Bookmark and Share

Dec 29 & Jan 1: from Artibonite, Haiti - Brazil - New York - Uganda - Saudi Arabia

From our correspondents around the world...

Germaine Villeceant Excellente stands in front of her house, which she says was burned by peasants in a dispute over land rights. (Photo/Connie Watson)

From Haiti, your land or your life. The murderous row over property rights in Haiti.   

The Plumpy'nut paradox: a cure for malnutrition they just can't make enough of.   

In Brazil, a dedicated team of environmentalists has to find the last survivor of a remote Indian tribe before his enemies do.

Uganda is no country for gay men and the closet is sometimes the only safe place.

And our correspondents' notebook from an adventure in Saudi Arabia.


A house in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti, destroyed by those claiming the property as their own. Photo/Connie Watson

Larceny over land ownership in Haiti  

In Haiti, people are killing each other over land.

It's a country where few can actually produce a deed to their property, and that's a big incentive for others to try and force them off.

There's hope the earthquake that's left more than a million homeless might prompt a reform of the country's chaotic system of land ownership.

But nothing so far. 

Instead, it's anarchy.  And sometimes a violent free-for-all, as we first heard last June from CBC Correspondent Connie Watson, in the capital.  

 Listen to Connie's documentary

A two year old gets Plumpy'nut paste - a remarkable antidote to malnutrition that reaches only a fraction of those who need it. Photo/Anjali Nayar

A cure for hunger there's not enough of

In a Kenyan health clinic on the parched border with South Sudan, our correspondent Anjali Nayar watches Geoffrey Muruthi hand out little sachets of something that's saving kids lives.

It's called Plumpy'nut, an enriched peanut-butter paste.  And when it comes to treating malnutrition, some think it's the silver bullet the world's been waiting for.  

Fact is, malnutrition kills more kids than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria put together. And Plumpy'nut seems to be a simple and effective solution.

But not without its problems. For one, there just isn't enough of it. And it's pricey, because the patent-holder has to be paid.  

Andrew Rice has written about the tensions it's causing in the humanitarian aid community for The New York Times Magazine. He spoke to Rick from New York City earlier this year.

Andrew's talk with Rick 

You might recall Andrew's thoughtful reporting from an interview he did with us last year about Uganda after Idi Amin.  His Plumpy'nut article, called The Peanut Solution, is in the online archive of The New York Times Magazine.  


He has eluded both friends and foes for 15 years and has  survived alone in the Brazlian jungle.  Photo/Vincent Carelli-Video Nas Aldeias

A lone survivor in Brazil's jungle

Deep in the Brazilian rain forest, the last member of an unknown tribe lives in a grass hut, observing ancient inexplicable customs like sleeping over an open pit.  

The rest of his people appear to have been slaughtered, perhaps by those involved in clear-cutting the land for cattle. 

The Brazilian government wants to spare him the same fate, so its agents have to find him before they do.  

But how to find a skilled bushman who doesn't want to be found, and has a five-foot arrow pointed at anyone who comes looking? 

That's a story of adventure and resentment, and Brazil's struggle to reconcile development with human rights. 

American journalist Monte Reel tells it in his new book, The Last Of The Tribe: The Epic Quest To Save A Lone Man In The Amazon, published by Scribner. 

Monte Reel joined us from Buenos Aires this past June

A reading by Monte from his book  -- In this reading the author describes how one of the contact team members, Altair Algayer, picked up the trail of the last tribesman, two years after they last spotted him.

At Monte Reel's website, he posted an this update earlier this year: 

Adelino Ramos, a land activist whose tips helped Marcelo dos Santos and Altair Algayer discover the Kanoe and Akuntsu tribes in 1995, has been shot and killed. Local authorities say that Ramos -- known throughout Rondonia by his nickname, "Dinho" --  recently had been threatened by loggers because of his opposition to their activities. In the past two months, at least five land activists have been murdered throughout the Amazon. 

Read more here

Page from a Kampala newspaper in April, discussing the proposed anti-gay bill (Photo/Dennis Porter)

Being gay in Uganda

Turns out no one in Uganda will go to the gallows for being gay after all, but the threat's not gone. 

Last May, it came breathtakingly close to becoming the eighth country in the world to legalise the execution of people based on  sexual orientation.  

But Parliament adjourned without considering a bill to impose the death sentence on homosexuals with HIV, or convicted of same-sex rape.  

But there is always the chance it'll be re-introduced.  And the atmosphere it's fostered in Uganda over the past two years is chilling. 

One newspaper even published pictures of men it claimed were gay, with the headline saying, "Hang Them!" And not long after that, an activist was found beaten to death. 

It's against the law to be homosexual in Uganda. And as we first heard on this program last May, more than a little frightening in the one place they dare to gather. 

Listen now to Dennis Porter'sView from Here

And the names of some people interviewed in that piece were changed at their request for their own security. 

 The screwy Saudi security syndrome 

Rick remembers a Saudi man in flowing robes approaching him in the street and said the house across the square is headquarters to the notorious Abu Nidal, at the time a wanted terrorist:

"Then he asked if I had any whisky.  Screwy moments like that are, frankly, one of the perqs of being a correspondent."

And for a female correspondent working Saudi Arabia, the stories can be considerably weirder, especially in a time of unrest, like like it's been this past year.

Canadian journalist Laura Lynch shared some with us in a guest essay first aired last March.  

Listen to Laura's essay

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producers Tim Lorimer and Victor Johnston, Senior producer Alan Guettel and Rick MacInnes-Rae. 

We'll bring you the world!

  • Commenting has been disabled for this entry.