Préval calls for merciless fight against drug trafficking

President Préval is delighted with the reception by Latin American leaders of his recent statements against drug trafficking, AHP reported January 11 (unofficial translation below).

He called on the U.S., as the biggest drug-using nation, to help Haiti stop illegal drug transport.

This is a bad sign from a leader who must know that, for the impoverished majority of Haitians, any U.S. government influence is malign.  In the  hands of USAID, even a summer camp is a tool of political warfare against poor people's movements.  For more on this incident, see Kevin Skerrett's ZNet article.  (We're not even talking about the USAID-sponsored soccer game that hosted a massacre by police and paramilitaries.) You can get all unofficial English translations of AHP by e-mailing mlhaiti at cornernet (dot) com.

Port-au-Prince, January 11, 2007 (AHP)- President René Préval announced Thursday that a summit on drug trafficking will be held in the Dominican Republic next March.  

Back home after a visit to Managua where he participated in the ceremonies for the inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortéga, President Préval spoke about his meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Dominican President Léonel Fernández concerning drug trafficking.  

"I was delighted to see how my recent statements against narcotics trafficking were received by Latin American heads of state", said Mr. Préval.

The president said that several heads of state from the region believe that a merciless fight must be waged against drug trafficking, which they agree constitutes a major impediment that prevents their countries from functioning well.

René Préval indicated last Sunday on his return from Jamaica that Haiti is a victim of drug trafficking, particularly because Haitians do not consume illegal narcotics themselves.  

In this regard, he called on the United States (as the largest consumer of illegal narcotics) to help the Haitian government in its struggle to stop Haiti from continuing to be a point of drug transshipment.

"The US ambassador visits the Haitian Senate to discuss the problem of illegal drugs"

Port-au-Prince, January 25, 2007 (AHP)- US Ambassador to Haiti Janet A. Sanderson visited the Senate of the Republic this Thursday to discuss with the Senators new measures that the US government intends to take jointly with the Haitian government.  

According to Senate president Joseph Lambert, the meeting was an opportunity to exchange points of view on the problem of illegal narcotics, which is a serious issue for Haiti and paralyzes the country's development, he said.  

Large quantities of drugs from Jamaica transit through Haiti on their way to the countries that are the leading consumers of illegal drugs, said the Senator.  

The other countries in the region have made a commitment to join efforts to slow down illegal trafficking. A summit will be held on March 15 in the Dominican Republic to discuss drug trafficking and ways to stop it.  

Ambassador Janet Sanderson announced that the visit to Haiti planned for this week for the head of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), has been postponed for health reasons.  

Another date will be scheduled, she said, adding that discussions (in the haitian Senate) also focused on the tour she intends to make through the Southeast of Haiti as part of the program of US support for the region's development.

Jacmel, February 1, 2007 (AHP)- US Ambassador Janet A. Sanderson on Wednesday reiterated the commitment of her government to support the Haitian authorities in the fight against illegal drug trafficking.  

Mme Sanderson spoke during a visit to Jacmel on January 30 and 31 during which she inspected development projects in the Southeast Department financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).  

She said that the United States just provided to the Haitian national police two dogs trained in the detection of drugs, to help the Haitian police.  

The drug traffickers must be prosecuted with great determination throughout the region, she declared.  

The diplomat also said that the question of the Haitians deported from the United States remains very sensitive given that it is required by US law.  

Many sectors believe these deported former Haitian prisoners from US jails are in large part responsible for the insecurity in Haiti and are being exploited by drug traffickers as well as politicians who are injecting their venom into the populist districts.  

Talks have begun on this issue between the Haitian and US governments, said Ambassador Sanderson.

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