Haiti Inaugurates Canada-Funded Maritime Base in Les Cayes


Above: the new base (Photo: OPM Haiti)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti has officially inaugurated a new naval base in Les Cayes.

The project, which was funded by the government of Canada, is primarily aimed at intercepting drug traffickers.

Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said the scope of the base in the country’s southern region would also improve security in Ile a Vache, which the country is working to position as a major tourism destination.

“Drug dealers will be hunted and fought to their last stronghold,” Lamothe said. “No political support or support of any kind will be given to them, as was the case during the last 25 years.”

Lamothe said the government had taken steps to strengthen the Haitian National Police’s ability to fight drug trafficking, which remains one of the major challenges for the region in general and Haiti in particular.

A report from the US State Department earlier this year found that Haiti remained a transit point for cocaine from South America and marijuana from Jamaica, with narcotics traffickers “taking advantage of Haiti’s largely unguarded shores and skies on both the northern and southern coasts.”

Canadian Ambassador to Haiti Henri-Paul Normandin was on hand for the ceremony on Tuesday, joined by Godson Orelus, director general of the Haitian National Police and David Bazile, Interior Minister.

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