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‘Someone Gave the Order’: Haiti President's Widow Seeks UN's Help to Find Her Husband's Assassins

© REUTERS / Jeanty Junior AgustinFILE PHOTO: Jovenel Moise addresses the media next to his wife Martine after winning the 2016 presidential election, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Picture taken 28 November 2016
FILE PHOTO: Jovenel Moise addresses the media next to his wife Martine after winning the 2016 presidential election, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Picture taken 28 November 2016 - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.08.2021
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President Jovenel Moise was shot dead at his residence on July 7, with his wife, Martine, wounded and airlifted to a US hospital. 28 suspects in the assassination have been arrested, including 18 Colombians, five Haitians and three US citizens. The Pentagon has confirmed that seven of the Colombians had received US military training.
Martine Moise has called for international help in solving the murder of her husband, Haiti's president Jovenel Moise.
"Someone gave the order, and someone paid the money. Those are the people that we are searching for. I want the United Nations Security Council's help to find those people," said Martine Moise in a CNN interview in South Florida on Sunday.
The First Lady of Haiti was found wounded, lying on the floor next to the body of her slain husband, on July 7.
Haiti's president was brutally assassinated at his residence on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. with his wife subsequently airlifted to a US hospital in Miami.
© AFP 2021 / VALERIE BAERISWYLMembers of the military are seen near the hospital where Haitian First Lady Martine Moise was taken on July 7, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. - Haiti President Jovenel Moise was assassinated and his wife wounded early July 7, 2021 in an attack at their home, the interim prime minister announced, an act that risks further destabilizing the Caribbean nation beset by gang violence and political volatility. Claude Joseph said he was now in charge of the country and urged the public to remain calm, while insisting the police and army would ensure the population's safety.The capital Port-au-prince as quiet on Wednesday morning with no extra security forces on patrol, witnesses reported.
Members of the military are seen near the hospital where Haitian First Lady Martine Moise was taken on July 7, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. - Haiti President Jovenel Moise was assassinated and his wife wounded early July 7, 2021 in an attack at their home, the interim prime minister announced, an act that risks further destabilizing the Caribbean nation beset by gang violence and political volatility. Claude Joseph said he was now in charge of the country and urged the public to remain calm, while insisting the police and army would ensure the population's safety.The capital Port-au-prince as quiet on Wednesday morning with no extra security forces on patrol, witnesses reported. - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
Members of the military are seen near the hospital where Haitian First Lady Martine Moise was taken on July 7, 2021 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. - Haiti President Jovenel Moise was assassinated and his wife wounded early July 7, 2021 in an attack at their home, the interim prime minister announced, an act that risks further destabilizing the Caribbean nation beset by gang violence and political volatility. Claude Joseph said he was now in charge of the country and urged the public to remain calm, while insisting the police and army would ensure the population's safety.The capital Port-au-prince as quiet on Wednesday morning with no extra security forces on patrol, witnesses reported.
After returning home to attend her husband's funeral on 17 July, the widow of Haiti's assassinated president left the country with her children and headed for the United States, the news agency Haiti 24 reported on Thursday.
The survivor of the deadly attack now hopes the search to bring the killers to justice will succeed.

‘Massive Security Failing’

The only eyewitness to her husband's assassination, the widow is also the only other known victim of the attackers. She recalled the chilling details of the attack, when she and her husband heard automatic gunfire outside their home around 1 am.
"At that time, I didn't even think that they were going to be able to get into the room where we were, because we had about 30 or 50 security guards (at the house)," she said.
Haitian authorities are still struggling to explain the reasons for the security failing, with presidential security chief Dimitri Herard and coordinator of palace security Jean Laguel Civil both currently in prison.
After they heard the gunmen breach the residence, the President and his wife tried to hide on the floor behind their bed. Moise says she estimated that around a dozen Spanish-speaking men had entered the room, seemingly looking for something specific. Then the woman claimed they said in Spanish that they had found what they were looking for, and made a phone call, seemingly to corroborate that the person they had shot was the President.
"They said he was tall, skinny and Black, and maybe the person on the phone confirmed to the shooter that was him. Then they shot him on the floor," said the widow.
© REUTERS / RICARDO ARDUENGOPallbearers in military attire carry the coffin holding the body of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise after he was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince earlier this month, in Cap-Haitien, July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
Pallbearers in military attire carry the coffin holding the body of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise after he was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince earlier this month, in Cap-Haitien, July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
Pallbearers in military attire carry the coffin holding the body of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise after he was shot dead at his home in Port-au-Prince earlier this month, in Cap-Haitien, July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
President Moise was shot 12 times, according to an initial report by investigators. After her husband was shot dead, Martine Moise said she thought it was “over for both of us”.
As the attackers left, Moise believes they mistook her for dead. The security guards were still conspicuously absent, and it was a maid who eventually found Martine Moise.
When leaving her home, Moise said she was struck by the absence of the usual guards on the compound.
"The guards wouldn't leave without an order. Maybe they received an order to leave - this is what I think," she said, adding:
"It would have been 50 against 28, we had more security than them ... I believe the president died with the hope that his security team would come."
Haitian authorities have previously said that not a single guard was injured in the attack.

‘Masterminds at Large’

Haitian authorities have said at least 44 people are now in custody, including 18 Colombians and at least three US citizens. A Florida-based pastor and a local former Justice Ministry official who are accused of coordinating parts of the attack have also been apprehended.
Amid the ongoing probe, at least 24 police officers are under investigation, according to Haiti Police Chief Leon Charles. None of the suspects have even been formally charged, with Martine Moise convinced the true masterminds of the heinous crime still at large.
© REUTERS / RICARDO ARDUENGOA picture of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise hangs on a wall before a news conference by interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph at his house, almost a week after his assassination, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 13, 2021
A picture of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise hangs on a wall before a news conference by interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph at his house, almost a week after his assassination, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 13, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.09.2021
A picture of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise hangs on a wall before a news conference by interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph at his house, almost a week after his assassination, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 13, 2021
"The people that they arrested are the people who pulled the trigger. They wouldn't pull the trigger with no orders. So the main characters that we need are the people who paid for that. And the people that gave the order."
The widow of the slain president believes that an independent investigation run by the UN is the sole hope of finding out the truth.
"To plan for months to kill a president and no one around him knows about it is something terrible. This showed me that the security and the intelligence systems in my country need work… There are powerful people in Haiti. And because of their power, I'm not sure that the current investigation can find answers," she said.
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