The Caracol Industrial Park is a $300 million project built on a 617-acre site in the North-West Department of Haiti, in collaboration of the Haitian Government, the US State Department and the Inter-American Development Bank. The giant park, which includes a water-treatment plant, a worker housing not far from the facility and a 10 mega-watt power, plant will create 65.000 direct employment and will be responsible for an estimated 20.000 indirect jobs. The industrial park officially opened on October 22, 2012.. The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, her husband and ex President of the US, Bill Clinton attended.
The Industrial park construction has faced a lot of criticism from many concerned environmentalists, farmers, and labor advocates. To clear the way for the construction of the park, the Haitian Government had to evict 366 farmers from their rightfully own, very fertile land; the location of the industrial park is not far from one of the most fragile ecosystem in the Caribbean; Caracol, a coastal town, is home to Haiti's most extensive mangroves reserve and one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the region. Caracol is also home to two critically endangered sea creatures: The Atlantic leather back sea turtle (The largest of all living turtles and the fourth largest reptile in the world); and, the black jew fish. Environmentalist fear that the construction of such a mega industrial park will severely disturbed the habitat of these animals and ultimately caused their extension. The anchor tenant, SNH Global, is a South Korean clothing manufacturer with troubles labor relations records, specially in Guatemala, where it operates many factories, is also of many concerns.
While the construction of this industrial park will unquestionably provides jobs for tens of thousands, it should have been constructed elsewhere, in consideration of the little that is left of the country's fragile environment and also to protect those fertile lands. It is very reckless for the Haitian Government and Its' international partners, to replace lands with high agricultural potentials that could feed countless of people, with concrete, while destroying the little that is left of Haiti's ecosystem. It is imperative to include the protection of the environment and the encouragement of sustainable agro-production in the rebuilding process of Haiti. The northern region of Haiti is the most fertile of not only Haiti, but the entire Island of Hispaniola, the construction of such enormous industrial parks and other non-agriculture related colossal structures should be avoided at all cost; we must instead encourage agro-investment that will most certainly reduce Haiti's dependency on basic, staples food importation and, at the same time improve the life qualities of its inhabitants. We encourage Haitians and others concerned, to be more involved in the rebuilding process of Haiti, and speak out when decisions take by the Haitian Government and others are not in the ultimate benefit of Haiti and its people.
In : Manufacturing