Ottawa sanctions former Haitian President Michel Martelly

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Ottawa sanctions ex-president Haitian Michel Martelly

Ottawa suspects the former President of Haiti Michel Martelly to profit directly from the work of criminal gangs.

Canada sanctions three new members of Haiti's political class, including the former -President Michel Martelly, in addition to announcing $16.5 million in aid to help the country deal with a cholera epidemic and fight corruption.

In Tunisia for the Francophonie Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at a press briefing that former President Michel Martelly, as well as former Prime Ministers Laurent Lamothe and Jean Henry Céant, would be sanctioned for their participation in financing the armed gangs that cripple the Caribbean country.

Those sanctioned profit directly from the work of the gangs and are associated with a system of corruption, said Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly.

The three politicians will no longer be able to access the accounts and capital they hold on Canadian soil, if any.

This is the second time in two days that Ottawa has sanctioned members of Haiti's political elite. On Saturday, Ms. Joly announced sanctions against an active senator and two former politicians accused of using their public office to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption.

Similar sanctions were announced earlier in November against the president of the Senate and one of his predecessors, also accused of cultivating links with organized crime .

For months, armed gangs have blocked the roads connecting the capital to the rest of the country, restricting access to essential services such as petrol, food, water and health services.

Prime Minister Trudeau unveiled $16.5 million in financial assistance to help Haiti fight the influence of armed gangs and stem the health crisis caused by the return of cholera .

Justin Trudeau co-chaired a meeting on the situation in Haiti with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs of Haiti, Jean Victor Généus, during the Sommet de la Francophonie.

Half of that, $8 million, is humanitarian aid to provide water, food, and sanitation to fight the disease , Mr. Trudeau said.

Earlier this week, Haitian public health authorities reported 802 confirmed cases of cholera and 161 deaths related to the disease since October, in addition to 8,700 suspected cases. The WHO estimates that 500,000 people are at risk of contracting the disease.

In a press release, the Prime Minister's Office said that humanitarian aid will help x27;provide additional support to:

  • the UN World Food Program to “provide nutritional food aid”;
  • to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service to facilitate humanitarian assistance in more remote or hard-to-reach areas of the country;
  • to the Pan American Health Organization in its response to the cholera epidemic;
  • to the United Nations Children's Fund to improve water sanitation and hygiene conditions.

In addition to this humanitarian assistance, Ottawa will contribute $5 million over three years to strengthen the Haitian state's capacity to fight corruption, as well as $3.5 million to enhance the Access to Justice and Anti-Corruption program. impunity. Led by Lawyers Without Borders Canada, this program aims to strengthen the legal and judicial services of civil society organizations and justice actors in order to help victims of gender-based violence, specifies the government in its press release.

Haiti is ranked 164th out of 180 countries according to the perception index corruption of the NGO Transparency International.

Speaking to the media, Justin Trudeau insisted that the aid announced had been developed in close collaboration with Haiti and regional partners, including the United States and the Caribbean Community, an intergovernmental organization bringing together 15 Caribbean States.

It's been 30 years that Canada and other countries have been committed to helping Haiti and we are once again in a situation of disaster [humanitarian], deplored the Canadian Prime Minister.

The latter pleaded for a renewed approach, which places the Haitians themselves at the heart of the solutions. It can't just be a solution that comes from outside […] it must be rooted in the region and in the country, added Mr. Trudeau.

Haitian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Religious Affairs, Jean Victor Généus, who also participated in the press briefing, affirmed that Canada and the United States had done their job and that #x27;it was now up to the government of Haiti and Haitian institutions to do theirs.

With information from Louis Blouin

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