Colombia is sending a third contingent of police to Haiti to join forces already on the island supporting a UN mission.
The detachment, consisting of ten men, will join the 37 already on the island who are helping to secure Haiti’s borders by conducting security patrols and surveillance, according to the Colombian National Police website.
The Colombian delegation also provides guidance to local police and conducts joint patrols with troops from the armies of Brazil, Jordan, India, Nepal, Canada, France and China.
The Colombian police in Haiti will help to develop local community policing and will also be tasked with preventing kidnappings, which is one of the crimes that particularly concerns local authorities.
A narcotics contingent assigned to the force, in coordination with the Haitian police (PNH) and DEA, plans to conduct joint actions in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere on the island to find drug traffickers wanted by authorities. Recently traffickers have used Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere, as a hub for drug shipments headed for the United States, Europe and West Africa.
Colombia’s contingent in Haiti started in September 2006 with two officers, and increased to 30 by December 2008, with experts in kidnapping, narcotics, and criminal police. The deployment of ten soldiers in coming days will join the group in Port au Prince and other towns, and make Colombia the nation which has sent the largest delegation of troops to support the UN in Haiti.