Former Haiti senator arrested in Jamaica for president’s murder: law enforcement source

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Miami (AFP) – A former Haitian lawmaker suspected in the assassination of the country’s president has been arrested in Jamaica, a police source said Saturday.

Ex-Senator John Joel Joseph, wanted in the murder of President Jovenel Moise on July 7, 2021, was arrested overnight from Friday to Saturday, the source said, without specifying where in Jamaica or if other people were arrested. also been arrested.

“He is being held at the moment,” the Jamaican source told AFP.

The source said Jamaican police acted in conjunction with “international law enforcement partners” and that “joint investigations” were underway.

Moise, who was unpopular in Haiti, was killed and his wife was seriously injured when a commando of about 20 men burst into the presidential residence and fired on them.

Dozens of suspects had already been arrested for Moise’s murder, but much about the assassination remains unclear, particularly who ordered it.

An arrest warrant was issued for Joseph shortly after the murder, with authorities describing him as “armed and dangerous”. Joseph was an opposition senator and a fierce critic of the president.

More than 40 people, including more than a dozen Colombians and a few Haitian-Americans, have been arrested in connection with the assassination.

The murder has worsened an already dire crisis in Haiti, which is suffering from a lack of security, a spike in gang violence and a wave of kidnappings.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has led the country since Moise’s death, told AFP this month that he too had been the target of an assassination attempt, during celebrations for the National Holiday.

Earlier this month, US authorities charged a retired Colombian soldier in connection with Moise’s murder.

The Justice Department said Mario Palacios, 43, along with others, “participated in a plot to kidnap or kill the Haitian president.”

U.S. prosecutors say plot against Moise ‘initially focused on kidnapping president in purported arrest operation’ but ‘ultimately culminated in conspiracy to kill’ .

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