As previously reported by REVOLT, on July 7, 2021, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was shot and killed by “well-trained professionals,” the country’s acting Prime Minister, Claude Joseph, said at the time. The assassination took place at the 53-year-old’s home in Pétion-Ville, an area outside the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince.

Yesterday (Feb. 14), Miami-Dade federal officers announced four individuals were arrested in connection to Moïse’s death. Markenzy Lapointe, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced Arcangel Pretel Ortiz, a Colombian national residing in Miami; and United States citizens Antonio Intriago, Walter Veintemilla and Frederick Bergmann were taken into custody. Veintemilla, Intriago and Ortiz face charges for supporting a conspiracy to kidnap or kill the president of Haiti. Bergmann was charged for conspiring to commit export violations to smuggle 20 ballistic vests from Southern Florida to Haiti for ex-soldiers allegedly recruited to kill the former president.

“The charging documents also allege that by June 2021 the plot progressed from forcibly removing Moïse from power… to assassinating him,” Lapointe revealed. Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen noted that 11 defendants were “charged and are in U.S. custody,” according to a statement obtained by CNN. At the time of Moïse’s planned execution, his wife, Martine Marie Etienne Joseph, was also home. She was shot but survived the terrifying attack.

Lapointe continued to explain the depths the suspects went to carry out their crime. The attorney claimed the assailants hired over two dozen former soldiers from Colombia to end Moïse’s life. During a 2021 interview with CNN, one of the soldiers denied knowing about the grim plot beforehand: “We were told that we were going to provide security for a Haiti presidential candidate. We had no idea what was going to happen.” In the days after his passing, Joseph used social media to describe the grief of losing her husband. “This pain will never pass,” she said. In another post, the widow added, “Thank you for the team of guardian angels who helped me through this terrible time. With your gentle touch, kindness and care, I was able to hold on. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”