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Michael Deibert
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Michael Deibert is the author of Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair (Zed Books, 2013), Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti (Seven Stories Press, 2005) and the forthcoming In the Shadow of Saint Death: The Rise and the Fall of the Gulf Cartel (Lyons Press, 2014).

Michael’s writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Miami Herald, Le Monde diplomatique, Folha de Sao Paulo and the World Policy Journal, among other publications. He has been a featured commentator on international affairs for the BBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera, National Public Radio, WNYC New York Public Radio and KPFK Pafica Radio.

Michael's blog can be read at and he can be followed on Twitter at @michaelcdeibert.

Entries by Michael Deibert

Paris, Je T'aime

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 6:28 PM

Eight months after the terrorist attacks in Paris in January of this year -- attacks during which the Kouachi brothers killed 12 people at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and Amedy Coulibaly murdered an unarmed police woman and four patrons at a Jewish supermarket -- something strange...

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Mexico's Endless War

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 2:03 PM

When 43 students disappeared last month amid a wave of shootouts and assassinations in the Mexican state of Guerrero, it demonstrated in vivid fashion the insecurity still plaguing the country nearly two years into the mandate of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

One of Mexico's most violence-wracked states, where the beach...

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Tamaulipas, Cradle of Mexico's Drug War, Erupts

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 1:56 PM

The Mexican state of Tamaulipas, birthplace of the country's oldest criminal organization, the Gulf Cartel, is again awash in blood. Just across the Rio Grande from Texas and abutting the Gulf of Mexico, neither a change of presidents, seemingly endless battles within the cartel and with their former allies turned...

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Haiti: In the Kingdom of Impunity

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 12:43 PM

There are many striking sights to be seen in Haiti today. In the north of the country, where over 200 years ago a revolt of slaves began that would eventually topple French rule, a 45-minute journey on a smooth road traverses the distance between the border with the Dominican Republic...

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In Comic Dieudonné, France's Freedom of Expression Meets "The Wall"

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 6:37 PM

In the autumn of 2007, I stood in front of the ruins of a smouldering police station in the town of Villiers-le-Bel, about 10 miles north of Paris. Its roof gone, its walls charred black, and tiles scattered about its courtyard, the abandoned shell emanated the stench of...

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Letter From Miami

(27) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 12:44 PM

At about the time Miami Beach Police Department officers were fatally tasing 18-year-old artist and skateboarder Israel Hernandez-Llach, I was rising for the day in my apartment a few blocks away. Morning is generally the most sedate and appealing of time in the tropics, and as one side...

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Why Arrest of Zetas Leader Does Not Mean End to Mexico's Drug War

(9) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 9:34 PM

In the violence that has claimed more than 60,000 lives in Mexico since 2006, the criminal organization know as Los Zetas have been the perpetrators of some sickening crimes.

Originally made up of largely of deserters from a special forces unit of the Mexican army and since buffeted by rogue...

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Michael Deibert's Haiti Bookshelf

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 6:48 PM

Despite its image of relentless poverty and political unrest, Haiti is the most beguiling and charming of destinations for foreign observers, but also one of the most maddeningly complex. From broad brushstrokes outlining the surface of events, outsiders, often devoid of context, are sometimes forced to draw not-always-accurate conclusions. As...

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A journalist ventures back to a troubled, seductive Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 9:36 AM

In 1996, freshly graduated from university, I went into a local bookstore in Pennsylvania and picked up a volume that ultimately changed my life.

The book was The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier by journalist Amy Wilentz. Published seven years earlier, it was a chronicle...

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Letter From Haiti

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 12:36 PM

During late November, the clouds hung low over Port-au-Prince, pregnant with the threat of rain. When it did issue forth, life in Haiti's overpopulated capital, partially destroyed in a January 2010 earthquake, but still vibrant between the Caribbean Sea and looming mountains, continued irrepressibly on. Moto-taxi drivers plied the streets...

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The Fall of Goma

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 4:55 PM

When the provincial capital of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fell to rebel forces today, the rapidity of the rebel advance was shocking, but the fait accompli failure of both Congo's armed forces and the country's United Nations mission was not.

As 2012 dawned, the...

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After Charles Taylor, Justice for Haiti?

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2012 | 3:06 PM

The conviction today by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of former Liberian president Charles Taylor for aiding and abetting war crimes committed in neighboring Sierra Leone -- the first such conviction of a former head of state -- is a welcome development for those seeking to hold politicians...

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North Kivu's False Peace

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2012 | 3:45 PM

At first glance today, things in the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern North Kivu province seem far calmer than in years past.

As recently as 2008, a rebel group, the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) under the command of renegade general Laurent Nkunda, controlled sizable swaths of...

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How Invisible Children's Kony 2012 Will Hurt - And How You Can Help - Central Africa

(85) Comments | Posted March 9, 2012 | 12:10 PM

Earlier this week, I wrote an essay outlining what I viewed as some of the problems with the "Kony 2012" campaign spearheaded by the American NGO Invisible Children.

The campaign and accompanying film advocate -- via technological assistance, training and the presence of United States...

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The Problem With Invisible Children's "Kony 2012"

(285) Comments | Posted March 7, 2012 | 5:55 PM

Recently, a new video produced by the American NGO Invisible Children focusing on Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has been making the rounds. Having just returned from the Acholi region of Northern Uganda myself, where the LRA was born, I thought I might...

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Concern Grows Over Plan to Drill for Oil Near Florida Keys

(3) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 1:44 PM

The news that the Spanish oil giant, Repsol, intends to begin exploratory drilling in the waters directly north of Cuba, has set off a chorus of criticism in Cuba's neighbor to the north: the United States.

Repsol, which has a presence in more than 35 countries, has announced that an...

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Ballots and Bullets in Guatemala

(4) Comments | Posted September 10, 2011 | 4:57 PM

This Sunday, Guatemalans will go to the polls in the fourth presidential election since 1996 peace accords ended that country's 30-year civil war, a conflict that claimed the lives of over 200,000 people, mostly indigenous campesinos caught in the struggle between a militarily-weak leftist insurgency and the ruthless scorched-earth tactics...

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New Orleans' Tragedy and Triumph on 6-Year Katrina Anniversary

(13) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 11:53 AM

When five New Orleans police officers were found guilty earlier this month of a series of murders, shootings and a subsequent cover-up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it seemed a symbolic coda to a catastrophic act of nature that descended upon the Crescent City six years ago...

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Notes From Haiti's Long Hot Summer

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2011 | 8:00 PM

Throughout what has been a dolorous summer in the Haitian capital, the image of the Caribbean nation's new president has gazed out at passersby from billboards and murals affixed to walls that did not topple during the country's apocalyptic January 2010 earthquake.

Depicting a man with a bald pate and...

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What James Craig Anderson's Killing Means to America

(35) Comments | Posted August 9, 2011 | 6:19 PM

Where in the world do at least seven people participate in a brutal and fatal sectarian attack against an innocent working man whose only crime is to be part of a targeted minority? And where in the world would only one of those people then be charged with murder, and...

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