Ottawa sanctions Haitian ‘political elites’ over suspected collusion with gangs – National

The federal government sanctioned two “Haitian political elites” on Friday over suspicions they are enabling gangs that have shaken the Caribbean nation.

Haiti is currently dealing with multiple crises, and has been unstable since the 2021 assassination of former president Jovenel Moise. Quality of life began to severely decline in September, when Haitan gangs blocked a gas depot that resulted in fuel shortages in the nation.

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What’s happening in Haiti? Multiple crises prompt calls for Canada’s help

The Haitian government has looked to Canada for help in quashing gang violence. While Ottawa considers its next steps, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Canada is targeting prominent Haitians, alongside the United States, with sanctions.

The individuals sanctioned Friday were Joseph Lambert, president of Haiti’s Senate, and Youri Latortue, former Senate president. The new measures impose a dealings prohibition on them, effectively freezing any assets they may hold in Canada, the government said.

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“Canada has reason to believe these individuals are using their status as previous or current public office holders to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption,” Ottawa said in a news release.

“The sanctions against these individuals are intended to stop the flow of illicit funds and weapons to weaken and disable criminal gangs. The Government of Canada will consider further sanctions against additional individuals and entities, as well as other measures to pressure those responsible for the violence and insecurity in Haiti.”

Haitians Youri Latortue (left) and Joseph Lambert were sanctioned by the Canadian government on Friday over the unrest in the Caribbean nation.

AP file photos

More to come.

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