Asesinan al presidente de Haití / Haitian President Jovenel Moise assassinated in his home

PUERTO PRÍNCIPE.-El primer ministro interino de Haití, Claude Joseph, declaró el estado de sitio en el país tras el asesinato del presidente Jovenel Moise.

Joseph hizo el anuncio en una declaración televisada, rodeado del director de la Policía Nacional, Leon Charles, y otras autoridades, después de presidir un Consejo de Ministros extraordinario, en el que aseguró «se han tomado todas las medidas para asegurar la continuidad del Estado».

Primer ministro interino de Haití, Claude Joseph

«Pido a todas las fuerzas vivas de la nación acompañarnos en la batalla, a acompañarnos en la continuidad del Estado», dijo el jefe de Gobierno.

Reiteró que la situación de seguridad del país está «bajo control» por parte de la Policía Nacional y las Fuerzas Armadas y pidió a la población que mantenga la calma.

Asimismo, aseguró que los autores del asesinato de Jovenel Moise serán llevados a la Justicia y expresó su simpatía con la familia, amigos y aliados del presidente Moise, a quien describió como un hombre «muy valiente».

Moise fue asesinado por hombres armados no identificados que asaltaron de madrugada su residencia y que, según Joseph, hablaban en inglés y en español.

En el ataque también resultó gravemente herida la primera dama, Martine Moise, quien recibe atenciones médicas en un hospital.

Las calles de Puerto Príncipe se mantienen en calma, prácticamente vacías, tras el magnicidio, y la Policía controla los accesos al barrio de Pelerin, donde se encuentra la residencia de Moise.

Primera dama de Haití, Martine Moise

La primera dama de Haití continúa viva y recibe atención médica

SANTO DOMINGO.-La primera dama de Haití, Martine Moise, continúa viva y recibe atenciones en un hospital de Puerto Príncipe, después del asesinato del presidente Jovenel Moise, en un ataque a la residencia del mandatario la madrugada de este miércoles.

Así lo confirmó el embajador de Haití en Santo Domingo, Smith Augustin, en una rueda de prensa para informar sobre la situación tras el magnicidio.


Haitian President Jovenel Moise and First Lady Martine Moise

Haitian President Jovenel Moise assassinated in his home

With Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise assassinated, acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph has declared a “state of siege” and closed the international airport.

The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, 53, was shot and killed in his private residence, the interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph announced Wednesday. 

The president’s residence also put out a statement Wednesday saying the attack occurred around 1 a.m. and that first lady Martine Moise was also wounded in the attack and is currently hospitalized. 

Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who is now leading the country, has called a state of siege in Haiti and closed the Port au Prince international airport.

What do we know about the assassination?

The assassination was carried out by a commando group with “foreign elements,” AFP news agency reported, citing interim Prime Minister Joseph, who was due to be replaced this week after three months on the job. 

“The president was assassinated at his home by foreigners who spoke English and Spanish,” Joseph told the AFP news agency.

He labelled the assassination a “hateful, inhumane and barbaric act,” saying the killers had used “high calibre weapons.”

A government video revealed that the gunmen got into Moise’s home by claiming to be US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents.

However, Haitian Ambassador to the US, Bochhit Edmond, said, “no way they were DEA agents,” in an interview with Reuters hours after Moise was shot dead.

He added that the wounded First Lady Martine Moise was in a “stable but in critical condition,” and efforts were being made to fly her to Miami in Florida for treatment.

Why was Haiti in crisis?

Moise had been ruling Haiti’s population of over 11 million by decree since the 2018 elections were delayed over a series of political disputes. One of those disputes was when Moise’s term was set to expire. Parliament was dissolved as a result.

In Haiti, some 60% of the population makes less than $2 (€1.70) a day and food and fuel shortages have led to spiraling inflation.

Many in the impoverished nation viewed Moise’s rule as illegitimate as his term legally expired in February 2021. He cycled through seven prime ministers in four years and faced a strong protest movement. 

Opposition leaders have accused him of being power-hungry. With two controversial decrees, Moise has limited the power of courts to perform audits on public procurement contracts and created an intelligence service that only answers to the president.

His supporters argue his term did not legally begin until 2017 following a chaotic election and a year-long hiatus that forced the appointment of a provisional president.

Haiti is scheduled to have a constitutional referendum in September over a much-criticized effort of Moise to strengthen the executive branch. Presidential, legislative and local elections are also to be held in September.

The current constitution declares “any popular consultation aimed at modifying the Constitution by referendum is formally prohibited.” It was written in 1987 after the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship

What is the security situation in Haiti?

In Port-au-Prince Wednesday, the streets were quiet with some reports of gunfire and looting said to have taken place in one area. The assassination follows a general uptick in violence and kidnappings for ransom as gangs and police vie for control of the streets.

“All measures are being taken to guarantee the continuity of the state and to protect the nation,” Acting Prime Minister Joseph said.

He said police had been deployed to the National Palace as well as to the upscale neighborhood of Petionville and other areas.

The Dominican Republic announced it was closing the border that it shares with Haiti on the island Hispaniola. Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

The US Embassy in Haiti announced it would be closed Wednesday due to the deteriorated security situation. On June 30, the embassy had condemned human rights violations and attacks on press freedom in the country and called on the government to act against armed gangs.

How have other countries reacted?

“We stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti,” said U.S. President Joe Biden, branding the killing “heinous” and calling the resulling situation “worrisome.”

The United States press secretary Jen Psaki added that the assassination was “tragic” and “horrific.” 

Neigboring Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader said.”This crime is an attack against the democratic order of Haiti and the region,”

The President of Colombia called the murder a “cowardly act” and proposed that the Organization of American States send a mission to Haiti to “guarantee democratic order.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened by the death of President Moise. He called the murder “an abhorrent act” and called for calm as looting was reported in Haiti.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez appealed for Haiti’s “political unity to get out of this terrible trauma that the country is going through.”

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