(CMC) — The wife of the assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moise says the pain of his death “will never pass” as she thanked all those who have been praying for her improved health.
President Moise was shot and killed last Wednesday when armed gunmen burst into his private residence on a hill overlooking the capital. He received at least 12 bullets while his wife, First Lady Martine Moïse, was seriously injured and flown to Miami for treatment.
“Thank you to all the people who help me, pray for I find life. Because all the time you’re in the hospital your life is in the hands of God and the doctors. Me, Martine Moïse, I do not yet believe that my husband left like that, in front of my eyes without saying a last word to me, this pain will never pass,” she said in a message from her hospital bed.
“Thank you for the team of guardian angels who helped me through this terrible time. With your gentle touch, kindness and care, I was able to hold on. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” she added in the message that was accompanied by a picture of her in the hospital where she is recovering.
Haitian authorities say an armed commando of 28 men — 26 Colombians and two Haitian-Americans — burst in and opened fire on the couple. Seventeen people have been arrested so far and at least three suspects were killed, but no motive has been made public.
Earlier this week, the police announced a Florida-based doctor had been arrested in connection with the killing.
Haiti’s national police chief, Léon Charles, said that Christian Emmanuel Sanon is the third US-based individual tied to the assassination.
Haiti has also issued a wanted bulletin for a former Colombian military officer, whom it claims had travelled to the country at least one day before the assassination of the president.
Media reports Thursday said that Jean Laguel Civil, the security coordinator for President Moïse and Inspector Paul Eddy Amazan, head of the security team, were due to have met with the Government Commissioner of Port-au-Prince, BedFord Claude as part of the investigation into the assassination.
The reports said that Dimitri Hérard, head of the General Security Unit of the National Palace (USGPN) had also been expected to be interviewed at the Public Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the United States says it is still considering the request by Haiti to send troops to protect key infrastructure in the French-speaking Caribbean country.
“We continue to evaluate the Haitians, the Haitian government’s request for assistance to determine how best the United States can address them,” said Ned Price, a spokesman for the US Department of State.
“After close consultations, including in the context of the interagency delegation that was in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, we believe our focus should be assisting the Haitian government with navigating the investigation into the assassination of President Moise, determining who is culpable, supporting the Haitian government as it seeks justice in this case,” he added.
“Of course, the situation on the ground is evolving rapidly, and we continue to be in close contact with our Haitian partners about how we can best assist,” Price said, adding that the US Department of Justice, together with the Department of Homeland Security, is providing assistance to Haitian authorities.
Price said the Department of Justice will continue to support Haitian authorities in their review of the facts and the circumstances surrounding Moïse’s assassination.
“We are also taking a close look at the Haitian Government’s needs in the context of critical infrastructure and how the United States might be able to assist the Haitian Government in protecting that critical infrastructure,” he said.
In response to a request from the Haitian government and building on longstanding cooperation, Price disclosed the Department of State is deploying an advisor to the Haitian National Police (HNP) Judicial Police and bringing on board an advisor to the HNP Inspector General.
He said the advisor to the HNP Judicial Police will provide technical assistance “to build the capacity of the Haitian National Police to investigate and to address serious crimes”.
The State Department spokesman said the advisor to the police’s inspector general will help the HNP improve its capacity to address allegations of corruption, human rights abuses and police misconduct.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also disclosed that the US has “a very large diplomatic presence on the ground” in Haiti.
“Our ambassador — our ambassador, Sison, has been very involved and deeply engaged in efforts on the ground,” she said, adding “we have more than 100 American citizens who are working on the ground”.
“We’ve also responded to a number of their specific requests in terms of personnel and aid and assistance on the law enforcement front as they are working to move the investigation forward. In terms of additional considerations or considerations of requests for troops, that is still an ongoing review,” Psaki added.