The experts “found that it was not possible to determine conclusively how cholera was introduced,” said Kieran Dwyer, a spokesperson for the UN’s peacekeeping operations. “On the scientific evidence, we don’t know if it was the UN troops or not.”More deaths in Haiti from the "peacekeeping" mission of MINUSTAH than casualties of "war" suffered by the U.S. and its allies in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
A close read of the panel’s report, however, suggests otherwise. The experts pinpointed the origin of the outbreak to the Meille River, a tributary of the region’s main water source, near a peacekeeping base where sanitation conditions “were not sufficient to prevent faecal contamination” of the river. They noted that the battalion was deployed from Nepal shortly after endemic cholera had flared up in the Kathmandu Valley, and that asymptomatic soldiers, who can still carry cholera, were not tested. They cited epidemiological studies showing genetic similarities between Haiti’s strain of cholera and the South Asian strain endemic in Nepal. And they dismissed every other alternate theory on the origins of cholera in Haiti.
-- The UN in Haiti - Damned if you do by P.B | The Economist (blog)
"The sheer scope of the socio-economic impacts of natural disasters is at last slowly bringing about a shift in approach away from disaster relief and toward disaster prevention, with risk reduction increasingly considered as a priority development tool in its own right. There is a growing realization
in the international community that risk reduction, disaster relief and sustainable development are closely related. Vulnerability to disasters is linked to poverty, and vice versa."
-- Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation UNESCO’s role
by United Nations' Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Has a single dollar of this UN occupation been spent to find a sustainable solution to the cholera outbreak? The solution seems too obvious; send the troops home and provide sustainable clean water infrastructure. However, this would mean that the Clinton Foundation would not make a profit from "cholera insurance," the pharmaceuticals could not make millions from selling a "cholera vaccine" and countless NGOs would not make a living from providing social services (socialized medicine? How ironic!) for a preventable and curable water-bourne disease.
It's ironic that this occupation is being lead by Brazil. This time the descendants of the indigenous natives of South America and Black Africans who make up the military force are playing the role of the settlers, cowboys... of the European immigrants. Do they know that Francisco de Miranda and Simon Bolivar came to Haiti for help in mounting the South American revolutions that liberated four countries from colonial occupation? Haiti made just one stipulation for providing help - Bolivar must also free the slaves. There's a statue of Simon Bolivar in the Haitian capital -- it survived the earthquake, as did all the statues in the capital. But did Bolivar deserve that honor? It's doubtful. Bolivar turned his back on Haiti. Bolivar, very crudely, did not invite Haiti to the Congress of Panama. The good news is that Brazil has announced they are leaving and ending their leadership of the UN occupation of Haiti. It can't happen too soon for Haiti's sake.
MLK said: "the arc of history bends toward justice... and injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Those are not platitudes. They ring true today. There is hope for a better future. There is hope in the Occupy movement - which is why the police have acted like stormtroopers to protect the interests of empire.
There is also hope in the announcement that the US occupation of Iraq may be ending soon -- haven't heard how many "advisors" will stay. The U.S. decided to leave because the Iraqis would not give them immunity from prosecution. The circumstances are similar to those in Haiti -- the other regime change.