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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 17, 2023: The United States on Thursday slapped visa restrictions on an additional five individuals and seven family members of Haitians believed to be part of street gangs and criminal organizations there.

The visa restrictions impact Haitian officials and other individuals involved in the operation of gangs and criminal organizations that have threatened the livelihoods of the Haitian people and are blocking life-saving humanitarian support. The Department has also slapped visa restrictions on three Haitian officials, including Joseph Lambert and Rommel Bell and in November and December 2022, the United States designated four Haitian individuals – Joseph Lambert, Youri LaTortue, Rony Celestin, and Herve Fourcand -under Executive Order 14059, which includes both financial sanctions and visa restrictions.

Secretary of State of the US State Department, Anthony Blinken, announced the additional steps taken to support the people of Haiti by continuing to promote accountability for individuals who foment violence, corruption, and instability.

“Our actions today demonstrate that there are consequences for those instigating violence and unrest in the country,” he said. “We continue to support the citizens, organizations, and public servants in Haiti who are committed to generating hope and opportunity for a better future in their nation.”

“This action sends a clear message of our continued commitment to root out corruption and impact the behavior of bad actors whose influence underpins the lawlessness in Haiti,” said Blinken. “This will bring the number of individuals identified as subject to visa restrictions under this policy to 44 since the policy was first announced on October 13, 2022.

He said the United States remains deeply concerned by the ongoing lawlessness associated with armed gangs. We condemn in the strongest terms the violent gang activity that led to the death of 14 members of the Haitian National Police in January.

The State Department says it continues to identify individuals and their immediate family members who may be subject to visa restrictions under this policy. 

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