PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, a former banana producer and political neophyte who dominated Haiti for greater than 4 years because the nation grew more and more unstable underneath his watch, was killed on Wednesday. He was 53.
Moïse was assassinated at his non-public house following “a extremely coordinated assault by a extremely skilled and closely armed group,” interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph stated. His spouse, Martine Moïse, was injured within the assault and stays hospitalized.
“Haiti has misplaced a real statesman,” Joseph stated. “We are going to make sure that these liable for this heinous act are swiftly delivered to justice.”
Moïse took workplace in February 2017, pledging to strengthen establishments, battle corruption and produce extra investments and jobs to the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation. However his administration was tormented by large protests from the beginning, and critics accused him of rising more and more authoritarian.
Moïse had been ruling by decree for greater than a yr after Parliament was dissolved and lawmakers failed to arrange legislative elections. He was broadly criticized for approving decrees, together with one which restricted the powers of a court docket that audits authorities contracts and one other that created an intelligence company that solutions solely to the president.
Political and financial instability deepened in latest months, with widespread protests paralyzing the nation of greater than 11 million individuals. As well as, gangs within the capital of Port-au-Prince have grown extra highly effective, with greater than 14,700 individuals pushed from their houses final month alone as gangs set hearth to houses and ransacked them.
As well as, 15 individuals had been killed throughout a June 29 taking pictures rampage within the capital, together with a journalist and well-known political activist. Officers blamed a bunch of rogue cops however haven’t supplied any proof.
Moïse is survived by his spouse and three youngsters.
— Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Related Press author John Rice in Mexico Metropolis contributed to this report.