WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in unveiling the Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act of 2022, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to require the Department of State to investigate and provide Congress with annual reports regarding the nature of the relationship between criminal gangs and political and economic elites in Haiti. Representative Val Demings (D-Fla.) previously introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives.
In response to growing gang violence that has exacerbated Haiti’s ongoing security and humanitarian crises, the new legislation seeks to grant public access to the Department’s annual congressional reports and calls for robust sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act against criminal gangs in Haiti, as well as political and economic elites found to be colluding with the gangs.
“I am proud to be joined by my colleagues in introducing this bicameral legislation not only to shed light on the devastating gang violence in Haiti but also signal our commitment to hold bad actors to account regardless of their status,” Chairman Menendez said. “There is a growing body of evidence of Haiti’s armed criminal gangs’ gross violations of human rights, drug trafficking and racketeering schemes, all of which have ushered in a new era of terror exacerbating the country’s significant economic, security, and humanitarian challenges. It is time for both Haiti’s gangs and their financers and political backers to face more consequences for threatening Haiti’s future and broader hemispheric stability.”
“Violent gangs, an outburst of cholera, and an unstable government are making the humanitarian crisis in Haiti worse by the day. Haitians will continue to suffer as long as gang members continue to be propped up and protected by corrupt government officials. Holding these bad actors accountable is the first step to addressing the complex crisis Haiti is facing,” Senator Rubio said.
“The people of Haiti have long suffered at the hands of criminal gangs and their backers. This legislation targets these individuals who perpetuate unspeakable violence against the Haitian people, and the powerful public figures who deploy these gangs for their own benefit. Exposing the connections between these individuals is an important step towards transparency, accountability, and justice for the Haitian people,” Senator Kaine said.
“Governments must protect their citizens. I introduced this legislation in the House of Representatives earlier this month because we must fight for a Haiti free from fear and gang violence, where the Haitian people have the safety and freedom to build their own future. We need to root out the bad actors behind Haiti’s lawlessness and hold them accountable. After the brazen assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, killings and kidnappings have soared, with the backing of Haitian political and economic elites. The United States must take concrete steps to hold these criminals accountable and help the Haitian people achieve stability, freedom, human rights, and democracy,” Representative Demings said.
The Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act of 2022:
Find a copy of the legislation HERE.