Haiti: Spike in weapons smuggled into country from US – BBC

US officials say there has been a surge of high-powered weapons being smuggled from Florida to Haiti.
The Caribbean country has been rocked by brutal gang warfare in which hundreds of people have been killed in the past six weeks alone.
A US federal agent said that the number of weapons illegally shipped to Haiti had risen to unprecedented levels.
Haitian police have complained about being outgunned and outnumbered in their fights with gang members.
US Special Agent Anthony Salisbury, who is in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, told reporters at a news conference in Miami that "not only have we seen a marked uptick in the number of weapons, but a serious increase in the calibre and type of firearms being illegally trafficked".
He added that the Department of Homeland Security was ramping up efforts to stem the flow of illicit weapons.
According to Mr Salisbury, there is an alarming trend of high-powered weapons being smuggled from ports in South Florida to the US. "In the wrong hands, these weapons are easily capable of causing mass casualties," he warned.
In June, the UN Security Council voted to ban the sale of small arms and ammunition to "non-state actors" in Haiti, but the flow of illegal arms seems to have only increased.
On Saturday, customs officials at a port in the Haitian capital seized containers full of ammunition and weapons.
The paperwork for the containers said they were destined for the Episcopal Church of Haiti.
The Episcopal Church has issued a statement saying that it had not been expecting any shipments, but police have since arrested a priest in connection with its investigation.
Haiti is not the first violence-wracked country to complain about the flow of illegal weapons from the US.
Mexico has long demanded that the US do more to combat arms trafficking, pointing out that the vast majority of weapons used in crimes come from he US.
Last year, the Mexican government took the unusual step of suing some of the biggest US gun manufacturers, accusing them of "facilitating the unlawful trafficking of their guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico".
This video can not be played
The deadly trade killing Mexicans and Americans
Gun battles rage in Haiti's capital amid gang war
Haiti gang violence kills more than 200 in 10 days
Mexico's fight to sue US gun manufacturers for $10bn
Mexico sues US gunmakers over arms trafficking
Explosions in Kyiv as Russia attacks Ukraine infrastructure
Shock and anger as Seoul grieves its young
Lula makes stunning comeback in Brazil election
The museum that regenerated a Spanish city
How the Seoul Halloween tragedy unfolded
Eyewitness: 'I was trying to do CPR, but they were both dead'
Are 15-minute cities the future? Video
The UK terror survivors tracked down by conspiracists
Why five states have slavery on the ballot in 2022
Syrup medicine deaths devastate Indonesia
Inside US military cyber team’s defence of Ukraine
How Brazil's election campaign turned ugly
The millennials in sexless marriages
Why a 90s cult novel still appeals now
How maths unlocked a casino loophole
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.