The U.S. State Department sanctioned Haitian Senate President Joseph Lambert on Friday for alleged narcotics trafficking and an “extrajudicial killing.” The Treasury Department also sanctioned Lambert and former Haitian Sen. Youri Latorture. Photo by Michael A. McCoy/BP
Nov. 4 (BP) — Haitian Senate President Joseph Lambert was sanctioned by both the U.S. State Department and the Treasury Department for alleged narcotics trafficking and “gross violation of human rights.”
Youri Latortue, a former Haitian senator, also was sanctioned.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement: “I am designating President of the Haitian Senate, Joseph Lambert, for his involvement in significant corruption and a gross violation of human rights. Senate President Lambert abused his public position by participating in corrupt activity that undermined the integrity of Haiti’s government.”
The State Department’s sanction statement on Lambert said, “there is credible information of Lambert’s involvement in a gross violation of human rights, namely an extrajudicial killing, during his government tenure.”
His spouse Jesula Lambert Domond also was sanctioned.
In May, U.S. authorities charged former Haitian Senator Joseph Joel John in a plot to assassinate Haitian President Jovenel Moise. That indictment mentioned “an unnamed co-conspirator” with dual Haitian-American citizenship being present at a meeting that was allegedly part of that plot.
Moise was killed in July 7, 2021.
The Treasury Department, along with Canada’s government, sanctioned Lambert and Latorture for drug trafficking.
“Joseph Lambert and Youri Latortue have abused their official positions to traffic drugs and collaborated with criminal and gang networks to undermine the rule of law in Haiti,” said the Treasury Department’s Brian E. Nelson in a statement. “The United States and our international partners will continue to take action against those who facilitate drug trafficking, enable corruption, and seek to profit from instability in Haiti.”
In October, the U.N. Security Council unanimously agreed to sanction Hatiian gang leaders in an effort to quell ongoing violence fueling a humanitarian crisis in Haiti.
In July, U.S. FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials went to Haiti in the aftermath of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise to help strengthen Haitian law enforcement capacity.