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Ottawa sanctions two former Haitian ministers accused of corruption

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(OTTAWA) The Canadian government on Tuesday announced new sanctions against two former Haitian ministers, whom it accuses of corruption and fueling the crisis in the impoverished Caribbean country.

These sanctions target Liszt Quitel and Berto Dorcé, two former justice ministers.

They provide for a freezing of all their assets held in Canada and a ban on carrying out transactions. The two former ministers are also banned from traveling to Canada.

“Canada has reason to believe that these individuals are using their status as prominent members of the economic elite in Haiti to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption,” the Canadian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Liszt Quitel was appointed interim Minister of Justice and Public Security in September 2021, more than two months after the murder of the Head of State Jovenel Moise in his private residence, in the middle of the night, by an armed commando.

As for Mr. Dorcé, he had in turn been appointed to the chancellery in November 2021, when Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry reshuffled his government in agreement with opposition parties to form a “common front against gang insecurity”. “.


PHOTO RALPH TEDY EROL, REUTERS ARCHIVES

Berto Dorce

These two ministers were dismissed from the Haitian government last month.

The Canadian sanctions are intended to “put pressure” on those “responsible for the violence, including widespread sexual violence, and the current instability in Haiti”, the ministry said. “These people must stop pouring funds and supplying weapons to criminal gangs in Haiti,” urged the Canadian ministry.

The Canadian government has previously sanctioned three members of Haiti’s elite, including the island’s only billionaire, Gilbert Bigio. Former President Michel Martelly and two former prime ministers are also under Canadian sanctions.

The Caribbean country, the poorest in North America, has been mired for years in a deep economic, security and political crisis, deeply aggravated by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021 and the increasingly strong grip gangs.

Ottawa attributes the current instability to armed gangs and their supporters who “continue to terrorize vulnerable populations in Haiti with impunity” and “precipitate a humanitarian crisis in the country”, which is facing an epidemic of cholera.



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