The World Today for July 19, 2021



The Plot to Nowhere

The alleged conspirators who plotted the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse met repeatedly in Florida and the Dominican Republic in the months before the July 7 killing.

Haitian authorities have specifically targeted Haitian-American doctor and pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, whom they claim conspired with others, including more than 20 former Colombian commanders, some trained by the US, in a plot to catapult Sanon to the country’s presidency, the New York Times reported. The authorities raided his home in Haiti and found holsters, boxes of bullets and a Drug Enforcement Agency cap – which the killers who attacked Moïse wore.

Sanon is now in custody along with 18 Colombians and three US citizens of Haitian heritage. Five Colombians who were allegedly part of the killing remain at large. Police also suspect that a former Haitian senator, an official who had worked in the country’s anti-corruption agency and a convicted drug trafficker were also part of the plot, wrote reporters at the McClatchy DC Bureau.

But Sanon and others accused of organizing the hit claim innocence. When they convened, they say they were simply meeting to plan the future of their troubled, impoverished Caribbean nation. Sanon has a history of using his church and medical background as a platform to call for reforms in the country but wouldn’t harm anyone, his defenders told CNN.

The plot thickens. Law enforcement was connected to the assassination, the Washington Post explained. At least one of the men arrested on charges related to the assassination was a DEA informant. And Haitian authorities have taken into custody Dimitri Hérard, the former head of security at the presidential palace, as well as at least one police officer and four presidential security guards who appear to have allowed the gunman to attack the Moïses.

As Haitian, American and Colombian investigators attempt to get to the bottom of the attack, the world is also figuring out how to react. On Saturday, a group of ambassadors to Haiti in the Core Group which includes envoys from the US, European Union, Canada and Organization of American States, threw their support to a rival of the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, setting off intense criticism in Haiti.

Meanwhile, Haitian officials have requested that the US sends troops to the country to maintain security in the run-up to elections that are scheduled for September. President Biden has been cool to the idea. The US has a history of intervening in Haiti with disastrous consequences, Foreign Policy said.

Many politicos in the country don’t think they can hold elections given how internal political wrangling, economic collapse and insecurity are rampant, Vox wrote. As the New Yorker explained, good governance was not Moïse’s strong point. He presided and arguably benefitted from a deeply fractured, corrupt system. He tried to stay on past a term his opponents said had already expired, ruling by decree.

Regardless, Moïse didn’t deserve his fate. Neither does his country.

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