LEAKBLAST has obtained exclusive information about the hunt for the killers of Jovenel Moise, a banana exporter-turned-politician who was killed in a hail of gunfire in the bedroom of his private residence in the leafy Port-au-Prince district of Petion-Ville at around 1 a.m. last Wednesday, according to government statements.
The Haitian President’s body was found riddled with bullet holes, according to a local official tasked with documenting the crime scene, who also said Moise had suffered a broken leg and serious facial injuries. Multiple government officials described the injuries to news men as signs of torture. Moise’s wife, Martine, was wounded. She is being treated in a Miami hospital.
“In the blink of an eye, the mercenaries ran into my house and killed my husband,” Haiti’s first lady said in an audio recording released over the weekend. we cannot independently confirm the authenticity of the recording.
But despite the abundance of bullet holes documented inside the President’s home, not one member of the President’s security detail or residential staff was hurt, according to authorities.
Exactly what happened inside the president’s home and who masterminded the attack remain the key unsolved questions at the heart of multiple investigations involving senior agents from the United States and Colombia, in addition to local authorities. Top foreign officials, including members of the US National Security Council and Colombia’s chief of national intelligence, have visited Haiti in the wake of Moise’s death.
In a country bitterly divided over its political direction, unease over the mystery surrounding the president’s murder has become a rare unifying sentiment. No one — whether members of the deceased president’s cabinet, his most outspoken critics, or ordinary residents of capital city Port-au-Prince — is satisfied with the limited explanations available so far.
“Where did (the attackers) get the cars that they were driving? How did they get in the country?” Haitian Elections Minister Mathias Pierre asked Leakblast, adding that he would expect his own security to take a bullet for him.
Leakblast can now shed light on a small piece of the puzzle: How Haitian security forces first responded to the assassination.
A source with knowledge of the operation has described to Leakblast a bloody siege and the multi-day pursuit through the President’s affluent neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, the impoverished quartier populaire next door, an abandoned roadside storefront, and the Taiwanese Embassy.
At a sharp bend in Route de Kenscoff, the main road leading downtown, the convoy suddenly encountered a police blockade, where hundreds of security personnel had been mustered in the darkness.
Unable to turn their cars around in the narrow road between a walled-off ravine and a steep green hillside, the convoy’s occupants fled, abandoning firearms inside their vehicles. Desperate for cover, some leaped into the polluted muck of a deep roadside drainage canal; others scattered the surrounding buildings on foot, according to the source.
The majority found shelter in an empty two-story storefront, where a banner quoting Psalm 27:1 still proclaims: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
The store — and its location — offered a refuge of sorts. The overgrown hillside behind the store would slow any possible attacks from the rear. And the storefront’s thick concrete walls could serve as a shield from gunfire. Still, some would not make it out alive.
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