According to Haiti’s Police Chief, the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse was allegedly orchestrated in the Dominican Republic.
The three individuals responsible included a former opposition senator, and they were all seen photographed in a hotel in Santa Domingo.
According to Agence France-Presse, a photo circulating on social media shows two suspects, Dr. Christian Emmanuel Sanon and James Solages, meeting with former Sen. John Jol Joseph, a Tet Kale opponent.
So far, the other two suspects Sanon and Solages, have been detained, and Haitian officials have issued a warrant for Joseph’s arrest.
The photo was taken while the three were in the Dominican capital scheming to assassinate Moïse, whose body was discovered riddled with gunfire on July 7 in the bedroom of his home in the hills above Port-au-Prince, according to Haitian National Police Director Léon Charles.
“They met in a hotel in Santo Domingo,” Charles told reporters. “Around the table, there are the architects of the plot, a technical recruitment team, and a finance group.” He added: “Some individuals in the photo have already been apprehended, such as Dr. Christian Emmanuel Sanon and James Solages.”
According to AFP, police said Solages, a Haitian American, worked with Miami-based Venezuelan security firm CTU Security as part of the operation.
“The head of the firm, Antonio Emmanuel Intriago Valera, is in the picture,” Charles said. “He entered Haiti several times to plan the assassination.”
Charles stated that CTU Security used its company credit card to purchase 19 plane tickets for the Colombian suspects allegedly implicated in the assassination from Bogota to Santo Domingo. He said Florida-based financial services company Worldwide Capital Lending Group funded the attack. The company’s CEO, Walter Veintemilla, is also among the alleged plotters.
The assassination was allegedly carried out by two Americans of Haitian descent and 26 Colombians. Haitian police killed three Colombians and arrested 18 others.
Colombian authorities stated Thursday that those apprehended insist that they were hired to grab Mose and deliver him over to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
The alleged mercenaries believed the initial goal was “to plan the arrest of the president and make him available … to the DEA,” according to Colombian police head Jorge Vargas.
“There was a group of four (mercenaries) who were already in the country. The others entered on June 6. They went through the Dominican Republic. We traced the credit card that was used to buy the plane tickets,” Charles said.
“They are former Colombian special force operatives. They are experts, criminals. This was a well-planned attack,” he added.
Dimitri Herard, the head of Moïse’s personal security detail, and three other presidential security employees have been held in solitary prison at the police headquarters.
According to Charles, there were two dozen more people under investigation.
Haiti has requested assistance from the United States, which has previously trained Colombian troops, in determining who was behind the fatal scheme.
The Pentagon revealed on Thursday that several of the suspects had received military training in the United States.
“A review of our training databases indicates that a small number of the Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in past US military training and education programs while serving as active members of the Colombian military forces,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman said, adding that the review was “ongoing.”
On Thursday, President Biden announced that he will send US Marines to Haiti to help secure the US Embassy, but that sending American soldiers to help stabilize the country is “not on the agenda.”
In the meantime, Haiti has vehemently denied that present government officials were engaged in the assassination.
According to a report from Caracol news, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph was allegedly the architect, a Colombian private television network.
“The police warns of all propaganda creating a diversion,” he added, adding that the government had no proof to back up those assertions.