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UN Security Council approves Sanctions to flush out Haitian Gang Leaders

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

October 29, 2022 – As regional and international countries and entities try to find a way to assist Haiti with its ongoing Humanitarian crisis resulting from gang violence, the UN Security Council on Friday unanimously approved a sanctions regime for the country to target gang leaders and those who finance them.

Resolution 2653, as the new sanction is being called, was drafted by the United States and Mexico and is the first sanctions regime adopted since Mali over five years ago.  The resolution will see the establishment of a committee, which will be responsible for designating the individuals and entities to be sanctioned.

According to the United Nations, “the resolution specifically sanctions notorious gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, an ex-police officer who is reportedly the most powerful gang boss in the country, known by his alias “Barbeque”.”

Cherizier is said to be the head of the so-called “G9 Families and Allies.” He has engaged in “acts that threaten the peace, security and stability of Haiti”, having planned or directed acts that amount to “serious human rights abuses.”

In a press release on Friday, October 21, the United Nations outlined the provisions of the sanctions regime.

“The sanctions regime includes an assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against those engaging in or supporting criminal activity and violence involving armed groups and criminal networks.

“Designated activity includes recruiting children, carrying out kidnappings, trafficking, murder and sexual and gender-based violence.

“Crucially, the resolution also designates the obstruction of humanitarian assistance to, and inside Haiti, and any attacks on personnel or premises, of UN missions and operations,” The United Nations explained.

In speaking in the Council chamber after the vote on Friday, US Ambassador and co-pen holder on Haiti, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the unanimous vote represented “an important step to help the Haitian people” and was “truly reflective of Council consensus.”

Thomas-Greenfield said the Council was “sending a clear message to the bad actors that are holding Haiti hostage,” noting that; “the international community will not stand idly by while you [the gangs] wreak havoc on the Haitian people.”

The US Ambassador also explained that clear, measurable and well-defined safeguards were also in place to review the effectiveness of the targeted sanctions, but the challenge now remained of restoring security and alleviating the humanitarian crisis.

In recent months Haiti’s humanitarian crisis has worsened as gangs have blocked access to the main fuel terminal in the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, resulting in a halt to several vital services throughout the country.

Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Government Revenues Soar

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#Kingston, November 25, 2022 – There has been a jump in Government revenue collection, with tax revenues for the first six months of the fiscal year exceeding budget by $35 billion.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that the out-turn is as a result of higher-than-expected economic performance.

“The first quarter growth came out at 5.7 per cent… and all categories of revenue are over budget. Revenues from income and profits are up by nearly 13 per cent or $10 billion,” Dr. Clarke said.

In addition, he noted that revenues from production and consumption are up by seven per cent or $7 billion and revenues from international trade are up by 15 per cent or $18 billion. Revenues from motor-vehicle licences for the first six months of this year are 16 per cent higher than budgeted.

Dr. Clarke was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 22) where the First Supplementary Estimates for 2022/23 were approved.

The approval reflects a revised expenditure of $971 billion, from the previously approved budget of $912 billion for the financial year.

Minister Clarke said the First Supplementary Estimates come within the context of positive overperformance of the economy.

“As a result of this revenue overperformance… we are able to come to this Parliament six months after and put a Budget that proposes $60 billion in new expenditure,” Dr. Clarke said.

The largest component of the supplementary budget is the allocation for public-sector salaries and wages in keeping with the restructuring of compensation.

“We are allocating $16 billion there and there is another $2 billion to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and then about $3 billion for statutory deductions, making a total of $21 billion,” the Minister said.

 

Contact: Latonya Linton

Release: JIS

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