Commentary By Felicia J. Persaud
Haiti’s police chief on Sunday claimed an immigrant from Haiti and a doctor in Florida has been arrested as a “central” suspect in the assassination plot of the country’s President, Jovenel Moïse.
According to reports, the latest person arrested is Dr. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who is now dubbed the “alleged” mastermind of the plot.
According to the Haitian national police chief, Léon Charles, Sanon was the one who contacted and hired CTU, a Venezuelan security firm in South Florida. They in turn hired 20 plus ex-Colombian trained military soldier and two other Haitian Americans in South Florida – James J. Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55. Solages and Vincent were hired, they claimed, simply to work as translators.
The initial mission, according to Miami Herald reports, was reportedly to serve as security for Sanon who was going by private plane to Haiti. Then the mission change to “arresting” Moïse with a 2019 arrest warrant and to bring him to the national palace, and then have Sanon replace him as president. Sanon on his Twitter account says he is “a Medical Doctor and Christian Minister who is providing Leadership for Haiti through a life of positive action and absolute integrity.”
But a lot does not pass the smell test here.
First off, how is it that the so-called group of trained mercenaries made their way past police check points set up around the perimeter of the President’s home and into the compound undetected?
How is it that by simply yelling “DEA Operations, Put down your weapons,” – as an uncorroborated video purportedly shot by a “neighbor” in the middle of the night and circulating on social media shows – that they were then able to get pass dozens of security into the private residence without question?
Why were no guards and personal bodyguard of the president and first lady inside the home and how is it that the so-called fake DEA agents with guns were able to make it into the President’s bedroom with no other security or bodyguard getting shot?
Not even a dog was shot reportedly, and only the maid and a “boy” in the house were tired up as the President’s daughter hid.
When shots began firing – at least 12 shots – why did none of the security forces paid to protect the President run in or try to enter or engage with the shooters, and, again, where were the bodyguards?
Why is it that the killing of the President seems way more personal and closer to home given the way he was killed – no security inside; no gun battle with the so-called mercenaries, 12 gunshot wounds to the body with high caliber weapons, including his left eye blown out along with shots to the two nipples, hip and abdomen?
How is it that a police force that had been unable to control the gangs and rising crime rate in Haiti, including kidnapping of priests and nuns, suddenly and swiftly are now able to capture “foreign mercenaries” and get to the bottom of this murder so quickly?
Why were so-called assassins of a president still sitting around in a house waiting to be caught, instead of already fleeing the country back to the Dominican Republic from where they reportedly came across the border in vehicles?
There are more questions than answers in this puzzle and murder of a President, who was unpopular and ready to install himself as a dictator, and for whom many Haitians have said they are “shedding no tears.”
So far, Solanges and Vincent have reportedly insisted to the judge investigating the murder, that they simply responded to a job on the Internet for translators and that is the only role they played.
The sister of Duberney Capador, 40, one of the Colombians accused in the plot and who was one of three killed in the aftermath in Haiti, has also poured some cold water on the police’s claims.
Yenny Carolina Capador has been quoted by the New York Times as saying her brother told her that he had not gone to Haiti to kill anyone – but rather had traveled to the Caribbean nation after receiving a job offer to protect a “very important person.”
Ms. Capador also was quoted by the Times as saying her brother told her that he had arrived “too late” to save the “important person” he claimed he was hired to protect.
According to Mr. Capador, via text: “They arrived half an hour after the man had died.”
So if they arrived half-an-hour later than when the President was actually killed, then who killed the President?
Haiti’s chief prosecutor, Me Bed-Ford Claude, who is investigating the July 7th assassination of the country’s President, also seems puzzled by the way the so called “mercenaries” were able to walk in and out without a gun battle.
He wants to hear from some of Moïse’s top security officials, including Dimitri Hérard, security coordinator of the President, and Jean Laguel Civil, the divisional commissioner. Both are set to meet for questioning on Tuesday July 13th and Wednesday July 14th to explain what happened on the night of July 7th.
Claude also wants to speak to Inspector Paul Eddy Amazan, head of the Cat-Team and Commissioner Léandre Pierre Osman, head of the Palace Security Unit (USP), and last week told the Haitian paper, Le Nouvelliste, that he had asked Civil Commissioner Jean Laguel for the list of all the security agents present in the president’s residence on the night but had not received that list as of last Friday.
As the saying goes, there is more in the mortar than the pestle here and I know the whole world will be watching this story to see what officials from the US’ National Security Council, the Department of State, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice find out, as they arrived in Haiti on Sunday, July 11th.
For now, it is Haitians and Haiti that bears the brunt of this latest crisis and Haitian immigrants in South Florida bearing the shame of the alleged actions of three of their own.