PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI — As shock grips the Caribbean island nation of Haiti following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the Haitian government has carried out a campaign to arrest suspects it alleges are responsible for the murder.
Haitian Director of National Police Leon Charles announced at a press conference that the assassination squad that killed Moise is comprised of 28 foreigners, including two Haitian-Americans and 26 Colombian nationals. Fifteen of those Colombians have been detained while three were killed in a gun battle and eight remain fugitives. Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano has admitted that some of the Colombians are retired military personnel. Among them are at least one highly decorated soldier who received training from the United States and another who has been implicated in the murder of Colombian civilians.
Ties to oligarchs
The Haitian-Americans have been identified as James Solages, 35, and Joseph Vincent, 55. Solages lives in Fort Lauderdale where he is the CEO of EJS Maintenance & Repair and runs a nonprofit group, the website of which has since been scrubbed of information. Prior to relocating to Florida, he lived in the southern Haitian coastal city of Jacmel.
According to The Washington Post, Solages’ Facebook profile, which has since been removed, listed him as the chief commander of bodyguards for the Canadian Embassy in Haiti. The Canadaian Embassy confirmed that Solages previously worked as a security guard. While in Florida, Solages was an “avid and vocal supporter of former President Michel Martelly,” the founder of Moïse’s Haitian Baldheaded Party (PHTK), according to Tony Jean-Thénor, leader of the Veye Yo popular organization in Miami, founded by the late Father Gérard Jean-Juste.
The Haitian Times reported Solages also used to work as a security guard for both Reginald Boulos and Dimitri Vorbe, two prominent members of Haiti’s tiny bourgeoisie. Although initially friendly to him, they both became bitter opponents of Moïse. Boulos was also a prominent supporter of previous coups in 1991 and 2004 against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The Boulos family is one of the wealthiest in Haiti and owns a pharmaceutical company that,