The history of the peasantry in the Republic of Haiti

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Haiti: Peasants
Library of Congress (US), Country Studies, December 1989. Haiti's peasantry constituted approximately 75 percent of the total population. Unlike peasants in much of Latin America, most of Haiti's peasants had owned land since the early nineteenth century. Land was the most valuable rural commodity, and peasant families went to great lengths to retain it and to increase their holdings.
Reflections from regional level at Papay Congress
The National Peasant Movement held a congress at Papay on March 17-20, 1995. Here are its conclusions regarding the state of the country.
Peasants voice demands
From Haiti Info, 12–18 April 1995. Peasant party congress meets and demands political and economic justice, land reform. Aristide seen as US puppet.
Peasants’ lives ruined by capitalist pigs
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, 2 April 1996. USAID program to kill off the small back domestic pig critical to the peasant economy to impose the large US white pig to make Haiti a pork exporter, but it only impoverished peasants and fattened big business.
Landlord gangs attack peasants in Haiti
By G. Dunkel, Workers World, 13 June 1996. A local dispute in northeast Haiti is threatening to turn into a violent conflict between poor peasants and big landowners. Also, thousands of peasants, expelled from the Dominican Republic, are without land.
New Directions for Agricultural Credit
ILOP Update, 13 September 1996. To increase the credit available to Haiti's peasants struggling at the edge of survival, the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture will disburse credit through NGOs with credit programs in the countryside because the formal banking system is closed to all but a small group of wealthy Haitians.
Bankers ‘forcing migration’
By Richard Thomas, The Guardian, 16 September 1996. The World Bank warns that Haitian peasants could be forced to emigrate in order to find jobs. A draft Bank strategy paper says that two-thirds of the country's workers based on the land are unlikely to survive the free-market measures imposed by the Bank.
Tet Krole celebrates ten years
Haiti Info, 5 October 1996. Last week the peasant association Tet Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen held its first national congress. Denunciations of government policies and a declaration to carry on the struggle that began ten years ago when the movement was founded in the Northwest department of Haiti.
Tèt Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen
Haiti Support group, 1996. Interview, conducted in 1996, with a member of the Tèt Kole national executive—extracted from the Haiti Support Group publication, Killing Us Softly: grassroots organisations speak about democracy and the ‘Death Plan’ in Haiti.
Peasant farmers seek better land
From IPS, 24 March 1998. Subsistence farmers in the north of Haiti, backed by grassroots organisations and even some government officials, have stepped up an offensive to takeover land held by huge estate-holders whose claims to the property are regarded by peasants as illegal.
Coffee farmers in northern Haiti survive the crisis thanks to fair trade
Oxfam document extract, 16 May 2001. Fair trade was launched at the beginning of the 1990s to guarantee a better price and access to export markets for coffee farmers. The co-operative of Carice in northern Haiti. (brief)
Farmers Protest Duty-Free Industrial Zone
By Ives Marie Chanel, Inter Press Service,, Monday 27 May 2002. Small-scale farmers in the northeast are protesting construction of an export-processing zone on the border with the Dominican Republic, saying the project will destroy arable land. The farmers, affiliated with the Frontier Solidarity Network, also say Haitian and Dominican officials failed to consult them and other local residents.
‘Zeprl Sou Zepr’ ethnography
A review of Jennie Smith, When the hands are many, by Danyel Peqa-Shaw, This Week in Haiti, Haiti Progres, 24–30 July 2002. The book is an effort to uproot the stereotypes cast upon the Haitian peasantry by outsiders seeking to rationalize its poverty. Jennie Smith tells us how the most marginalized in Haiti have organized themselves into work collectives and local associations—such as atribisyon, sosyete, kominoth, and gwoupman tht ansanm—in order to empower themselves collectively and transform a world of exclusion.
MPP Congress opens
Alterpresse, 18 March 2003. At the opening of its thirtieth anniversary congress outside the town of Hinche, the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP) has appealed for national solidarity against globalisation and in favour of local agricultural products. The congress has been dubbed Thirty years of resistance to the Death Plan.