Why did heavily armed men shoot the president of Haiti? Police say they killed four suspects during a tense hostage situation and arrested two others, but who the suspects are and their motivation remain a mystery.
Haitian authorities have reacted quickly to the attack: arresting alleged gunmen, closing borders and instituting law .
Jovenel Moïse was killed in his home early Wednesday, consistent with authorities. His wife and Haiti’s first lady, Martine, was shot and injured also . She was reportedly in stable but critical condition and has been sent to Miami for treatment.
Police say they caught the gunmen
Just hours after the attack at Moïse’s home, Haiti’s captain announced that, following what seemed to be a hostage-taking situation, four suspects were fatally shot by police and two others arrested.
Léon Charles, the captain , said three cops were held hostage but have since been freed.
Authorities say the gunmen liable for Moïse’s killing were likely mercenaries. they need not officially released names of suspects within the attack.
Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph also described a number of them as “Spanish speaking.” There are other reports that the gunmen also spoke English. Haiti’s primary languages are French and Creole.
Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to the us , said the attackers posed as agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, likely gaining entry to Moïse’s home by using that identity.
“We condemn this heinous act,” he said during a statement. “We stand able to assist as we still work for a secure and secure Haiti.”
In brief remarks to reporters, Biden called things “worrisome” and said more information was needed about what happened.
Who was President Moïse?
Prior to his killing, opponents of the president tried to get rid of the 53-year-old from office, claiming he was improperly attempting to increase his presidency.
Moïse wasn’t well-liked within the country and was overall rated fairly low by citizens, consistent with Garry Pierre-Pierre, founding father of The Haitian Times, who spoke to Morning Edition early Thursday.
Before he was handpicked by the previous president, Moïse worked in agriculture as a banana exporter.
He took office in 2017 after a protracted and contested election. But once in office, his leadership was no less chaotic.
Moïse had stripped rival political parties, businesspeople and prominent families of power. He made tons of enemies, consistent with François Pierre-Louis, an expert on Haitian politics at Queens College at the town University of latest York.
“[The attack] could have come from anywhere. And he alienated too many of us ,” Pierre-Louis told NPR.
For quite a year before his death, Moïse had been ruling by decree after he did not hold legislative elections and Parliament dissolved. Earlier this month, the U.N. Security Council said it had been deeply concerned.
What’s next for Haiti?
Haiti was already in crisis before its president’s assassination, consistent with experts.
Political instability, the lasting effects of a devastating earthquake and a cholera epidemic, foreign political meddling, and gang violence have all contributed to serious instability within the country.
Even Before Jovenel Moïse’s Assassination, Haiti Was In Crisis
“You have this example where the institutions aren’t working, where the economy is stagnated … the politics has been extremely volatile. the present government has been challenged by the population. There are massive accusations of corruption,” Robert Fatton, an expert on Haitian politics at the University of Virginia, told NPR. “So you name it, in terms of instability and institutional decay, you’ve got it at the instant in Haiti.”
Joseph, the interim prime minister, urged residents to stay calm following the shocking developments of the past day.
Joseph said the police and military were on top of things of security. He also remains the highest official responsible .
Looking ahead, Joseph said in an interview with The Associated Press, elections within the Caribbean nation that are scheduled for later this year should plow ahead as planned.
Among Haitians, however, Moïse’s shocking killing has caused confusion and widespread anxiety as officials declared a “state of siege” within the country and closed the international airport.
Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic , announced it might close its border and reinforce security to stop alleged assassins from leaving Haiti.