March 01, 2013
An op-ed in the Caribbean Journal by HRRW’s Jake Johnston reads:
Less than a week after cholera began its violent spread throughout Haiti, a UN military base in the central plateau became the prime suspect for having introduced the bacteria.
The UN was quick to shoot down this theory, claiming the base met international standards. Days later, journalists found sewage tanks and latrines overflowing, with the resulting black liquid flowing into a tributary of Haiti’s largest river.
Still, the UN didn’t hesitate to defend itself; the head of the UN troops (known as MINUSTAH), said that it was “really unfair to accuse the UN for bringing cholera into Haiti.”
Even the UN’s own investigation into the outbreak found that the UN base was the likely source, though the results were obfuscated by blaming the spread on a “confluence of factors.”
In the meantime, Haitians continued to die. By the end of January 2011, just over three months after cholera’s introduction, the official death toll was over 4,300. All the while the U.N. maintained its innocence.
Read the rest here.