La Plaza

News from Latin America and the Caribbean

« Previous Post | La Plaza Home | Next Post »

Haiti earthquake: They own Haiti's future

January 21, 2010 |  9:06 am

Gregory Mevs leaped from his armored silver Toyota SUV and marched past the guards and mango trees into what serves these days as the center of the Haitian government.

He was ready to dispense a million gallons of fuel to the earthquake-ravaged capital. But the paperwork was not in order. He needed the Haitian prime minister's signature.

Ten minutes later, he had it.

Mevs can do that. He has the prime minister's ear. He hobnobs with people like Bill Clinton, George Soros and the chief executives of the world's largest corporations. He is one of Haiti's storied elite, a member of one of the six families that control the Haitian economy and have essentially called the shots here for generations.

They are mostly light-skinned, multilingual entrepreneurs with a dismal reputation for profiting handsomely on the backs of the poorest people in the hemisphere. The actions they take now will prove decisive in how -- or whether -- Haiti recovers from one of the deadliest natural catastrophes in modern times.

Continue reading: Haiti's elite hold nation's future in their hands.

-- Tracy Wilkinson in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti


RELATED:

Haiti earthquake news: live Twitter updates from Port-au-Prince and beyond

Haiti quake relief: How to help

Audio slide shows:
Searching for signs of life
Haitians try to salvage their lives in Leogane
So many people who need help

Photos: Earthquake hits Haiti

Panoramas:
Destruction at Notre Dame Cathedral of Port-au-Prince
Tent city across from the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince

Comments 

Advertisement










Video