U.S. wants Canada to lead force to Haiti
March 21, 2023
More than 530 people have been killed this year by gang violence in Haiti, the United Nations said today. Many of the deaths were caused by snipers shooting victims at random, reports AFP.
"Clashes between gangs are becoming more violent and more frequent, as they try to expand their territorial control throughout the capital and other regions by targeting people living in areas controlled by rivals," UNHCHR spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said.
Students and teachers have been hit by stray bullets, and kidnappings of parents and pupils in the vicinity of schools has surged, forcing many to close.
U.S. President Joe Biden is pressuring Canada to lead an international armed force to Haiti, as he visits Ottawa this week. But Canada has expressed little interest in heading such a mission, calling for Haitian political consensus for an outside intervention, noting a history of failed previous interventions, and questioning Canada’s own military capacity, reports the Washington Post.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he wants to mobilize Haiti’s military to help the National Police fight the country’s increasingly powerful gangs. Haiti’s military was disbanded in 1995 after it participated in multiple coups and was accused of other political interference. The Armed Forces were reinstated by since assassinated President Jovenel Moïse in 2017, reports the Associated Press.
“The United States Government Accountability Office has issued a report on U.S. efforts to help Haiti rebuild after its devastating 2010 earthquake, and the conclusions are the same as in previous findings: Canceled projects, reduced allocations and cost overruns and delays,” reports the Miami Herald.
Latin American and Caribbean leaders interested into El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s apparently successful security policies are unwilling “to seriously debate the price of his policies, whether they are sustainable, and the consequences of dismantling the country’s democratic institutions,” write Tamara Taraciuk and Noah Bullock in Americas Quarterly.
“Democratic leaders from across the ideological spectrum should speak up against Bukele’s repressive policies. Soon,” they argue, otherwise, “it may well be impossible to curb the dangerous democratic backsliding in the region, of which Bukele is a blunt example.” (Americas Quarterly)
The United States is hoping to dissuade Honduras from from following through on its plan to switch diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China, according to Reuters. (See Friday’s post.)
Taiwan is doomed to lose the recognition game in the region, and should instead seek new ways of relating to the world — World Politics Review.
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will visit China this month accompanied by a delegation of 240 business representatives, including 90 from agriculture sector. (Reuters)
Colombian President Gustavo Petro has suspended a ceasefire with the Gulf Clan, the country’s main drug trafficking clan. He accused it of "sowing anxiety and terror" and ordered the security forces to reactivate their military operations against the criminal gang, reports the BBC.
Letter bombs were sent to at least five journalists working in TV and radio stations in Ecuador yesterday. One exploded without seriously injuring anybody. There is "an absolutely clear message to silence journalists," said the country’s interior minister. (AFP)
Venezuelan oil minister Tareck El Aissami said he will resign, yesterday. At least six officials were arrested following investigations by police into corruption, including at state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela. Venezuelan anti-graft police arrested a mayor, two judges and three government officials — the sweep is particularly noteworthy move given the general lack of corruption arrests in Venezuela, reports Reuters.
Venezuela “is settling into a new, disorienting normality,” with pockets of wealth contrasting with dire poverty among most of the population, reports the New York Times.
Plants recycling U.S. auto batteries in Mexico have exposed their workers to lead, sickening them. Though Mexico’s regulations require environmental and safety protocols, in practise these are often not enforced, reports the New York Times.
Brazil’s government sought to assure anxious investors that Brazil’s new fiscal framework would ease concerns over public spending, but gave few details about the actual plan, reports Bloomberg.
Economist Joseph Stiglitz called Brazil’s interest rate levels “astounding,” joiing a chorus of critics led by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who say borrowing costs are hindering the country’s economic growth. (Bloomberg)
Dominican Republic authorities arrested 19 people in a sweeping corruption case that accuses a well-known former presidential candidate and three former officials of embezzling nearly $350 million and illegal campaign financing, reports the Associated Press.
Peru’s ousted president, Pedro Castillo, attempted to dissolve Congress on Dec. 7 because he was convinced lawmakers were about to remove him from office, one of his lawyers told EFE.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric said the country has an obligation to continue looking for the nearly 1,200 victims of the 1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship whose remains have yet to be found. (EFE)
Fifty years after its last military coup, Uruguay has yet to grapple fully with the dictatorship and state terrorism it experienced in the 1970s and 80s, writes Lucinda Elliot for the Financial Times. Fewer than 50 people have ever been convicted of regime related crimes in Uruguay.