Martine Moïse, the wife of assassinated President Jean-Claude Duvalier, has made a surprise return to Haiti. Her visit is unusual as she was not invited by the government and only visited on her own accord.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITIAN REPUBLIC— Haiti’s first lady returned to the Caribbean country on Saturday, wearing a black protective vest, after surviving the assault in which her husband, President Jovenel Mose, was murdered earlier this month.
Martine Mose walked carefully down the stairs of a plane at the airport here, her face mask, clothing, and right arm in a sling, where she had been wounded in the July 7 assault that threw Haiti into political turmoil. On the tarmac, she was seen meeting interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph and other senior officials, according to a video provided by Haitian authorities.
Ms. Mose has been silent since the gruesome assault at 1 a.m. at the family’s private home in the capital’s Pelerin 5 neighborhood. As the sole witness to the president’s death, Ms Mose’s evidence will be crucial as investigators from Haiti, the United States, and Colombia attempt to figure out who carried out the murder and why.
The assassination is linked to a network of around 30 individuals, including Haitian politicians, Miami businesspeople, and over two dozen former Colombian troops and army commanders, according to Haitian authorities. Authorities in the country haven’t given a reason for the assault and say they’re interrogating many members of the presidential guard to figure out why they didn’t put up much of a fight against the assailants.
Ms. Mose claimed she couldn’t believe her husband was murdered “like this before my eyes, without uttering a final word to me” in a tweet on her official Twitter account on Wednesday. “This anguish will never go away,” she said.
According to a story Saturday in Colombian magazine Semana, the presidential couple attempted to hide beneath their bed when troops speaking Spanish entered their bedroom and discovered them, citing an account Ms. Mose provided to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is helping Haitian authorities. The FBI could not be contacted for comment right away.
Following her return to Port-au-Prince on Saturday, Martine Mose was carried in a vehicle.
Associated Press/Matias Delacroix photo
According to Semana, Ms. Mose was the first to be shot. According to the story, she had pretended to be dead on the floor nearby while the gunmen murdered her husband and trashed their house. According to Haitian authorities, the president was shot 12 times, his eye was gouged out, and his arm was shattered.
Ms. Mose is anticipated to join her husband’s burial procession on July 23 in Cap-Hatien, a northern port city.
Ms. Mose returned to Port-au-Prince after having surgery at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, amid a smoldering succession struggle in Haiti. Mr. Mose had appointed Ariel Henry, his former interior minister and a renowned neurosurgeon, as prime minister a little more than a day before his death, after dissolving parliament and postponing elections for two years.
However, Mr. Henry was unable to assume office, leaving the nation in the hands of Mr. Joseph, who had been acting as temporary prime minister for many months. A third leader, Senate President Joseph Lambert, is also fighting for control.
Following the murder of President Jovenel Mose, Haitian police claimed they killed four suspects and detained two more. His assassination adds to the country’s political instability, which has long been roiled by lawlessness and economic problems. Associated Press photo/Joseph Odelyn
Ambassadors from the United States, Canada, France, and other European nations, known as the “Core Group,” urged Haiti’s political leaders to find an agreement and establish a new government under Mr. Henry’s leadership on Saturday. Mr. Joseph, who did not respond immediately, seemed to be offended by the remark. In recent days, Mr. Joseph has emphasized that he is just serving as an interim leader.
“As Haiti confronts grave threats, the Core Group wishes that all political, economic, and civil society players in the nation completely support the authorities in their efforts to restore security throughout the country,” the Core Group said in a statement.
According to the United Nations, the murder stunned the poor country, which is grappling with increasing violence between strong gangs that has devastated an already ailing economy and prompted a huge exodus of migrants.
Ludner Georges, a 40-year-old street seller, stated, “There is no security for anybody.” “What security does a poor person like me have if a president can be assassinated in his bed?”
Mr. Georges was selling tiny paintings beside a simple shrine that had been set up in a park near the presidential palace earlier in the week to commemorate the late president. A bouquet of candles and flowers were placed in front of a picture of Mr. Mose with a tear flowing from his eye.
Mr. Georges added, “May God support and provide strength to the president’s family to transform our nation and bring us out of this pain.”
Kejal Vyas can be reached at [email protected]
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