Haiti is getting ready to bury its assassinated president.
Just over two weeks after his assassination, Haiti prepared to bury its slain president under tight security, adding to the country’s poverty, corruption, and political instability, as well as rekindling long-standing racial tensions.
Jovenel Moise, who was 53 when he was shot dead in his house in the early hours of July 7, will be laid to rest on Friday in Cap-Haitien, his native northern region’s principal city.
The city remained peaceful on Thursday, but skirmishes erupted the day before when police head Leon Charles paid a visit. While assessing security plans for the funeral, he was booed and heckled.
Locals condemned the police chief for failing to protect Moise, whose wife Martine was gravely injured in the gun attack, which appeared to be carried out by a group of mostly Colombian retired soldiers — though the presidential guard was unharmed.
More than 20 persons have been arrested so far, the majority of whom are Colombians, and police believe the scheme was orchestrated by Haitians with international ties and political ambitions.
However, the situation remains hazy, with many questions unanswered.
Haitians are outraged that those charged with securing the president and his residence failed so miserably. Crime and powerful gangs abound in the impoverished Caribbean nation, which only grew worse under Moise’s administration.
His death has reignited long-standing tensions between Haiti’s north and west, which includes Port-au-Prince. Some have even erected roadblocks on major highways heading to Cap-Haitien to prevent visitors from the capital from attending the burial.
“We will do everything we can to honor him in the way he deserves, in accordance with his value to our city,” stated Mayor Yvrose Pierre of Cap-Haitien.
Moise was to be honored with a Catholic Mass in the city’s cathedral on Thursday, followed by a procession.
“His assassination deeply upset me. I prayed for the salvation of his soul. “I prayed for justice,” said Carine, a woman standing near the cathedral who only revealed her first name.
This week, there were also memorial services in Port-au-Prince in honor of Moise.
New Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who was sworn in on Tuesday, promised to restore order and hold long-delayed elections, as both Haitians and the international community had hoped.
The State Department announced a new special US envoy to Haiti on Thursday, tasked with assisting in the transition. Brief News from Washington Newsday.