Citation(s) from the literature library

Karp, Aaron. 2012 ‘Country Analyses: Haiti.’ Measurement and Use of Statistical Data to Analyze Small Arms in the Caribbean and Latin America; Section IV, pp. 23-24. Mexico City: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Center of Excellence, National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). 28 April

Relevant contents


The only example of outright state failure among the 28 cases examined here, Haiti presents especially severe problems of small arms estimation. It can be said with some certainty that following the collapse of the Duvalier dynasty most of the 12,800 or so small arms previously belonging to the Haitian armed forces made their way into public hands. The country's other security services probably lost a comparable quantity. The number previously in civilian hands can only be guessed. Given the country's extreme concentration of wealth in a small middle class, the number probably was not more than a few tens of thousands. Virtually all suppliers ceased legal deliveries during the 1990s, and international peacekeepers led efforts to remove guns from gangs and political parties.(63)

Haiti was not immune to the same illegal trade found throughout the Caribbean.(64) The major break in policy came in 2006 when the Bush administration approved export licenses to supply rearming the reconstituted Haitian police force.(65) The nation's registration system is active and over 20,000 firearms had been registered as of 2006.(66) Total civilian ownership today is typically estimated at 200,000.(67) But that figure must be regarded cautiously when it comes to a country whose gun culture remains very obscure.


63) "U.N. and Brazil Work to Rid Haitian Guns," Washington Times, 14 January 2004; "Don't Use Guns to End Rows," Agence France-Presse, 16 January 2004.

64) Robert Muggah, Securing Haiti's Transition, Occasional Paper No. 14 (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, November 2005).

65) "US Lifts Haiti Arms Embargo, Allows More American Guns to Be Imported", Associated Press, 11 October 2006.

66) 20,379 registered in 2006, in Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2011, Washington, D.C.: Organization of American States. 1 January 2011, p. 22.

67) Patrick Elie, « HAÏTI : Le contrôle de la circulation illicite des armes à feu », Mondialisation (Canada), 15 February 2012.

ID: Q9876

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