Haiti’s national police announced on Tuesday they had arrested three police officers in connection with the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, suggesting there may have been an infiltration of their force ahead of the killing.
The police named the three as Boni Gregoire, Clifton Hyppolite and Elie Jean Charles, but did not elaborate on the specific role they allegedly had played in the plot.
As the investigation progresses, one of the biggest questions swirling in Haiti is how attackers were able to so easily breach the president’s security detail. Impatience has been growing at the pace of the investigation, with many Haitians asking why so many key aspects of the crime remain a mystery.
The arrests came as Haiti held a ceremony on Tuesday to pay homage to Mr. Moïse, a polarizing figure who was ensnared by accusations of corruption and increasingly autocratic actions during his presidency, but whose death has shaken many Haitians. The country on Tuesday was also poised to replace the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, with Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon who had been appointed to the position by the president shortly before he was killed.
With the multipronged investigation encompassing Florida, Colombia and Haiti, Haitian authorities have painted a picture, however blurry, in which the president was killed by a team of as many as two dozen heavily armed mercenaries recruited from abroad who breached the president’s home in several vehicles. They encountered little resistance before opening fire, also wounding the president’s wife, Martine Moïse, during the attack.
Police said they had so far arrested more than two dozen people, conducted 45 interrogations and searched 13 residences, during which they had discovered about 60 firearms, some of which belonged to the police service. They said they had also found a drone and three grenades.
Léon Charles, the head of Haiti’s national police, has previously said that Dr. Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a 63-year-old doctor and pastor who divided his time between Florida and Haiti, played a pivotal role in the assassination, though that role remains unclear.
Harold Isaac in Port-au-Prince contributed reporting.