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Haitian Police Continue Manhunt for Suspects in Moise Assassination Plot

A picture of the late Haitian President Jovenel Moise hangs on a wall before a news conference, July 13, 2021.

The list of suspects in the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise continues to grow.

Authorities issued three new arrest warrants Tuesday for Joseph Felix Badio, Rodolf Jaar (aka Dodof) and John Joel Joseph on charges of murder, attempted murder, and armed burglary. Police have described the trio as “armed and dangerous.” The Associated Press has identified Joseph as a former senator in opposition to Moise’s Tet Kale party.

The AP says the three are among five people still at large.

Police Chief Leon Charles said police have arrested 18 Colombians and three Haitians in connection with the attack, including 63-year-old Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian-born man based in Florida who police believe is the mastermind behind the plot to kill Moise. Charles said Sanon arrived in Haiti on a private plane in early June with some of the Colombians.

An official with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration told VOA in an emailed statement that one of the suspects in custody was a confidential source to the agency.

The official did not identify the suspect.

U.S. President Joe Biden has dispatched a special delegation to Haiti to assist with the investigation

Moise’s killing has created a leadership vacuum in the troubled Caribbean nation.

He had named neurosurgeon Ariel Henry to the post of prime minister to replace Claude Joseph, who was serving in the post on an interim basis while also serving as foreign minister. But Henry was not sworn in before the assassination, and Joseph has declared himself acting prime minister.

A commission made up of representatives of all sectors of Haitian civil society plans to meet Thursday to sign a political accord that will name a new president.

Josephe, as acting prime minister, had requested the United States deploy troops to Haiti to protect key infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Joseph said planning for Moise’s funeral has begun in consultation with his wife, Martine, and the Moise family. Martine Moise was seriously wounded in the predawn attack at the private residence she shared with her husband in a wealthy suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince. She is in good condition after undergoing surgery in a Miami, Florida hospital.

Some information for this report came from Reuters and The Associated Press.