Haitian police say they have arrested one of the suspects in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, a Haitian government accused of employing mercenaries to oust and replace Moise on Sunday.
Moise was shot dead Wednesday morning at his home in Port-au-Prince and what the Haitian authorities say was a murder unit formed by 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans, plunging a struggling Caribbean nation into chaos.
Police say they have arrested a doctor who they say is a key suspect in plotting the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last week.
They say Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a 63-year-old Haitian national, entered the country on a private plane in early June with “political motives”, reports the BBC.
Earlier, a group of Colombian and Haitian Americans suspected of killing Haitian President Jovenel Moise told investigators were there to arrest him, not to kill him, the Miami Herald and someone close to the case.
The assassination and uncertainty about who carried out the plot filled the air after the assassination, which demanded international aid.
Washington has so far rejected a request for troops from Haiti, although a senior US official said Sunday that Washington was sending a technical team to assess the situation.
Quoting people who spoke to some of the 19 suspects detained so far, the Miami Herald said it said their intention was to arrest Moise and take him to the presidential palace.
A source close to the investigation said two Haitian Americans, James Solages and Joseph Vincent, told investigators they were translators of a Colombian commando unit that had a warrant for their arrest. But when they got there, they found him dead.
Haitian police did not respond to a request for comment.
The news follows reports that some Colombians said they went to work as security personnel in Haiti, as well as Moise himself.
The Miami newspaper reported that the arrested Colombian nationals said they were hired to work in Haiti by Miami’s CTU Security Company, run by Venezuelan immigrant Antonio Enmanuel Intriago Valera.
Neither CTU nor Intriago could be reached for comment.
The phone number associated with the company in public records sent a call to the answering machine that identified the fake TV personality Jack Bauer, who fought terrorism in the “24” column.
“Thank you for calling CTU Security. For Tony Intriago, please leave a message or text. For Jack Bauer, wait until next season. Thank you for calling and have a nice day.”
A social media profile that appeared to be Intriago’s included a Facebook photo showing a man in sensible gear showing a large, powerful gun. Some photos on Instagram showed bullets, guns and people involved in sensible training.
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X-rays and X-rays posted on social media over the weekend allegedly from Moise’s investigation showed his body full of bullets, a broken skull and other broken bones, underscoring the seriousness of the attack.
Reuters could not confirm their authenticity.
Through social media, Haitians in parts of the capital Port-au-Prince were planning protests this week against Acting Prime Minister and Acting Chief of State Claude Joseph.
Joseph’s right to rule the country has been challenged by other senior politicians, threatening to escalate unrest in the poorest countries in the United States.
Meanwhile, one of Haiti’s top gang leaders, Jimmy Cherizier, a former police officer known as Barbeque, said his men would take to the streets to protest Saturday’s massacre.
Cherizier, boss of the so-called G9 federation of nine gangs, said police and opposition politicians conspired with “smelly bourgeoisie” to “offer” Moses.
Gunfire erupted overnight in the capital, which has seen an increase in gang violence in recent months, displacing thousands of people and crippling economic activity.