By Chiara Liguori, Caribbean researcher at Amnesty International
Four years ago, a devastating earthquake struck the Caribbean island of Haiti, leaving an estimated 200,000 people dead and more than 2 million homeless. It was a disaster on an almost unprecedented scale. And, for a country already wracked by poverty with so many institutional weaknesses, it was a complete catastrophe.
When I visited Haiti two months after the earthquake, my worst fears were confirmed. The Haitian authorities were completely overwhelmed, with most of the country’s government buildings having collapsed and countless public officials dead. The blank stare of then Haitian President René Préval was one of the most telling symbols of a country stood on the precipice of an abyss.
Unsurprisingly, in the aftermath of the earthquake, Haiti was headline news across the globe. Yet four years on, with the cameras gone, the problems and suffering of the people remain.
Haiti’s displaced – How long must they clamour until they are heard? (Blog, 8 October 2013)
Haiti: Forced evictions worsen the already dire lot of earthquake homeless (News story, 23 April 2013)
Haiti: ‘Nowhere to go’: Forced evictions in Haiti’s displacement camps (Report, 23 April 2013)
‘We’ll throw you all out’ – Forced eviction threat for Haiti earthquake victims (Blog, 23 April 2013)