Human Trafficking is a long-standing problem in Haiti, as have been assassinations and death squads. Anyone who stands up for the poor and disenfranchised is always at risk. Our blog was initially started in loving memory of an assassinated Haitian who had been targetted as an Aristide supporter.
Update: Link to Monica Petersen memorial service on Facebook:
Update 2, they deleted her memorial service from facebook. https://www.facebook.com/humantraffickingcenter/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE. In the memorial service she was described as an energetic, caring, person who had a great passion for trying to help people, including victims of human trafficking. As she seems to have liked things to be well-organized, going to form an NGO to help coordinate the activities of other NGOs seems in line with her character. The link for the center, explaining the problem is here: http://humantraffickingcenter.org/problem
Her testimony for the State of Colorado is here: http://www.leg.state.co.us/Clics/Clics2015A/commsumm.nsf/b4a3962433b52fa787256e5f00670a71/c7210a3a7ccb122c87257ddb006f5a66/$FILE/15SenJud0128AttachE.pdf
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire memorial, please listen to the last few minutes. In the last few minutes of the memorial service, the speaker explains that Monica went to Haiti to form an NGO to coordinate the activities of other NGOs. She believed that working in Haiti was not an impossible task but her next challenge; that Haitians were beautiful people living in impossible conditions created by a system imposed on them and wished to work with the people toward their own liberation. The speaker says that they are in a state of shock; they mourn; and “may never know exactly what happened”. He says that “We remember a smile that will dispel the dark”.
[NB-update: While the above may sound peculiar, we are talking about a death which occurred recently in Haiti, and it is indeed true that they will never know for certain what happened. Too many things could happen. So, please be respectful of this lady’s death, and of her elderly parents, and refrain from treating her as a political football. She apparently went to collect facts about human trafficking in Haiti – something which has gone on since at least the Duvalier years – probably before- and has long been even institutionalized as “restavec” where poor families send their young children to stay with wealthier families and work for them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restavek This fact alone opens up all sorts of possibilities of exploitation. Duvalier sold Haitians by the head to work in the Dominican Cane fields. So, if you are interested in this topic and case, please carefully read and collect your information, rather than jumping to conclusions. Please listen to her memorial. Perhaps start with Paul Farmer’s book, “The Uses of Haiti”. The 110 pages that her research director seeks a publisher for was a critique of a textbook that he felt was methodologically flawed, and contrary to reddit suggestions appears to have nothing directly to do with her trip to Haiti. We also apologize for having written the time of the memorial as 11 am rather than 1230 pm. We first posted this quickly, while half asleep, in case people wanted to watch it live stream. If you wish to read about mining in Haiti, please do a search about Haiti in the search of this blog or look through our earliest posts.]
From the Human Trafficking Center Facebook Page:
“MONICA PETERSEN MEMORIAL SERVICE – UPDATE A Memorial Service for Monica has been set for Friday, November 18th at 12:30pm. It will be held in Maglione Hall, 5th floor of the Sié International Complex, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, 2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, Colorado.
The Human Trafficking Center has established an annual “Monica Petersen Memorial Lecture.” In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations may be sent to the University of Denver with the designation “In memory of Monica Petersen.” The address is University of Denver, P.O. Box 910585, Denver, CO 80291-0585. Parking will be made available in Lots H1 & H2 starting at 11:00am. H1 & H2 is a parking structure located at the NW corner of Iliff Ave. and Gaylord St. The Memorial Service will be lived-streamed through the Human Trafficking Center Facebook site“: http://www.facebook.com/humantraffickingcenter/
I am heartbroken to report that Monica Petersen died today in Haiti. She was a recent graduate of the Korbel School, a Research Fellow and an Assistant Director at the Human Trafficking Center, and had moved to Haiti to teach and start an NGO. Monica was a scholar-activist committed to serving the dispossessed and a clear and critical voice in the human trafficking field. She was also a dear friend and colleague to many of us. I will post the time and date of a memorial service soon.
–Prof. Claude d’Estrée Director, Human Trafficking Center” https://www.facebook.com/humantraffickingcenter/
SPECULATION ABOUT MONICA’S DEATH:
Note that the two anti-Aristide coups were under the Bushes not Clinton. Clinton restored Aristide. It’s always best to research before you go someplace, which she doesn’t seem to have done. Caracol is not very close to Morne Bossa mine, especially in the context of poor infrastructure and mountainous terrain. There have long been sweat shops in Haiti, but they were mostly located in Port-au-Prince. The below embedded links seem to be updated and changed as time passes and we are not responsible for their content.
https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/haiti-morne-bossa-gold-missing/ (Other Haiti posts may be found by entering Haiti into search or looking around the early blog. We seem to be the only ones who found and read the original government documents, including laws, in French. If you are serious about the mining in Haiti topic then you should avail yourselves of this information. Subsequent to our Morne Bossa missing post, a mining expert named Kent Ausburn sent an angry email alleging, despite solid evidence to the contrary, that the gold was still there and that he had been there in December of 2012. You don’t just drop by Morne Bossa by accident, so if he was really there it was for a reason. This web site suggests that Kent Ausburn is tied to mining stock pump and dump schemes: https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://promotionstocksecrets.com/cannabis-rx-inc-cana-updated-research-report