The assassination of Jovenel Moise by armed mercenaries was planned in the neighboring Dominican Republic, according to Haitian police, who announced the detention of the chief bodyguard of the assassinated president and three other members of his security detachment.
The apparent ease with which a commando entered the Haitian leader’s residence in Port-au-Prince and shot him dead, without his bodyguards being injured, raised suspicion that the July 7 attack could have been an inside job.
A photograph circulating on social media identifies two suspects – both subsequently arrested – meeting with former Haitian opposition senator Joel John Joseph, wanted by police.
According to Haitian National Police Director Leon Charles, the photo was taken as the trio were in the Dominican capital plotting to kill Moise, whose body was found riddled with bullets.
“They met at a hotel in Santo Domingo,” Charles told reporters. “Around the table are the architects of the plot, a technical recruiting team and a financial group.
“Some of the people in the photo have already been apprehended, such as Dr Christian Emmanuel Sanon and James Solages,” added Charles.
– American connections –
The two suspects are Americans of Haitian descent. Police said Solages coordinated with Miami-based Venezuelan security firm CTU as part of the plot.
“The boss of the firm, Antonio Emmanuel Intriago Valera, is on the spot,” said Charles. “He entered Haiti several times to prepare for the assassination.
Florida-based financial services firm Worldwide Capital Lending Group funded the attack, Charles said, adding that his boss Walter Veintemilla also appears with the plotters.
Three Colombian mercenaries were killed and 18 arrested by Haitian police.
“There was a group of four (mercenaries) who were already in the country. The others entered on June 6. They went through the Dominican Republic. We have traced the credit card that was used to purchase the plane tickets, ”said Charles.
“They are former members of the Colombian special forces. They are experts, criminals. It was a well-planned attack, ”added the police chief.
Among the four presidential security officials placed in solitary confinement at the police headquarters were Dimitri Herard, Moise’s personal security chief and three others. Another 24 were investigated, Charles said.
Haiti called on the United States – which trained Colombian forces in the past – to help shed light on who was behind the assassination.
“A review of our training databases indicates that a small number of Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in former US military training and education programs while they were active members. Colombian military forces, ”Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Ken Hoffmann said.
He said he had nothing to add as “the review is underway”.
Meanwhile, the first images of Moise’s injured widow, who was evacuated to Florida for medical treatment after the attack, were released on Thursday.
“Thank you for the team of guardian angels who have helped me through this terrible time,” Martine Moise, 47, said on Twitter alongside a photo of her in the hospital with a heavily bandaged arm. .
“With your gentleness, your kindness and your care, I was able to hold out. “
In a message written in Creole, she said the pain of losing her husband “will never pass.”
© 2021 AFP