Haiti’s Downward Security Spiral

January 24, 2019 North America , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo

 

By

Ricardo Swire

 

 

As Haiti prepares for political transition to governance without the United Nations Peacekeeping presence from October 2019, organized criminal gangs continue to dominate. The National Police Force’s (HNP) compliment, per one hundred thousand citizens, diminished to a score of one point three. HNP enforcers were challenged by July 2018’s violent internal security encounters that retarded the United Nations Mission for Justice Support’s (MINUJUSTH) political strategy for change.

 

In the recent past a convicted high profile Haitian trafficker testified in a US court that he paid an ex-Haitian president and his head of presidential palace security US$500,000 monthly for permission to land cocaine laden planes on one of Haiti’s highways. The same year the former presidential palace security chief was mysteriously murdered in capital Porte au Prince.

 

Four days prior a Miami jury sentenced “Teleco,” a former HNP Commander, for drug trafficking conspiracy charges. Prior to discovery Teleco worked with Medellin Cartel and Norte Del Valle Cartel traffickers to move thirty metric tons of cocaine from Haiti to America. Generally drug interceptions across Caribbean territories increased, but the US State Department considers Central America the region’s main drug corridor.

 

Haiti’s instability and security headaches are compounded by political mismanagement that resulted in a three weeks and counting national fuel shortage. The three major gas companies have no supplies. Soon all Haitian suppliers will be empty of diesel. Gas stations in Petionville, home to several luxury properties and restaurants, are fuel-less. Northward, Saint-Michel-de-l’Attalaye and Cap-Haitien were also without supplies.

 

The government agency Bureau of Monetization of Programs & Development Aid owes Novum Energy Service LLC based in Houston, Texas among others US$80 million. The US oil company has three oil tankers anchored in Haitian territorial waters, waiting for confirmation of payment. As part of the official Novum Energy Service LLC’s supply agreement the Bureau of Monetization of Programs & Development Aid pays cash on delivery. Haiti’s delayed offload attracts ship penalties of a minimum US$20,000 daily per tanker.

 

Collectively the floating maritime resources carry one hundred and sixty-four thousand barrels of gasoline, plus two hundred and five thousand barrels of diesel. Haiti’s consumption trends showed such quantities can only sustain the country for twenty-three days. Communications heavyweight Digicel alone expends six hundred and fifty thousand gallons of diesel monthly, to power mobile phone towers and generate electricity for its buildings that include the US$45 million Marriott Hotel in Port-au-Prince.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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