The body of the Haitian president was killed Jovenel Moise was returned to his hometown Friday for a private funeral amid strong security following violent protests and fears of political volatility in the Caribbean nation.
His wife, Martine Moise, came to her husband’s service in Cap-Haitien to shout “Justice! Justice!” As she headed straight for her casket, climbing the stairs and standing in front of her. Her right arm in a sling from the wounds she suffered during the murder, she put her left arm over the ark and then carried it to her heart while she remained silent. Her eyes filled with tears as her three children joined her.
Minutes later, a group of supporters took a large portrait of Moise and marched with him as the police band began playing the national anthem for loud laments.
When the ceremony began, hundreds of protesters met with police outside the private residence. The shots were fired and tear gas and black smoke flashed during the ceremony. Protesters ’calls led to religious leaders speaking at the funeral.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who led the U.S. presidential delegation to Moses’ funeral, tweeted “We invite everyone to express themselves in peace and to abstain from violence.” The US delegation is well and returning home shortly before expected, Reuters news agency reported.
The Haitian people deserve democracy, stability, security and prosperity, and we are with them in this time of crisis. We ask everyone to express themselves peacefully and to abstain from violence.
– Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN) July 23, 2021
Earlier, cries of “Assassin!” filled the air on the arrival of the Head of the Haitian National Police, Leon Charles. Haitians dressed in dark clothes, shiny shoes and black and white formal clothes shouted and pointed their fingers at the nearby sitting platforms where Haitian officers and foreign dignitaries sat on top of at least a dozen men with powerful weapons.
Recently nominated Prime Minister Ariel Henry came after shouting, “Justice for Jovenel!”
White T-shirts and hats printed with his portrait were distributed to supporters for the final ceremony in honor of Moise, who was killed several times on July 7 during an attack on his private home that seriously injured his body. wife, Martine.
Moses ’body arrived shortly after dawn on his family’s beachfront property where the funeral was held. Six officers carried the brown casket on a stage where they greeted him and stood in front of him in silence for several minutes before waving a large red and blue Haitian flag.
Before the funeral began, a man hoisted himself on a large Haitian flag and approached the coffin, shouting, “We need to fight and do justice to Jovenel!” Next to him, a man wearing a T-shirt commemorating Moses joined in shouting, “Jovenel is dead big! He is dead for me and for the rest of the country … We will not go back.”
The funeral comes days after Henry, with the support of key international diplomats, was stationed in Haiti – a move that seemed destined to avoid a leadership struggle after the assassination of Moses.
Henry, who was appointed prime minister by Moses before he was assassinated but never sworn in, replaced the interim prime minister. Claude Joseph, and promised to form an interim consensus government until the election.
Located on land held by Moses ‘family and where he lived as a child, the partially built tomb was in the shade of fruit trees, a short walk from a mausoleum for Moses’ father, who died there. last year. Police controlled access to the complex through a single door.
Authorities said at least 26 suspects were arrested in the murder, including 18 former Colombian soldiers. Police are still looking for several more suspects who say they were involved in the murder plot, including a former rebel leader and a former senator.
The perpetrators of the attack disguised the mercenaries as agents of the USA Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a ruse that helped them enter Moise’s home without resistance from his security detention, authorities said. At least one of the men arrested, a Haitian-American, had previously worked as an informant for the DEA.