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By Matt Berg, Eric Bazail-Eimil and Miles Herszenhorn, Politico
With help from Daniel Lippman
June 7, 2024

The U.S. is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a foreign intervention in Haiti — to battle gangs largely armed with U.S. guns acquired on the black market. Now, lawmakers want the Biden administration to help Congress finally curb the illicit gun trade that has fueled conflicts in Latin America and beyond for decades.

Firearms made by American companies comprise the bulk of Haitian gangs’ growing arsenal of handguns and rifles, helping them wreak havoc on Port-Au-Prince following the president’s assassination three years ago. U.S.-backed Kenyan forces, wielding U.S. weapons, are expected to land in Haiti in the coming weeks to combat them.

The Haiti conflict, some progressives say, underscores why Washington needs to take more decisive action to disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking.

“We’re having to fund the U.S. guns to go fight the U.S. guns that have filled the void in governance there,” said Rep. GREG CASAR (D-Texas), who is weighing his support for the Kenyan-led mission. “But we can’t forget how we got here and recognize that … we’ve got to start tackling the flow of guns from the United States to Latin America.”

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