- US lawmakers announced legislation to punish Haiti elites colluding with gangs.
- The island nation faces a worsening humanitarian crisis.
- The UN found evidence of hunger and gangs using sexual violence.
Democratic and Republican members of the US Congress announced legislation on Monday intended to help Haiti address a worsening humanitarian and security crisis by punishing members of political elites found to be colluding with criminal gangs.
The Haiti Criminal Collusion Transparency Act of 2022, introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives, would require the US State Department to investigate the relationship between gangs and elites, and provide reports in Congress.
It would impose sanctions for human rights violations and visa restrictions on both Haitian gang leaders and those who support their activities.
Senator Bob Menendez, the Democratic chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement:
The blockade of a major fuel terminal by gangs protesting a plan to cut fuel subsidies has prevented the distribution of diesel and gasoline in Haiti, halting transport and cutting off the capital from the food-producing south.
As a result, some Haitians are experiencing catastrophic hunger, while the gangs are using sexual violence to instil fear, a UN report found last week.
On Saturday, US and Canadian military aircraft delivered tactical and armoured vehicles and other supplies to Haitian police to help them combat the gangs.