WikiLeaks Haiti: The Post-Quake “Gold Rush” for Reconstruction Contracts

Disaster capitalists were flocking to Haiti in a “gold rush” for contracts to rebuild the country after the January 12, 2010, earthquake, according to a secret cable from US Ambassador Kenneth Merten.

The February 1, 2010, cable was obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to the Haitian newspaper Haïti Liberté, which is collaborating with The Nation on a series of reports on US and UN policy toward the country.

“THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!” Merten headlined a section of his 6 PM situation report—or SitRep—to Washington. “As Haiti digs out from the earthquake, different [US] companies are moving in to sell their concepts, products and services,” he wrote. “President Preval met with Gen Wesley Clark Saturday [January 29] and received a sales presentation on a hurricane/earthquake resistant foam core house designed for low income residents.”

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