Haiti Extradites to US 4 Suspected Assassins of President Jovenel Moïse

Published: 03 February 2023

Haitian President MoiseJovenel Moise’s term in office was wracked by political instability. (Photo: Office of U.S. Ambassador to U.N./Twitter, Wikimedia, License)

By Vinicius Madureira

Four suspects who were detained in Haiti for their alleged involvement in a plot to assassinate former President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, have been transferred to the U.S. to face criminal charges in the Southern District of Florida, a U.S. Attorney’s statement said on Tuesday.

The prosecutors charged dual Haitian-Americans James Solages, Joseph Vincent, and Colombian German Alejandro Rivera Garcia with conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping and providing material support, while dual Haitian-American Christian Sanon was charged with smuggling goods from the U.S. and causing export information not to be filed.

According to the investigation, several individuals, including Solages and Sanon, had met in South Florida to discuss how to overthrow the then President of Haiti and support Sanon’s political aspirations.

After the meeting, Solages received a list of weapons and equipment needed for the operation, including rifles, machineguns, tear gas, grenades, ammunition, and bulletproof vests.

In May 2021, Sanon hired a group of Colombian nationals with military training to assist in the operation and provide security under the leadership of Rivera. In the meantime, Sanon allegedly shipped 20 ballistic vests to Haiti without proper export licenses.

In mid-June 2021, support for President Moïse’s replacement shifted to a former Haitian Supreme Court Judge, who signed documents requesting assistance and immunity to those who arrest and imprison Moïse.

The original plan was to put Moïse in an airplane and fly him to an unknown place, but it did not work because the suspects failed to obtain a plane.

On Jul. 6, 2021, the suspects allegedly met to distribute weapons and equipment and launched the mission to kill the President. The next day, several individuals wearing ballistic vests entered Moïse’s home and killed him.

The four defendants are among the seven suspects now in U.S. custody for their alleged involvement in the assassination. If convicted, Solages, Vincent and Rivera can face life imprisonment, while Sanon can face up to 20 years.