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Bulletin 15 January 2010


Haiti: Despair turns into anger for lack of help

A boy is rescued by firefightersThe slow arrival of emergency aid to the victims of the Haiti earthquake is causing anger among the thousands of survivors many of whom have lost everything. Planes carrying medicines and food have been scrambling to find room to land in Port-au-Prince international airport.

Even so, correspondents say that, on the ground, little help has arrived and the voices of those who have managed to survive under destroyed buildings are starting to fade away, with little possibility of rescuing them alive.

People have been making barricades with corpses in protest over the lack of help, despite the fact that President René Préval insists that things will improve.

Entire families have been living in makeshift camps built a few miles from the international airport, where international is steadily arriving, but journalists who have interviewed people in those camps say that no help is at hand.

The Un says that at least 300,000 people have been left homeless.

Long term plan to solve crisis

President Barack Obama has contacted his Dominican counterpart, Leonel Fernández, to discuss a mid- and long-term plan for the reconstruction of Haiti, the capital of which was destroyed by Tuesday’s earthquake.

Leonel Fernández was the first President to visit the Haitian capital where he discussed the crisis with President Préval.

The US has deployed 6,000 soldiers and is offering US$100 million in what President Obama described as “the biggest aid operation in our history”. Washington confirmed that Cuba has granted permission to use its airspace for American evacuation flights.

The British government believes that Haiti is in a better position than other countries to receive emergency aid and start a process of reconstruction because of the large presence of the UN in the country. Lord Malloch Brown, formerly the UK’s Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, says believes that the main support will come from the USA.

No deportation from US for “illegal” Haitians

The US government has announced that Haitian citizens living in the US without legal status and due to be forcibly repatriated to their country will have their deportation orders suspended.

Human rights groups believe, however, that this decision does not go far enough and are demanding that they are granted “temporary protected status”.

This status gives “illegal” immigrants who cannot return to their countries working permits and have benefited, in the past, Salvadorean, Honduran and Nicaraguan citizens.

Listin Diario (Dominican Republic, Spanish)

El Nacional (Dominican Republic, Spanish)

El Pais (Spanish)

BBC News

The Washington Post


Chile: Government coalition “ready for defeat”

Despite the fact that the independent presidential candidate, Marco Enríquez-Ominami, announced on the last day of the campaign in the run-off of the presidential election on Sunday,his support for the ruling coalition, the Concertación, the government is preparing for a victory of centre-right candidate Sebastián Piñera.

Latest opinion polls suggest that the government candidate, former President Eduardo Frei and Piñera, are neck-and-neck, but leaders of the Concertación had a meeting to discuss the creation of a “progressive force” to adopt a position of “firm opposition” to the new president.

There are fears that the parties which form the Concertación will break away if Frei is defeated. However, during the meeting, the leaders of the main Concertación partners, the Socialists and the Christian Democrats, said that they want to rebuild the alliance as a credible opposition movement.

El Mercurio (Chile, Spanish)



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