Haiti assassination suspect with 'political' aim arrested

President Jovenel Moise was gunned down last week

Haitian police announced Sunday they had arrested a Haitian national “who had political objectives” in recruiting the gunmen who assassinated President Jovenel Moise last week.

“This is an individual who entered Haiti on a private plane with political objectives,” said Leon Charles, head of the Haitian National Police.

Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who is Haitian, arrived in the country in June, accompanied by several Colombians, according to details provided at a press conference attended by several Haitian ministers.

“The mission then changed,” Charles said, explaining that the intent had originally been to arrest Moise, and the operation was mounted from within the country.

“Twenty-two other individuals entered Haiti,” Charles said.

Eighteen Colombian citizens have been arrested since Wednesday. By interrogating them, the Haitian police learnt that Sanon had recruited 26 team members through a Florida-based Venezuelan security company, CTU.

“When we, the police, blocked the progress of these bandits after they committed their crime, the first person that one of the assailants called was Christian Emmanuel Sanon.

“He contacted two other people that we consider to be the masterminds of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise,” Charles said. He did not disclose the identities of the two other suspects.

Members of the FBI, the State Department, the Justice Department, the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security arrived in Haiti on Sunday and met the director general of police.

According to Haitian authorities, the 28-member hit squad burst into Moise’s family home and shot him and his wife, Martine.

The president was killed and his wife gravely injured. She was flown to hospital in Miami.

Moise’s assassination has plunged already troubled Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, into chaos.

Amid deep uncertainty over its political future, the international community has called on the impoverished Caribbean country to go ahead with presidential and legislative elections slated for later this year.

On Sunday, the US delegation met the main actors in Haiti’s government.

"I met with the US delegation and together we welcomed the resolution of the Senate that chose me as interim president of the Republic,” Joseph Lambert, president of the Haitian Senate, tweeted on Sunday evening.

The delegation also met interim prime minister Claude Joseph, who says he is still in charge.

No police officers were injured during the operations to arrest the Colombian alleged mercenaries, three of whom were killed in the process.

Updated: July 12th 2021, 5:36 AM