Twenty-eight foreigners were involved in the assassination of Jovenel Moise, according to Haiti’s Police Chief Leon Charles.
During a news conference on Thursday, the Haitian police presented 17 suspects allegedly involved in Moise’s killing – including 15 Colombians and two Haitian Americans. As of Friday evening, the police have apprehended three more Colombians.
Here's what is known about the alleged assassins so far:
- Haitian authorities identified two Haitian Americans allegedly involved in the killing: James Solages and Joseph Vincent. Both men are said to have come from South Florida but their motives and duration of stay in Haiti remains unknown.
- Solages, 35, was previously employed by the Canadian Embassy in Haiti, according to a website for a charity he established in 2019 in South Florida. The website has since been taken down but Global Affairs Canada confirmed to Global News that they were aware of the allegations against the man who was “briefly employed as a reserve bodyguard by a security company” which was hired by the department in 2010. The company hasn’t been employed in Haiti since 2010, the spokesperson added. Solages, who lived in Tamarac, described himself on the defunct website as a “certified diplomatic agent,” according to Global News.
© AP Photo / Joseph OdelynSuspects in the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise, among them Haitian-American citizens James Solages, left, and Joseph Vincent, second left, are shown to the media at the General Direction of the police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, July 8, 2021
- Little is known about Vincent, who is believed to have previously lived in Miami.
- The US State Department said that Haitian Americans are among the suspected killers of Moise but couldn’t confirm their identities.
- The remaining 26 assassins are Colombians, according to Haitian authorities – 18 of them have already been captured and three killed, the others remain on the run. © AP Photo / Joseph OdelynSuspects in the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise are shown to the media, at the General Direction of the police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, July 8, 2021
- Colombia's Defence Ministry confirmed that 13 former members of the Colombian army are among the suspects. They reportedly worked in the military between 2002 and 2018 in ranks ranging from lieutenant colonel to soldier.
- The alleged killers identified themselves as agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), according to a video from the murder scene.
- State Department Spokesman Ned Price said it was "absolutely false" to suggest that the assassins were DEA agents. Haiti’s Ambassador to the US Edmond Boccit said that it was just a plot by mercenaries “to mask the horrible act.”
- On 8 July, 11 fully armed individuals were apprehended at the Embassy of the partially-recognised Republic of China (Taiwan) to Haiti, according to the embassy’s spokesperson Joanne Ou. It’s not clear if they are among the detained and their nationalities have not been confirmed. They didn’t resist arrest, the spokesperson said.