Canada Announced sanctions on Over the weekend, a number of Haitian officials were under fire for their links to the terrorizing gangs.
Michel Martelly, president from 2011-2016, was one of those who were targeted by the measures. and Haitian Prime Ministers are still influential.
The Canadian government did no specifics on the allegations against the men, but stated that they had made a statement in support of them. news release They were “using their status as current or previous public office holders to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption.”
Haiti’s gang warfare has intensified since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last year, as armed groups have grown bolder in their attacks on One another and on the population, overpowering the nation’s poorly equipped police force in much of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
The Haitian government appealed for international armed intervention to stabilize the country last month. The United Nations Security Council passed sanctions on gangs and Individuals may fund them, but diplomats aren’t sure if they will send a multinational force.
As gangs continue their torment, Canada and The United States has sought to be more dependent on the United States. on To reduce pressure current, financial sanctions and Ex-Haitian officials suspected of supporting the armed group.
At a Tunisia news conference on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada Known as the measures “very severe, very direct sanctions on those elites and those oligarchs who have for years, if not for decades, profited from the instability that Haitian people continue to suffer through.” These sanctions will restrict access to financial services. Canada and freeze the politicians’ assets in the country.
Canada Placed penalties on several Haitian officials, including Rony Célestin, a senator whose purchase of a $3.4 million villa in Montreal has raised accusations of corruption from Haitian activists.
But Mr. Martelly, the former president who handpicked Mr. Moïse as his successor and held considerable influence over his administration, is most prominent Haitian official to be publicly seen on Any sanctions on this year’s list.
“The most significant thing is that this is a former president who received strong support from Canada and the international community while he was in office,” Jake Johnston, a Center for Economic Analysis expert on Haiti, said this. and Policy Research in Washington.
Mr. Johnston stated that Mr. Martelly divides his time between Miami and Miami. and Dominican Republic and It was not clear if the financial restrictions were in Canada It would have a negative impact on him.
However, this announcement may signal a shift in the approach of some countries that have the greatest influence on Haiti. On Sunday Canada’s foreign minister called on Others countries will follow suit and implement their own sanctions on those targeted by Mr. Trudeau’s government.
“It could be an indication that the international community is not going to go down the same path as it had in the past,” Johnston stated. “The question is, is it just Canada, or are others coming?”
Mr. Moïse’s assassination remains unsolved, though several Haitian officials — including the commander in charge of guarding the president’s home — have been implicated.
Witnesses have accused that commander, Dimitri Hérard, of working with Mr. Martelly’s brother-in-law, Charles Saint-Remy, among others, to bring a shipment of over 1,000 kilograms of heroin and Cocaine was brought into the country by using government vehicles in 2015. and personnel.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has suspected Mr. Saint-Remy for his involvement in drug trade.
Martelly, a singer and politician, is still a strong but controversial figure in Haiti. Many blame his government for misusing funds of $2 billion that were lent to Haiti as part of a Venezuelan-sponsored oil program.
Canada This weekend, sanctioned also on Laurent Lamothe and Mr. Martelly were both former prime ministers. and Jean-Henry Céant, who served under Mr. Moïse. In 2014, Mr. Lamothe was forced out of office amid a political crisis in his administration. and Opposition parties. Mr. Céant was fired in 2019, six months after he was appointed to form a unity government.
The United States announced sanctions in the same vein. and Canada Two Haitian senators were arrested earlier in the month for being involved with drug trafficking.
Haitians are often terrorized by criminals who regularly kidnap civilians to pay ransom. and According to human rights organizations, sexual violence is used to subjugate people.
The majority of capital is now under the control of gangs and They have effectively closed off entire neighbourhoods from the outside world in their quest for control.
This violence has made it difficult to fight an increasing cholera epidemic. Gangs have made it very difficult for aid workers and humanitarians to provide basic care in sprawling slums, where hundreds of thousands are living.
Canada’s foreign minister, Mélanie Joly, said on Sunday: The officials will be sanctioned “are profiting from the violence that is being weaponized by gangs in Haiti.” She stated that the goal of these measures is to make sure that people are aware of them. “that are part of a corrupted system are facing accountability.”