The story of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, who was killed in his own home on July 7, has predictably gotten even more complex. The bizarre story already involved Columbian mercenaries, an elaborate international plot, and an internal power struggle in one of the poorest and most troubled countries in the world. Now the head of palace security has been arrested and implicated in the assassination of the president he was employed to protect.
Head of palace security implicated in assassination
Dimitri Herard, former head of security for President Moïse, was found and detained by Haitian police after a brief manhunt and his now being questioned about the assassination in Port-au-Prince.
Why exactly Herard was targeted by police is somewhat unclear, but if the presidential security head was involved in orchestrating an inside job, it would be yet another elaborate twist in an already strange story.
Herard is the latest person arrested in a manhunt that has thus far captured at least 18 Columbian nationals and three Haitians suspected of involvement in the assassination plot.
Early reports stated that the killing was carried out by a mixed group of Spanish and English speaking men, an indication that the assassins were not native Haitians, who generally speak their French-based Haitian Creole.
Several Haitian-Americans have been implicated in the plot, which was apparently planned in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
The actual killing appears to have been carried out by a group of predominantly Columbian ex-soldiers, most of whom have now been captured by Haitian authorities.
Columbians claim it was an inside job
Columbian President Ivan Duque claims that the Columbian soldiers had no idea that they were going to take part in an assassination, having been lured with offers for a simple security job.
The Pentagon has admitted that a number of the arrested Columbians had received military training from the United States at some point in the past as part of an effort to assist in the South American fight against drug cartels.
While the vast majority of arrests have targeted the Columbian mercenaries who allegedly carried out the assassination itself, it is increasingly becoming apparent that they may indeed have been set up by certain powerful individuals in Haiti.
Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who stepped in to lead the country immediately after the assassination, has been accused of being the real mastermind behind the attack.
Other retired Columbian soldiers are adamant that the entire operation was an inside job and that the Columbians have been framed for something that was actually arranged at the highest levels of Haitian political society.
With a country like Haiti it isn’t hard to believe that Columbian stories which present the killing as an inside job and a covert coup. It seems Dimitri Herard is unlikely to be the last powerful Haitian implicated in the assassination of his president.