The assassins who murdered Haitian President Jovenel Moïse posed as DEA agents in order to disarm Moïse's security detail before gunning down the leader, reports say.
Bocchit Edmond, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, said “well-trained professionals, killers, commandos” carried out the attack at the president's home.
Haitian police say they have arrested more than a dozen people — most of them retired Colombian soldiers — and are searching for more, but it remained unclear who had hired the team of mercenaries that attacked the president’s house, or why.
In video from the assassination operation in Port Au Prince which was obtained by media outlets, a voice on a loudspeaker can be heard saying: "This is a operation. This is a operation. DEA. Everybody go go go. Everybody. Do not shoot."
The mercenaries had a translator who spoke in English and Haitian Creole, reports say.
The Miami Herald quoted a U.S. State Department official as saying any reported link between the DEA and the assassination was “absolutely false.”
The Herald reported Thursday that a “crowd” had captured “two foreigners presumed to be involved in the assassination.” Four people who are suspected of taking part in the raid were killed by police, Haitian police chief Léon Charles said Wednesday.
Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph has said he is now in charge of the island nation and has declared martial law.
The Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste said Moïse was shot multiple times.
“We found 12 holes in the president’s body,” Carl Henry Destin, Pétion-Ville deputy justice of the peace, told the outlet, according to the Herald. “The president’s office and bedroom were ransacked.”
The president's wife, Martine Moīse was injured in the attack and was flown to Florida for treatment. She accused her husband's enemies of wanting “to kill his dream, his vision, his ideology.”
“I’m alive, thanks to God,” she said in a recording, which was posted to Twitter and also played on local radio stations. “But I love my husband Jovenel. We fought together for more than 25 years. During all these years, love radiated within the home. But suddenly, the mercenaries came and pelted my husband with bullets.”
“You have to be a notorious criminal without guts to assassinate a president like Jovenel Moīse with impunity without giving him the chance to speak,” she added. “You knew who the president was fighting against. These people hired mercenaries to kill the president and his family because of the projects of roads, electricity, drinking water supply, organization of the referendum and elections …
“The mercenaries who assassinated the president are currently behind bars,” she added, “but other mercenaries currently want to kill his dream, his vision, his ideology.”
The assassination of #Haiti's puppet tyrant Jovenel Moïse was well-planned and well-executed. The assassins presented themselves as DEA agents and disarmed his security. The mercenaries were described as white, and their helper / translator spoke in English and Haitian Creole. pic.twitter.com/oY5kmNICBX— Madame Boukman - Justice 4 Haiti 🇭🇹 (@madanboukman) July 8, 2021