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UN brought cholera to Haiti

As if the Haitians didn't suffer enough:

The team's new report tracks the arrival in October 2010 of a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers from Kathmandu to a U.N. encampment in the Haitian village of Mirebalais, which sits on the banks of the Artibonite River. Within days, Haitian hospitals along the river saw a dramatic increase of deaths from diarrhea and dehydration, a signature. The illnesses marked the open chapter in a major cholera epidemic that quickly spread across the country.

The report stated that the peacekeepers had constructed a series a "haphazard "system of pipes from the U.N. camps showers and toilets to the six fiberglass tanks. The "black water waste," which included human feces, was then transferred to an open, unfenced, septic pit, where children and animals frequently roamed. The system provided "significant potential" for contamination.

The panel ruled out the possibility that the cholera strain had originated in the region, saying the lethal strain was "very similar but not identical to the South Asian strain of Vibrio Cholerae."

"The exact source of introduction of cholera into Haiti will never be known with scientific certainty, as it is not possible to travel back in time to conduct the necessary investigations," the panel's members wrote in its new report.. "However, the preponderance of the evidence and the weight of the circumstantial evidence does lead to the conclusion that personnel associated with the Mirebalais MINUSTAH [The U.N. Mission in Haiti] facility were the most likely source of introduction of cholera into Haiti."

And now, of course, Haiti will always have cholera.

There ought to be some sort of social science law that imperial ventures always go wrong in just this way; it's not exactly the same as giving smallpox-infected blankets to the Indians, because the UN didn't shit in the Haitians water on purpose, but by accident.

If you believe in accidents.

NOTE This is a "new" report by the same experts who produced a more tentative earlier report, but using new data to track the actual cholera strain, which turns out to be from Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, the UN is claiming diplomatic immunity to get out of any liability.

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