Haiti Officials Announce More Arrests, First Lady Moïse Speaks Out

Photo: VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images

Nearly a week after the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse, officials in the nation announced additional arrests, including one person they believe had a leading role in the plot. 

On Sunday (July 11), law enforcement officials announced the arrest of 63-year-old Christian Emmanuel Sanon who they said planned to take over as president after killing the country’s leader, according to The Washington Post. 

Sanon, they said, hired some of the other arrested suspects as a security team to carry out the attack and landed in Haiti at the beginning of June with “political objectives.” The arrests come as US officials from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security arrive in Haiti to discuss how they might support Haiti after Moïse’s killing.

First Lady Moïse Speaks

Photo: VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images

First Lady Martine Moïse, who was wounded in the attack, spoke out for the first time since her husband was killed. In a voice message posted to Twitter, the first lady described the gruesome attack as happening “in the blink of an eye.” 

“In the blink of an eye, the mercenaries entered my house and riddled my husband with bullets,” Martine Moïse said in the voice post, according to the BBC

“This act has no name because you have to be a limitless criminal to assassinate a president like Jovenel Moïse, without even giving him the chance to say a single word,” she continued. 

After the attack, the first lady was transported to a Florida hospital to get treatment for the gunshot wounds she received. In her post, Moïse said she was in “a beautiful condition and very much alive.” She suggested the assassination of her husband was politically motivated, referencing an upcoming meeting that would have changed the constitution and give the president additional power.  

“We cannot let the blood of President Jovenel Moïse, my husband –– the president you love and who loves you too –– shed in vain,” she said. “I am girding my strength, because the battle he led wasn’t his, he led this battle for us. We must not give up,” she added.

Struggle for Power

Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Over the weekend, gun violence broke out in Port-au-Prince as the nation works to determine next steps in its political future. The Post reported that several men have claimed leadership over the government, including acting prime minister Claude Joseph, and Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon who was appointed as prime minister two days before Moïse was killed. On Friday (July 9), Haiti’s senate voted to put the senate leader Joseph Lambert as acting president. Claude Joseph, who has been recognized as Haiti’s leader by international leaders, requested the US and the UN to deploy troops for security. 

“There are no plans to provide US military assistance at this time,” a senior official in President Joe Biden’s administration told NPR

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Sunday (July 11) that the group of US officials arriving in Haiti are there to figure out "what we can do to help them in the investigative process."

"I think that's really where our energies are best applied right now in helping them get their arms around investigating this incident and figuring out who's culpable, who's responsible and how to best hold them accountable going forward," Kirby said.

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