An investigation into the assassination of Haiti’s President, Jovenel Moïse, revealed that a group of more than two dozen “professional killers” were involved in the attack. Authorities alleged that two American citizens and several retired members of the Colombian military are among the group.
According to CNN, 17 suspects have been arrested in connection with the July 7 attack on Moïse’s private residence, though a leader behind the attack, nor a reason for the killing have been determined. Police are conducting a nation-wide search for at least eight more suspects.
Elections Minister Mathias Pierre identified the two Americans to CNN as James Solages and Joseph Vincent, who are both naturalized citizens from Haiti. Colombia’s Defense Ministry released a statement confirming that at least six of the arrested suspects were indeed retired members of the nation’s military, including two retired military officers.
On Thursday (July 8), police arrested 11 armed men who entered the grounds of the Taiwan embassy in Port-au-Prince. Minor damage was reported on the embassy before local police took the armed group into custody. It’s not clear if these 11 men are among the 17 arrested by authorities in connection with Moïse’s assassination.
The attack on Haiti’s president comes during a time of a humanitarian crisis and growing instability within the nation. High tensions led crowds of people to take to Port-au-Prince’s streets Thursday night (July 8), demanding justice.
Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph declared a “state of siege” in Haiti, closing the nation’s borders and implementing martial law. US State Department spokesperson Ned Price described the situation in Haiti as “evolving rapidly” and said that the US was prepared to help Haiti authorities in the investigation.