Canada sanctions Haiti ex-President Martelly for financing gangs


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Nov 23,(Reuters) – Canada has sanctioned former Haitian President Michel Martelly and two former prime ministers for financing gangs, Canadian authorities said on Sunday, the latest in a series of measures targeting alleged backers of Haitian criminal groups.

In September, Haitian gangs created a humanitarian crisis by blocking a fuel terminal for nearly six weeks, halting most economic activity and triggering U.N. discussion of a possible foreign strike force to open the terminal.

Canada and the United States have sanctioned political leaders who allegedly finance the gangs, which according to policy makers are backed by Haitian elites.

“These latest sanctions target a former president of Haiti and two former prime ministers of Haiti suspected of protecting and enabling the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs,” the office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement, which did not name the individuals.

Canada journalist Louis Blouin wrote on Twitter that the sanctions targeted Martelly, as well as former Haitian Prime Ministers Laurent Lamothe and Jean Henry Ceant. Canadian Ambassador to Haiti, Sebastien Carriere, replied on Twitter: “Confirmed.”

Martery was a pop singer who performed under the stage name of Sweet Mickey before he became president, received significant support from the United States before and during his presidency, and has performed shows in South Florida since his presidency. was making a living.

His successor was Jovenel Moise, an ally who was assassinated in 2021.

Ramote, who served as prime minister from 2012 to 2014, described the announcement as “the fakest of fake news” and said it publicly called for foreign intervention to fight gangs.

“Canada cannot provide evidence because it does not,” he wrote to Reuters in a text message. “That’s ridiculous.”

Police regained control of the terminal this month and fuel is flowing again, but gang kidnappings are on the rise and armed groups continue to tighten control of the territory.