Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine was kidnapped on August 12

October 2, 2007

Half-Hour for Haiti: Join the Big Push For Debt Relief for Haiti!

Update: Sorry we missed September’s Half-Hour alerts. As many of you know, human rights activist Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine was kidnapped on August 12. We held off on alerts because the kidnapping initially appeared to be for economic reasons, and we were advised that action alerts could be counterproductive. But Lovinsky has now been missing for seven weeks, and Lovinsky’s family and his organization, the September 30th Foundation, have been raising the public profile of the case. We are working on an alert for Lovinsky that we will send out towards the end of the week. For more information about Lovinsky, his disappearance, and taking action to save Lovinsky's life, see our website, www.HaitiJustice.org.

In the meantime, we need to carry on Lovinsky’s work, including the cancellation of Haiti’s multilateral debt, which will divert $57 million this year from Haiti’s elected government to wealthy banks that were established to fight poverty.

Thanks to everyone who fought for debt cancellation this summer by engaging their representatives during the August Congressional recess.

This week is the next big push. The Jubilee USA Network is sponsoring the Cancel Debt Fast from September 6 to October 18. Rev. David Duncombe of White Salmon, Washington, is spending the whole time on Capitol Hill, fasting and persuading members of Congress to pass the Jubilee Act, which would cancel unjust debt for Haiti and 66 other countries. For updates on the fast events, see Jubilee USA’s Blog the Debt.

This week is Haiti Week for the Cancel Debt Fast. On Thursday, Jubilee USA, Partners in Health, TransAfrica Forum, the Center for Economic and Policy Research , Haiti Reborn, and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti are sponsoring a Congressional briefing on H. Res. 241, the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution, with the help of Rep. Maxine Waters (Thursday 10/4, 3:30 PM, Rayburn 2105). The panelists will explain the impact of the diversion of resources to pay Haiti’s debt, to the healthcare system and the overall economy. They will also explain why it is important to pass H.Res. 241, as well as the Jubilee Act: the Haiti Debt Relief Act was introduced earlier and is further along in obtaining co-sponsors. Haiti also deserves special treatment because it lags behind other countries, because it was excluded from earlier debt relief efforts for political reasons.

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