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Two Haitian-Americans arrested for assassination of Haiti’s President

Around pre-dawn on July 7, 2021, President Moïse was assassinated, and First Lady Martine was injured during an attack at their residence in Pétion-Ville. Prime Minister Claude Joseph became Acting President and immediately blamed the attack on “a group of unidentified individuals, some of whom spoke in Spanish and English.” Joseph stated that he was now in control of the country.

Four people in total were killed at the scene, and two are still missing. Two people have been arrested as suspects in the assassination. These two suspects that are under custody are Haitian Americans who hid in bushes but were later captured by Haitian police. The crowd yelled out to seek justice for their President’s assassination in protest.

Pres. Moïse had named Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon as the next prime minister just one day before he was assassinated. At the moment, PM Joseph is in charge, rather than Ariel Henry. Although Haiti’s law states that the Supreme Court Chief Justice would replace the President, the Chief Justice had recently passed away from Covid-19.

Haiti had been struggling even more so in recent years, as uncontrolled inflation and gang violence plague the island nation, and people are struggling to secure food and fuel. 60 percent of the population earns less than $2 a day while trying to recover from the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Pres. Moïse had faced harsh criticism and protest from the populous for trying to open up elections and make the process more democratically friendly. It is not clear who will succeed Moïse’s legacy and what will happen to the power vacuum in Haiti.


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