US orders investigation into Jovenel Moïse murder

US orders investigation into Jovenel Moïse murder
US orders investigation into Jovenel Moïse murder

The United States Congress ordered an investigation by the State Department into the July 2021 assassination of the former Haitian president Jovenel Moise.

The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to issue a report within 180 days with a “detailed description” of the circumstances surrounding Moïse’s murder.

The report, already authorized by the House of Representatives, would also analyze whether there was interference in the official investigation and whether any of those responsible for the crime worked at any time for the US government.

Earlier this month, US prosecutors charged a former Colombian soldier, Mario Palacios, with plotting to kidnap or kill Moïse in an operation that killed three Colombian mercenaries and detained others.

To this day, questions remain about the motive for the murder of Moise, who had extended his mandate in the Caribbean country amid great controversy, since the opposition estimated that it had ended in February.

According to the Colombian police, the detainees stated that they planned to kidnap Moïsey and hand him over to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry recently stated that he wants “justice to triumph for the infamous murder” of Moïse.

The law passed by Congress also requires the State Department to report on human rights and the use of aid since the earthquake that devastated the country in 2010.

“We are very concerned that a Haitian government that is as unstable as it is corrupt will allow or encourage further human rights abuses,” Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement Friday.

The United States “must act urgently to help our Haitian neighbors,” he added, noting that UNICEF has reported that 1.6 million people in Haiti, including 800,000 children, urgently need humanitarian assistance.

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The regulations also require an investigation and pressure for accountability for the massacre in the La Saline neighborhood of Port-au-Prince in 2018, in which dozens of people died.

“For too long, the Haitian people have endured the hardships of corruption, criminal gangs, civil unrest and devastating natural disasters,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said in a statement Friday.

Without a functional parliament for two years and with a paralyzed judiciary, Haiti, the poorest country in the Caribbean, is sinking into a governance crisis.

The growing control of the gangs over the national territory hampers the hopes of an improvement in the living conditions of the population, victims of kidnappings committed daily by armed gangs.

Moïse’s widow and former foreign minister applaud decision

Martine Moïse, widow of the murdered president of Haiti, and former Foreign Minister Claude Joseph separately celebrated the US decision.

“I note with hope that the United States Senate is demanding a detailed report from the State Department on the appalling assassination of Jovenel Moïse and about the La Saline massacre. Such a decision can only be a good lever to move these two investigations forward in the direction of truth,” Martine Moïse published.

While Joseph indicated: “I commend the United States Congress for ordering an investigation into the assassination of Jovenel Moïse. I firmly believe that the murder of July 7 has international ramifications and must also be investigated and sanctioned internationally. There should be no hiding places for killers,” the former official said.

AFP is a major global information agency that offers fast, verified and comprehensive coverage.

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