Two Haitian-Americans have been arrested in connection with the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on Thursday. Joseph Vincent and James Solages, two of the 28 accused, have been arrested in connection with the killing of Haitian President Moise.
According to the reports, the Haitian Police said that they believe at least 28 people were behind President Jovenel Moise’s assassination, adding that 26 of them were Colombian and two were Americans of Haitian origin. The two Haitian-Americans – James Solages and Joseph Vincent have now been arrested for the assassination of President Moise at his home on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Haitian police have also arrested fifteen others, who are believed to be from Colombia. According to the Haitian police, the police have killed three suspects, and eight others are on the run.
“We are going to bring them to justice,” said Leon Charles, chief of Haiti’s National Police, during a press conference on Thursday night.
On Thursday, the Colombian government had said six of the suspects in Haiti, including two of those killed, were retired members of Colombia’s army. The chief of the Colombian national police, General Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia, said President Iván Duque had instructed the Colombian military and police to cooperate with Haiti officials during the investigation.
“A team was formed with the best investigators … they are going to send dates, flight times, financial information that is already being collected to be sent to Port-au-Prince,” General Vargas said.
One of the Haiti Americans worked in Canadian Embassy
One of the arrested Haitian-Americans – 35-year-old James Solages, previously worked as a bodyguard at the Canadian Embassy in Haiti. Mathias Pierre, Haiti’s minister of elections, said Solages described himself as a “certified diplomatic agent” and an advocate for children.
On his website, Solages had also described himself as a “budding politician” and had started a charity in 2019 in South Florida to assist residents. Meanwhile, the US State Department said it is aware that Haitian-Americans have been taken into custody, however, it did not comment.
According to a witness, the two Haitian-Americans were found near bushes in Port-au-Prince by a crowd, who “grabbed them by their shirts and pants”. The crowd slapped and pushed them, said the witness, adding that the crowd chanted, “They killed the president! Give them to us. We’re going to burn them!’
Assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moise
Haiti President Jovenel Moise was assassinated by unknown assailants at his home on Wednesday morning. In a statement issued by acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, a group of unidentified individuals had attacked Moise’s home at around 1 AM and fatally wounded the head of state.
The First Lady of the nation, Martine Moise, was also shot in the attack, and she is currently receiving treatment.
“A group of unidentified individuals, some of them speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president of the republic and thus fatally wounded the head of state,” the interim PM said.
The 53-year-old Jovenel Moise is a former banana exporter who became the president in 2017. In recent months, he has facing fierce opposition from opposition parties, who alleged that he was trying to install a dictatorship by overstaying his mandate and becoming more authoritarian.
The assassination of President Jovenel Moise has injected further uncertainty into the already deteriorating security and health situation in the country. The Caribbean country was already in a political crisis, as the president repeatedly failed to hold elections at local and national levels, which have left a significant portion of governance in the country unmanned.
The killing of Haiti’s President at his home has led to an escalation of political instability and gang violence. Fighting between armed gangs and police have begun in the capital, Port-au-Prince, displacing thousands of people. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive devastation to the country, which is plagued with weak health infrastructure and no access to coronavirus vaccines.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, and it has grappled with a series of coups and foreign interventions.