Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:32 am
Human rights activists are suing the United Nations on behalf of five Haitian families afflicted by cholera â€” a disease many believe U.N. peacekeeping troops brought to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake there.
Besides the horrific carnage inside Port-au-Prince, one of my most vivid memories of the 2010 Haiti earthquake is military helicopters idling out in Port-au-Prince Bay.
From the bridge of the Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson, I watched H-53 and Seahawk choppers waiting for rescue and relief supplies that seemed agonizingly slow in arriving from U.S. and other foreign aid sources. International coordination, in fact, felt as wanting in those first few post-quake days as the food and medicine.
Â Â The rise in the number of Haitians being detained at sea, at airports and at border crossings this year has the international community scratching as well as turning its head.Â More than 70 picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard in the waters off Puerto Rico; 33 by authorities off Jamaica; almost 3,500 in or off the Dominican Republic; 65 as far away as Peru.
Picture images of developing countries in American media and youâ€™ll likely think of a few recurring tropes â€” photos depicting squalid living conditions and political strife.
â€śWe always end up looking at poor countries as being fraught with tragedy and poverty,â€ť says documentary photographer Maggie Steber, in a video trailer for her new solo showÂ opening in Coral Gables on Thursday. â€śWe donâ€™t recognize what is beautiful. We donâ€™t equate what is beautiful.â€ť
The Palm Beach International Film Festival boasts a few star-studded indie films, but the schedule also is packed with a host of alternately gritty and inspirational documentaries featuring everyday folks in extraordinary circumstances.Â
The festival, which kicked off on April 4, continues through Thursday. Every day, there are a dozen or so films screening at various theaters throughout Palm Beach County. You can't be everywhere at once, so below are four documentaries to consider making a priority at this year's festival.Â
Books & Books bookstore owner Mitchell Kaplan speaks with award-winning author Edwidge Danticat about her experience as an Haitian immigrant living in Brooklyn, what itâ€™s like to live in Miami now, and about writing the memoir
Three years after the devastating Port-au-Prince earthquake, one of the largest international relief projects in Haiti isn't anywhere near where the quake hit. It's an industrial park on the north coast halfway between Cap-Haitien and the border with the Dominican Republic.
Aid agencies are pouring millions of dollars into the project to encourage people to move out of the overcrowded capital and create jobs. Critics, however, say the jobs don't pay enough to lift people out of poverty.