US Arms Fueling Deadly Gang Violence in Haiti: Uncovering the Criminal Economy

For years, human rights advocates and civil society groups in Haiti have been demanding that the flow of illicit firearms to criminal gangs be stopped. With a surge in deadly gang attacks gripping the capital of Port-au-Prince, these calls are becoming even more urgent.

Rosy Auguste Ducena, a lawyer and programme director at the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH), a prominent Haitian rights group, pointed out that Haiti does not have its own weapons or ammunition factory. Therefore, the weapons and ammunition causing chaos in the country are coming from elsewhere, with a significant portion originating from the United States.

The range of firearms and ammunition entering Haiti is largely unchecked due to weak state institutions, corruption, and challenges in monitoring the vast coastline of the country. Ducena emphasized the need for greater control over what leaves the United States to help address the crisis in Haiti.

By addressing the issue of illicit firearms flowing into Haiti through stronger controls and monitoring mechanisms, international cooperation and support are essential for promoting peace and security in the country. The RNDDH has been calling for stronger measures to prevent arms smuggling from neighboring countries like Dominican Republic and Colombia as well as from other regions including North America.

By Riley Johnson

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