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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Life in Haiti's Tent Camps

Imagine Peoria Under a Blue Tent

by JOHN CARROLL, MD

The small tent camp is located five minutes walking distance from where I stay in Port-au-Prince. It has been here for four years now since the earthquake in 2010 crumbled the city and killed 140,000 people in 47 seconds.

The estimated population of all the tent camps during their glory days after the quake was 1.5 million people. Now, if you believe what you read, in the Port-au-Prince area there are still 247 tent camps remaining with over 130,000 people–a little more than the population of Peoria, Illinois. And thousands of babies have been born in these tents and have never moved out.

And the people who have been moved out of the tents are not exactly living in the “build back better” Best Western in Petionville. For thousands of them their conditions continue to be atrocious…some worse than the tents from which they came. And so quite a number of these folks actually move back to the tent camps.

tentcamp

Tent camp, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo: John Carroll.

The tents are stifling hot and during the rainy season, people have to stand up and hold their babies as rain, mud, and sewage flow through their tents. And these camps are not regarded as the safest places in the world for women.

All in all, I feel a huge amount of guilt as I pass these tarps and tents. Something aches deep in my gut as I see these people and their unimaginable living conditions. After four years of this I still continue to stare and don’t know what to do.

John A. Carroll, M.D. is a physician working in Port-au-Prince.