(Photo: Alejandro Cegarra/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, who was assassinated in July, may have had powerful enemies who wanted him dead, according to newly surfaced information.
Moïse was creating a list that included powerful politicians and business people suspected of involvement in the country’s lucrative drug trafficking trade, and he was nearly ready to identify them before hitmen gunned him down, The New York Times reported.
He intended to give the U.S. government the documents, which may have included individuals who paved the way for Moïse to become president, according to the Times, citing four Haitian advisers and officials involved in creating the list.
Moïse, 53, was personally acquainted with the power brokers in his country who felt betrayed that he might reveal their involvement with suspected drugs and arms trafficking, his aides told the Times.
On July 7, gunmen killed Moïse in a bedroom at his residence. His wife, Martine Moïse, was shot but survived the assault by pretending to be dead. She said the killers searched her husband’s files and fled after taking documents, the president’s wife told the Times in the weeks after the assassination.
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Three Haitian officials investigating the assassination told the newspaper that some of the captured gunmen stated that taking the list was a top priority. Retrieving the document is one possible motive behind the killing.
“I would be a fool to think that narco-trafficking and arms trafficking didn’t play a role in the assassination. Anyone who understands Haiti’s politics or economics understands this,” the Times quoted Daniel Foote, a former U.S. special envoy to Haiti.
Moïse, in the months before his assassination, tried to curtail drug trafficking activities in his country that involves allegedly corrupt officials in government and law enforcement. It’s believed that Haiti now provides the largest route for drugs flowing into the United States. But official data is unreliable because of unchecked lawlessness, the Times reported.
Meanwhile, Haiti’s new prime minister, Ariel Henry swore in a new cabinet in November as the nation continues to struggle with gang violence, gas shortages and a hostage crisis in which only five of 17 missionary hostages have been released, according to CNN.
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