Police announce arrest of suspects in assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise

Arrests have been announced following the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moise, the Washington Examiner reports. 

A violent encounter between the suspects of the assassination and local authorities left four of the suspects dead and two others arrested. Specifics regarding the suspects are still unclear as of this writing.

The assassination

On Wednesday, stunning reports emerged indicating that Moise and his wife, Martine Moise, Haiti’s first lady, were attacked by a group of armed gunmen. The attack occurred at their home in Port Au-Prince, the country’s capital, during the early morning hours.

President Moise was killed in the attack, and his wife, according to reports, was badly injured, having suffered injuries from multiple gunshot wounds. She was immediately airlifted to a hospital in Florida, and her vitals are said to be stable but critical.

The arrests

Hours after the attack took place, Haitian authorities caught up with the suspects. As stated, four were killed and two were arrested after a shootout ensued.

Reports indicate that upon first attacking the Moise residence, one of the gunmen claimed that they were members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). In videos of the attack, a man speaking English with an American accent can reportedly be heard yelling into a megaphone, shouting, “DEA operation. Everybody, stand down. DEA operation. Everybody, back up, stand down.”

The U.S. State Department, however, has clarified that it is “absolutely false” that DEA agents were involved in the president’s assassination.

Additional reports indicate that the attackers were speaking Spanish in addition to English. So far, not much is known or has been made public regarding the suspects or their motives.

Background

The motive behind the assassination of President Moise is still unclear, though many have already begun to speculate on potential reasons for the violent action.

As some have pointed out, the quality of life in Haiti hasn’t exactly been great under Moise’s presidency. According to Breitbart, in Port-au-Prince, crime has been on the rise and most residents earn less than $2 per day. In addition, the country is still attempting to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake that wrecked the country’s economy, as well as the havoc wreaked on the island by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

As Fox News reported, many Haitians have called for Moise to step down for some time. He assumed the presidency in 2017 after the resignation of his predecessor and has ruled by decree for over two years, as Haiti has failed to hold new elections. A formal election, however, was scheduled to be held later this year.

For now, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph will take over Moise’s governing duties. Joseph released a statement indicating that the National Police of Haiti and the Armed Forces of Haiti currently have the situation under control. Joseph added: “Democracy and the republic will win.”

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