Canada imposes sanctions against Haitian economic elites

News release

December 5 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations in response to the egregious conduct of Haitian elites who provide illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs.

These latest sanctions target 3 high-profile members of the economic elite in Haiti –Gilbert Bigio, Reynold Deeb and Sherif Abdallah – and impose a dealings prohibition on them, effectively freezing any assets they may hold in Canada.

Canada has reason to believe these individuals are using their status as high-profile members of the economic elite in Haiti to protect and enable the illegal activities of armed criminal gangs, including through money laundering and other acts of corruption.

These gangs and their supporters continue to terrorize vulnerable populations in Haiti with impunity and are precipitating a humanitarian crisis in the country that includes the resurgence of cholera. They are also committing unspeakable violence, including widespread sexual violence, against affected populations and impeding the delivery of critical services and humanitarian aid.

The sanctions Canada has imposed are intended to put pressure on those responsible for the ongoing violence and instability in Haiti. These people must stop providing funds and weapons to criminal gangs in Haiti. We encourage all stakeholders to support real progress on a political agreement that will lead to an inclusive and constructive dialogue, and end to the current crisis. This is the only way to help create the environment needed for a return to stability, law and order, and democracy in Haiti. 


“Canada is taking a leadership role in sanctioning elites to prevent them from supporting gangs that are committing violence against Haitian people. Canada calls on the international community to follow our lead and impose sanctions against gangs and their supporters to help the people of Haiti emerge from this crisis and restore peace and security in their country.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • ·On November 17, 2022, sanctions against 6 additional political elites in Haiti entered into force. 

  • On November 10, 2022 Canada implemented United Nations Security Council sanctions resolution 2653 into Canadian law under the United Nations Act in response the egregious conduct of armed criminal gangs in Haiti. The sanctions imposed a dealings prohibition against a Haitian gang leader. 

  • On November 4, 2022 Canada announced sanctions against 2 additional individuals in response to the egregious conduct of Haitian political elites who provide illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs.

  • In October 2022, a Canadian government delegation carried out consultations in Haiti with regional partners, the United Nations, CARICOM and other partners.

  • In partnership with U.S. armed forces, Canada airlifted a commercial delivery of specialized vehicles to Haiti on October 15.

  • On September 21, 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada’s contribution of $20 million to aid reconstruction in Haiti following the 2021 earthquake.

Associated links


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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