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Government says Haiti one of the safest places in LatAm

Haïti - Economie et Finances
Xinhuanet | | Commenter

Haiti is one of the safest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Haitian officials said Monday in response to a British ranking that places Haiti among the world's 10 most dangerous countries.

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe cited a recent report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that ranked Haiti among the countries with the lowest crime rate in the region.

He called the ranking by Britain's Foreign Affairs Office as "an abuse against the country's image", and called on human rights organizations to help stop such acts.

Lamothe said tourists' security is a priority for his government, and that Haiti is working with the United States and Canada to strengthen and professionalize the Haitian police, whose weakness has been a matter of concern for the international community.

"I want to tell the world that Haiti is one of the safest places to visit in the Caribbean and in Latin America," Lamothe said.

"I would like to calm the fears of all the Haitians of the diaspora and the tourists that come to Haiti, understanding that there are zones that should be avoided, as in any capital city in the world," he added.

Haiti's Communication Ministry questioned Britain's Foreign Affairs Office for not considering the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, which "doesn't mention Haiti among the 58 most violent countries in the world."

Such opinions as Britain's only block Haitian efforts "to reconstruct in a difficult context, as a result of the Jan. 12, 2010 devastating earthquake," it said in a statement.

Last year, Haiti launched a series of campaigns to battle violence, including kidnappings, drug trafficking and organized crime, which claimed an average of nearly 100 lives each month.

According to a report by the Haitian Platform of Human Rights Organizations, 800 Haitians were murdered in 2012 and most of the crimes have gone unpunished.

Last week, Haiti strongly rejected a U.S. warning made days earlier about its insecurity. The U.S. Department of State said two U.S. citizens were murdered last year.

The Haitian prime minister has affirmed the country is safe and open for business, and he expects new investors and visitors to join those who are already "embracing the multiple advantages offered" by Haiti.

Last June, the U.S. advised its citizens that planned to travel to or were living in Haiti to take precautionary measures in some parts of its capital due to a dangerous rise in crime. Canada did the same in November.

Government says Haiti one of the safest places in LatAm
Haiti - Government says Haiti one of the safest places in LatAm

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