US man arrested over assassination of Haitian president
Attackers were described as “well-trained professionals, killers, commandos”
President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti was assassinated on Thursday, the 8th of July. Haitian officials were on a manhunt for a gang of roughly two dozen men who killed the late President in his home. Moïse was shot twelve times in the head and body, while his wife was shot three times. His daughter managed to hide in her bedroom.
Moïse had to become increasingly unpopular due to his refusal to give up the presidency. Despite numerous protests demanding his resignation, Moïse continued to refuse.
Saddened by the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the attack on First Lady Martine Moïse of Haiti. My Condolences to the family of President Moïse and the people of Haiti. @claudejoseph03
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 8, 2021
"This was a contracted hit to go ahead and kill the president, silence the president," Former Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe told CBS News on Thursday. "The world cannot wait. It's important for every nation's security and for the country's stability to get to those who have financed this assassination of the president."
At least seventeen people, including fifteen Colombians and two American citizens, were detained by Haitian authorities following the assassination. A total of 28 people are said to have taken part in coordinating the attack and although the seventeen that were captured men paraded in front of journalists, three were killed at the scene and eight still remain on the run.
The American men were described as being of Haitian descent and were identified as Joseph Vincent and James Solages. At a news conference on Thursday night, the detainees were lined up in handcuffs showing signs of physical injury. Alongside them were their Colombian passports and an array of weapons, including sledgehammers, automatic guns, and saws.
The detainees were lined up at the news conference Thursday night in handcuffs, some showing signs of physical injuries. A table displayed at least 10 Colombian passports, along with automatic weapons, sledgehammers and saws.
Haiti is in chaos after President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by gunmen who stormed his home. Haiti's police chief says officers killed four suspects and captured two others yesterday.@VladDuthiersCBS explains. pic.twitter.com/1jZ9DRSfrk
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) July 8, 2021
The country's interim, President Claude Joseph, called the attack: "odious, hateful, inhumane and barbaric act" but reassured that Haiti's National Police and other authorities have the ever-unfolding situation under control.
He also went on to say that "all measures had been taken to guarantee to continuance of the state", but the political unrest and violence in the Caribbean nation are likely to continue as authorities search for his killer(s) and detractors will no doubt lobby to unseat his temporary replacement.
Joseph essentially declared martial law, which gives the Haitian military the right to just about anything. The attackers were described as “well-trained professionals, killers, commandos.”
— Madame Boukman - Justice 4 Haiti 🇭🇹 (@madanboukman) July 8, 2021
With parties questioning who could have ordered the hit and rioting becoming more frequent in an already battered country, gangs parading people through the street and calls for the attackers to be burned, the future of Haiti is a worrying one.