The world was rocked this week with the news that Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated at his home.
Following the deadly raid on Wednesday, reports indicate that two Americans have been arrested on suspicion of taking part in the assassination.
Details of the crime
James Solages and Joseph Vincent, both U.S. citizens with Haitian backgrounds, are accused of participating in the crime.
Authorities say the attack was perpetrated primarily by Columbian mercenaries enlisted from abroad to take out Moise, though details of the conspiracy remain unclear as Haiti slips further into a political crisis.
A total of 17 of the 28 suspects were arrested following a firefight in Port-au-Prince and three others were killed. Some of the Columbian suspects are believed to be retired soldiers.
The two Americans reportedly told an investigator that they were hired as translators and believed they were taking part in a plot to arrest, not assassinate, Moise. One of the men was identified as a former bodyguard for the Canadian embassy.
Reports revealed that the assassins converged on the Haitian president’s home early Wednesday morning and presented themselves as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents. Video of the attack shows a man with an American accent shouting at Moise in English to follow their commands.
“Shocked and saddened”
In a statement, Haiti’s National Police Chief Leon Charles vowed to bring the suspects to justice. Meanwhile, it was initially unclear who would take charge of the country as two men claimed to be the rightful prime minister, and another individual was subsequently chosen by a group of political leaders to become president.
Officials are not publicly speculating about the reason Moise was targeted, but Bocchit Edmond, Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S., said there might have been “internal help” in organizing the assassination.
For his part, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a statement condemning the “heinous act” and promising to offer assistance to Haiti.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moise and the attack on First Lady Martine Mose of Haiti,” Biden declared.