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The Earthquake Issue of 2010

 

Several weeks after the destructive earthquake of 2010 had struck Haiti, a new series of stamps appeared in sheetlet format. In all, some fifteen different designs and three labels were included in the colorful, large format productions. Those designs on the first sheetlet included no reference to being postage stamps, although the designs of the second sheetlet contained the statement "Office des Postes d'Haiti apres le Seisme". News of the new issue was widespread in the philatelic press and dealers in Europe, Asia, and North America offered the new stamps for sale.

A number of sellers had been provided with copies of a certificate of authenticity signed by Margarette Emile, Director General of the Haiti Postal Service, stating that the sheets were legitimate postage issues of Haiti. Unfortunately, as in the case of the infamous Haitian Audubon series of 1975, the Earthquake issue was not authorized by proper authorities within the Haitian Government and was subsequently branded by officials as an unauthorized issue without validity.

Josseline Fethiere, Minister of Commerce and Industry (the ministry in charge of the postal service), denounced the two Souvenir Sheets issue as a “fabrication” and indicated the sheets were not authorized by the Government of Haiti. Moreover, on the morning of 8 June 2010, Port-au-Prince radio stations 'Metropole' and 'Caraibes' confirmed that Ms. Emile had been removed as Director General of the Haiti Postal Service. According to radio announcements, the removal of Ms. Emile was linked to a bogus stamp issue commemorating the recent Haiti earthquake. Her replacement as Director of Posts was identified as Jean Ernst Paul.