Why did Haitians sell cocaine, and what happened after Jean-Bertrand Aristide was assassinated?

This article has been updated Last month, the International Business Times brought you first-hand accounts of the men attempting to kill Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s founding president. Now, we have the names of at least…

Why did Haitians sell cocaine, and what happened after Jean-Bertrand Aristide was assassinated?

This article has been updated

Last month, the International Business Times brought you first-hand accounts of the men attempting to kill Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s founding president.

Now, we have the names of at least one of the men they were seeking to silence. Read who they are, along with what happened next.

Read: Many of Aristide’s enemies are on drug trafficking ‘hit lists’

Since 2010, there has been an increasing flow of illegal drug activity from Latin America through Haiti, sending tons of cocaine and heroin to Europe, according to reports published in the past year. A declassified United Nations report has claimed that 90 percent of the drug coming through the country is made illicitly. Cocaine from South America is already flooding into the United States and Europe. After failing to stop it, the government is suffering a growing security crisis.

In 2015, Haitians living in the United States, Europe and Canada collectively smuggled an estimated $5 billion in illegal drugs in smuggling tunnels, placing them among the top 10 players in the drug trade. There are an estimated 60 million people who use drugs in the United States.

Part of the problem for Haiti has been, as in any developing country, corrupt officials. This past Friday, the Haitian prosecutors general named 13 names, along with the details of how they allegedly laundered proceeds from drug trafficking, with one named named as the coordinating leader of a group known as the “Haitian Special Forces,” which he founded and allegedly helped supervise the killings of his political rivals. Among the names are suspects in Aristide’s attempted assassination in 2006, as well as members of the military and a popular sportscaster.

Avalanche Nine, a non-governmental organization that seeks to help developing countries address “corruption, drug, and money laundering,” has created a map of the drugs found in the tunnels. (It was created by Dr. Yves Thomas and Hans Sloane in collaboration with the Haiti police.)

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