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Haitian police arrest a suspected mastermind of Jovenel Moïse assassination

Haitian police believe they’ve arrested a person who played a big role in orchestrating the Jovenel Moïse assassination.

Jovenel Moïse Getty Images for Concordia Summi

Haitian police continue their search for answers about the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, the Haitian president who was shot and killed in his home last Wednesday. Their latest bit of information concerns a Florida resident they believe orchestrated the attack.

According to a report The Washington Post published today (July 12), Haitian police arrested 63-year-old Christian Emmanuel Sanon yesterday, and they believe that he is a mastermind of the assassination. Authorities say that Sanon is a resident of Florida and had traveled to Haiti on a private plane in early June and that “political objectives” motivated his visit. They believe that he intended to take over the role of Haiti’s president after Moïse was killed.

Haitian police say Sanon recruited the team of mercenaries that carried out the attack through a Venezuelan security firm that is based out of Florida, where, the Miami Herald reports, Sanon once filed for bankruptcy. He reportedly listed himself as a pastor.

The local authorities describe the attack, which involved more than 20 people, as a commando mission, and they say they found “20 boxes of 9mm and 12mm bullets, six pistol holsters” as well as a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration hat in his home. The last bit of information fits in with reports that the attackers claimed to be members of the DEA. Suspects in the case have said that they had intended to arrest Moïse rather than kill him, but Interim Haiti National Police Chief Léon Charles doesn’t believe their claims.

Details about Sanon are still coming together, as is more information about suspects in the case. So far, 17 of what are at least 21 arrested suspects have been Colombian. Several of them have been announced as former soldiers in the Colombian army.

So far, there are several layers to this case, and it could be a while before there are more concrete details about the people involved. Last week, the U.S. announced intentions to provide “investigative assistance” for the matter.

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