Thursday, December 2

Haitian Minister Says ‘Big Shot’ Behind President’s Assassination Remains Fugitive | Haiti


The “big shots” who planned the assassination of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, remain at large, a senior government minister admitted, as the Caribbean country introduced a new prime minister in an attempt to defuse a growing power struggle.

Police have named two Haitian nationals as key suspects in the murder: a Florida-based pastor named Christian Emmanuel Sanon and former intelligence officer Joseph Felix Badio. On Friday, Colombian Police Chief General Jorge Luis Vargas claimed that Badio may have ordered two retired Colombian soldiers to assassinate Moïse in the early hours of July 7 for reasons that remain unknown. Sanon was arrested in Haiti last week and Badio’s whereabouts are unknown.

But speaking to The Guardian, Haiti’s Elections Minister Mathias Pierre said he doubted Sanon and Badio were the main architects of a blatant crime that some fear could plunge the Caribbean country into a new chapter of volatility.

“Such a plot for a murder is not the work of the two people [alone]Pierre said, referring to the couple.

“We know that there are big shots out there who wanted death and are part of the plot to kill the president … There are more powerful people behind this,” added the 54-year-old politician.

Pierre admitted that the identity of these conspirators is unknown: “But we believe that the president had many enemies, people who did not agree with his plan and programs, and certainly with his agenda. And we believe that they could be linked to this crime ”.

Sanon, a 63-year-old pastor, was arrested in Haiti on July 11 after reportedly flying to its capital, Port-au-Prince, the previous month on a private jet. Reports suggest he harbored half-baked dreams of leading a multi-million dollar rebuilding of his homeland and becoming one of Haiti’s top leaders.

According to the Washington PostTwo US-based companies, Worldwide Investment Development Group and CTU Security, had planned to form a private security team to protect Sanon when he returned to Haiti and began working toward those goals.

Claude Joseph, above, the acting prime minister, has announced that he will step aside in favor of Ariel Henry.
Claude Joseph, above, the acting prime minister, has announced that he will step aside in favor of Ariel Henry. Photography: Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters

However, Pierre said that he believed that Sanon was not the main architect of the murder, but that he had been “used by certain people” with resentment against Moïse. The precise nature of that grudge is unclear, but Pierre said there were influential figures from Haiti “feeling that their personal interests were in jeopardy and they wanted to do everything they could to get rid of them. [of the president]”.

“But we never would have thought assassination was part of the game plan,” Pierre added on Monday when Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph announced he would step aside in favor of the politician Moïse had named as his new prime. minister shortly before being picky.

Ariel Henry, who was to be installed as prime minister on the day of Moïse’s assassination, has received backing from foreign governments, including the United States, Brazil, Canada and the EU.

“There is no power struggle,” Pierre said after Joseph’s decision to resign, which followed days of speculation about who was in charge of Haiti.

Moïse will be buried on Friday in the northern city of Cap-Haïtien. His wife, who was injured in the attack on their home, returned to Haiti last Saturday after being rushed to the United States for emergency treatment after the murder.

Pierre said Moïse had repeatedly spoken of alleged plots to assassinate him, “but there was no immediate threat.”


www.theguardian.com

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