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BY Mildred Europa Taylor, 7:30am July 09, 2021,

Haiti president assassination: 2 Americans, retired Colombian military involved, police say

Suspects in the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise are shown to the media, along with the weapons and equipment they allegedly used in the attack, at the General Direction of the police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, July 8, 2021. Moise was assassinated in an attack on his private residence early Wednesday. (AP Photo / Joseph Odelyn)

Twenty-six Colombians and two people believed to hold dual U.S.-Haitian citizenship took part in the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise, authorities said Thursday as a manhunt is underway for at least eight more suspects. Moise was shot and killed after a group of unidentified people attacked his private residence early on Wednesday.

Authorities said they tracked the suspected killers on Wednesday to a house near the scene of the crime in Petionville, a northern, hillside suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince, Guardian reported. There, they arrested a number of suspects after a firefight.

Police chief Charles Leon paraded 17 men at a news conference on Thursday. Items with them included Colombian passports, assault rifles, walkie-talkies, bolt cutters, hammers and machetes. “Foreigners came to our country to kill the president,” Charles said. “There were 26 Colombians, identified by their passports, and two Haitian Americans as well.” He added that 15 Colombians were arrested, as well as two Haitian Americans. Eight escaped while three were killed, he said.

Eleven of the suspects were arrested after breaking into the embassy of Taiwan in Port-au-Prince, which is located near the residence where Moïse was killed, according to a statement from Taiwan’s ministry of foreign affairs. It is not yet known the nationalities of the men arrested at the embassy.

The Colombians involved in the attack were retired members of the country’s military, Colombia’s defense minister, Diego Molano, said in a statement. The Haitian-American suspects were also identified as James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55, according to authorities. It is yet to be known the motive for the assassination of Haiti’s leader.

Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph has said he was now in charge of the country. He condemned the “inhumane and barbaric act”, adding that the police and the Caribbean country’s armed forces had taken control of the security situation. He has since declared a state of siege in the country.

In what is now the African diaspora’s oldest country, Haiti has been in political crisis, with protesters demanding new democratic elections and the resignation of Moise following years of corruption allegations. For about half a century, the Caribbean nation has struggled to overcome the problems of poverty and inequality. It is a country that has also seen the worst brutal dictatorships in the hands of the Duvalier family. The country has also suffered both natural and Western-ensured tragedies.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 9, 2021


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