American man, Colombian ex-serviceman arrested over Haiti’s president’s assassination

So far 17 suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the assassination of Haiti’s president. Officials said that two of these suspects have dual citizenship of the US along with Haiti. At the same time, the Colombian government has said that at least six of these suspects are former soldiers of its army.

Haiti’s National Police chief Leon Charles said on Thursday night that the 15 suspects taken into custody were from Colombia. The police chief said that eight more suspects were being sought and three others were gunned down by the police. Charles had earlier reported that seven suspects had been killed. “Judicial action will be taken against the guilty,” the police chief said.

The government of Colombia said this thing

Colombia’s government says it has sought information on six suspects in Haiti, two of whom have been killed. Colombia has said that it is sure that all of them were ex-servicemen associated with its army. However, he did not share their information. The head of the Colombian National Police, General Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia, said the country’s President Ivan Duque has instructed the Colombian army chief and police to cooperate with the investigation.

The US State Department gave this information

The US State Department said it was aware of the detention of Haitian American citizens but could not comment or confirm. Haiti officials have identified the Haitian-Americans as James Solages and Joseph Vincent. Haiti’s electoral officer Mathias Pierre said the oldest suspect is 55 years old and the youngest suspect, Solages 35 years old. However, he did not give detailed information about this.

Solagés described himself as a “certificate-holding diplomatic agent”. It created a website for charitable work in South Florida in 2019 with the aim of helping children and advocating emerging leaders. On the website, Solagase states that he has previously worked as a bodyguard at the Canadian Embassy in Haiti. Canada’s State Department issued a statement saying that one of the detained men “worked as a reserve bodyguard at its embassy for a period of time through a private contract”. The Canadian State Department did not give detailed information about this.

All of them were among the suspected attackers who stormed the country’s President Jovenel Moise and killed him at his residence in the early hours of Wednesday. According to Haiti’s National Police Director Leon Charles, seven other suspected attackers were killed in an encounter with police. Pierre, however, did not provide additional information about Solagés’ background.

Police chief appeals to maintain peace

In a press conference on Thursday, Police Chief Charles urged people to maintain peace and let the police do their job. Officials did not disclose the motive for the murder. He only said that the attack was carried out by “a highly trained and armed group”. Haiti’s main opposition parties and the international community have condemned the incident. However, Carl Henry, a Haitian judge involved in the investigation, said Moise had been shot several times and his office and bedroom had been vandalized, according to the Haiti newspaper Le Nuveliste. Moise’s daughter Jomarly Jovenel hid in her brother’s bedroom at the time of the attack and a domestic help and worker were tied up by the assailants. Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who took over the leadership of Haiti with police and military support, has ordered the reopening of the international airport and urged people to resume business and get back to work.

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