That day, the assailants appear to have entered the president’s residence with ease. A few hours later, the Haitian police had shown exceptional speed by arresting about twenty individuals, including 18 former Colombian soldiers.
This feat of arms has so far only been followed by very slow legal proceedings in Haiti and the United States. The presidency has since been vacant, and no date is in sight for a ballot to name a successor.
In Port-au-Prince, no less than five successive investigating judges have already been in charge of the case and none has yet formally charged the forty people imprisoned, including the Colombian citizens presumed to be members of the commando.
Faced with the “lack of tangible progress”, the United Nations office in Haiti called on Thursday for “the necessary means” to be deployed so that those responsible for the assassination “be, as soon as possible, brought before the justice”.
Sadly known for its slowness, Haitian justice is more adrift than ever in the capital: for the past month, the offices of the Port-au-Prince prosecutor’s office have been occupied by one of the many gangs that control entire swaths of the territory. and multiply the heinous kidnappings in one of the poorest countries of the American continent.
– Prime Minister quoted –
The possible involvement of the Prime Minister has further halted the investigation.
Appointed only two days before the assassination of the president, Ariel Henry is suspected of having had telephone conversations with one of the main suspects a few hours after the attack.
Invited by the prosecutor to explain himself, the head of government did not appear, describing the approach as “diversion”. He then fired the magistrate and appointed a new Minister of Justice.
This gray area prompted the president’s widow, Martine Moïse, seriously injured during the attack, to curtly reject the invitation to official tributes to her late husband, organized by a “head of government (who) makes the object of serious presumptions of assassination on the President of the Republic”.
Thursday morning, a brief ceremony was held in the heart of the garden of the National Pantheon Museum, in the capital.
“Despite its weakness, justice must continue to do its utmost to track down the culprits, bring them before their judges and impose exemplary and dissuasive sentences on them,” said Ariel Henry before an audience of officials and foreign diplomats.
“The President’s death must be the final act in a period of ignominy and intolerance,” he added.
This murder only aggravated the already deep Haitian political crisis.
Parliament has not been functional for two years, Jovenel Moïse having not organized any elections since he came to power in 2017. And, deprived of a head of state, the country found itself with an equally failing judiciary, lack of judges appointed to the Court of Cassation.
– Evidence classified in the United States –
Lacking confidence in the institutions of Port-au-Prince, many Haitians are turning their gaze to American justice, which has already charged three suspects in Miami.
The Haitian judicial police themselves established, in their investigation report, that the plot against the president had been fomented in Florida and the Colombian mercenaries recruited by a security company based in Miami.
In January, two first suspects were charged in Florida: Mario Palacios, a Colombian national suspected of being one of five armed men who entered the room where the leader was killed, and Rodolphe Jaar, a Haitian- Chilean.
A third indictment was added in June, that of former Haitian senator John Joël Joseph, for complicity in murder.
A fourth alleged member of the attack was arrested at Istanbul airport in November, but Turkish justice on Monday rejected Haiti’s extradition request and ordered his release.
And the hopes born of the progress of the legal proceedings in Miami were showered in April when an American judge decided to classify certain evidence and hearings under the seal of secrecy.
The measure was taken because among the suspects are two former informants of the American anti-drug agency DEA and a former informant of the FBI.
“We do not see with a good eye the fact that the United States gives itself this possibility of protecting certain information”, notes a Haitian judicial source. “A whole section of this story will remain unknown”.