September 21, 2021

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Haiti | The investigation into the assassination of President Joanel Moss continues

(Port-au-Prince) The investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovnell Moss in Port-au-Prince continues on Friday, with the identity of the sponsors who sent the armed commando of 26 Colombians and 26 Colombians to the attack thickened. Two Americans of Haitian descent.


Robinson Geoffrey with Taxia Rojas in Washington and Amelie Baron in Paris
France Media Agency

Seventeen people, including 15 Colombians and two Americans, have been arrested in connection with the assassination of President Moss, who was hit by bullets at his home from Tuesday to Wednesday night, the country’s police said at a news conference Thursday evening.

Photo courtesy of Martஸ்nez Caesares, archives

Haitian President Jovnell Moss

All three Colombians were accused of being commando members, and eight were still adults, said Haitian Police Director-General Leon Charles, whose results were slightly different, according to other official sources.

The weapons and equipment allegedly used by the attackers, moles, laptops and a Colombian passport were later recovered by police and displayed to the press, with several suspects lined up against a wall and handcuffed.

At least six commando mercenaries are believed to be former Colombian soldiers, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano announced in a video sent to the media on Thursday evening.

According to Interpol, Director General of the National Police George Vargas described them as “two retired non-commissioned officers of the Army” and “four former soldiers” of the Colombian Army. Two of them are also said to be one of those killed by police.

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Taipei said on Friday that 11 suspects had been arrested on the premises of the Taiwanese embassy in Port-au-Prince.

Photo by Joseph Odellin, Associated Press

Security guards outside the Taiwanese embassy in Port-au-Prince

The State Department said it had agreed to assist Haitian police in their investigation without confirming the arrest of U.S. citizens.

“We need to know”

The Haitian capital, which had been paralyzed for several days, resumed operations on Friday morning, with more people taking to the streets and public transport gradually reopening, witnesses said.

The reopening of the Port-au-Prince airport, requested by the government on Thursday, is due to take effect on Friday.

In the country, however, everyone was on the lookout, trying to understand how such a horrific attack on the head of state could have taken place.

“These are foreigners who came to this country. We Haitians are shocked, ”a resident of the capital told AFP. “We need to know who is behind all this, their names, and the background behind the way justice is doing its job,” he added.

Port-au-Prince’s attorney general said senior police officers directly responsible for the security of the Haitian president were being brought to justice, especially from the scene.e Bed-Ford Claude.

“I did not see any policemen other than the president and his wife. If you were responsible for the president’s security, where were you? What did you do for the president to avoid this fate?” He asked the commissioner of government.

Others wondered about the involvement of these police officers, which added to the confusion.

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“Republican President Joanel Moss was assassinated by his security agents. He was not killed by Colombians. The latter were contract workers from the state of Haiti,” former Senator Steven Benoit told the radio on Friday.

Political chaos

The attack further destabilizes America’s poorest country, which is plagued by insecurity.

Two men claim to lead the country, which currently has a population of 11 million, more than half of whom are under the age of 20.

One of the last political gestures of Joanne Moss, who died at the age of 53, was to appoint another prime minister, Ariel Henry, on Monday. He was not yet in office at the time of the assassination.

Hours after the tragedy, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph himself declared a 15-day siege, giving the executive reinforced powers.

Photo REUTERS

Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph

Mr. If the opposition accuses Joseph of monopolizing power, Helen La Lyme, the UN ambassador to Haiti, considers Ariel Henry to be in charge because he did not swear.

An article in the Haitian constitution states that if the presidency is actually vacant, “the cabinet, headed by the prime minister, exercises executive power until another president is elected.”

The country is already mired in an institutional crisis: Jovanel Moss has not held an election since coming to power in early 2017, and the country has not had a parliament since January 2020.