(AP) — The latest suspect apprehended in the hunt for the masterminds and assassins behind President
Jovenel Mossé's assassination
is a Haitian man in his 60s living in Florida
who identifies himself as a doctor and has accused his homeland's leaders of corruption
On Sunday night, police
identified the man as Christian Emmanuel Sanon and said the man was being protected by Mose's alleged killers.
Léon Charles, the head of Haiti's police, accused Sanon of collaborating with those who plotted and participated in Mose's assassination, which stunned the country of more than 11 million people
, but he did not name the alleged masterminds.
Officers discovered a hat with the US Drug Enforcement Administration logo, 20 boxes of bullets, gun
parts, four Dominican Republic license plates, two cars, and correspondence with unidentified people at Sanon's house in Haiti, according to Charles.
“We continue to make progress,” Charles said of police efforts to solve the heinous attack
early Wednesday at Mose’s home that killed the president and seriously injured his wife
, Martine, who is being treated in Miami
Sanon, according to Charles, was in contact with a security firm that recruits political assassins and flew into Haiti on a private jet with several of the alleged gunmen.
According to Charles, the gunmen's initial mission was to protect Sanon, but they were later given a new mission: to arrest
“From there, the operation began,” he said, adding that an additional 22 suspects joined the group and that contact was made with Haitian citizens.
More than 20 Colombians are suspected in the president's assassination; eighteen have been apprehended, along with three Haitians; five are still at large, and at least three have been killed, according to Charles.
“I'm talking commando, specialized commando,” Charles said of the dangerous individuals.
Charles stated that after Mose was killed, one of the suspects called Sanon, who then contacted two people thought to be the plot's intellectual authors; he did not identify the masterminds or say whether police know who they are.
The Haitian police chief stated that the information came from interrogations and other aspects of the investigation
, and that police are working with high-ranking Colombian officials to identify details of the alleged plot, such as when the suspects left Colombia and who paid for their tickets.
Colombia’s national police chief, General Jorge Luis Vargas, stated at a press conference on Monday that CTU security, based in Florida, used the company’s credit card to purchase 19 plane tickets from Bogota to Santo Domingo for a group of retired Colombian soldiers detained in Haiti. The majority arrived in the Dominican Republic in June and moved into Haiti within a few weeks, Vargas said, adding that
Colombian officials stated that they are cooperating with the Haitian investigation, but they refused to name any other companies that may have been involved in the hiring of the former soldiers.
Vargas stated that Dimitri Herard, the head of general security at Haiti's National Palace, flew to Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama in the months leading up to the assassination. Colombian police are investigating his activities in the country, as well as whether he played any role in recruiting
the mercenaries. Prosecutors in Haiti are seeking to question Herard in connection with the president's assassination.
Sanon has lived in Broward County, Florida, Hillsborough County on the Gulf Coast
, and Kansas
, according to public records. He filed for bankruptcy
in 2013 and identifies himself as a doctor in a YouTube
video titled "Leadership for Haiti."
Sanon, on the other hand, has never been licensed to practice medicine or any other occupation covered by the state's Department of Health
, according to records.
In the video, he accuses Haiti's leaders of being corrupt, accusing them of depleting the country's resources and claiming that "they don't care about the country, they don't care about the people."
He falsely claims that government officials have taken uranium, oil
, and other resources from Haiti.
“This is a country with resources,” he says. “Nine million people cannot be poor when we have so many resources in the country. It is impossible.... The world must stop doing what they are doing right now. We can’t take it any longer. We need new leadership that will change the way of life.”
Sanon hasn't tweeted much, but he has expressed an interest in Haitian politics
. In September 2010, he tweeted, "Just completed a successful conference in Port-au-Prince. Many people from the opposition attended." A month later, he wrote, "Back to Haiti for an important meeting regarding the election. Pray for me for protection and wisdom."
Sanon's arrest comes as a growing number of politicians challenge
Haiti's interim Prime Minister
Claude Joseph, who is currently in charge with the assistance of the police and the military
According to Joseph, Mose's wife underwent surgery
on Saturday but is recovering well, and the government's investigation into the killing remains a top priority.
“I congratulate the people for remaining calm,” he said Sunday night, adding that “the plan was probably to kill the president and then have the people take to the streets and loot.”
While the streets were calm on Sunday, government officials are concerned about the future and have requested military assistance from the United States
and the United Nations
“We continue to believe that chaos is on the way,” Haiti Elections
Minister Mathias Pierre told The Associated Press
U.S. officials, including representatives from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security
, met with Joseph, designated Prime Minister Ariel Henry, and Joseph Lambert, the head of Haiti's defunct Senate
, whom supporters have named as provisional president in a challenge to Joseph, on Sunday.
According to a statement
from the White House National Security
Council, the purpose of the meeting was to “encourage open and constructive dialogue in order to reach a political agreement that will allow the country to hold free and fair elections.”
According to the statement, the delegation also met with Haiti's National Police and reviewed critical infrastructure
On Fox News Sunday
, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated that the Pentagon
is reviewing the request to send troops to Haiti and that no decisions have been made.
The United Nations has had a sporadic presence in Haiti since 1990, but the last U.N. military peacekeepers left in 2017.
This report was contributed to by Associated Press writers Ben Fox in Washington
, Colombia, Manuel Rueda in Bogotá, Colombia, and Evens Sanon in Port-au-Prince.