A U.S. Marine caught smuggling guns into Haiti told investigators he wanted to help the country’s military learn marksmanship and defeat “thugs” causing instability in the country, according to a criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint filed last week in a North Carolina federal court charges Jacques Yves Duroseau with smuggling firearms. Prosecutors say Duroseau flew from North Carolina to Haiti with baggage including eight firearms — at least five of which he bought himself — but lacked needed authorization to take them abroad.
Duroseau, an active-duty U.S. Marine, and another unnamed person departed an airport in New Bern, North Carolina, on Nov. 11, Veterans Day, bound for Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, with two plastic containers of firearms and a third with ammunition, according to the criminal complaint.
Duroseau had filled out a firearm declaration form with American Airlines stating he was carrying unloaded guns, but didn’t have permission from the U.S. Marines to leave the country or permission from U.S. authorities to export firearms, according to the complaint signed by Homeland Security Special Agent Charles Kitchen. Media representatives for the airline didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Haitian authorities took Duroseau into custody and ultimately, he was questioned by U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in that country.
The criminal complaint said he told the agents he had traveled there to “defeat the thugs that have been creating a little bit part of the instability in Haiti.” In describing the eight firearms, he told the agents he “picked every gun” to teach marksmanship to the Haitian Army, according to the court documents.
The Miami Herald first reported on what was in the criminal complaint.
The complaint says the firearms included five handguns and three rifles, and they were able to trace at least five of them to purchases made by Duroseau. Authorities say they found a 2018 receipt for one of the guns, which was bought at a store in North Carolina, in his trash.
Kitchen stated that Duroseau also brought body armor and an officer’s uniform with him.
The complaint, which doesn’t state his rank, said he’s a firearms instructor and knew that bringing the guns to Haiti was illegal. He told investigators he knew he would be arrested in Haiti and that it was part of a plan to get attention to make a statement, according to the court documents.
Spokesmen for NCIS and the U.S. Marine Corps said they were preparing responses to questions about his rank and whether he would face further military charges.
The criminal complaint said the other person with Duroseau, who wasn’t identified, told agents Duroseau “was in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Haiti to tell them that he wanted to be President of Haiti.” The criminal complaint doesn’t list any charges against the second person.
The electronic court docket doesn’t identify a defense attorney who could speak on Duroseau’s behalf. A spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, Don Connelly, declined to answer questions about whether Duroseau had a lawyer or when he would be brought back to the U.S. The docket also lists a variation of his surname as Durosau, but the indictment refers to him as Duroseau throughout.
A federal magistrate judge issued an arrest warrant for Duroseau last week and asked the U.S. Marshal’s Office to serve it.
Haiti – Politic : Delivery of Public Works Equipment in the North West
Haiti – Politic : Delivery of Public Works Equipment in the North West
Thursday, as part of the efforts deployed by President Moïse, to strengthen the departmental directorates of Public Works throughout the national territory and allow local authorities to be more efficient, the Departmental Delegate of North West received a lot equipment.
These include a BOB4 (a small tractor to enter the canal and under bridges), a loader, 7,000 gallons of fuel and various tools. Brand new equipment, which will allow to continue the work of the canal and rivers of the city of Port-de-Paix and the North-West department until the end of 2019.
The Departmental Delegation urges the population to support it, for this work to bear fruit and asks them to remain vigilant “because some are against change”…
Protests subside, but economic aftershocks rattle Haitians
PORT-AU-PRINCE – The flaming barricades are mostly gone, protesters have largely dissipated and traffic is once again clogging the streets of Haiti’s capital, but hundreds of thousands of people are now suffering deep economic aftershocks after more than two months of demonstrations.
The protests that drew tens of thousands of people at a time to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse also squeezed incomes, shuttered businesses and disrupted the transportation of basic goods.
“We are nearing a total crash,” Haitian economist Camille Chalmers said. “The situation is unsustainable.”
Haiti’s economy was already fragile when the new round of protests began in mid-September, organized by opposition leaders and supporters angry over corruption, spiraling inflation and dwindling supplies, including fuel. More than 40 people were killed and dozens injured as protesters clashed with police. Moïse insisted he would not resign and called for dialogue.
The United Nations World Food Program says a recent survey found that one in three Haitians, or 3.7 million people, need urgent food assistance and 1 million are experiencing severe hunger. The WFP, which says it is trying to get emergency food assistance to 700,000 people, blames rising prices, the weakening local currency, and a drop in agricultural production due partly to the disruption of recent protests.
In the last two years, Haiti’s currency, the gourde, declined 60% against the dollar and inflation recently reached 20%, Chalmers said. The rising cost of food is especially crucial in the country of nearly 11 million people. Some 60% make less than $2 a day and 25% earn less than $1 a day.
A 50-kilogram (110-pound) bag of rice has more than doubled in price in the local currency, said Marcelin Saingiles, a store owner who sells everything from cold drinks to cookies to used tools in Port-au-Prince.
The 39-year-old father of three children said he now struggles to buy milk and vegetables.
“I feed the kids, but they’re not eating the way they’re supposed to,” he said, adding that he has drained the funds set aside for his children’s schooling to buy food.
A growing number of families across Haiti can’t even afford to do that since the protests began, with barricades preventing the flow of goods between the capital and the rest of the country.
Many of those live in Haiti’s rural areas, which also have been hardest hit by demonstrations that continue in some cities and towns.
Wadlande Pierre, 23, said she temporarily moved in with her aunt in the southwest town of Les Cayes to escape the violent protests in Port-au-Prince. However, she had to move back to the capital because there was not gas, power or water in Les Cayes, and food was becoming scarce.
“There is no access to basic items that you need,” she said.
Pierre is now helping her mother, Vanlancia Julien, sell fruits and vegetables on a sidewalk in the neighborhood of Delmas in the capital.
Julien said she recently lost a couple hundred dollars’ worth of produce because she could not go out on the street to sell due to the protests.
“All the melon, avocado, mango, pineapple, bananas, all of them spoiled,” she said.
Last year, sales were good, but she is now making a third of what she used to earn before the protests began, even though streets have reopened.
“That doesn’t amount to anything,” she said. “The fact that people don’t go out to work, it’s less people moving around and makes it harder for me.”
That also means businesses like the small restaurant that 43-year-old Widler Saint-Jean Santil owns often remain empty when they used to be full on a regular afternoon.
He said the protests have forced many business owners to lay off people, which in turn affects him because clients can no longer afford to eat out.
“If people are not working, there is no business,” he said.
Among the businesses that permanently closed was the Best Western Premier hotel, which laid off dozens of employees.
Chalmers warned that economic recovery will be slow if the political instability continues, adding that the situation is the worst Haiti has faced in recent history.
“A lot of crises came together,” he said. “Not only the economic one, but the political and fiscal ones.”
Associated Press writer reported this story in Port-au-Prince and AP writer Danica Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MSF opens a trauma hospital in Port-au-Prince as health crisis in Haiti deepens – Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, December 3, 2019—A deepening political and economic crisis is putting a severe strain on all aspects of medical care in Haiti, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today, as it announced the opening of a hospital in Port-au-Prince for patients with traumatic injuries.
The hospital opened in the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince on November 27 and specializes in treating patients with life-threatening injuries including open fractures and gunshot wounds. In its first five days of operations, the hospital admitted 21 patients, about half of whom had injuries from violence.
“We are responding to a vital need with the opening of the Tabarre emergency trauma hospital, but this will not be enough,” said Jane Coyne, MSF head of mission in Haiti. “The country is undergoing a severe economic and political crisis, and hospitals are struggling to stay open.”
MSF originally opened a hospital in Tabarre in 2012 to provide emergency care to people with traumatic injuries in the years following the earthquake that struck the country. The hospital, named “Nap Kenbe,” progressively reduced its services in recent years and admitted its last patient in late 2018.
As Haiti’s economic and political crisis grew since September 2019, MSF decided to launch a new initiative to care for patients with life-threatening injuries, who the Haitian medical system is struggling to treat. Working in the same building in Tabarre, the new MSF hospital currently employs 170 medical personnel, including eight surgeons. After opening with 25 beds, the hospital is preparing to increase its capacity to 50 beds.
As economic troubles and political tensions have intensified, medical facilities, including those operated by MSF, have struggled to meet the needs of patients. Since September, streets have regularly been blocked by barricades made of burning tires, cables, and even walls built overnight. These have made it more difficult for ambulances to move and for medical facilities to receive fuel, oxygen, blood, medicines, and other supplies.
MSF’s medical facilities in Haiti are seeing a high level of need amid the current crisis. So far in 2019, MSF’s emergency stabilization center in the Martissant area of Port-au-Prince has received an average of 230 patients per month with gunshot wounds, lacerations, or other injuries from violence. MSF’s hospital in the Drouillard area of Port-au-Prince saw a peak in activity in September, when it admitted a total of 141 patients with severe burns, primarily caused by accidents.
Insecurity affects health care workers as well. For months, the national Haitian ambulance service has experienced repeated incidents affecting its ability to respond to medical emergencies.
To keep MSF’s health facilities functioning during the tensions of recent months, MSF has needed to transport hundreds of staff to work each day in MSF vehicles.
“Thanks to the positive reputation of MSF in Haiti, our vehicles are generally respected and are able to pass through the barricades,” said Ella Lambe, MSF project coordinator in the town of Port-à-Piment. “However, some health centers where we have referred our patients have been looted, and some of our vehicles have been hit with stones.”
In rural areas such as Port-à-Piment, in western Haiti, the broader challenges facing the Haitian health care system are very evident. A local health center where MSF has long supported emergency and maternal health services now struggles to refer patients to hospitals for higher-level care.
“Before, we could refer patients to another medical facility in one hour for urgent needs such as cesarean sections,” Lambe said. “Now it takes from three to five hours to reach a hospital that can care for them.”
In collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population, MSF is also supporting public hospitals in various ways. These include rehabilitating a part of the emergency room at Haiti’s State University Hospital, organizing trainings for health personnel and providing donations of medicines and essential supplies such as oxygen.
MSF first worked in Haiti in 1991 with programs to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters and other crises. The day after the January 12, 2010, earthquake, MSF launched the largest emergency response in its history. Today, MSF teams in Port-au-Prince and in southwestern Haiti are filling important gaps in health care services and are reinforcing the capacity of local health systems.
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