Haiti links: With no donor support, commercial development rises; two jailed Americans released; the rise and rise of private security; more
1. “Vision of a new, modern Haiti rises from the rubble.” A Jacqueline Charles Miami Herald feature on a “Haitian-envisioned, Haitian-financed and Haitian-constructed” commercial development in progress in Delmas 30.
Still, some like [Patrick] Figaro, a Haiti-born U.S.-educated architectural engineer, aren’t waiting on donors or the government to get moving… .
For months, their family-run construction firm, Arcotec Haiti, has been quietly transforming a little under an acre at one of Haiti’s most important strategic commercial gateways into a modern seismic and hurricane-resistant complex. Taking place largely out of public view, except for the 80-foot construction crane perched in the skyline, Genesis offers three levels of underground parking and 100,000 square feet of commercial rental space that will include a rooftop café and 25 extended-stay hotel rooms for business travelers.
“This could easily be built in Miami,” said Javier Salman, the Cuban-American architect who designed the all-glass exterior, “modern, cutting-edge building” that will eventually rise 123 feet and be backlit at night. “It will be visible from the port, and from the Port-au-Prince airport. It screams, ‘Here I am.’ ”
Read the entire thing here.
Citing Haiti’s Interior Ministry, the report notes that 41 private security firms are registered to work in Haiti. The size of the companies ranges from about 2,000 agents to fewer than 50. The number of guards working for licensed private security firms is about 12,000, slightly bigger than the current police department’s force of 10,000 officers.
International organizations such as the United Nations peacekeeping mission and the Western embassies are the largest clients of private security firms in Haiti, industry leaders told researchers.
[Patrick] Joseph, 49, was charged as the result of a broader investigation of Florida telecoms that allegedly paid bribes to Haitian officials in return for preferred rates and other business advantages, a probe that has netted 13 indictments so far.”