Haiti's National Police (PNH) Sunday announced the arrest of yet another former Colombian serviceman in connection with the killing of President Jovenel Moïse last Wednesday.
Gersaín Mendivelso Jaimes became the 18th suspect of that nationality currently under detention.
The collaboration of the population is of the utmost importance in locating these thugs so that the HNP can have them under its control and refer them to a competent court to answer for their actions, the HNP said in a statement. It also released a list with the 20 names of the suspects arrested and identified so far, including two US citizens of Haitian origin.
Of the 28 people who were part of the commando group responsible for Moïse's murder, five Colombians remained at large while three were gunned down, according to authorities.
Colombia's Foreign Ministry has begun diplomatic negotiations for the repatriation of the bodies of the three dead ex-military, as well as for the assistance to those in custody.
The two Haitian-Americans have testified that the objective was not to kill, but to arrest Moïse, in addition to confirming that they had a copy of the arrest warrant, although they did not remember who had issued it. The mission was to arrest the president and take him to the presidential palace, one of them reportedly declared, insisting that the two were there as translators and that they were not involved in the assassination.
The attack was prepared during a month in meals and meetings in a house in Port-au-Prince where the mercenaries were staying, according to sources quoted by the Miami Herald newspaper.
The HNP also announced that those responsible for Moïse's security are prohibited from leaving the country, they must report daily at the headquarters of the General Inspection and announced that several officers will be interviewed by the Prosecutor's Office in the coming days.
Commissioner Dimitri Hérard had made trips to South America, including countries such as Colombia or Ecuador, according to Haitian media. Hérard, a member of the General Security Unit of the National Palace (Usgpn), is being investigated by the US authorities for arms trafficking, added the US think tank Center for Economic and Political Research (CEPR).
The situation in Haiti became even more complicated, after a decimated Senate, which has only 10 of its 30 members with a mandate in force, elected Joseph Lambert as interim president, while the acting prime minister, Claude Joseph, and his successor Appointed by Moïse just two days before the murder, Ariel Henry, also vie for control.
Moïse was killed at his residence in Port-au-Prince last Wednesday and less than 24 hours after the fact, the government announced that it had arrested the first two suspects and killed four others.
Meanwhile, in Miami, a prominent Florida physician of Haitian descent was linked to Moïse's murder. Doctor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who has lived in the US on and off for more than 20 years, is suspected of being one of the ring leaders of the hit squad, according to the Miami Herald.
Sanon is the third person of Haitian descent tied to Florida to be seized, the Herald said. Two of them — James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55 — told authorities during questioning that the assassination was part of a plot to install Sanon as president.
They said the plan wasn’t to kill Moise, but rather serve him with a 2019 arrest warrant and take him to the presidential palace, where Sanon would take his place. In an interview Saturday, HNP Chief Léon Charles had told the Herald that the plot included “two Haitian-Americans and a high-profile doctor there,” but did not identify Sanon by name.
“I would say that the Haitian (doctor) recruited” the men, who in turn signed up a group of Colombian nationals for the operations, the report said.
According to the Herald, Sanon has had more than a dozen businesses registered in Florida over the years — including medical services, energy and real estate companies — although most are now listed as inactive.
Sanon identifies himself as a doctor although the outlet could not locate a medical license listing for him in Florida. Records show he did file for bankruptcy in 2013 in Tampa and lost a home in Brandon to foreclosure with debt totalling more than the US $ 400,000.
I’m alive, thanks to God, said First Lady Martine Moïse in Creole in a 2-minute recording that was posted on Twitter and played on radio stations throughout Haiti. 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.
Moïse, who is currently being treated at a Miami hospital for injuries she sustained during the attack, also said you know who the president was fighting against.
They sent mercenaries to kill the president at his home with members of his family because of roads, water, electricity and referendum as well as elections at the end of the year so that there is no transition in the country, the First Lady said.