Suspects Arrested for Assassination of Haiti Leader

Written by Ciara Perez

February 11, 2023

Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home on July 7, 2021 and police suspected a “hit squad of mainly foreign mercenaries” to be responsible. While the investigation into President Moise’s death in Haiti has paused, investigations have proceeded to the United States since it is allegedly Haitian-American citizens who came up with the plan. The U.S. now has a total of seven suspects in custody, which includes four men who were just transferred from Haiti to Florida. All four men were arrested not long after the assassination but were previously being held in the Caribbean.

On January 31st, the Department of Justice (DoJ) charged the four men as follows:

  • James Solages, dual Haitian and U.S. citizen: charged with conspiracy to commit murder
  • Joseph Vincent, dual Haitian and U.S. citizen: charged with conspiracy to commit murder
  • German Alejandro Rivera, Colombian citizen: charged with conspiracy to commit murder
  • Christian Sanon, dual Haitian and U.S. citizen: charged with smuggling bullet-proof vests to Haiti for use in the assassination plot

The DoJ has said that Solages, Vincent, and Rivera “originally planned to kidnap President Moise and take him to an unknown location while a new president was installed in his stead.” But, the plan changed when they were unable to secure a getaway plane. It is believed that Solages and Sanon met in April 2021, in Florida, to discuss regime change in Haiti. The plan was to back Mr. Sanon, who was a pastor, doctor, and an aspiring Haitian political candidate. Shortly after, Sanon contracted the equipment he’d need to support a personal military force in Haiti, which included 20 Colombian mercenaries hired for the hit job. “If found guilty, Mr. Sanon could face up to 20 years in jail while the other three suspects could be sentenced to life in prison.”

The assassination of President Moise in 2021 rocked Haiti and fed the already existing violence across the country. Today, Haiti is dominated by gangs and has no legitimate elected officials left in power. Despite its turbulent history, the country has made requests for international armed forces to help stabilize the conditions on the ground. Only time will tell what will become of the country.

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