Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who runs Haiti with the support of reduced police and military forces, has pledged to work with the opposition and allies of President Jovenel Moïse, who was killed last Wednesday in his private residence. He faces two rivals: Ariel Henry, whom Moïse appointed as prime minister the day before his assassination, and Joseph Lambert, the head of Haiti’s dismantled Senate, who was recently chosen by a group of well-known politicians to be provisional president.
Meanwhile, a coalition of the main opposition parties called the People’s Democratic Sector presented its own proposal on Tuesday for the creation of what it called the Independent Moral Authority. The group would be made up of human rights activists, religious leaders, academics and others who would be tasked with reviewing and merging all the proposals.
Also on Tuesday, members of Haitian civil society announced that they were working on a proposal for a smooth transition and declined to say whether they supported any particular person to lead Haiti.
“We don’t want them to reduce us to who has to do what,” said Magalie Georges, teacher and union leader.
Lambert was due to be sworn in on Sunday as a symbolic act, but the event was called off at the last minute as he said all of his supporters could not be present.
Meeting with the American delegation
Joseph, Henry and Lambert on Sunday met with an American delegation which included representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Homeland Security who visited Haiti to encourage dialogue “to reach a political agreement that can allow the country to hold free and fair elections, ”the White House National Security Council said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the delegation received a request for further assistance, but did not provide details and said that the request for U.S. military assistance from Haiti remained “under study”.
Psaki suggested political uncertainty on the ground was a complicating factor as the administration weighs how to help.
“What is clear from their trip is that there is a lack of clarity about the future of political leadership,” she said.
Haiti is also asking for United Nations security assistance. The UN has been involved in Haiti on and off since 1990, but the last UN military peacekeepers left the country in 2017.
Few details of the meeting between the US delegation and the three men have emerged, although Lambert said he was invited to work with other actors he did not identify.
“I am not looking for personal glory. We think of the country first, ”he told Radio Télévision Caraïbes.
More details emerge on the suspects
The worsening political instability comes as Haitian authorities continue to investigate the assassination with help from the Colombian government.
Twenty-six former Colombian soldiers are suspected of having killed and 23 were arrested, along with three Haitians. Léon Charles, Haiti’s national police chief, said five suspects are still at large and at least three have been killed.
Police identified three of the five fugitives on Tuesday, describing them as armed and dangerous. One is former Senator John Joel Joseph, a well-known Haitian politician who is an opponent of the Tet Kale party to which Moïse belonged.
Another is Rodolphe Jaar, who uses the pseudonym “Whiskey” and was indicted in 2013 with two other men in federal court in South Florida for conspiring to smuggle cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela via Haiti. to the United States. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison, according to court records.
Jaar once described himself in court documents as the owner of a successful import business in Haiti. He said his family had operated the business since 1944.
The third man has been identified as Joseph Felix Badio, who previously worked for Haiti’s justice ministry and joined the government’s anti-corruption unit in 2013. The agency released a statement saying Badio had was fired in May following “serious violations” of unspecified ethical rules, adding that she had filed a complaint against him.
The home of a Haitian doctor raided
Haitian police have also arrested a man considered a key suspect: Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 62, a Haitian doctor, church pastor and businessman from Florida who has previously expressed a desire to rule his country in a YouTube video. and denounced the country’s rulers as corrupt.
Charles said Sanon worked with those who plotted the assassination and that Moses’ killers were protecting him.
He said officers who raided Sanon’s house in Haiti found a hat with a US Drug Enforcement Agency logo, 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four license plates. Dominican Republic registration, two cars and correspondence.
But a pastor in Florida who knew Sanon as a business associate told the AP that Sanon was religious and that they didn’t think he was involved in violence.
The associate, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said he believed Sanon had been duped and described him as “completely gullible.”
He said Sanon told him he had been approached by people claiming to represent the U.S. state and justice departments who wanted to install him as president.
The associate said the plan was only to arrest Moses and that Sanon would not have participated if he had known that Moses would be killed.