Support for armed gangs: Ottawa sanctions three members of Haiti's political elite

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Support for armed gangs: Ottawa sanctions three members of Haiti’s political elite

< p class="styled__StyledLegend-sc-v64krj-0 cfqhYM">Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced this new round of sanctions on the sidelines of the Francophonie Summit in Djerba, Tunisia.

The Canadian government sanctions three members of the Haitian political class for their “illicit financial and operational support for armed gangs”.

The sanctions, announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, in Djerba on the sidelines of the Francophonie Summit, target Senator Rony Célestin, former Senator Hervé Fourcand as well as the former President of the Chamber of MPs, Gary Bodeau.

The announcement has the effect of freezing any assets these individuals may hold in Canada.

“Canada has reason to believe that these individuals are using their status as former or current public office holders to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other corrupt acts. »

— Excerpt from Global Affairs Canada press release

Rony Célestin had been the subject of an investigation by the Haitian authorities in 2021 in connection with the purchase of a villa in Laval, but had been cleared of any suspicion of corruption in this affair.

This new round of sanctions follows the one announced on November 4 targeting the President of the Haitian Senate, Joseph Lambert, and one of his predecessors in this position, Youri Latortue.

The UN Security Council approved at the end of October a sanctions regime against Haitian criminal gangs that control access to essential commodities such as water, food and oil.

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