Peace Talks: Negotiation between the Haitian Elite and the Chimeres

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In February 2004, the first democratically elected president of Haiti was removed and afforded protection by the United States government after a series of civilian non-violent protests led and funded by Haiti's minority economic elite. Aristide was accused of birthing and sustaining the Chimeres, gang leaders residing in Cite Soleil, Haiti's largest ghetto, to support his drug deals and terrorize the elite through kidnappings and looting of their businesses. After Aristide's departure, the United States put in place an interim government and the United Nations introduced peacekeeping troops to Haiti without having identified warring parties and consequently without a peace agreement in place to enforce. The UN presence has served as an extra police force for the elite to maintain and assert power over the poor people by raiding the ghettos to eliminate kidnapping cells.
Recently, members of the Haitian clergy with the aid of foreign facilitators have attempted to renew failed communication between the elite and gang leaders as a result of the proximity of Cite Soleil to the business sector of downtown. The Clergy's goal is to protect the poor from the elite's' ability to wage war against them. The Chimeres have been stripped of their political identity and purpose and their use of violence delegitimized because of the elite's power over media and the international community.
This paper will present, attempt to analyze the current state of the negotiation and evaluate both the obstacles that will arise throughout the process and the benefits that may ensue as a result of the negotiation. Lastly, the paper will propose an alternative framework through which the negotiation process should be conducted and will discuss the need to incorporate other segments of Civil Society and the government in these dialogues.

Keywords: History, Anthropology, Negotiation, Facilitation, Mediation, Class Wars
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Mamyrah Prosper

Master's Student, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Nova Southeastern University
Miami, Florida, USA

My name is Mamyrah Prosper. I am a graduate student in the Conflict Analysis and Resolution Master's program at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida. I was born and raised in Haiti before moving to the United States at 15. I attended Barnard College, Columbia University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Africana Studies. I have applied to African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology Ph.D. programs in hopes to combine my Master's work in conflict resolution with my undergraduate work on identity formation and feminist movements in the African Diaspora (particularly Haiti). Currently, I am a student researcher in the Conflict Resolution Department working on a project on Identity Construction of Cuban, Guatemalan, and Haitian immigrants in South Florida. The research group presented its preliminary findings at the "Ethnicity, Belonging, Biography, and Ethnography Conference" in Goettingen, Germany this past winter and is currently in the process of developing the chapters that will form the book. I am also an organizer with Take Back the Land, an anti-gentrification group that struggles against the exploitation and forced removal of poor people from their communities and fights for the universalization of housing in the United States.

Ref: I08P0762