Police in Haiti, on Monday, arrested a key suspect in relation to the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise -- Christian Emmanuel Sanon. The national police chief said that 63-year-old Haiti national, who flew in from Florida, wanted to take over as Haiti's president, was hiring mercenaries for the purpose.
Moise was killed by 26 people, the police say. So far, 18 Columbians and three Haitian-Americans have been arrested. Moise was shot dead early on July 7 at his home in Port-au-Prince.
Besides Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a doctor, the arrested Haitian Americans are Joseph Vincent, 55, and James Solages, 35. One of them had been an informant to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), an official said. The suspect, at the time of the assassination, wasn't a DEA informant nor was he acting on behalf of the DEA. Solages described himself as a "certified diplomatic agent" and the former "chief commander of bodyguards" for the Canadian embassy in Haiti. Not many details have emerged regarding Vincent.
Who is Christian Emmanuel Sanon
Emmanuel Sanon is said to be the mastermind of the attack. While the White House reviews Haiti interim PM's request for troops to help secure its airport and other infrastructure, the US law enforcement is running a thorough investigation as to why Haitian Americans may have been part of the group that assassinated Moise.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Haiti's political leaders needed to come together to plan a way forward. Commenting on if the request to send in American troops had been rejected, Psaki said "No". US President Joe Biden said developments in Haiti were being closely monitored.
"The Haitian people deserve peace and security, and Haiti's political leaders need to come together for the good of their country," Biden said.
One of the Colombians involved in the attack was a retired soldier. The Haitian government is also investigating the head of Moise's security, Dimitri Herard's trips to Colombia
Sanon arrived in Haiti in June intending to arrest Moise, but then, the goal changed. The Colombian men who accompanied Sanon in his private jet were meant to provide security to Sanon. Sanon is being accused by Haiti police of recruiting the team involved in the assassination via a Florida-based Venezuelan security company called CTU. Haitian authorities haven't yet presented evidence against Sanon.
When Haitian police raided Sanon’s home, they uncovered a cache of ammunition, two cars and license plates from the Dominican Republic, the Washington Post reported.
A university professor who met with Sanon in June told the New York Times that he had spoken then of being sent by God to take over Haiti’s presidency. Sanon, in June, was making it known in his social circles, of his political intentions. Sanon, who was certified to practice conventional and osteopathic medicine, in 2013, filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida.
Sanon is known to have been a critique of corruption in Haiti and reportedly has videos posted on a YouTube channel.