Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview: Abaka Bay’s Robert Dietrich talks fight for Haiti’s Ile aVache on News Junkie Post

Mr. Robert Dietrich, a founding owner of Abaka Bay Resort, on the 20-square-mile Haitian offshore island of Ile a Vache, is at the center of a fight for the island between its residents and Haiti’s government. This traditionally peaceful island with 20,000 people has been besieged by over 115 militarized police since several peaceful protestors were injured by police on February 25, 2014 at a spontaneous protest against the imprisonment without charge of Jean Maltunes Lamy, one of their leaders. The residents had been demanding the repeal of a government decree of May 2013 that had annulled all property rights retroactively for five years and declared the entire island to be a “zone of tourism development and public utility.” They object to the reconfiguration of the island for tourism without their consultation on the locations to be developed, the terms to be offered to investors, possible returns for their community, and fair compensation for any appropriated lands.

In addition to creating work at his resort for local residents on Ile a Vache, during and after the construction of his hotel, Robert Dietrich has taken an interest in the community. He was a founder of the Good Samaritan School in Kay Kok, and he has provided material support like food aid and school supplies to the community. Immediately after the January 2010 earthquake, he used his hotel as a depot from which to distribute supplies of clothes, sanitary kits and food that he had brought from Florida for the earthquakes victims in Port-au-Prince.

No comments:

Post a Comment