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US House Foreign Affairs Committee introduces legislation to address root causes of migration from Central America – Caribbean News Now

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Representatives Eliot Engel (L) and Michael McCaul

By Caribbean News Now contributor

WASHINGTON, USA – Representatives Eliot Engel, Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Michael McCaul, its ranking Republican, recently introduced the United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, which supports the people of Central America and strengthens US national security by addressing the root causes of migration from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Representatives Albio Sires, the Democratic chairman and Francis Rooney, ranking Republican member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security and Trade, are original co-sponsors of the legislation along with Representatives Norma Torres, the Democratic co-chair and Ann Wagner, the Republican co-chair of the Congressional Central America Caucus and Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar.

Engel said, “It’s a dangerous, terrifying thing to move your entire family to an unknown place. And many people only make that decision when they feel like they have no other option. The best way for the United States to address the challenges facing El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is by investing in a safer and more prosperous Central America and helping to create more opportunities for those who live there. This legislation demonstrates Congress’s continued commitment to the people of Central America.”

“Central America continues to face serious economic and security challenges that are threatening regional stability and driving waves of illegal migrants to the United States. In order to address this crisis effectively, we must look at the conditions on the ground. This bill outlines a clear and consistent strategy to provide US assistance in four key areas: economic development; anti-corruption; democracy and governance; and security. It also establishes metrics to ensure that our aid effectively addresses illegal migration and demonstrates that these countries are doing their part to stem the flow. As a Texan, I understand the frustration over the challenges we continue to face at our border and am committed to addressing the root causes of illegal migration and helping to facilitate a more prosperous Central America,” said Ranking Member McCaul.

Specifically, the United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act authorizes $577 million in foreign assistance to Central America for Fiscal Year 2020 and includes conditions on any assistance that goes to the central governments of the Northern Triangle countries. It reaffirms congressional intent by not allowing authorized funds to be reprogrammed, transferred or rescinded.

The bill also lays out a series of actions to be taken by the Secretary of State, the Administrator of USAID and other US government officials to promote inclusive economic growth and development, combat corruption, strengthen democratic institutions and improve security conditions in the Northern Triangle.

It also requires State and USAID to develop and report to Congress on annual benchmarks to track the progress of the strategy in addressing the drivers of irregular migration.

The Secretary of State and USAID Administrator are required to prioritize inclusive economic growth and development, anticorruption but strengthening democratic institutions and security conditions in the Northern Triangle. Annual progress reports and multi-year strategies are required in each area. A senior rule of law advisor must be designated for the Northern Triangle in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and is also required as is a feasibility analysis on the formation of an Investment Fund for the Northern Triangle nations and southern Mexico by the US International Development Finance Corporation.

Targeted visa bans and asset freezes must be implemented on individuals who are steadfast in engaging in acts of corruption impacting the Northern Triangle countries. This includes public officials, private citizens and individuals residing outside of the Northern Triangle who are engaged in corruption in these countries.

Improves engagement with the government of Mexico on the Northern Triangle. Development efforts in southern Mexico must be supported by the Secretary of State and various executive branch agencies and reinforce security collaboration regarding Mexico’s shared border with Belize and Guatemala.

Congress must receive advance reporting on security support to Northern Triangle countries, irrespective of the dollar amount for the following three years.

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Gunshots wound four at Haiti protest

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At least four people have been shot and wounded during a protest in Haiti’s capital after a speech by embattled President Jovenel Moise. Several hundred people were marching from the Delmas to Petionville neighbourhoods when shots were fired from nearby. Associated Press journalists didn’t see the source of the shooting, but saw a local journalist, a police officer and two protesters rushed away with apparent bullet wounds. No information was immediately available about the condition of the wounded people or their identities. Monday was the anniversary of a key battle of the Haitian Revolution, and earlier in the day Moise rejected calls to resign. The president said he would continue to try to negotiate with his opposition. Opponents say Moise should leave office over economic mismanagement and failure to investigate corruption. Leaders of the opposition including members of Haiti’s Senate organised months of protests that have paralysed the country but demonstrations have been slackening in recent days, with some sections of the capital returning to near-normal activity. Opposition members had called for mass marches on Monday but they did not materialise. “The country is more than divided, the country is torn apart,” Moise said after reviewing members of Haiti’s newly reconstituted army. “We ask for unity, between the rich and the poor, between those of the top and the bottom, between the people with black skin and light skin, between rural and urban. “If we were united as one we would not see exploitation of a small group while the majority stand in misery, poverty and insecurity. This is not what our ancestors wanted.” Australian Associated Press

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Arrest Warrant Issued for US Investment Banker Charged with Manslaughter in Anguilla

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Scott Hapgood is refusing to return to Anguilla on the manslaughter charge.

THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Wednesday November 13, 2019 – An international arrest warrant has been issued for an American banker who, claiming that he fears for his safety because of public outcry, has refused to return to Anguilla to face the court for killing a hotel worker.

Anguilla’s Attorney General Dwight Horsford said 44-year-old Scott
Hapgood is now considered a fugitive and faces extradition to the small British
Overseas Territory to face the court.

The UBS investment banker is facing a manslaughter charge, accused of killing 27-year-old employee of the luxury Malliouhana Hotel, Kenny Mitchel, during a confrontation while on a family vacation in April this year.

Kenny Mitchel

He was to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Monday, but
Horsford said Hapgood’s defence team had notified local officials the night
before that they had advised their client to not return.

“The letter further stated that this advice rested on concerns for their
client’s safety and the fairness of the judicial process in Anguilla,” Horsford
said in a statement released yesterday. “Both concerns are totally groundless.”

Governor Tim Foy, in a separate statement, insisted that the island was
committed to fairness in the judicial process.

“He has no reason to doubt the fairness of the judicial process. The
rule of law and respect for it are paramount in this territory, as in all
constituent jurisdictions of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court,” Foy
said.

“Throughout this process, we have kept a respectful silence to
enable the court to go about its business — this is how we do things here. We
have not and will not engage in public relations shenanigans of the type we
have seen — that is not how we do things. Hapgood has the right to fair
judicial process and he will receive that.”

But US media has quoted Hapgood’s spokesman Jamie
Diaferia as saying that “it has become progressively apparent that Scott would not receive a fair trial
in Anguilla”.

That is a position the island’s magistrate has dismissed, describing Hapgood’s court absence on Monday as “willful defiance”.

The US banker claimed that during the
family vacation at the resort, a knife-wielding Mitchel entered the hotel room where he and his two
daughters were, and demanded money. A violent struggle ensued and Mitchel ended
up dead.

Hapgood was subsequently charged and remanded to prison, but was later released on $74,000 bail by the High Court. He has returned to Anguilla for court appearances on three occasions
since being charged.

Positional asphyxiation was initially given as the cause of death for Mitchel, but toxicology resultsit later showed that the hotel worker had high levels of cocaine and alcohol in his bloodstream.

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Haïti – Actualité : Zapping…

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Haïti – Actualité : Zapping…
17/11/2019 09:55:20

L’opposition veut empêcher Moïse d’aller à Vertières :

Jeudi à quelques jours de la commémoration du 216ème anniversaire de la bataille de Vertières, (lundi 18 novembre) l’opposition radicale a annoncé la reprise de la mobilisation anti-gouvernementale. Me André Michel assure que Jovenel Moïse ne pourra pas fouler la place des héros, à Vertières. Un geste plus médiatique et symbolique que contraignant pour le Chef de l’État, qui déjà l’année passée avait commémoré cet anniversaire et fait son discours à la Nation sans se rendre à Vertières https://www.haitilibre.com/article-26154-haiti-vertieres-215e-message-a-la-nation-du-president-jovenel-moise.html

Camion contre taxi-moto, 3 morts :

Vendredi après-midi à Titans, une localité de la 4ème section communale de Petite-Rivière de Nippes, un camion immatriculé TM 119 34 a heurté violemment un taxi-moto causant la mort du conducteur et de ses deux passagers.

Vers une grève à l’HUEH… :

Lebien Joseph, Président du Syndicat des Travailleurs de la Santé de l’Hôpital de l’Université d’État d’Haïti (HUEH) met en garde la Ministre de la Santé Marie Greta Roy Clément sur les risque d’une grève à l’HUEH si rien n’est fait pour améliorer les conditions de travail des employés ainsi que l’approvisionnement d’intrants.

Démenti de l’administration des douanes :

L’Administration Générale des Douanes (AGD) dément les rumeurs circulants sur les réseaux sociaux concernant le contenu d’un convoi de containers qui a franchi la douane de Malpasse en direction de la Capitale. L’AGD affirme que tout ces containers qui transportaient seulement des matières premières nécessaires à la production de condiments alimentaires, ont rempli toutes les formalités douanières et appartiennent à des entreprises haïtiennes clairement identifiées.

Le Costa Rica inquiet de la crise en Haïti :

Vendredi dans un communiqué, le Ministère des Affaires Étrangères du Costa Rica a exprimé officiellement sa préoccupation face à la violence en Haïti et a ajouté sa voix aux appels au dialogue entre les parties comme moyen de garantir la Paix sociale et la compréhension entre les haïtiens « Le Costa Rica se joint aux appels pour ne pas encourager les actions qui aggravent la situation, mais plutôt pour rechercher la voie du dialogue qui permettra de surmonter la crise sociale, économique et politique dans ce pays […] » indique le texte officiel.

Délégation de la Nouvelle Orléans au Cap-Haïtien :

Jeudi14 novembre, Yvrose Pierre la Mairesse du Cap-Haïtien a accueilli à l’aéroport international du Cap-Haïtien, une délégation venue de la Nouvelle Orléans (Louisiane, USA) conduite par le Dr Yvens Laborde pour une visite de courtoisie d’une semaine dans le cadre du jumelage entre les deux, villes signé en mai 2019 https://www.haitilibre.com/article-27811-haiti-culture-jumelage-entre-la-nouvelle-orleans-et-cap-haitien.html

HL/ HaïtiLibre

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