A lawsuit against the United Nations alleges that cholera was introduced into Haiti in October 2010 through Nepalese U.N. Peacekeeping troops sent to keep order after the catastrophic January 2010 earthquake. Allegedly, these troops did not properly treat sewage they were dumping into the Artibonite river. Since then, well over 8,000 Haitians have died and more than 700,000 have been stricken with cholera. The United Nations has denied responsibility and claims immunity. But part of the U.N.’s immunity clause mandates a mechanism for hearing and responding to grievances. The plaintiffs of a lawsuit claim the U.N. has not done so. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) has led the effort “to hold the UN accountable.” We’ll talk about the lawsuit with Beatrice Lindstrom, an (IJDH) attorney involved with the case, Dr. Evan Lyon, a University of Chicago physician who has worked in Haiti and DePaul economics professor Ludovic Comeau, who has researched the economics of development and sustainability in Haiti.
(photo: A demonstrator holds up a sign that reads in Creole "Cholera of U.N. is a crime against humanity" during a protest against the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday March 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery))