The United States sanctioned the president of the Haitian Senate for drug trafficking and human rights violations

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Joseph Lambert is accused of facilitating cocaine trafficking from Colombia. Former senator Youri Latortue was also punished

The United States sanctioned the President of the Haitian Senate for drug trafficking and human rights violations

Joseph Lambert at a press conference in Port-au-Prince in January 2022 (REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol)

The United States sanctioned this Friday the president of the Senate of Haiti, Joseph Lambert, whom he accuses of drug trafficking, corruption and serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions.

“We will continue to support the citizens, organizations and public servants of Haiti who are committed to generating hope and opportunities for a better future”, said the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in a statement. The other sanctioned is former senator Youri Latortue.

In the case of Lambert, who remains a relevant political figure in Haiti, Washington considers that he has contributed to facilitating cocaine trafficking from Colombia and has helped these groups operate with impunity. He would also have exhorted others to commit acts of violence in his name.

The Assistant Secretary of the Treasury of the United States for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson , has stated in a statement that both Lambert and Latortue “have abused their official positions to trade drugs and have collaborated with criminal gangs that undermine the rule of law in Haiti.”

< p>The United States sanctioned the president of the Haitian Senate for drug trafficking and human rights violations

Former senator Youri Latortue is escorted by bodyguards outside of the court after a hearing following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 12, 2021 (REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo)

“The United States and its international partners will continue to take action against those who facilitate drug trafficking, enable corruption, and seek to profit from Haiti's instability,” he added. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere is suffering from a succession of emergencies ranging from the political to the humanitarian, passing through growing insecurity.

The foreign ministers of the G7 supported precisely this Friday a statement in which they express their “deep concern” for the humanitarian situation in Haiti and condemn the fact that there are gangs “terrorizing” the population. They have also applauded the recent resolution of the UN Security Council that authorizes sanctions for the leaders of these gangs.

“We urge all the actors in Haiti to restore order and security and to allow the distribution of the aid that is required to cover the urgent needs of the population”, they added in the note, in which they trust that the country can continue advancing towards “free and fair” elections.

With information from EFE and Europa Press

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