The Assassination of Haiti’s President
Provides more Questions than Answers
The murder of Haiti’s President Moise seems to be something out of a novel. It has the intrigue of a Fredrick Forsyth novel and the complexity of an Agatha Christie murder. It has Americans, Columbians, and Venezuelans involved. It has mercenaries trained by the US military and informants who worked for the FBI and DEA. It has Canadian security personnel. But the one thing it doesn’t have is an answer to the mystery of who was behind the plot.
What we do know is that last Wednesday, a team of gunmen had broken into the president’s residence, yelling” DEA” (The American Drug Enforcement Agency). They quickly found his bedroom and riddled his body with bullets.
How they got into the presidential grounds without wounding or killing the guards is a mystery and leads one to believe that this was either an inside job or had someone helping on the inside.
The Haitian police quickly started to chase them and within a day, most of the suspects were either caught or dead. As of this writing, only three suspects are at large.
The mystery man at the center of this while plot is a Haitian who has lived in the US for two decades. He is Dr. Christian Emmanuel, Sanon. Sanon had expressed a desire to become president in the past, although he has no political experience. He had made it clear that he was an anti-corruption person, which would pose a problem in a country that thrives on corruption. People who know him in Florida call him very honest and upright – rarely a description for someone plotting an assassination.
In June, Sanon flew into Haiti in a private plane, with a bodyguard that he had secured from CTU Security, a Florida based security firm owned by a Venezuelan national. Dr. Sanon then started to contact influential Haitian people.
Here is where the first mystery comes. Sanon had filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Where did he get the money to hire bodyguards and fly to Haiti? Security firms do not provide credit and require money ahead of time. There are too many problems with collecting their money when a person is in another country.
Bodyguards are also expensive in nations with civil unrest. American bodyguards with military Special Forces experience can cost $20,000 per person, a month.
Then, there was the fact that he was unknown in the political or Florida expat community. If he were expected to rally support after the assassination of the president, he wouldn’t be the one to inspire the population.
Obviously, Sanon was a front man. But who was he fronting for? And was he a gullible person who wasn’t aware he was merely a front for someone else?
If Sanon was acting as a front for someone else, chances are that the people behind this whole operation are unsavory.
The most likely benefactor would be the one to take control after the assassination. However, there is a problem. There are three potential leaders of Haiti, but none of them are constitutionally able to claim the leadership of the nation.
Of course, President Moise wasn’t totally legitimate as his term of office ended last February.
The fact is that the Haitian government is a basket case more like Somalia.
Here are the three with the biggest claim to the presidency:
There is the Interim Prime Minister, Claude Joseph, who could legally take over the presidency, except he was never confirmed by the Haitian Senate (which lacks a quorum anyway). He does control the military and police. He is also recognized as the legitimate leader by Canada, the European nations, and the US.
However, his position as PM was to end next week and Ariel Henry was to become the PM. However, he was not confirmed by the Haitian Senate either. If Moise had died next week, he would be the logical leader.
Then there is Senate Leader Joseph Lambert (If there was a Senate – which there is not as only 10 of 30 seats are occupied). A group of well-known politicians have recommended he become interim president.
And, to confuse it more, the opposition parties are calling for the creation of the “Independent Moral Authority,” which would make the choice.
All three of the potential leaders have met with the US delegation, but it appears that Claude Joseph remains the favorite.
One could argue the Claude Joseph would be the likely candidate for the instigator of the murder since he was scheduled to leave as PM next week and the murder keeps him in power. However, that does not hold water because Joseph was only chosen as interim PM in April and the coup attempt was already in motion as some of the coup mercenaries were already stationed in Haiti six months ago.
Of course, if Henry or Lambert had chosen to carry out a coup, they would have assembled a team larger than the 30 or so mercenaries because they would be expected to face off with the military and police after the assassination.
A better idea of the culprit behind the assassination may be gained by looking at the team of mercenaries.
The bulk of the team was former Columbian soldiers who, in some cases, had military training in the US. However, although the US Army has admitted that they trained them, they declined to say what training they participated in. At this time, there is no evidence that these soldiers had any special forces training.
But there are others with interesting back stories.
There was a man named Salagas who had provided entertainer Sean Penn security for his aid organization. It also appears that he spent some time as security for the Canadian Embassy in Port au Prince. The Canadians have said that he was only temporary security for an event.
Salagas, who was captured by the Haitian police claims that the plan was to arrest President Moise, not kill him.
There are also stories that the two Americans were informants for the US Government (FBI and DEA). This is not an indication of their goof character as federal informants are usually criminals who are receiving money or leniency and as untrustworthy as the criminals they are informing on.
It is interesting that one was a DEA informant as the raiding party of mercenaries called out that they were DEA agents to keep the presidential guards from returning fire. This may have been done to imply that the US government was complicit in any assassination.
There are three suspects still at large. One is a former Haitian senator, John Joseph, who opposed the party that President Moise belonged to.
Another fugitive is Joseph Bando, who once worked for the Haitian Ministry of Justice’s anti-corruption unit. He was fired in 2013 for being corrupt.
The suspect that has familiarity with the DEA is a felon with a conviction for cocaine smuggling. He is probably the DEA informant. The man is Rodolphe “Whiskey” Jarr. He plead guilty in 2013 to smuggling cocaine from Columbia and Venezuela, through Haiti to the US. Haiti is a popular cocaine smuggling route because the customs officers are easily bribable. During his sentencing in 2015, Jarr told the judge that he had been a DEA informant.
Frequently the cocaine goes from Haiti to Porto Rico, which is a soft entry into the US. In fact, Haiti is a key cocaine smuggling station for drugs coming from Columbian and Venezuela.
This suggests the probable killers of the Haitian president. The South American drug cartels have the cash to create a team of mercenaries and they would have a financial interest in who runs the country, especially if they are determined to stamp out drug traffic.
This also explains the team of Columbian mercenaries, hired through a security company owned by a Venezuelan national.
Stepping back, we see Columbians and a Venezuelan national. We also see a convicted drug smuggler and a former corrupt policeman. These all indicate drug cartel involvement.
It may also explain the arrest of Dr. Sanon. He has accused the current leadership of being corrupt – which would not endear himself to the drug cartels or the Haitian government.
Although there may be more intriguing theories about the assassination of President Moise, it appears that the South American drug cartels wanted to ensure that Haiti would remain a key and profitable part of America’s illegal drug industry and they might have some accomplices in US.