(TargetLiberty.org) – Haiti has suffered severe economic and political upheaval over the past several months. Inflation has surged, food and fuel have fallen into short supply, and gang violence has spiked in Port-au-Prince. Opposition to Haitian President Jovenel Moïse recently spiked with groups claiming his five-year term in office ended earlier this year while he insisted it didn’t expire until next year.
On July 7, a group of armed intruders broke into Moïse’s home and assassinated him, and then shot his wife. The latest news reports out of Haiti indicate that she remains in critical but stable condition in a Miami hospital.
Haitian security forced engaged in a fierce gun battle and hostage situation shortly after the early morning assassination. Haitian national police officers shot and killed four suspects, and two others were taken into custody. Léon Charles, the head of Haiti’s National Police force, told reporters the remaining suspects remained at large.
Haiti’s Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph declared a national emergency and Haitian officials closed the Port-au-Prince national airport. Neighboring officials in the Dominican Republic closed its border with Haiti and reinforced security personnel in the area.
Haitian security forces and law enforcement officials launched a massive manhunt for the remaining assassins, and Chief Charles vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. “We are chasing them,” they can die in an “exchange” of gunfire, or “we will apprehend them,” he declared.
The international community is rallying around Haiti and expressing its concern over Moïse’s assassination and the island nation’s immediate future.
The United Nations Security Council issued a press statement on July 7 condemning the assassination of President Moïse “in the strongest terms.” The council also expressed its condolences to the Haitian people and Moïse’s family and called for the “perpetrators of this abhorrent crime” to be brought to justice swiftly.
The Security Council also called on Haitian political “stakeholders” to remain calm and refrain from any further acts of violence and any other actions that could bring additional instability to Haiti.
Colombian national police head Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia announced on July 8 that six of the suspects in the assassination were retired members of Colombia’s armed forces. President Ivan Duque instructed the Colombian Army’s high command to cooperate fully with Haitian officials as they complete their investigation.
President Joe Biden issued a statement on July 7 expressing his shock and sadness upon hearing about the assassination of President Moïse and the attack on Haiti’s First Lady Martine Moïse. Biden then said that the US condemns this heinous act and “stands ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.”
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