Next week, Georgianne Nienaber departs on a 12-day investigative research trip to Haiti where she will look to fill in gaps in the mainstream media’s news coverage while also providing emergency medical assistance to rural Haitians. As she works with Haitian human rights organizations to develop story ideas, she also invites LA Progressive readers to contribute their thoughts on where else she might look.
For the past year, Georgianne has provided our readers with in-depth coverage of the often overlooked human rights tragedy in Africa based on her research in South Africa, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2007 to 2009. She expects to complete a book on the horrific violence and human dislocation going on in eastern Congo later this year.
Accompanying Georgianne from her native Minnesota will be a doctor, who will bring drugs and useful small equipment. Rural areas of Haiti have not seen doctors since before the devastating earthquake on January 12th, they’re told. An estimated quarter million Haitians died in the 7.0 earthquake, a toll the coming spring rains and the spread of infectious disease could well increase. Georgianne is equipped to serve as a nurse and emergency medical tech as needed.
As a first investigation, she will look into reports that missionaries are requiring earthquake victims and others requiring medical aid to renounce Vodun before receiving treatment.
Georgianne will also attempt to look at the militarization of the Haitian countryside as a result of the catastrophe and the potential involvement of foreign mercenaries looking to profit from the misery of others.
We encourage you to use the “Comments” section below give Georgianne other story ideas you’d like to see her pursue. She will supply reports as often as communications facilities allow while she’s in Haiti and then in greater detail once she returns.
Dick Price, Editor