Major Suspect Arrested in Killing of Haitian President

Major Suspect Arrested in Killing of Haitian President

( – The top suspect in the murder of Jovenel Moïse, the Haitian president who was assassinated in 2021, was arrested by authorities in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital, Thursday after evading police for two years.

The suspect, Joseph Badio, previously worked as a justice official for the Haitian government. He held a position with the Ministry of Justice and spent some time with the anti-corruption government. His employment was terminated for violating ethical rules. The president was assassinated just weeks later.

He was found hiding in the capital city’s Petion Vile neighborhood, the same suburb where the president was killed after his home was besieged by several assailants late at night on July 7, 2021. The murder prompted Haiti’s government to declare a state of siege.

Several others have been arrested since the incident, nearly a dozen of whom are now imprisoned in the US. The conspiracies to assassinate Moïse were broad and included participants in Florida. In exchange for killing the president, mercenaries were promised profitable government contracts from future administrations.

John Joel Joseph, who served as a Haitian senator during the assassination, also recently pleaded guilty in the United States to charges related to the killing. He is scheduled to be sentenced in the US later this year. He will likely face a lesser sentence after his cooperation with officials.

Chaos has gripped the island-nation since the assassination. The uprising has prompted a response from the United Nations, which will be sending an international taskforce to help quell the unprecedented violence caused by a growing number of gangs. The African nation of Kenya will be leading the force.

Near the end of August, the federal government encouraged American citizens to leave Haiti quickly as infrastructure and security continued to deteriorate. The alert informed people that outbound flights were filling up quickly and that they should plan travel in advance. People have also been told to avoid roadblocks and large gatherings while there.

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