One Haitian American is reportedly among six people arrested in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse — and another in custody is also believed to be a U.S. citizen of Haitian descent.
The Washington Post reported U.S. citizen James Solages is among the half dozen rounded up for the killing.
Mathias Pierre, Haiti’s minister of elections and inter-party relations, told the Post that at least one other detainee is also believed to be a Haitian American.
Four other suspects have been killed, authorities have said.
Authorities have not yet provided evidence of the detainees’ alleged involvement in the assassination, the Post reported.
Pierre shared a video of two suspects being apprehended and jeered by a surrounding crowd, and said those under arrest were being held at a police station in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital.
''The special units are trying to protect the police station, because the population is very mad and is trying to get to them, to burn them,'' he told the Post. ''We’re trying to avoid that.''
No names were released, but Haitian Communications Minister Pradel Henriquez described them as ''foreigners,'' the Post reported.
Moïse, a businessman who took office in 2017, ruled by decree after Parliament was dissolved in January 2020; opponents and protesters demanded that he step down. Armed gangs have seized control of growing portions of the country, terrorizing the population with kidnappings, rapes and killings, the Post reported.
It’s unclear who is now in charge, the news outlet reported. Moïse had been due to install Ariel Henry, a neurologist, as prime minister on Wednesday to replace acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph — the latest in a revolving door of prime ministers.
It was Joseph who announced Moïse’s killing; he said he was now the head of Haiti’s government. But in an interview with The Associated Press, Henry appeared to contradict Joseph. ''It’s an exceptional situation. There is a bit of confusion,'' he said. ''I am the prime minister in office.''
The assassination could pose another big test for the Biden administration if it fans a wave of Haitian immigration, the Post noted.
Gang violence and the coronavirus outbreak are both worsening, the Post reported. A shooting rampage in the streets of Port-au-Prince last week left at least 15 people dead. At least 278 Haitians have been killed this year in attacks that have prompted some citizens to flee the capital, traveling by boat and plane to avoid dangerous, gang-controlled roads.
Fran Beyer ✉
Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.
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