More than a week after the crime, there are still many more doubts than certainties surrounding the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
The president was found dead at his home on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, on July 7, after a group of heavily armed men broke into the house at dawn.
His wife, Martine, was injured in the attack and was taken to a hospital in Miami, United States, where she is recovering.
Haitian authorities immediately launched harassment against the group that allegedly committed the murder.
Police said that after a clash that lasted overnight, they managed to arrest 18 former Colombian soldiers, whom they accused of committing the murder of Moses.
Three other suspected Colombian mercenaries were killed, while five managed to escape and are still at large.
Haitian National Police Chief Léon Charles announced that Florida-based Haitian doctor Christian Emmanuel Sanon was also arrested as the suspected mastermind of the conspiracy, in which the currently fugitive Senator John Joel Joseph is believed to have been arrested. played a crucial role.
Moise’s security chief, Dimitri Herard, and another Haitian-American, James Solages, were also arrested.
Colombian police, for their part, identified a former Haitian justice ministry official on Friday as the person who ordered the mercenaries to carry out the murder.
Moise’s death shocked Haiti, one of the poorest and chronically unstable countries in Latin America.
The crime deepens his political crisis and leaves him in limbo as the world questions what really happened on July 7 and who was behind the murder.
There are still a lot of unknowns. Check out four of them.
1. How did the killers find no resistance when they broke into the house?
One of the most surprising aspects of the assassination was how easily the group of assailants managed to enter the presidential residence without encountering resistance. According to the official version, none of them were injured.
Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, said the attackers were wearing vests and hoods from the DEA, the US drug agency.
Supposedly, they broke into the place shouting that it was an operation by this agency, which denied any connection to the murder.
All eyes turned to Dimitri Herard, the president’s security chief, arrested after the crime.
The authorities want to understand why neither he nor any member of his team intervened to protect Moses.
It is difficult to explain that a group of armed men managed to break into the house, shoot the president 12 times, seriously injure his wife and leave the premises without being intercepted.
Haitian prosecutor Bedford Claude, who is investigating Herard’s possible involvement in the crime, asked the press the following questions: “If you are responsible for the President’s security, where were you (at the time of the crime)? What happened ?
Haitian police announced a few days later the arrest of three other members of Moise’s security team.
2. What did the former Colombian soldiers know?
The role of the group of former Colombian soldiers believed to be the perpetrators of Moise’s murder is also not entirely clear.
According to the Colombian press, they were all retired military specialists, and Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano confirmed that the men were part of the armed forces.
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday (15) that some had received military training from the United States as part of security cooperation programs with the Colombian army.
But the details of her journey to Moses’ murder have yet to be fully clarified.
Before entering Haiti, former Colombian soldiers spent a few days as tourists in the neighboring Dominican Republic – some of them did not hesitate to share images of the trip on their social networks.
Is it the behavior of someone who intends to assassinate the president of a country? Why did you choose to take refuge in the Taiwanese embassy, a few meters from Moise’s house? Didn’t they have an escape plan?
The Colombian government said their relatives emphasized that they were decent people. President Iván Duque told Radio FM that most of them went to Haiti by mistake, but that some knew of the criminal plan they were going to implement.
“Everything indicates that a large group of people who arrived in Haiti were deceived, taken away with a suspected protection mission, and others, a small group, apparently had detailed knowledge of the criminal operation and the intent to kill the President of Haiti. “said Duke.
In addition, Colombian police said on Friday that those accused and detained in the murder were ordered to assassinate Moise after a meeting with former Haitian Justice Ministry official Joseph Felix Badio three days before the crime.
“A few days earlier, apparently three days ago, Joseph Felix Badio, who was a former Justice Ministry official who worked at the General Intelligence Service’s anti-corruption commission, told Capador and Rivera that what ‘they must do is kill the President of Haiti, “Colombian police director General Jorge Luis Vargas guaranteed in a public statement.
Vargas said the information came from an investigation by the Haitian government and the commission formed by the National Intelligence Directorate and the Colombian police with Interpol, the international police.
3. Who is the mastermind of the murder?
Authorities arrested Haitian-American doctor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who lives in Florida. He is accused of having hired mercenaries to overthrow and replace President Moïse, who had already warned in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País about the existence of a plan to end his life.
According to the investigation, Sanon flew to Haiti accompanied by his bodyguards in early June with the intention of assuming the presidency of the country.
But is it plausible that the unknown doctor himself carried out a plan of such magnitude and aspired to come to power through him?
Senator John Joel Joseph, who does not know his whereabouts, has been accused of supplying the weapons with which the murder was committed and of holding meetings to prepare for it.
In recent days, more details have come to light.
Delegate Léon Charles said the president’s assassination was planned in neighboring Dominican Republic, at a meeting attended by Dr Sanon, James Solages, another Haitian-American who was arrested, and Senator Joseph.
“They met in a hotel in Santo Domingo. At the table were the architects of the plot, a technical recruiting team and a financial group,” said the delegate.
Haitian investigators believe the crime was carried out in coordination with CTU, a Miami-based security services company run by Venezuelan Antonio Emmanuel Intriago, who is on the run.
The exact role he played in the plot to kill Moses has not yet been revealed.
Jorge Rodríguez, former vice president of Venezuela and currently president of the National Assembly of that country, said he had “evidence” linking Intriago to the drone attack against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in August 2018, but presented no evidence.
Who Intriago really is and what he played in the murder will be the key to clarifying the matter.
However, speculation continues.
In his interview with El País, Moïse named economic sectors dissatisfied with his policies as interested in ending his life and on Thursday (15) Colombian station Caracol Radio appointed Prime Minister Claude Joseph as a mentor behind the murder. But the station did not provide any evidence to support this version.
The day before his assassination, Moise had appointed a new prime minister who had never taken an oath.
Added to this is what General Vargas said of the Colombian police on the fundamental role played by the former head of the Haitian Ministry of Justice Joseph Felix Badio.
4. How will the struggle for power be resolved?
Moise’s death worsens the institutional crisis in which Haiti is plunged.
The Haitian opposition claimed that Moise’s term should have ended on February 7, five years after the resignation of his predecessor, Michel Martelly.
But the latter’s departure was postponed for a year and Moïse insisted that he remain in power until 2022 because he did not take office until February 2017.
The country should have held legislative elections in October 2019, but the lack of an agreement delayed them and Moïse began to rule by decree.
During his four-year tenure, President Moïse had six prime ministers. The day before his death, he appointed the seventh, Ariel Henry.
But Henry did not have time to take office and Claude Joseph remains in office uncertain as to who will rule the country.
Joseph said he would retain control until a new election was held, but Henry repeated Wednesday in an interview with Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste that he was prime minister.
The Haitian constitution stipulates that in the absence of the president, it is the president of the Supreme Court who temporarily assumes the command of the country, but to further complicate matters, Judge René Sylvestre died of Covid-19 ago. a few weeks.
The United States is pushing for an election this year that allows for a peaceful transition to power, but it’s not clear if that will happen.