Heavily armed attackers ran into the home of Haitian President, Jovenel Moise, assassinating him and injuring his wife. Jovenel Moise, 53, was shot on the scene early Wednesday by men assumed to be foreigners, but Haitian leaders are now suspecting they had internal help. He was found with 12 bullet wounds covering him in a pool of blood on the floor of his home. The death of the Haitian President led to a gun battle between the police and suspected criminals, leaving four of the suspects dead, two detained, and the rest fled the scene. There is a hunt going on currently, as Leon Charles, Police Chef, responded “they will either be killed or captured.” Twenty more suspects have been caught, as Haiti’s Ambassador described them as “mercenaries,” supporting that this had been a big group. First Lady Martine Moise, 47, has been flown out of state and is currently in critical condition, but safe. The couple have three children, who are also said to be safe. One of the children, Jomarlie, had hid in her brother’s room while two staff members were tied up by the attackers. The attackers ransacked the President’s office and bedroom before attempting to flee the scene.
“They are mercenaries. They were paid for this job of coming to assassinate the President, and we hope that they will reveal for whom it was they were working.” -Haitian Ambassador, Bocchit Edmond
Haiti Ambassador feels confident that the assassination was by professionals with internal help. President Moise’s home is heavily guarded and even has wire around it, so it is still a mystery as to how the attackers got into the home of President Moise unnoticed. Eyes turned towards the US when the assassins dressed in all black were caught yelling commands in English, but Haitian Ambassador has openly stated that he believes there is “no way” they were US agents–despite how they were disguised. It was earlier detected by the Haitian Prime Minister, Mr. Joseph, that they were bilingual foreigners that spoke both English and Spanish. Haiti is currently under a two-week state of emergency, directed to remain indoors.
Prior to the death of the Haitian President’s there had been many protests in light of Jovenel Moise. Haiti’s economy is faced with many hardships, and Haitians claim President Moise wasn’t fulfilling his Presidential promises. Haiti was once one of the wealthiest colonies in the Americas, and now is residing at the bottom due to foreign interventions, political instability, and natural disasters. This has led Haiti to a space of violence, from robbery to murder to rape, which is taking its toll on its inhabitants. The US is currently one of Haiti’s allies, despite historical hardships. The US serves as a top trade partner and foreign benefactor for Haiti. The assassins potentially disguising themselves as the US could have threatened the relationship between the two, had Ambassador Edmond not openly stated skepticism.
The US is currently home to the world’s largest Haitian diaspora community outside of Haiti, meaning there is a lot of mourning happening currently in the US as well. The lack of governmental structure is a primary factor in Haiti’s civil unrest, so the country is deciding next steps. The US has suggested Haiti get an election going this year “to bring about a peaceful transfer of power.
Check this video below for an in-depth dive into the situation: