 

A woman prays in the rubble of the national cemetery in Port-au-Prince today, one year after a devastating eartthquake. (AP/Ramon Espinosa)

One year after the devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and crippled Haiti's media infrastructure, the country's media have made significant strides toward recovery even as they face enormous ongoing challenges. 

« Previous Year: 2010 | Next Year: 2013 »

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Killed in Haiti

5 journalists killed since 1992

3 journalists murdered

3 murdered with impunity

Critics Are Not Criminals: Campaign Against the Criminalization of Speech
Contact

Americas

Senior Program Coordinator:
Carlos Lauría

Research Associate:
Sara Rafsky

clauria@cpj.org
srafsky@cpj.org

Tel: 212-465-1004
ext. 120, 146
Fax: 212-465-9568

330 7th Avenue, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10001 USA

Twitter: @CPJAmericas

Facebook: CPJ en Español

Blog: Carlos Lauría

Blog: Sara Rafsky

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