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U.S. Citizen Was Involved in Assassination of Haitian Prez: Official

U.S. Citizen Was Involved in Assassination of Haitian Prez: Official

A biography for James Solages describes him as an engineer who was “the chief commander of body-guards for The Canadian embassy in Haiti.”

A U.S. citizen has been arrested in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

Haiti’s Minister of Elections and Inter-Party Relations Mathias Pierre instructed The Washington Post that James Solages, an American of Haitian descent, was among a group of six people arrested so far in Moïse’s assassination at his home early Wednesday. First lady Martine Moïse was also wounded.

A Facebook account for a James Solages, which lists him as based in Florida, was taken down shortly after news of his detainment broke. A James Solages is also listed as a board president for the nonprofit FWA SA A JACMEL AVAN, INC., a charity aimed at providing “growth and development of underprivileged people in Haiti.” According to a LinkedIn page that appears to belong to the same user, Solages attended FCC Career College in Florida and has “Military Police” listed under the skills section.

A biography for Solages on the NGO website describes him as “a Building Engineer specialized in the field of infrastructure development” who was “the chief commander of body-guards for The Canadian embassy in Haiti.”

The Daily Beast previously reported {that a} man with an American accent can be heard shouting: “DEA operation. Everybody stand down. DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down,” in videos from the attack on the Haitian president. Multiple sources alleged to The Daily Beast that “foreign mercenaries” were behind the assassination.

Pierre told the Post that at least one other detainee is also believed to be a Haitian American, although a name hasn’t been released. According to Pierre, the detainees are being held at a Port-au-Prince police station and special agents are protecting the station against an angry mob. Four other suspects have been killed, authorities said.

Evidence of the detainees’ alleged role in the killing has not yet been provided by authorities and the gunmen’s motive remains unclear.

Moïse, a businessman who took office in 2017, had ruled by decree after parliament was dissolved in January last year and opponents called on him to step down after the country failed to hold elections for more than a year.

In the wake of the assassination, it remains unclear who heads up the government as two men jockey to be prime minister. A neurologist, Ariel Henry, was set to replace acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph on Wednesday. After announcing Moise’s death, Joseph said he led the nation’s government. But in an interview with the Associated Press, Henry suggested otherwise. “It’s an exceptional situation. There is a bit of confusion,” he said. “I am the prime minister in office.”

Port-au-Prince airport has since been shut to commercial traffic and the Dominican Republic has closed border crossings.

President Joe Biden expressed his shock and condolences in a statement Wednesday.

“We are shocked and saddened to hear of the horrific assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the attack on First Lady Martine Moïse of Haiti,” Biden said. “We condemn this heinous act, and I am sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse’s recovery. The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti.”

Source: U.S. Citizen Was Involved in Assassination of Haitian Prez: Official

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