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Canadian & US Intervention taking the long road, Haiti still in dire crisis



By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff


#Haiti, January 24, 2023 – On the ground, Haitians are terrified.  The gangs they’d thought would be nuetralised by now, are thriving and have enveloped much of the impoverished country in a fog of fear.  Kidnappings, targeted killings of law enforcement and others who dare to speak out and raging control over parts of the almost leaderless Caribbean country have inspired even more attempts to flee; Haitian men, women and children are risking  it all in an unrelenting flow driven by hope and desperation.

Despite sanctions on so-called elites and allegedly corrupt ex-politicians and promises of military intervention to disarm the gangs terrorizing and threatening the government of Haiti, the occupation of US and Canadian soldiers is having little effect, it seems, on the worsening humanitarian crises, raising questions about the effectiveness of the strategy.

The US, Canada and others stepped up late last year with the intent to send a multinational military force into the Republic after Ariel Henry, Haitian Prime Minister publicly requested it in October 2022.

The request came after gangs demanded Henry’s resignation.

The United Nations reports that at least 60 percent of Haiti is controlled by the country’s 200 gangs; residents however say the footprint of lawlessness and takeover is much, much higher.  Police are afraid and are being slaughtered in the streets.

No one is coming when back-up is called.

Canada took the lead on the combined military charge, described by the UN as a security assistance mission and authenticated by a UN Security Council resolution. Canada, in November, had maintained they would not put significant boots on the ground until all Haitian leaders agreed on the decision.

While politicians fought amongst themselves on this tactic, assistance arrived in the form of Haitian-bought armoured vehicles for the police and sanctions began to be laid against certain Haitians. The list of those to be sanctioned and declared ‘enemies of the state’ was compiled by US and Mexican authorities and included gang leaders and other elites who were summarily placed under travel bans, had their assets frozen and were banned from purchasing arms and doing business in the US and Canada.

But that has not stopped the chaos and mere weeks into 2023, the final cohort of democratically  elected leaders dramatically left office;  their terms having expired in early January, collapsing the last shreds of democracy.

The US and Canada have met to discuss the situation, but no concrete way forward was announced other than the sanctioning of two more ‘elites’.

Despite Henry’s cry for help and the UN agreement, Bob Ray, Canadian ambassador to the UN, has indicated that major military operations in Haiti would not have a lasting impact on the Caribbean nation and Canada is instead looking at more long-term options.

“We have to admit there’s been a history of what I would call large-scale military interventions that have not worked,” Ray told Canadian media houses. “The question is what form of intervention would be the most sustainable, and that is what we are still discussing.”

The assessment comes as Henry indicated he hoped the multinational force would arrive in the country this year. And as the crisis worsens, Haitians have continued to finance their exodus, even in dangerously small boats, hungry for a taste of a better life, albeit on another shore and without the welcome mat.

Record numbers of migrants have now illegally turned up in countries like the Turks and Caicos, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the United States, exposing a worrying trend mere weeks into the New Year.

Bahamas News




#TheBahamas, May 21, 2024 – On Wednesday, May 15, the Department effectively executed the repatriation of a group of illegal migrants from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, New Providence to Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

At approximately 9:11 a.m., a Bahamasair chartered flight departed New Providence en route to Haiti with one hundred twenty-four (124) Haitian nationals onboard; a hundred and eight (108) adult males, thirteen (13) adult females and three (3) minors. The Department’s Deportation and Enforcement Units led the escort.

All security and health protocols were observed as the safety and welfare of our officers, law enforcement counterparts and migrants remain the highest priority.

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Introducing The Bahamas Cannabis Authority; Marijuana Bill tabled by Darville



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – A medical marijuana industry is set for establishment in The Bahamas, following the tabling of the Cannabis Bill, 2024, in the House of Assembly, by Minister of Health and Wellness, Hon. Dr Michael Darville, May 15.

The Minister said objective of legislation is to set up a framework to establish The Bahamas Cannabis Authority, and to regulate the of importation, exportation, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, producing, sale, possession, distribution, and use of cannabis.

He told the Assembly that the law represents a thoughtful and balanced approach and was driven by a duty to act as he referenced the number of Bahamians who are battling cancer and in need of alternative treatments for pain management and other related issues.

“The legislative package, the Cannabis Bill, 2024 is designed to introduce a controlled system of cannabis use in medical treatments. The bill establishes the Bahamas Cannabis Authority.  A regulatory body overseeing all aspects of cannabis management and cultivation and distribution.  The authority’s mandate is to ensure that cannabis production and use are safe, controlled and effectively integrated into our health care system,” Minister Darville said.

Adding that the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that he also tabled, reclassifies cannabis by removing it from the dangerous drug list, now recognises its potential for medical use, he said the change aligns “our nations laws” with evolving global perspectives on cannabis.

The new law makes provisions for the licensing of cannabis handlers across various aspects of The Bahamas, and Dr. Darville said the licensing is structured to prioritise Bahamian ownership, with provisions ensuring that significant control remains in the hands of Bahamian nationals, fostering local entrepreneurship and economic benefits “for Bahamians across the country.

“We are here to make a difference, to enact change, remove years of stigma and transform lives by offering alternative treatments by way of medical cannabis.  The legislation before us offers a careful, considerate approach ensuring that we prioritize the wellbeing and safety of our citizens. Let us move with compassion,” he said.

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Pinder announces Trial by Judge Alone, New Courts, Harsher Penalties in Judicial Reform legislative Package



Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, May 20, 2024 – The Bahamian Government has moved to open new courts, increase penalties for serious and violent crimes, as part of its reform of the judiciary to create efficiency in the system, and gang reduction efforts.

Outlining the administration’s legislative agenda on crime reduction, and judicial reform, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator, the Hon. Ryan Pinder said in the coming months there will be the opening of the juvenile and family courts allowing “us to bring on new judges for criminal and civil matters.

“We also anticipate establishing this year a commercial court that will be focused on hearing commercial disputes to ensure that the pace of business is not impaired by delays in trials,” the Minister said while addressing the Senate on May 15.

He was presenting the second reading of the Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024 and The Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which allows for the Supreme Court (Criminal Case Management) (Amendment) Rules, 2024.

Senator Pinder said the bills are in line with the commitment of this Government to ensure that the necessary laws are in place to facilitate the “timely and effective” administration of justice.

Stressing that the administration have been working hard this legislative session to put in place the improvements in law to address the judicial system as well as the treatment of bail for an accused, and ensuring stiff penalties for major criminal violations, he said  the Government have passed a series of legislation to facilitate trials and prosecution of criminals.

“I would suggest that we have done more on the legislative front than any former administration to address crime, and we are not done.”

“The Magistrates (Amendment) Bill increased the financial thresholds of the jurisdiction of a Magistrate to hear certain matters and adjusted the maximum penalties. The broadening of the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court is intended to rebalance cases between the Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court in order to relieve the volume of minor disputes from the calendar of the Supreme Court,” he said.

For the magistrate’s court, he said, it is many instances the primary court for many civil and criminal cases, and especially in civil matters operating more of a small claims court, and the jurisdictional limits increased had not been adjusted in many years, and the operation of society has outpaced their limits.

The Court Services Bill empowers the judiciary to operate autonomously from an administrative point of view, by taking away oversight by central Government, thereby removing the bottleneck caused by the current system and providing further judicial independence.

For the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, it increases the maximum number of Supreme Court judges from 20 to 25, increasing the capacity to conduct trials in the Supreme Court by 25%.

“It is the Government’s intention that this not only contribute significantly to concluding the backlog of cases but will also give the Chief Justice the flexibility he requires to better allocated judges through the courts,” the Minister said.

The Trial by Judge Alone (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2024, to grant a right of election to persons charged with indictable offences in the Supreme Court to be tried by a Judge alone.

“We believe this is a positive legislative reform to provide yet more support for timely trials in criminal matters,” the Minister said.

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