The arrest of a Haitian businessman who lives in Florida, United States, and who, according to the authorities, was one of the main actors in the assassination of the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, last Wednesday, deepened on Monday the mystery in a plot that was already convoluted around the assassination.
Haitian authorities identified the suspect as Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 62, who once expressed a desire to lead his country in a video posted on YouTube.
However, it is unknown in the nation’s political circles, and his associates suggested that he was deceived by those truly responsible for the assassination of President Moïse, in an attack by a commando group that entered the official residence and also injured his wife, Martine, who is still hospitalized in Miami.
A friend of Sanon’s in Florida commented to The Associated Press that the detainee is an evangelical Christian pastor and licensed physician in Haiti, but not the United States. Some sources indicated that he was an agent of the DEA, the US agency against drug trafficking.
Haiti Police Director Léon Charles announced the arrest of suspect Christian Sanon over the weekend. Photo: EFE
Doubts and contradictions around crime
The relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said that Sanon told him that he had been contacted by people who claimed to represent the United States departments of State and Justice who they wanted to install him as president of the Caribbean nation.
He said the plan was for Moïse to be arrested, not assassinated, and that Sanon would not have participated had he known that the president would end up dead.
“I guarantee that,” said the relative. “This was supposed to be a mission to save Haiti from hell, with the support of the US government,” he remarked.
A portrait of Jovenel Moise, the president of Haiti assassinated last week, before an official ceremony in Port-au-Prince to inform how the funeral will be. Photo: EFE
For his part, the Rev. Larry Caldwell, a Florida pastor who said he worked with Sanon to create churches and medical clinics in Haiti from 2000 to 2010, echoed those sentiments. He also does not believe that Sanon was involved in violence.
“I know the character of the man, ‘Caldwell said.” You take such a man and then say he participated in a brutal crime of murder, knowing that being associated with it would send him to the pits of hell? … a man who was willing to step in to help his country would be Christian. ”
Arrests and more searches
Haitian National Police Chief Léon Charles said Moïse’s killers were protecting Sanon, whom he accused of working with those who planned the murder.
Haitian police patrol the streets of Port-au-Prince, still shocked by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. Photo: AFP
Charles said authorities found a cap with the logo of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four Dominican Republic license plates, two cars and correspondence. , among other things, at Sanon’s home in Haiti.
In total, 26 former Colombian soldiers are suspected of the murder and 23 were arrested, along with three Haitians.
According to the Haitian police chief, five suspects are still at large and that at least three were killed. “They are dangerous individuals,” said Charles. “I’m talking about commandos, specialized commandos.”
Alleged payment to mercenaries
Meanwhile, Colombia’s national police chief Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas said Florida-based CTU Security used a corporate credit card to buy 19 plane tickets from Bogotá to Santo Domingo for the Colombian suspects.
Most arrived in the Dominican Republic in June and moved to Haiti in a few weeks, Vargas said.
He said that Dimitri Hérard, head of general security for the National Palace of Haiti, traveled to Colombia, Ecuador and Panama in the months leading up to the assassination, and that the Colombian police are investigating whether he had any involvement in the recruitment of the mercenaries. In Haiti, prosecutors seek to question Hérard about the murder.
The suspects in the murder, with the weapons seized by the Haitian police as part of the investigations. Photo: AP
Charles said Sanon was in contact with CTU Security and that the company recruited the suspects in the murder. He added that Sanon traveled to Haiti in June on a private jet and was accompanied by several of the alleged assailants.
The suspects’ original mission was to protect Sanon, but they subsequently received a new order: to arrest the president, Charles said.
“The operation started from there, ” he said, adding that 22 other suspects joined the group.
According to the Haitian police chief, after Moïse’s murder, one of the suspects called Sanon, who contacted two people who are believed to be the masterminds of the plot. He did not identify them or say whether the police know who they are.