Hundreds of workers left businesses in northern Haiti on Wednesday after protests near the hometown of (Quartier-Morin) assassinated President Jovnell Moss turned violent before his funeral.
Associated Press journalists found the body of a man who, according to witnesses, was shot dead at the place where Jovnell Moss grew up in the community of Quartier-Morin, near Tro-du-Nord. Roadblocks were set up between the two communities, temporarily preventing cars from entering or exiting.
On the main road connecting Quattier-Moraine with Cape-Haitian, several workers hurriedly marched one behind the other in memory of Jovnell Moss, who was scheduled to begin Thursday before the city’s funeral.
People who fled said they saw tires and gunmen in the fire seeking justice for Jovnell Moss. A suffocating female gunman told her, “Go! Go! Go! Staff in uniform of all colors obeyed and left the area. She refused to give her name, saying she feared for her life.
Apnell Pierre, who works at the Karakal Industrial Park, said he was forced to walk 45 minutes home after a bus carrying staff got stuck behind roadblocks. He declined to comment further as the sky began to darken and he hurried to his home.
These were the first violent protests since Jovanel Moss was shot dead in his private home. They arrive a day after Ariel Henry became the country’s new prime minister, promising to form an interim consensus government and restore order and security.
In the capital, Port-au-Prince, Martin Moss, the widow of the assassinated president, made her first public appearance after returning to Haiti on Saturday. He was injured in an attack on the couple’s private home on June 7 and is recovering in a Miami hospital.
She was wearing a black dress and a black mask, and her right hand was in black when she met officials near the National Pantheon Museum, where ceremonies are held in memory of her husband. Unlike north of Haiti, the capital has been quiet.
Authorities say at least 26 suspects have been arrested in connection with an investigation into the president’s assassination, including 18 former Colombian soldiers and three Haitian police officers. Police Chief Leon Charles said at least seven senior police officers were being held in solitary confinement but had not been formally arrested.
On Wednesday, the Colombian government announced that there would be an embassy mission in Haiti from July 25 to 27 to help detain ex-soldiers killed by Haitian authorities following the massacre and return the bodies of 3 others.