Photojournalist Neil Hallsworth revisits the hotel that he and Anderson Cooper used as their base after the earthquake. They were among the first journalists on the ground in Haiti, and despite the chaos, had to quickly locate the center of operations for CNN's coverage.
Don't miss Anderson's special report on Haiti tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET on AC360.
Editor's note: Two years after the earthquake, Anderson Cooper revisits Haiti and its post-disaster reality. Watch AC360° at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for Anderson's reports from Haiti and his interview with the country's new president, Michel Martelly.
(CNN) - Fabiola Leocal's story ought to be uncommon, but in post-earthquake Haiti, it's not.
All she has left of her previous life are a stack of photographs and a few other things scavenged off the rubble of the building she called a home.
When the catastrophe struck, as the Haitians say, her house tumbled, along with many others that dotted the hillside in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Canape Vert. Her husband of nine years, Rene, was crushed under concrete.
She lived in a camp for a while but returned to where she belonged. Now she has a tin shack and memories - photographs carefully tucked away in loose, laminated photo album pages of herself and Rene. He, in a suit. She, in a much finer dress than the black sleeveless top and printed skirt she has on now.
When Anderson Cooper returned to Haiti two years after the earthquake, he spoke with relief workers about progress there. Tune in to AC360° tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for Anderson's interview with President Martelly and the full report on his recent experience in Haiti.
Editor's note: AC360° Executive Producer Charlie Moore was on the ground in Haiti for nearly a month with Anderson Cooper after the earthquake struck two years ago. A few days ago, he and Anderson returned to the places where they documented catastrophic destruction, suffering and brave rescues from beneath the rubble. Tune in to CNN on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for their full report.
It had been ten days since the earthquake hit and Ena Zizi was still buried. Somehow, miraculously, rescuers heard her faint cries and were now trying to find her under the rubble of the church that had collapsed on her.
Emergency rescue teams from Germany were tunneling into the rubble, sending men snaking through the concrete to look for a pocket where Ena might be found. Dogs climbed over and into the wreckage, barking when they “hit” on human scent. The mountain of debris was massive – 30 feet high and around 200 feet long. It was big enough for two teams, so on top of the debris a rescue team from Mexico was frantically digging and peeling back massive chunks of concrete and throwing them with a thud in every direction. Despite the frenzy, it was delicate work. They still didn’t know where Ena was buried, so throwing a slab of rock in the wrong direction could mean crushing the trapped woman. An even bigger fear was how easily the whole rock pile could shift. Peeling out layers of the rubble meant changing the foundation, so at any moment the rescuers were worried the entire thing could collapse on itself.
The rescuers worked for hours, while continuing to hear Ena’s faint cries for help, which let them hone in on her location. As night approached there was a flurry of activity on the top of the debris pile. Then suddenly a frail and elderly woman, Ena Zizi, was yanked from a small air pocket surrounded by tons of stone. A huge cheer erupted from the rescue teams and the dozens of onlookers who had gathered. Rescue workers immediately formed a chain down the debris pile, passing her along and finally laying her on the grass, covering her with a thermal blanket and giving her water. A crowd of journalists pushed close to shoot pictures, while Ena Zizi rolled on the ground mumbling, clearly in pain.
Two years after the earthquake, Anderson Cooper revisits Haiti and talks to its president about repairing the country. Tune in to AC360° on Thursday, Jan. 12 for more of Anderson's report.
In April, Haitian police found a naked child in a hole, near the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He was badly beaten, hadn’t eaten in days and was unable to even speak. So they simply called him “Miguel.” He is the face of human trafficking in a country whose porous borders provide many opportunities to those who buy, sell or abduct children. Authorities say these kids are often trafficked for sex, for their organs or to be used as child laborers. I travelled to Haiti in October to report for CNN’s Freedom Project and met little Miguel at an orphanage where he is, for now, safe.
This is his story.
Five months into his administration, Haiti's president, Michel Martelly, is looking to turn his country around. He also wants to reinstitute the country’s army, which was disbanded in 1995. But with an estimated half a million Haitians still living in makeshift tents, following the January 2010 earthquake, and Haiti’s new government just taking root, some Haitians are questioning Martelly’s priorities.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, AC360’s Vladimir Duthiers sat down with President Martelly to discusses his position on Haiti's military, the challenges of protecting and educating children, and why – despite widespread opposition in his country – he wants the United Nations to remain in Haiti for the time being.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
It is 11: 45 pm on Monday night, Jan 25, 2011 and it will be a year that I came to Haiti for the first time on the 27th of Jan, 2010...and I have been back a few times since then and it finally does look different. I hear dogs barking loudly outside and I could swear that I am in Ethiopia. The dogs come out at night in Addis and bark all night so if you find it hard to sleep, Addis is not the place for you! And now, maybe Haiti is not the place for you either...but both places are just fine by me. The flight was a quick 4 hours; when compared to my recent travel to Ethiopia last summer and then Australia and Vietnam for the Christmas holiday, it felt like I had taken a train to New York City from my home in Maplewood, New Jersey. That is likely a good deal of the attraction of Haiti...it is very close to the US. I can't help myself when I tell you that I look forward to coming to Port au Prince. I begin to anticipate the sweetness of the people ...friendly and smiling. The music that greets us at the airport is inviting and whimsical. And yes, that was all there today...smiling faces enticing me to smile back and I did. I felt like I knew everyone at the airport and I gave a thumbs up as we smiled at one another.
The crowds were oppressive and annoying, but at the same time, there was the comfort that other people were coming and going even though everyone is saying Haiti will never be fixed. Nou Bouke is said and seen about town, which means "We're tired" in Creole. And yes, the people are tired especially this past week because Baby Doc came back and then left and then came back. Maybe former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide will be back any moment, as well. Who knows? And who can understand all of this political nonsense? I can't, so I return to the main purpose of my work in Haiti. There are hundreds of thousands of children living in squalor without proper nutrition, without adequate primary medical care, and barely enough education to give a child a chance to rise up and out. I must be here...no choice I guess for now. The rubble is cleared away from so many places that were once unpassable. There are new construction and banners everywhere which announce re-openings of schools, clinics, pharmacies, stores. Some are grand openings and new addresses head the banners. Yet, the roads are still choked with cars, trucks, Tap Taps, and people. The street life was flourishing today...more alive than ever. Every kind of goods was hanging on walls, hooked on doors, spread out on roadsides, and piled high in supermarket baskets and wheel barrows. I took a lot of snapshots of the street chaos today. It was an eye-candy and in fact I let my window down and took iPhone photos all the way back to the hotel after our afternoon at the Rosemina Foundation orphanage. The drivers of our two cars were each sure that their way to the next destination was better....but we let them work that out. Of course, we got lost for just a few minutes and had to double back to find the right address. I am happy actually to see that no matter where you are in the world, finding an orphanage is challenging and even after you go a few times, you will still miss the entrance and get a bit lost. People’s lives also seemed different. They were still living in tent cities, but there was order to that life. I could see at the end of the day, that people had returned from work or school and they were lining up as in a routine to get clean water at the entrance of their tent city. And everyone had that expression of "It’s the end of my day and I can't wait to get home to my family". And there were men and women who were dressed really nicely and neatly, even though they might have slept in a tent for the last year. They were living a routine life now and that was a given. The contrast between the rubble and crushed buildings and the new construction and neat walking commuters was pleasant for me. There was always excitement and eagerness wherever there were little groups of children in school uniforms hanging out and on their way home from school. That was really fun to see. The kids were dressed so carefully, especially the teenage girls, with uniforms that had some individuality reflected in a belt and stockings or a sweater and beautifully coiffed hair. Their faces were shiny and clean. They were going home to do chores and homework amidst the chaos of a nation almost destroyed in a matter of seconds just a year ago and a history of child slavery and tyrannical leaders.
Visit to Rosemina Foundation orphanage
Off to Rosemina Foundation, an orphanage run by Pastor Rolande Fernandez, an elegant woman in her 50s whose grounds house 86 children. Mostly children have families in some location, but no one is collecting this information. Case management by a social welfare system doesn't seem to exist in Haiti. These are what I call "social orphans"; there is a parent and likely some extended family, but they are too poor and not educated. Many believe that being in an orphanage is the only solution. So the kids here are protected from harm and are getting an education and some food. The rooms are barely recognizable as bedrooms...the babies are on mats or in beds… the older kids are on the floor. Sanitation at the orphanage is non-existent. Toilets are being constructed and amidst that construction is one commode in a quasi outhouse with a door swung open. I couldn't resist taking photos of: the toilet that likely is draining into the open grounds; four new sites with the PVC tubes up from the ground; and then potties in the back filled with kaka and flies buzzing about. I didn't get too close because I gagged just from looking...
Related on wwo.org: Dr.Aronson in Haiti – Journal #2
Related on wwo.org: Dr.Aronson in Haiti – Journal #3
CNN Wire Staff
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) - Extraordinary drama unfolded Tuesday in Port-au-Prince as charges were filed against former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, government sources told CNN.
It was not immediately clear what the charges were.
A judge will have 30 days to investigate and decide whether the charges merit moving forward with a case against Duvalier.
Earlier in the day, the former leader was taken into custody at his hotel and transported to a downtown courthouse for a hearing.