The widow of slain Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was critically wounded in an attack that claimed his life, on Saturday issued her first public statement since the assault. Martine Moise delivered the statement in an audio message posted on her official Twitter account three days after her husband was shot dead in their home.
“In the blink of an eye, the mercenaries entered my house and riddled my husband with bullets...”
Martine Moise, who was wounded in the attack and flown to Florida for medical treatment, said her husband was targeted for political reasons.
"You know who the president was fighting against," she said in the recording. "They sent mercenaries to kill the president at his home with members of his family because of roads, water, electricity and the referendum as well as elections at the end of the year so that there is no transition in the country," she said.
“We cannot let the blood of President Jovenel Moïse, my husband, our president whom we love so much and who loved us in return, flow in vain.”
Moise was gunned down at his Port-au-Prince home before dawn last Wednesday by what Haitian authorities said was a unit of trained assassins comprised of 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans. Authorities have already arrested 17 people.
Colombia is investigating four companies for hiring 17 former Colombian military personnel allegedly involved in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise. The four companies under investigation allegedly hired the ex-servicemen, initially taking them to the Dominican Republic and later moving them to Haiti.
Doubts have grown, though, about that narrative, with families of at least two of the Colombians saying they had been hired as bodyguards.
Haitian officials have not given a motive for the assassination or explained how the killers got past Moise's security detail.
The late president had proposed a referendum to change Haiti's constitution. The referendum, scheduled for September 26 along with presidential and legislative elections, could abolish the prime minister's position, reshape the legislative branch and strengthen the presidency. Moise's assassination has clouded those plans and led to political disarray in Haiti.
The question of who should even be running the current government is also overshadowed by discord and doubt. Days before his death, Moise named neurosurgeon Ariel Henry as his new prime minister — which means that between Henry and acting Prime Minister Joseph there are two potential claims to the premiership.
Haiti has requested that the United Nations send troops to help secure the country.
In a sign of mounting fear and desperation in Haiti, a large crowd has gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince o ask for asylum after the assassination.