| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Canada sanctions Haiti ex-President Martelly for financing gangs

The latest in a string of actions against alleged financiers of criminal organizations in Haiti, Canada has sanctioned former Haitian President Michel Martelly and two former prime ministers for funding gangs, Canadian officials announced on Sunday.

By blocking a petroleum terminal for over six weeks in September, Haitian gangs sparked a humanitarian crisis, halted most economic activity, and sparked U.N. speculation of a potential foreign attack force to open the facility.

Political figures who are accused of providing funding for the gangs—which, according to decision-makers, are supported by Haitian elites—have been sanctioned by Canada and the United States.

The office of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in a statement, which did not name the people, “These latest sanctions target a former president of Haiti and two former prime ministers of Haiti suspected of supporting and enabling the illicit actions of armed criminal gangs.”

The sanctions targeted Martelly as well as former Haitian Prime Ministers Laurent Lamothe and Jean Henry Ceant, according to Radio-Canada journalist Louis Blouin’s tweet.

Martelly served as president from 2011 to 2016, taking office in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake.

A pop singer who performed under the stage name Sweet Micky before becoming president, Martelly was strongly backed by the United States before and during his presidency, and made a living playing shows in South Florida after leaving office.

He was succeeded by ally Jovenel Moise, who was assassinated in 2021.

  • Reuters