Video taken early Wednesday that appears to show the moments before Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination includes a claim that the gunmen shown are with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“DEA operation. Everybody stand down. DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down,” a voice rings out over a loudspeaker, according to a video obtained by the Miami Herald.
Both Haitian and U.S. officials said there was no DEA involvement in the assassination of Moïse, who was killed early Wednesday when gunmen raided his home, according to the Herald.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
The assassination of #Haiti‘s puppet tyrant Jovenel Moïse was well-planned and well-executed. The assassins presented themselves as DEA agents and disarmed his security. The mercenaries were described as white, and their helper / translator spoke in English and Haitian Creole. pic.twitter.com/oY5kmNICBX
— Madame Boukman – Justice 4 Haiti ?? (@madanboukman) July 8, 2021
“These were mercenaries,” the Herald quoted “a high-ranking Haitian government official” as saying.
The outlet also quoted a State Department official as saying any reported link between the DEA and the assassination was “absolutely false.”
Moïse’s wife, who was wounded in the attack, was flown to a Florida hospital for treatment, according to The New York Times.
Four people who are suspected of taking part in the raid were killed by police, Haitian police chief Léon Charles said Wednesday.
“The police are engaged in a battle with the assailants,” he said, adding that police were still rooting out suspects in the island nation 700 miles south of Miami, where uncertainty ruled the day.
“We are pursuing them so that, in a gunfight, they meet their fate or in gunfight they die, or we apprehend them,” Charles said.
The Herald reported Thursday that a “crowd” had captured “two foreigners presumed to be involved in the assassination.”
New from @Jacquiecharles: A crowd in Haiti’s capital appears to have captured two foreigners presumed to be involved in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Haiti’s national police chief said Thursday morning. https://t.co/NEVIx1NHAt
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) July 8, 2021
Three police officers who had been held hostage by the killers had been freed, Charles said, according to the Herald.
Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph has said he is now in charge of the island nation.
Joseph declared martial law, according to the Herald.
“A group of unidentified individuals, some of them speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the president of the republic and thus fatally wounded the head of state,” the prime minister said.
Bocchit Edmond, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, said “well-trained professionals, killers, commandos” carried out the attack, according to The Times.
Communications Minister Pradel Henriquez said some attackers were Haitian.
Among them “were individuals who spoke English, who spoke Spanish, who entered the home of a president,” he said, according to the Herald.
The Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste said Moïse was shot multiple times.
“We found 12 holes in the president’s body,” Carl Henry Destin, Pétion-Ville deputy justice of the peace, told the outlet, according to the Herald. “The president’s office and bedroom were ransacked.”
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