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Haiti’s First Lady calls for mastermind of husband’s assassination to be found

HAITI’S First Lady Martine Moise has called for the mastermind of her husband’s assassination to be found amid claims that his alleged Colombian killers were trained by US forces.

Ms Moise said on Saturday that her husband was targeted for his development plans, which she said had been opposed by elements of the Haitian bourgeoisie.

“They had him killed because of his projects for roads, water, electricity, referendum, and to avoid any kind of transition in the country,” she said in her first public statement since the shooting on July 7, which also left her hospitalised.

“You all know very well against whom the president was fighting. … There are a group of mercenaries in jail, while another group wants to kill Moise’s dreams and projects for the country.”

Mr Moise was shot dead in the early hours after a hit squad masquerading as members of the US Drug Enforcement Agency stormed his Port-au-Prince home.

A total of 17 suspects have been detained so far, including 11 who had taken refuge in the Taiwanese embassy.

At least eight remain at large, with authorities calling for support from the public to find them.

Fifteen of those held are believed to be former members of the Colombian armed forces, with two others known to be US citizens.

Colombian opposition senator Ivan Cepeda said he planned to summon the country’s defence minister Diego Molano to a political hearing over the developments.

“How many retired Colombian military personnel are linked to mercenary operations and in which countries?” he said after Mr Molano confirmed the links.

The US citizens have been named as Joseph Vincent and former security guard James Solages.

Mr Solages used to provide security for Reginald Boulos and Dimitri Vorbe — two wealthy, prominent opponents of Mr Moise.

Mr Boulos supported coups against former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was finally ousted with the support of the US in 2004.

One of the former Colombian military officials has been named as Manuel Antonio Grosso Guarin, who used to serve as a special operations commando.

He was previously assigned to the secretive Urban Counter-Terrorism Special Forces Group, which has close links to the US military.

Fears of US intervention in Haiti have deepened after interim prime minister Claude Joseph urged Washington to send troops and FBI officials to the country.

He is locked in a power battle with Ariel Henry, who was appointed prime minister by Mr Moise but had not yet been sworn in.

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