U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and Marco Rubio brought back the “Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act.”
The bill, which Menendez introduced on Monday, will “require the U.S. Department of State to investigate and provide Congress with annual reports to identify the relationships between criminal gangs and political and economic elites in Haiti” and “require the president to impose robust sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act on individuals identified in the reports to hold these criminal gangs, as well as their elite backers, accountable.
Rubio’s office offered some of the reasons behind the bill.
“Growing gang violence has brought Haiti’s economy to a halt amid an ongoing security and humanitarian crises. Rather than being brought to justice, many gangs receive support from political and economic elites in Haiti,” Rubio’s office noted.
“Haiti’s ongoing crisis must be addressed as instability continues to threaten both the island’s future and the stability of our region, including my home state of Florida. The people of Haiti have long suffered the hardships of gang violence, which continues to threaten their daily lives and prop up corrupt government officials. The U.S. and the international community must hold these bad actors accountable as an initial step to address the island’s complex crisis,” said Rubio on Tuesday.
“As the situation in Haiti continues to spiral out of control, I am proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation to hold Haiti’s criminal gangs, their financiers and political backers to account. While the Haitian people face a political, security, and humanitarian crisis, criminal gangs—and those who enable them—continue to perpetrate horrifying abuses, including murdering civilians and committing heinous acts of sexual violence with relative impunity. As Haiti’s future hangs in the balance, those responsible for these offenses must face consequences, regardless of their status,” said Menendez who leads the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The bill was sent to the Foreign Relations Committee. Rubio is one of four co-sponsors and other backers include U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-NJ, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Tim Kaine, D-Va. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
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