Haiti's National Cathedral on the anniversary of the earthquake. -Jacob Kushner

Still Trying to Rise Above the Rubble

One year ago today, Evelyn Margron was trapped beneath her collapsed Port-au-Prince home, her right arm crushed under several pounds of concrete, her grandson pinned below. It was the day that a 7.0-magnitude earthquake transformed Haiti’s capital city and the surrounding area into rubble, eventually killing some 230,000 people. Margron was not one of the fatalities. The 56-year-old country director for the Dutch human-rights group ICCO was pulled from the rubble and eventually treated in the Dominican Republic for her crushed chest, broken arm, and collarbone. “The people who got me out of the rubble—I did not know them and they did not know me. But it happened so many times that night,” Margron says in a nod to the solidarity that Haitians say was the predominant mood of the day.

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Demonstrators against the election results start fires in Port-au-Prince. -Jacob Kushner

Election controversy overshadows humanitarian crisis and recovery

Haiti’s election was supposed to further its democratic legacy by selecting a new president to lead the nation’s post-earthquake reconstruction. Instead, it’s become a huge distraction from that herculean task. Demonstrations are frequent: thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, chanting antigovernment slogans and setting fire to tires and barricades to protest the disputed results. All this is going on as the nation’s cholera epidemic continues to infect more than 1,000 people a day, and the 1.3 million Haitians still living in unsanitary tent camps since last January’s earthquake feel forgotten.

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VIDEO: Haiti’s Students: Out of School for 10 Months

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Haiti Voter Beware

Fair and inclusive elections may prove impossible in Haiti this year. In the run-up to the Nov. 28 presidential vote, post-quake logistics are presenting huge challenges: some 230,000 dead have to be purged from voter rolls and 1.3 million displaced have to be reregistered—and the constitutional deadline for that has already passed.

But an even greater problem may be Haiti’s electoral commission itself. It has sidelined 15 candidates without explanation and has excluded the Lavalas Party, which stands in opposition to the current president, René Préval. International investors and donors are worried that a tainted election will further impede the country’s already hobbling reconstruction efforts. Experts say rebuilding Haiti will necessarily infringe on individuals’ property rights—and the less trust Haitians have in their government, the quicker they’re likely to fight back. In the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, lesser issues have stirred unrest

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