US weapons enabling gang violence in Haiti: The criminal economy fueling deadly conflicts | Update from Armed Groups

Guns and Grief: How Illegal Weapons Continue to Fuel Violence in Haiti Despite Calls for Change

For many years, human rights activists and civil society organizations in Haiti have been demanding an end to the illegal flow of firearms to criminal gangs, particularly from the United States. The country has no weapons or ammunition factories, so the weapons causing violence and mourning in Haiti are coming from elsewhere, primarily from the United States.

The recent surge in deadly gang attacks in Port-au-Prince has brought attention once again to this issue. Rosy Auguste Ducena, a lawyer and program director at the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH), a prominent Haitian rights group, emphasized the need to address this influx of weapons into Haiti.

Various types of firearms, including handguns, semi-automatic weapons, and even military-style weapons, are entering Haiti with little oversight due to weak state institutions, corruption, and challenges in monitoring the country’s vast coastline. Ducena highlighted the importance of the United States taking responsibility for controlling the export of weapons from their country to help address this issue.

If countries like the United States are willing to assist Haiti, one crucial step they could take is to tighten controls on the export of firearms to prevent them from reaching criminal gangs in Haiti. This would be a positive step towards addressing the violence and insecurity caused by illegal weapons flowing into the country.

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