2 Haitian Americans detained in slaying of Haiti president – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-07-08 20:12:08 –


The alleged assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise is lying on the ground after being detained in Haiti’s Port-au-Prince. AP Photo / Jean Marc Hervé Abélard

Haiti’s Port-au-Prince (AP) — Two suspected Haitian-American men, one of whom are allegedly former bodyguards of the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince, were arrested in connection with the assassination of President Haiti. , Haitian officials said. Thursday.

James Solage and Joseph Vincent were one of the 17 suspects detained in the brave murder of President Jovenel Moise by a shooter at home before dawn on Wednesday. Fifteen of them are from Colombia, according to Leon Charles, head of national police in Haiti. He added that three other suspects had been killed by police and eight others were on the run. Charles had previously said that seven people had been killed.

“We’re going to bring them to trial,” he said, when 17 suspects were sitting handcuffed on the floor at a press conference on Thursday night.

According to a document shared by Haiti’s Election Minister Matthias Pierre, the oldest suspect is 55 and the youngest Solage is 35.

He did not provide additional details about the Solage background, nor did he provide the name of a second Haitian American. The U.S. Department of State said it was aware of reports of Haitian Americans being detained, but could not confirm or comment.

Solage described himself as a “certified diplomat” and defended children and up-and-coming politicians on the website of a charity founded in 2019 to help residents in South Florida.

Solage states on the charity’s biography page that he previously worked as a bodyguard at the Canadian Embassy in Haiti. The Canadian Embassy did not comment immediately. Calls to the Foundation and Solage associates at the charity did not pass or were not answered.

Witnesses said the two suspects were found hiding in the bushes of Port-au-Prince by the crowd.

Police arrested a man who was sweating and dressed in what appeared to be mud, according to an Associated Press journalist. Police officers placed them behind the pickup truck and drove away as the crowd chased them to a nearby police station.

Upon getting there, some in the crowd chanted: Give them to us. I’m going to burn them! “

One man said it was unacceptable for foreigners to come to Haiti to kill national leaders, citing reports from Haiti officials that the perpetrators spoke Spanish or English. I heard.

The crowd later set fire to some abandoned cars filled with bullet holes that they believed belonged to the suspect, a white man. The car didn’t have a license plate, one of which contained an empty bullet and water.

At a press conference on Thursday, police chief Charles warned that authorities needed evidence that they were destroying, including burned cars, and urged people to calm down and get the police to work.

Officials did not mention the motives for the killings, saying that the attacks accused by Haiti’s major opposition and the international community were carried out by “highly trained and heavily armed groups.”

Not everyone buys a description of a government attack. When Haitian journalist Robinson Gehrad, who contributed to a local newspaper and broadcasts a radio show, tweeted a report on the police chief’s comments, he elicited a tremendous amount of skeptical reaction. Many wondered how a sophisticated attacker described by police could break into Moïse’s home, security details, and panic room and escape unharmed.

Meanwhile, according to the Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste, a Haitian judge involved in the investigation said Moïse was shot 12 times and his office and bedroom were looted. Judge Carl Henry Destin said investigators said they had found 5.56mm and 7.62mm cartridges between the gatehouse and the interior of the house.

Moyes’ daughter, Jommary Jobenell, hid in her brother’s bedroom during the attack, and he said the maid and another worker were tied up by the attacker.

Interim Prime Minister Claude-Joseph, who became Haiti’s leader with police and military support, ordered the reopening of the international airport and urged people to resume business and return to work.

On Wednesday, Joseph proclaimed a two-week siege following Moise’s murder, which surprised countries tackling some of the highest poverty, violence and political instability in the Western Hemisphere.

Inflation and gang violence are skyrocketing as food and fuel shortages in countries where 60% of Haitians earn less than $ 2 a day. An increasingly dire situation comes as Haiti is still trying to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake and hurricane Matthew in 2016, following a history of dictatorship and political turmoil.

Marlene Bastian, Executive Director of the Family Action Network Movement, a group that supports people in Miami’s Little Highty community, said:

She called on the Biden administration to play a much more active role in supporting attempts at domestic dialogue in Haiti with the aim of conducting free, fair and credible elections.

Meanwhile, the Security Council met Thursday to discuss the situation in Haiti, UN Special Envoy Helen La Lime told reporters at UN headquarters in Port-au-Prince, and Haiti requested additional security assistance. Stated.

Haiti became increasingly unstable under Moise, which had been dominated by law for over a year, and critics tried to build him more power while opposition demanded his resignation. Faced with fierce protests.

Mois has faced large-scale violent protests in recent months as opposition leaders and their supporters rejected his plan to hold a constitutional referendum on a proposal to strengthen the president.

According to the Haiti Constitution, Moïse should be replaced by the President of the Supreme Court of Haiti, but the Chief Justice recently died in COVID-19, leaving the question of who can legitimately take over.

Meanwhile, Joseph was to be replaced by Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon appointed Prime Minister by Moise the day before the assassination.

Henry told AP that he was prime minister and was in an exceptional and confusing situation. “I am the prime minister,” he said.

On Thursday, public transport and street vendors were still scarce, a rare sight on the normally busy Port-au-Prince streets.

Marco Destin, 39, was walking to see his family because a bus called Tap Tap was not available. He was carrying a loaf of bread for them because they hadn’t left home since the president killed him for fear of life.

“Everyone at home sleeps with one eye open and one eye closed,” he said. “If the head of state is not protected, I have no protection.”

Hours after the killing, shootouts rang intermittently throughout the city. This is reminiscent of the growing power of gangsters who burned their homes in a territorial battle last month alone, with more than 14,700 people looting.

Robert Fatton, a Haiti political expert at the University of Virginia, said gangsters are a fighting force and it is uncertain whether Haitian security forces can force a siege.

“It’s a really explosive situation,” he said, adding that foreign intervention by UN-type military entities is possible.

“Whether Claude-Joseph can maintain power is a big issue. It would be very difficult to do so without him creating a national unity government.”

Koto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Goodman reported from Miami. Port-au-Prince AP videographer Pierre-Richard Luxama contributed to this report.

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