Jovenel Moïse: 4 unknowns about the assassination of the president of Haiti | WORLD

More than a week after the crime, there are still many more doubts than certainties surrounding the shooting death of the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse.

The president was found dead at his residence on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, on July 7, after a group of heavily armed men stormed the house at dawn.

His wife, Martine, was injured in the attack and was taken to a hospital in Miami, in the United States, where she is recovering.

Immediately, the Haitian authorities launched a persecution against the group that allegedly perpetrated the assassination.

The police reported that after a confrontation that lasted into the night, they had managed to arrest 18 former Colombian soldiers, whom they accused of committing the murder of Moïse.

Three other alleged Colombian mercenaries were killed, while another five managed to escape and are still on their trail.

The role of the retired Colombian military is one of the keys to the case. (STR).

The head of the Haitian National Police, Léon Charles, announced that the Haitian doctor based in Florida Christian Emmanuel Sanon was also arrested as an alleged mastermind of the conspiracy, in which Senator John Joel Joseph, who is found in search and capture.

Moïse’s head of security, Dimitri Herard, and another Haitian-American, James Solages, were also arrested.

For its part, the Colombian Police on Friday identified a former Haitian Ministry of Justice official as the person who gave the order for the mercenaries to commit the assassination.

Moïse’s death shocked Haiti, one of the poorest countries in Latin America and chronically unstable.

The crime aggravates his political crisis and has plunged him into uncertainty, while the world wonders what really happened on July 7 and who is behind the assassination.

There are still many unknowns.

1. How did you get into the house without resistance?

One of the most surprising aspects of the assassination is the ease with which the group of attackers was able to enter the presidential residence without encountering resistance. According to the official version, none of them were injured.

The Haitian ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, said the assailants were dressed in vests and hoods of the DEA, the US anti-drug agency.

Supposedly, they broke through shouting that it was an operation of that agency, which has denied any connection to the assassination.

Eyes turned to Dimitri Herard, the president’s security chief, who was arrested after the crime, to answer why neither he nor anyone on his team intervened to protect Moïse.

It is difficult to explain that a group of armed men managed to enter the house, shoot the president 12 times, seriously injure his wife and leave the place without being intercepted.

Haitian prosecutor Bedford Claude, who is investigating Herard’s possible involvement in the crime, asked the press: “If you are responsible for the president’s security, where have you been? What did you do to avoid that fate? “

The Haitian police announced days later the arrest of three other members of Moïse’s security team.

After the death of the president, a police chase was unleashed. (Getty Images).
After the death of the president, a police chase was unleashed. (Getty Images).

2. What did the former Colombian military know?

The role of the group of ex-Colombian military men who are considered the material authors of the Moïse assassination is not entirely clear either.

According to the Colombian media, they were all retired military experts, and Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano confirmed that they were former members of the Armed Forces.

The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that some had received military training from the United States in the framework of security cooperation programs with the Colombian Army.

For this reason, some do not explain some details that have been known of his performance.

Doubts about the assassination threaten to shape the political future of Haiti. (EPA).
Doubts about the assassination threaten to shape the political future of Haiti. (EPA).

Before entering Haiti, they spent a few days sightseeing in the neighboring Dominican Republic and some of them did not hesitate to share images of the trip on their social networks.

Is that the behavior of someone who plans to assassinate the president of a country? Why did they choose to take refuge in the Taiwanese embassy, ​​a few meters from Moïse’s house? Didn’t they have an escape plan?

The Colombian government assured that their relatives insisted that they were decent people. President Iván Duque declared on FM Radio that most of them traveled to Haiti deceived, but that some were aware of the criminal plan they were going to carry out.

“Everything points to the fact that an important group of people who arrived in Haiti were blind hooked, taken with an alleged protection mission, and others, a small group, apparently had detailed knowledge of the criminal operation and the intention to kill the president of Haiti, ”Duque said.

In addition, the Colombian Police assured this Friday that the accused and detained for the assassination received the orders to assassinate Moïse after a meeting three days before the crime with the former official of the Haitian Ministry of Justice Joseph Felix Badio.

“Several days before, apparently three, Joseph Felix Badio, who was a former official of the Ministry of Justice who worked in the commission to fight corruption with the General Intelligence Service, tells Capador and Rivera that what they have to do is murder to the President of Haiti ”, assured in a public statement the director of the Colombian Police, General Jorge Luis Vargas.

Vargas said that the information comes from an investigation by the Haitian government and the commission made up of the National Intelligence Directorate and the Colombian police together with Interpol.

3. Who is the mastermind of the assassination and what was sought with him?

The choice of the Taiwanese embassy as the haven for the president's alleged assassins raises questions. (Getty Images).
The choice of the Taiwanese embassy as the haven for the president’s alleged assassins raises questions. (Getty Images).

Authorities detained the Haitian-American doctor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, based in Florida. He is accused of having hired the mercenaries to overthrow and replace President Moïse, who had already warned in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País of the existence of a plan to end his life.

According to the investigation, Sanon flew to Haiti accompanied by his bodyguards in early June with the intention of assuming the presidency of the country.

But is it plausible that an unknown doctor himself perpetrated a plan of such magnitude and aspired to achieve power thanks to it?

Senator John Joel Joseph, unaccounted for, is credited with providing the weapons with which the murder was carried out and organizing the meetings at which it was planned.

In the last hours more details have been known.

Police Chief Léon Charles recounted that the president’s assassination was planned in the neighboring Dominican Republic, in a meeting in which the doctor, Sanon, James Solages, another Haitian-American who has been arrested, and Senator Joseph participated.

“They met in a hotel in Santo Domingo. At the table were the architects of the plot, a technical recruitment team and a finance group, ”said the police chief.

Haitian investigators believe the crime was perpetrated in coordination with CTU, a Miami-based security services company, led by Venezuelan Antonio Emmanuel Intriago, who has lost track of him.

Joseph was the prime minister when Moïse died, but the president had just appointed a replacement for him. (Getty Images).
Joseph was the prime minister when Moïse died, but the president had just appointed a replacement for him. (Getty Images).

The exact role he played in the conspiracy to kill Moïse has not yet been detailed. Jorge Rodríguez, one of the leaders with more weight in Chavista Venezuela, said that he has “indications” that link Intriago with the attack with drones perpetrated against the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, in August 2018, but did not present any of those tests.

Who really is Intriago and what was his participation in the assassination will be key to clarifying the case.

However, speculation continues.

In his interview with El País, Moïse pointed to economic sectors unhappy with his policies as those interested in ending his life and this Thursday the Colombian network Caracol Radio pointed to Prime Minister Claude Joseph as the alleged mastermind of the assassination. The Colombian chain did not show evidence to support this version.

The day before his assassination, Moïse had appointed a new Prime Minister who did not get to be sworn in,

To this is added what was exposed by General Vargas, of the Colombian Police, about the fundamental role played by the former official of the Haitian Ministry of Justice Joseph Felix Badio

4. How will the power struggle be resolved?

Jovenel Moïse was 53 years old and he was president of Haiti since 2017 (Getty Images).
Jovenel Moïse was 53 years old and he was president of Haiti since 2017 (Getty Images).

The death of Moïse aggravates the institutional crisis in which Haiti is immersed.

The Haitian opposition claimed that Moïse’s term should have ended on February 7, five years after the resignation of his predecessor, Michel Martelly, but the latter’s departure from power was delayed for a year and the late president insisted that he should be in power until 2022 because he did not take office until February 2017.

The country should have held its parliamentary elections in October 2019, but the lack of agreement delayed them and Moïse ruled by decree since then.

In his four years in office, President Moïse had six prime ministers. The day before he died he had named the seventh, Ariel Henry.

But Henry did not have time to swear in office and Claude Joseph remains in office amid uncertainty over who will run the country.

Joseph insists that he will maintain control until elections can be held, but Henry repeated in an interview with the Haitian newspaper The Nouvelliste on Wednesday he is the prime minister.

The Haitian Constitution establishes that in the absence of the president, it is the president of the Supreme Court who temporarily assumes command, but, to further complicate things, Judge René Sylvestre died of covid-19 a few weeks ago.

The United States advocates for elections this year that allow for a peaceful transition in power, but it is not clear that that will happen.

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