In a climate of instability and several unanswered questions about the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, the coffin containing the body of the President of Haiti was carried by an entourage of men in military uniform to Cap-Haitien, where he was born and will be buried this Friday (23), more than two weeks after his death.
Covered by the Haitian flag, the coffin also received wreaths of white flowers – the color of mourning in the country – and the blessing of a Catholic priest, in a ceremony that, in a way, symbolizes the expectation that the country can recover from its historic and most recent wounds.
State officials traveled to Cap-Haitien to participate in the series of ceremonies in memory of Moise over the weekend. Asked by Folha if a representative had been sent to Haiti, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond until the publication of this report.
The relative calm at the start of the president’s funeral contrasts with the context of social upheaval that has taken place in the streets of Cap-Haitien over the past two days. Protests by Moise supporters smeared the sky with black smoke from burning tires.
According to the American newspaper The New York Times, some groups tried to block the roads to prevent the entry of people from other places who wanted to attend the funeral.
The protesters’ message goes against the goal the new Haitian government is said to be working towards. When he came to power last Tuesday (20), Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he was “democrat and man of dialogue” and promised to act for political appeasement in the country.
However, the speech has not yet convinced part of the population. “We sent someone alive, they sent back a corpse,” mechanic Frantz Atole, 42, said, adding the protests should continue. “This country will not remain silent.”
Another protester in Cap-Haitien blames “the bourgeoisie of Port-au-Prince”, the capital of the country, for the death of Moïse and for the theater of tension in Haiti. “All I ask is that you close all the streets to prevent them from arriving [ao funeral]Said student Emmanuella Joseph, 20, in tears on a stretch of road blocked by the protests.
In the hometown of the slain president, brilliantly lit stages were set up and the brick road leading to the family mausoleum was paved. Located on the land where he lived as a child, the place where Moses will be buried is shaded by fruit trees and a short walk from his father’s grave.
Known in the country as the “Banana Man”, due to the career he built as a fruit exporter before entering politics, Moses was unable to quell domestic violence. gangs that developed during his tenure and faced major protests against his government on charges of corruption and authoritarianism.
In Cap-Haitien, however, support for the president is still reflected this Friday in posters displayed in all buildings in the city, which read sentences in Haitian Creole, one of the country’s official languages, such as ” they killed the body, but the dream will never die “and” Jovenel Moise, defender of the poor “.
Moise was killed in his home in the wee hours of the morning on the 7th. His wife, Martine Moise, was seriously injured and taken to Miami for treatment. She returned to Haiti ten days later, wearing a bulletproof vest.
So far, there is no conclusion as to who was the mastermind of the murder or the reason for the crime. According to the Haitian government, the president was killed by a group of mercenaries, which included retired Colombian soldiers. More than 20 people have been arrested in connection with the case.
One of the people being studied as one of the possible brains is Claude Joseph, who was the acting prime minister at the time of the crime and took command of the country until Henry’s inauguration this week. According to information published in the Colombian press – more than 20 suspects of the crime are former soldiers of the country of South America -, the idea of Joseph would have been to arrest Moses, object of protest for the authoritarian manner in which he ruled, but the then Prime Minister would have changed his mind and decided to have him killed. Haitian police deny that the former prime minister, now head of the foreign affairs portfolio, is under investigation.