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February 04, 2010

Haitians worried about identity theft

On top of all their other injuries, loss, worries and problems, Haitians are also worried about identity theft, as illustrated by the below article by Efrem Graham with
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Victims of Haiti's earthquake are dealing with yet another painful reality as they struggle to get back on their feet.

Many have no identification to prove who they are and they're afraid they could become victims of identity theft.

Slow Signs of Recovery

There are tiny signs that life is slowly returning to normal in Haiti. However, there are even bigger signs of just how slow that recovery is.

For instance, Jonas Julien sleeps in one of the countless tent cities, but has no tent.

"My family has eight persons," he explained. "They are in the street. They are on the street."

Another survivor, Antoine Demorcy, walked the street searching to see if family members' bodies were trapped beneath the rubble. So far, he's found three.

"You can't do nothing about. That is life," he said. "You have to keep looking to see. Be very strong and keep looking that is why I am going by my feet to see."

In one area of Port-au-Prince where many people lost their lives, some are still buried beneath rubble.

However, many people also escaped. Now they have returned to search through the debris hoping to retrieve important belongings such as bank statements, birth certificates, even their college degrees.

Jean Robert was looking for his passport and the deed to his land.

"People used to steal your ownership if they know that you don't have the paper that should prove, that can certify that you are the owner of a thing," he said.

He is worried about losing his identity, after losing so much more.

"My brother died," Robert said. "I had the chance to rescue him, but he died after because he could not breathe, I mean five days after."

Robert's mother, who lived on the first floor of a five-story building, was also killed in the earthquake.

"My mother is still under the stuff," he said.

Truly tragic. 

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