- BBC News World
His name is Christian Emmanuel Sanon and the Haitian authorities consider him to be one of the alleged intellectual authors of the assassination of the President of the Caribbean State, Jovenel Moïse.
Last Sunday they announced the arrest of this 63-year-old doctor who has been a regular resident of Florida (USA) for more than two decades.
According to the police, there are two other masterminds involved, but their identities are still a mystery.
As are Sanon’s possible motivations.
The Haitian police chief, Leon Charles, revealed in a press conference that when the members of the commando that shot Moïse, also wounding the first lady, Martine Moïse, were arrested, “The first person they called was Emmanuel Sanon.”
According to the reconstruction of the events made by the Haitian police, Sanon arrived in Haiti in June by private plane from Florida accompanied by a group of six Colombian individuals originally hired to escort him.
But the real intentions “were political,” said the police chief, without specifying them.
“He contacted two other people who we consider [también] masterminds of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse “.
Later, “the mission changed” and one of the Colombians was presented with an arrest warrant against the President of the Republic. “The operation was mounted from there,” explained Charles.
Sanon is the third Haitian arrested in the case, who join others 18 Colombians accused of being part of the command allegedly responsible for the attack on the president’s residence last Wednesday.
Upon questioning, Haitian police learned that Sanon had recruited 26 members through a Florida-based Venezuelan security firm called CTU.
And to further entangle the skein, if possible, the Venezuelan Government of Nicolás Maduro, revealed this weekend that the company is owned by Antonio Intriago, a Venezuelan who is linked to the opposition.
The Haitian police provided other information about the operation:
“In Christian Emmanuel Sanon’s house we have found a cap with the DEA initials, six weapon cases, a score of boxes of 12 and 9-millimeter bullets, four Dominican Republic license plates, a pistol magazine, 24 shooting sheets, two vehicles and correspondence from various sectors of the country “.
Confusion and mistrust
However, the complexity of the network, whose tentacles span several countries, and the vagueness of police explanations is arousing suspicion in a country subjected to maximum political and social tension.
Many wonder how the assailants managed to cross a high security compound defended by the Haitian security forces without causing more deaths in the confrontation.
In Colombia, some relatives of the Colombians involved assure that the men went to Haiti to protect the president, not to kill him, which adds to the confusion surrounding the murder.
“Mauricio [Javier Romero] He would never have signed up for an operation like this, “his wife assured The New York Times,” no matter how much money they offered him. “
There are opposition voices openly questioning the official version of events.
It is the case of Steven Benoit, Former Senator and a prominent opposition figure, who says he finds it difficult to believe that Colombians were responsible for the assassination.
“The story just doesn’t make sense”, says Benoit in an interview with the American newspaper.
“How is it that there is no security guard in the presidential complex who has been shot, who has even a scratch?” He asks.
And he goes further and asks why the Colombians who were at the scene of the murder did not immediately try to flee the country after Moïse’s death.
They stayed and were killed or captured.
Difficult political situation
The distrust between the government and the opposition comes from afar.
Moïse has been president of Haiti since 2017 and during his tenure he faced significant accusations of corruption and widespread manifestations in the capital and other cities since 2019.
On September 26 an election should be held that the opposition claimed should have happened much earlier.
For them, the five-year term of Moïse should have ended on February 7, when the five years of the end of the government of the Executive of Michel Martelly in 2016 were completed.
The president, however, insisted that he should govern for another year because he did not take office until February 7, 2017.
Precisely in February of this year, Moïse assured that he had foiled an attempt to kill him and overthrow the government.
Right now, nothing is clear for a country ravaged by poverty, insecurity and natural disasters.
Not even who is legitimately in charge of the institutions.
The Constitution says that the National Assembly must elect another president and that, in the meantime, the prime minister must take over.
But Haiti has an interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, and a new appointee, Ariel Henry, appointed just before the assassinations and who has yet to be sworn in.
Precisely, this power vacuum and the social situation make many fear that a spiral of violence will unleash in the country.
Meanwhile, the 11 million inhabitants of Haiti are waiting to know the motivation behind the assassination of their president.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.