Entrepreneur and businessman Jovenel Moise, president of Haiti since February 2017, was assassinated in the early hours of Wednesday morning when gunmen broke into his Port-au-Prince home. Claude Joseph, acting interim President following the attack, confirmed the President’s death in a press release, and also confirmed that the first lady, Martine Moise, was injured in the attack but is in stable condition. Moise’s assassins, who allegedly spoke Spanish and English, remain unidentified. Haitian authorities claim they have ‘intercepted’ suspects in the attack.
United States President Joe Biden was briefed on the situation. The White House press release condemned the attack as “horrific” and “tragic.”
Haiti’s economic and social situation has been tumultuous, with rising gang violence and criminal activity of particular note in the country that is still trying to recover from the catastrophic damage suffered during the 2010 earthquake that left the nation shattered, hundreds of thousands dead and million homeless. President Moise was a controversial figure, accused by his political opponents of increasing his own power by creating a private intelligence agency and approving a decree that limits courts ability to audit the government. It is not yet known for certain whether the attack was politically motivated.
Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr., speaking on the attack, said: “This level of violence is an unacceptable means to achieve positive ends and must be condemned by the US and all readers across the globe. We must choose negotiation and peaceful resolution of conflict over violence and assassinations.”
According to CNN’s latest update, authorities say 28 people are suspected in the killing. 26 of those are Colombian, and two are US citizens. 20 of those suspects have been detained, five are on the loose, and three have been killed. Motives are at present still unclear.