February 11, 2024
President Jovenel Moïse was killed in his home in 2021.
Former informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Joseph Vincent was sentenced to life in prison by federal courts on Feb. 9 for playing a part in the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
According to the Guardian, Vincent admitted to aiding in the plot to kill Moïse while he was in his Port-au-Prince home. Vincent is one of 11 defendants being prosecuted in the case, their crimes ranging from supplying weapons and money to carry out the act, attending the assassination, and providing information on Moïse’s schedule and associates.
On the night of the attack, the assailants who entered Moïse’s home claimed to be DEA agents when they entered, but the agency confirmed that Vincent and another Haitian American involved were not acting on their behalf. Immediately after, nearby residents called authorities and reported hearing gunshots and seeing men dressed in all Black fleeing the home.
Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to Washington, speculated that posing as DEA members allowed them access into the well-guarded home. Edmond said, “This was a well-orchestrated commando attack. They presented themselves as DEA agents, telling people they had come as part of a DEA operation.”
A video taken near the crime scene showed a man repeating into a megaphone, “DEA operation. Everybody stands down. DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down.”
Survivor of the attack, Moïse’s widow, the first lady Martine Marie Étienne Moïse, was hurt during the assassination of her husband, but she recovered in time for the trials of all those involved. She said back in 2021 that the ones who killed her husband “came to kill his dream, his vision, his ideology.”
She referenced the way that Haiti has been destabilized by the event, with “violence from street gangs and vigilantes prevalent, and communities fighting back with bloody reprisals of their own.”