Entrepreneur and Haiti President, Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home early Wednesday morning around 1:00 am by men claiming to be agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Reports state that his wife was seriously injured from gun wounds in the attack and was taken to the hospital in south Florida. His three children were safe. Residents described hearing gunshots and seeing men dressed in black running throughout the neighborhood.
The Haitian ambassador, Bocchit Edmond believed that the attack was well orchestrated.
“They presented themselves as DEA agents, telling people they had come as part of a DEA operation,” he commented. In a social media video, a man with an American accent is heard saying in English over a megaphone: “DEA operation. Everybody stand down. DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down.”
“It could be foreign mercenaries because the video footage showed them speaking in Spanish,” Edmond said. “It was something carried out by professionals, by killers …But since the investigation has just been opened, we prefer to wait on legal authorities to have a better assessment of the situation. We don’t know for sure, with real certainty, who’s behind this. This is an act of barbarity. It’s an attack on our democracy.”
Hours after the attack, authorities killed four men suspected in the assassination and arrested two others. The police did not provide the names of the suspects or any evidence linking them to the assassination. Léon Charles, the chief of police, also stated that three police officers who had been held hostage were freed.
According to The Guardian, the attack will likely plunge the Caribbean nation into further turmoil after several years marked by political unrest and violence. Furthermore, since Moise has become president there has been an increase in instability and allegations of corruption. He’s also been accused of providing gangs with guns and money to intimidate his adversaries.
Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, said: “I am shocked and saddened at the death of President Moïse. Our condolences are with his family and the people of Haiti. This is an abhorrent act and I call for calm at this time.”
In a statement, U.S President Joe Biden wrote, “We condemn this heinous act, and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse’s recovery. The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.”