Travel Guides – What we know so far

Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in his house by armed males

Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated by armed assailants who stormed his non-public residence within the capital, Port-au-Prince, on 7 July.

Here is what we know so far.

What occurred?

A bunch of gunmen broke into the house of President Moïse within the Pelerin neighbourhood at 01:00 native time (05:00 GMT) on Wednesday 7 July.

They shot the president 12 instances.

A map showing where the attack took place

A map displaying the place the assault passed off

Mr Moïse was discovered mendacity on his again, his shirt soaked in blood, together with his left eye gouged out, a Justice of the Peace mentioned. He had bullet wounds to his brow, and a number of other to his torso. He died on the scene.

The First Lady, Martine Moïse, was additionally shot however survived. She has been airlifted to Florida, within the US, and is claimed to be in a steady situation.

The couple’s grownup daughter, Jomarlie Moïse, hid in her brother’s bed room and was unharmed. She and her two brothers are in “safe locations”, officers mentioned.

How did the attackers get in?

Video footage, which has not been independently verified however which is assumed to have been taken because the assailants entered the property, reveals armed males wearing black arriving in white SUVs.

A person seems to have been pressured to lie face down on the street whereas one other man may be heard shouting in English over loudspeaker “DEA [US Drug Enforcement Administration} operation, everybody stay down!”

Haiti’s ambassador to the US, Bocchit Edmond, said that while the attackers had disguised themselves as US drug agents, he believed there was “no way” they really were US agents.

Officials say that the ground between the property’s gatehouse and the residence was littered with cartridge cases, indicating that multiple shots were fired.

The gunmen tied up two members of the domestic staff, while continuing to shout “DEA operation”.

They ransacked Mr Moïse’s office and took a cheque book in the couple’s names as well as the servers that held the surveillance camera footage from the residence.

The two top security officials in charge of Mr Moïse’s safety are under investigation and have been summoned to appear at hearings scheduled for 13 and 14 July.

Story continues

How did the assailants flee the scene?

Little information has so far been released about the hours immediately after the attack.

Journalists stand next to a yellow police cordon near the residence of Haiti"s President Jovenel Moise after he was shot dead by unidentified attackers, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 7, 2021.

The area where the president’s residence is located was cordoned off

Haiti’s police chief announced some 24 hours after Mr Moïse’s assassination that a fierce gun battle was under way in the Pelerin neighbourhood.

“We blocked [the suspects] en route as they left the scene of the crime. Since then, we have been battling them” Chief Léon Charles mentioned with out specifying an actual timeline.

The police chief additionally mentioned officers had managed to free three policeman who had been taken hostage by the gunmen. He initially mentioned 4 suspects had been killed within the gun battle, however that quantity has since been revised down to 3.

It has emerged that 11 of the suspects fled to Taiwan’s diplomatic compound in Port-au-Prince.

Taiwanese officers mentioned they had been knowledgeable by Haitian police that the suspects had been hiding within the compound early on 8 July, greater than 24 hours after the assault.

Taiwan allowed the police entry and all 11 suspects hiding inside had been arrested “without problems”.

Two suspects who had been hiding in a ravine had been caught by civilians who had joined within the search.

The physique of 1 alleged gunman was discovered on the roof of a house, the place he bled to dying whereas hiding. Two extra suspects had been discovered lifeless very near the president’s residence.

Who are the suspects?

Haitian police say there are:

Police Chief Charles mentioned 26 of the suspects are Colombian and the opposite two are Haitian Americans.

The US-Haitian twin nationals have been named as James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55. Both are in custody.

An investigating choose mentioned the 2 had informed interrogators they’d been employed as translators on the web.

The two allege that they didn’t know there was a plan afoot to kill the president, however believed they had been to behave as translators as he was arrested. Haiti’s official languages are Creole and French, whereas the Colombian assailants spoke Spanish.

The Colombian detainees had been paraded earlier than the media by Haitian officers who confirmed the suspects’ passports and weapons they’d seized.

Colombia has confirmed that not less than six of the detainees are former members of the nation’s armed forces.

The two Colombians discovered lifeless close to the president’s residence have been named by Haitian officers as Mauricio Javier Romeo Medina and Duberney Capador Giraldo.

Colombian newspaper El Tiempo says each had been former sergeants, they usually had been 45 and 40 years outdated respectively.

Haitian officers say one suspect mentioned the group had been in Haiti “for three months”, however analysis by El Tiempo means that a few of them solely arrived in Haiti on 6 June, crossing the land border from the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

According to the newspaper, they’d spent two days within the Dominican Republic, the place they visited not less than one in style vacationer spot. Photos uploaded to their social media accounts present them posing at a monument to the explorer Christopher Columbus.

What’s the motive?

Haitian officers are satisfied that the boys arrested are mercenaries and that they had been paid to kill the president.

Haitian President Jovenel Moise (R) poses with his wife Martine Marie Etienne Joseph (L), during his investiture ceremony, at Legislative Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 07 February 2017

The president had many enemies however his assassination has however come as a shock to the nation

They say their precedence now could be to seek out the “mastermind” behind the assassination.

Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph mentioned President Moïse had opposed ”some oligarchs within the nation, and we imagine these issues aren’t with out penalties″. However he didn’t elaborate additional on his suspicions.

There isn’t any query that Mr Moïse, who was a banana exporter earlier than operating for workplace, made many enemies throughout his time as president.

His critics accused him of embezzlement and of utilizing gangs to intimidate his opponents, prices which he rejected.

In 2018, there have been widespread protests when he tried to boost gas costs, and earlier this yr a dispute over the size of his time period noticed highly effective figures calling for him to step down.

The incontrovertible fact that he had dominated by decree for the previous yr-and-a-half after the nation failed to carry parliamentary elections as deliberate in October 2019 triggered accusations that he was turning more and more autocratic.

His plan to carry a constitutional referendum additional incensed those that accused him of wanting to extend the facility of the manager.

But when he mentioned in February that an try and kill him and overthrow his authorities had been foiled, many dismissed it as a smoke-display to divert consideration away from the rising discontent in Haiti.

After all, regardless of all of the political instability Haiti has lived via, the final time a Haitian president was assassinated whereas in workplace was in 1915, greater than 100 years in the past.