Irwin Stotzky, law professor at the University of Miami, spoke at the International House on Thursday to discuss ways in which the media addresses international issues as part of the series, “World Beyond the Headlines.”
Stotzky discussed the conflicts and prospective solutions regarding the problem of instituting democracy in Haiti. A graduate of the Law School, he has been a leading authority on the role of law in the democratization of former dictatorships, having served as an advisor to the former President Aristide of Haiti during his exile.
In outlining the historical context of the current situation in Haiti, Stotzky noted, “there’s a lot of blame to go around.” Many newspaper and television reports have painted a distorted picture of Aristide, once an extremely popular president in his home country of Haiti but ousted by rebels in early March.
He noted that America, acting as the greatest hindrance toward the progression of peace in Haiti, was involved in training an insurgent group to take control of the government. Supplied with arms and financial aid from the United States, the Haitian military junta committed human rights abuses against the general population, repressed the media, and continued to pit existent opposition groups against each other.