Tuesday, May 24

Haitian police say suspect flew into country with suspected hitmen | Haiti

Haitian police say they have arrested another suspect in the murder of President Jovenel Moïse, who they accused of entering the country on a private jet accompanied by several of the alleged gunmen.

The suspect was identified by police as Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian in his 60s living in Florida who describes himself as a doctor and has accused the leaders of his homeland of corruption.

Haitian Police Chief Léon Charles has accused Sanon of working with those who conspired and participated in the murder of Moïse, which plunged the nation of more than 11 million people into uncertainty. He did not provide information on the alleged masterminds, but claimed that Moïse’s alleged assassins were protecting the main suspect as the alleged president of Haiti.

Charles said that among the items found by officers at Sanon’s home in Haiti were a hat emblazoned with the logo of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, 20 boxes of bullets, pieces of weapons, four vehicle license plates from the Dominican Republic, two cars and correspondence with unidentified persons.

Haitian authorities claim that a 28-member assault squad broke into Moïse’s presidential compound in the early hours of last Wednesday before shooting him dead, a sensational narrative that is under increasing scrutiny, both in Haiti and in the United States. Foreign.

The sister of one of the suspected hitmen, a retired member of Colombia’s special forces named Duberney Capador, told reporters over the weekend that her 40-year-old brother was not a hitman, but had traveled to Port-au-Prince. after being hired. by a private security company to help protect “important people.”

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“He is not a mercenary, he is a good man,” said Jenny Capador in an interview with the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

Charles said Sanon was in contact with a firm that provides security for politicians and recruited suspects in the murder, and that he accompanied several of the suspected hitmen on a flight to Haiti.

The gunmen’s initial mission was to protect Sanon, but they later received a new warrant to arrest the president, Charles said. “The operation started from there,” he said, adding that 22 more suspects joined the group and that contact was made with Haitian citizens.

So far, eighteen Colombians have been detained, along with three Haitians. Charles said five of the suspects were still at large and that at least three had died, including Capador.

“They are dangerous individuals,” Charles said. “I’m talking about command, specialized command.”

Charles said that after Moïse’s death, one of the suspects called Sanon, who then contacted two people believed to be the masterminds of the plot. It did not identify the intellectual authors or say whether the police knew who they were.

The chief said the Haitian authorities obtained the information from interrogations and other parts of the investigation. He added that police were working with high-ranking Colombian officials to identify details of the alleged plot, including when the suspects left Colombia and who paid for their tickets.

Sanon has lived in Florida, Broward County, and Hillsborough County on the Gulf Coast. Records show that he also lived in Kansas City, Missouri. He filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and identifies himself as a doctor in a YouTube video titled “Leadership for Haiti.”

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In the video, he denounces the leaders of Haiti as corrupt, accusing them of depriving the country of its resources, saying that “they don’t care about the country, they don’t care about the people.”

It claims that Haiti has uranium, oil, and other resources that have been seized by government officials.

“This is a country with resources,” he said. “Nine million people cannot be in poverty when we have so many resources in the country. It is impossible… The world has to stop doing what it is doing right now. We can’t take it anymore. We need a new leadership that changes the way of life ”.

Sanon has posted little on Twitter, but has expressed interest in Haitian politics. In September 2010, he tweeted: “I just completed a successful conference in Port-au-Prince. Many people from the opposition attended ”. A month later, he wrote: “Back in Haiti for an important meeting on the elections. Pray for me to receive protection and wisdom.

Sanon’s arrest came as a growing number of politicians challenged Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who is currently in charge of Haiti with the help of the police and the military.

While the streets were calm Sunday, government officials worry about what lies ahead and have requested military assistance from the United States and the UN.

Chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Fox News Sunday that the Pentagon was reviewing the request to send troops to Haiti and that no decisions had been made. He said a team, made up largely of agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, was heading to Haiti to help with the murder investigation.

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“I think that’s where our energies are best applied right now, to help them investigate this incident and find out who is at fault, who is responsible and how best to hold them accountable in the future,” Kirby said.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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