Haiti Presidential Assassination 2021

On July 7, 2021, the presidential assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse occurred, as he was shot in his private apartment in Port-au-Prince. According to police, the attack was carried out by a gang of mercenaries, mostly Colombians, and was ordered by a Haitian doctor as part of a plot to become president. There are many theories with many unanswered questions, all of which add to the uncertainty of Haiti at this time. 

What happened?

The president was shot 12 times with many bullet wounds to his head and torso. According to one of the judges overseeing the probe, his left eye had been gouged out, and bones in his arm and ankle had been broken.

He died on the spot and was discovered laying on his back on the floor, his shirt soaked with blood. Martine Moïse, the First Lady, was also shot but survived. She was transported to the United States and is in stable condition. 

What was the aftermath of the presidential assassination?

Rumors and speculation swirled around the murky circumstances of Moïse’s death while a two-week state of emergency was declared in an attempt to help hunt the assassins down.

The airport in Port-au-Prince has been closed with flights canceled, and locals were instructed to stay at home.

Currently, the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, remarked on television: “I am calling for calm. Everything is under control. This barbaric act will not remain unpunished.”

Haiti is reeling from the killing, which was followed by a reported gun battle. Officials vowed to find all those guilty, and authorities said that police killed four of the murder suspects, detained two others, and freed three officers who were being held, hostage.

In recounting the killing and capture of suspects, Léon Charles, the director of Haiti’s national police, said: “We blocked them en route as they left the scene of the crime … Since then, we have been battling with them. They will be killed or apprehended. The pursuit of the mercenaries continues. Their fate is fixed. They will fall in the fighting or will be arrested.”

Shortly after this statement, two further suspects were hauled away in the back of a police truck, shackled together and escorted by officers wearing balaclavas and armed with automatic guns. 

Haitian’s reactions

Residents were said to have described streets as deserted, while people remained indoors hooked to their television, mobile phones, and radios for updates into the latest crisis to hit Haiti.  

According to footage shown by Haitian media stations, hundreds of people gathered outside the police station where the assassins were being held, yelling “burn them” and setting fire to a vehicle they assumed was the assassins’.

Since the fall of the Duvalier dynastic government in 1986, Haiti has struggled to maintain stability, enduring a series of coups and foreign interventions. Once again, Haitians found themselves awakening on Thursday, July 8th, to a country in disarray without a leader. 

The Haiti Children Project is already assisting in the development of Haiti’s future leaders. The nonprofit organization aims to educate the youth so that, over time, they can better support the country’s educational and political systems while enhancing the country as a whole.

While confusion, shock, and disarray pervade Haitian society in the aftermath of the presidential assassination, there is hope that the future generation will bring more stability thanks to the ongoing work and investment of the Haiti Children Project.