Political instability, high levels of poverty, environmental issues, and corruption are just some of the few problems Haiti is currently facing amid a global pandemic. In addition to everything else, Haiti’s investigation of a slain president continues to create unexpected developments.
Haiti is in a state of siege as the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse holds the country and the world in a mystery. The country has no working parliament since being dissolved, and a power struggle is bound to occur as the country attempts to remain afloat. Here’s what we know and what we don’t know about the assassination of Haiti’s president.
On July 7th, 2021, Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse was brutally murdered by alleged foreign mercenaries in his home. The mercenaries posed as part of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In a video thought to be taken by neighbors, a man can be heard shouting in English over a loudspeaker, “This is a DEA operation!” Moïse was shot 12 times, and his wife, The First Lady, Martine Moïse, was also shot several times but survived.
Colombians are a popular choice for those looking to hire mercenaries. For decades, the recruitment of Colombian mercenaries has been an ongoing service since not only is it budget-friendly, but the country of Colombia offers a pool of soldiers that have similar knowledge to US or British ex-soldiers. Colombian mercenaries fight worldwide, from Yemen and now in Haiti.
Police in Haiti claim that 26 Colombians carried out the plot to assassinate the president along with two Haitian Americans. However, the details of who hired the mercenaries are unclear; moreover, how they were hired also remains unclear. The Haitian Americans claim they weren’t told beforehand that they would be incorporated in a plot to kill the president and believed they were hired as translators to arrest the president. Investigators are still uncertain of the involvement of Moïse’s security detail since they remained uninjured during the attack. In total, four mercenaries were killed by police following the shooting in the president’s house.
In an interview, the First Lady of Haiti Martine Moïse, now a widow, believes higher powers are involved in her husband’s killing. Just this week, a Haitian prosecutor called for the prime minister to be charged over the president’s murder. Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon, became prime minister two weeks after Moïse was killed and is illustrated by his supporters as an honorable member of the medical community.
Following the call to be arrested by the prosecutor, Henry fired the prosecutor and then replaced the country’s justice minister. Henry was found guilty of involvement when phone records revealed that he was speaking to former Haitian Justice Ministry official Joseph Felix Badio who had already been a suspect of the investigation hours before the assassination. Henry denies the allegations and has yet to comment on the phone calls.
Haitian President Jovenel Moïse had many enemies, as his wife has said, and was accused of authoritarian behaviors. For the past year, he has ruled illegitimately and protested by thousands of Haitians for dictatorship. Despite several dozens of suspects being apprehended, police have yet to determine the main suspect behind the murder.
General elections were expected to be held later this month but have been postponed to November. Still, that remains in question as the recent developments in the assassination of the president continue to unfold.