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BOGOTA, Colombia, Weds. July 7, 2021 (Reuters) – Colombia President Ivan Duque called on the Organization of American States on Wednesday to send an urgent mission to Haiti to “protect the democratic order” after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated overnight.

“We reject the vile assassination of the Haitian President Jovenel Moise,” Duque wrote on Twitter. “It is a cowardly act full of barbarity against the entire Haitian people.”

The Organization of American States sent a “Good Offices Mission” to Haiti on June 9th after the country’s president had postponed a constitutional referendum scheduled for June 27th without giving a new date for the vote.

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States had approved by consensus a resolution expressing concern over the grave political, security and human rights situation in Haiti and offered to send the mission.

The Government of Haiti had agreed to meet the Mission which was composed of the permanent representatives to the OAS of Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States, with support from the OAS General Secretariat and the Special Representative of the OAS Secretary General in Haiti.

The Mission was in Haiti through June 10th and met with a range of stakeholders, including the government, opposition and civil society. The objective is to facilitate a dialogue that would lead to free and fair elections.

President Jovenel Moise had been ruling Haiti by decree after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed following disputes on the limits of his term.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb in Bogota Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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