Investigators are still trying to determine how Colombian mercenaries were able to get past the three level of presidential guard and execute the leader, gangster style
‘My life is in danger, come save me’: Haiti’s president Jovenel Moïse made desperate pleas to police commissioner to help ‘mobilize people’, at 45 minutes before he was assassinated
Jovenel Moïse, 53, was shot dead in his bedroom on July 7, when assassins armed with assault rifles stormed his home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Questions are also mounting as to why it took so long for authorities to respond after the President called for help in multiple phone calls before his death
With a security blanket three levels deep Moïse first called for reinforcement 1.34 am when he called a police commissioner, help didn’t come until he was killed around 1.45 am
Three unnamed people who received calls from inside Moïse’s home in the moments before the assassination say he begged for police to ‘mobilize people’
When his security detail failed to show up, Moïse then called a National Police officer saying: ‘My life is in danger. Come quick’
The fact that not a single member of the 24-man presidential guard was shot or injured in the assault has raised questions
Dimitri Hérard, who was head of security for the President, is among those who have been taken into custody over the attack
Of the 26 Colombians suspected of carrying out the killing three were killed, another 18 have also been detained, with five more still at large
Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse made desperate pleas for 10 minutes to a police commissioner and another officer to get them to mobilize law enforcement and save his life prior to him being assassinated in his home, a new report says.
Moïse, 53, was shot dead in his bedroom when assassins armed with assault rifles stormed his home in the hills above Port-au-Prince in Haiti in the early hours of July 7.
Almost two weeks after his death, investigators are still trying to determine how a group of Colombian mercenaries responsible for the killing were able to get past the three police checkpoints and security layers that lead to Moïse’s house, which is in a walled-off compound.
Now, questions are also mounting as to why it took so long for authorities to respond after the President was reduced to pleading for help in multiple phone calls before his death.
Three unnamed people who received calls from inside Moïse’s home in the moments before the assassination, and the President had begged for police to ‘mobilize people’.
The nonstop automatic gunfire in Pelerin 5 where Moïse, his wife, Martine, and two children lived, started at about 1:30 a.m., according to a the neighbors.
Moïse first called for reinforcement 1.34am when he called a police commissioner, according to the sources.
‘They are shooting by the house. Mobilize people,’ the President told the commissioner.
When his security detail failed to show up, Moïse then called a National Police officer, asking: ‘Where are you? I need your assistance, now. My life is in danger. Come quick; come save my life,’ Moïse told the officer.
The officer told the news outlet that he heard the sound of an assault rifle before the phone call ended. He immediately deployed a three-car convoy to the President’s home.
The police commissioner who received the initial phone call from Moïse said he made four phone calls over a 14-minute stretch as he made his way to the President’s home.
The first call he made at 1.35am was to Dimitri Hérard, who was head of security for the President. Hérard told him he was deploying help.
The police commissioner said he then called a supervisor for the security team on duty at 1.38am but did not receive an answer. He called the commander of a specialized tactical unit called Counter Assault Team at 1.47am and the Haiti Police chief Léon Charles at 1.50am.
Charles had already deployed a convoy to the President’s home.
Moïse, according to phone logs, was still alive at 1.45am.
When the officer who received a call from Moïse arrived with his convoy, to encounter Hérard was standing in the middle of the road with several palace guards.
Hérard and the guards drew their weapons, which is standard practice, but lowered them when they realized they were officers, he said.
Hérard is in charge of the the first security layer leading to the President’s home.
The second is manned by the Counter Assault Team and the third, which is closest to the President, is the Presidential Security Unit.
After encountering Hérard, the officer and several others then drove up towards the President’s home but were stopped by a vehicle with several armed Haitian national police officers allegedly inside.
The officer said he then saw a group of heavily armed men wearing white t-shirts carrying assault rifles and they shouted: ‘DEA operation, get back.’ The assault group has since been identified as the Colombians.
The group started advancing on them and Hérard told his officers to get back, according to the officer who spoke to the President.
After the Colombians retreated, an officer was finally able to go inside the President’s home where he found his body slumped in his bedroom. The president was shot in the forehead, chest, hip and stomach, and his left eye was gouged, according to Charles Henry Destin, who documented the crime scene. Destin said Moïse was hit with as many as 12 gunshot wounds. First Lady Martine Moïse would later relay that the president did not suffer, he was killed almost immediately, she said.
Moïse’s wife was found shot in a hallway. The couple’s two children were uninjured and were helping their mother when officers arrived.
What ensued in the next hours would be a police manhunt for former Colombian special forces and two Haitian Americans using high-beam lights and specialized units of Haiti’s national police along a well-traveled road. The fierce pursuit started on the main road leading to Moïse’s residence. It would subsequently involve nearby impoverished neighborhoods, an abandoned building behind a police station and the Taiwanese Embassy. Eleven of the mercenaries were taken into custody on the embassy grounds.
Within one week of the assassination, 18 Colombians and two Haitian Americans are in custody. Three Colombians are dead and five remain at large. Haitian security forces have also made other arrests of Haitians, including Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a South Florida-based Haitian doctor
Another Florida based connection to the assassination came in the shape of CTU Security, owned by Venezuelan businessman Antonio Intriago, being accused of playing a role in the killing. businessman The owner of the Doral based company has been named as a person of interest.
Still questions linger as the media have spoken to at least three people who received calls from inside the president’s house on the morning of July 7. All agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing probe, which has led to 24 security agents being sanctioned and five high-ranking members of the president’s security team being relieved of administrative duties and placed in isolation.
All have recounted the final moments of Moïse, who was killed in the brazen middle-of-the night assassination as his alleged assailants ransacked his house and bedroom, according to multiple sources, and then shot him after positively identifying him with a caller on the other line.
“They came inside, went straight to the room and kept talking to someone on the phone to identify the president,” the officer said, confirming the report of another person familiar with the investigation.
“They turned the house upside down.’
The accounts from those who spoke to Moïse have led to questions about what Hérard did and who he contacted the night of the assassination.
It has also prompted questions over the actions or lack thereof regarding the president’s security cover when their charge was killed. The president’s security detail was a team of 24 officers, but police have so far refused to say how many were on duty the night of the assassination.
One outstanding fact is that not a single member of Moïse’s security detail was shot or injured during the invasion of the president’s villa
The multi-national investigation, which involves the FBI, has seen the arrest of 18 Colombians and two Haitian Americans believed to be involved in the attack. Three Colombian mercenaries have been killed and five remain on the run.
Hérard, Moïse’s head of security, is among the five senior National Police officers who have been detained in connection with the assassination.
More than 20 members of the President’s security detail have also been sanctioned and are still being interrogated.
There is still no clear indication yet of who ordered the killing and why.
Haitian authorities believe central figures and suspects in the plot met several times in Florida and the Dominican Republic in the months before the assassination to discuss how they could rebuild the country after Moïse was out of power.
The Pentagon has since admitted some of the Colombians were once trained by the US military.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman confirmed Thursday a ‘small number’ of the suspects had participated in US military training and education programs while serving in the Colombian military. .
The latest suspects identified in the sweeping investigation included a former Haitian senator, a fired government official and an informant for the US government.
Late last week, the National Police announced the arrest of two Haitians, former police superintendent Gilbert Dragon,, and Reynaldo Corvington, who is accused of providing shelter to the assassins.
Those arrests come just three days after Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who is accused of organizing the assassination plot, was taken into custody. Police said Sanon, who resides in Florida, entered the country last month on a private plane ‘with the intention of taking the Haitian presidency’.
Sanon allegedly recruited the Miami-based CTU Security, which is registered in Florida as the Counter Terrorist Unit Federal Academy LCC. The security outfit which is owned by Venezuelan businessman Antonio Intriago, has been accused of recruiting the Colombians who carried out the assault.
Haiti’s National Police Chief, Léon Charles, last week accused Intriago of traveling to Haiti numerous times as part of the assassination plot and of signing a contract while there, but provided no other details and offered no evidence.
Charles also revealed that CTU Security used its company credit card to buy 19 plane tickets from Bogota to Santo Domingo for the Colombian suspects allegedly involved in the killing.
One of the Colombians who was killed, Duberney Capador, photographed himself wearing a black CTU Security polo shirt.
Nelson Romero Velasquez, an ex-soldier and attorney who is advising 16 families of the Colombians held in Haiti, said last Wednesday that the men all served in the Colombian military’s elite special forces and could operate without being detected, if they had desired.
He said their behavior made it clear they did not go to Haiti to assassinate the president.
Some security analysts believes Intriago was too eager to take the job and did not push to learn details, leaving his contractors in the lurch. Intriago, who immigrated from Venezuela over a decade ago and participated in activities in Miami opposing the leftist regime in his homeland, is an avid social media poster who likes to be around powerful people. His social media posts showing himself with powerful figures, including Colombian President Ivan Duque.
Duque’s office on Monday disavowed any knowledge of Antonio Intriago.