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The Crisis Made in Haiti


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Dancing and singing in call and response at a ceremonial gathering in Haiti. Photos: Rita Daniels

Aftershocks continue to rock the island nation of Haiti, one-million people are homeless and more than 150,000 are confirmed dead. Mass burials and cremations in the streets have now replaced search and rescue efforts. On this edition, we take a look at the roots of the devastation of Haiti’s capital – Its history with the US, the militarization of American relief efforts and the economic policies that contributed to its people’s plight.


Daniel Brevil, Haitian-born master drummer and San Francisco Bay-Area resident; Bill Quigley, Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director; Gabe Gonzalez, Center for Community Change Campaign Director; Pat Robertson, televangelist; Pierre Labossierre, Haiti Action Committee; Brian Concannon, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti Director; Colette Eloi, San Francisco bay-area based folkloric Haitian dance teacher; Guy de Chalus, student of traditional Haitian drumming.

Contributing Producer: Rita Daniels

A Report-back from a Survivor in Haiti

The recovery efforts continue in Haiti amidst a rising death toll which has now topped one hundred and fifty thousand. As the Haitian people continue to struggle for survival, we bring you a story of hope and courage. Haitian-born Daniel Brevil is a world renowned master drummer and a San Francisco Bay Area resident. He was in Port Au Prince visiting family when the quake struck.  He’s still there. Making Contact spoke to him from the center of the disaster more than a week after the quake.

Why is Haiti Seeing More Guns than Aid?

The Haitian community has banded together and pooled their resources to help feed, clothe and administer medical care to each other since the earthquake struck on January 12th. And although aid is reportedly starting to trickle into the Port-Au-Prince metropolitan area, there is widespread concern that people are still seeing more guns than aid. Why is that? We spoke to Bill Quigley. He’s the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

Economic Roots of the Devastation in Haiti

While the international community mobilizes to get aid – and guns – to Haiti, others are sending money and prayers. No matter where you were in the world when news of the devastation hit, disbelief seemed to be a global common denominator.  How could Haiti be dealt another blow, when it has already suffered so much?  Making Contact’s Pauline Bartolone searched for some answers.

Haitian Dance Shows Culture of Resilience

African-rooted folkloric dance is a staple of everyday Haitian life. You see it in many places, including local ceremonies and national events.  But there is a community of Haitians and non-Haitians around the globe that has studied the art for years and transported it beyond the island nation. Making Contact’s Rita Daniels attended a Haitian dance class in Oakland, CA just days after the earthquake.

For More Information:

Center for Community Change
Washington, DC

Center for Constitutional Rights
New York, NY

Doctors Without Borders
New York, NY

Haiti Action Committee
Berkeley, CA

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Joseph, OR

Partners in Health

TransAfrica Forum
Washington, DC

Articles and Radio Essays

“Holding Up Haiti: Women Respond to Nightmare Earthquake”

“The Power of History–Haiti” by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Author: Radio Project

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