American arrested in Haitian president's killing had US law enforcement ties

An aerial view of a popular market almost a week after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 13, 2021.
An aerial view of a popular market almost a week after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 13, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo

One of the Haitian American men arrested on suspicion of taking part in the assassination of Haiti's president last week had a prior relationship with a US law enforcement agency, a US government source said on Monday.

Haitian authorities last week arrested two Haitian American men, Joseph Vincent, 55, and James Solages, 35, and charged them with joining 26 Colombians in the fatal attack on Haitian President Jovenel Moise.

The source did not specify which of the two men had a relationship with a US law enforcement agency or the nature of the relationship.

A third Haitian American, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, was arrested on Sunday by Haitian authorities, who accused him of being a mastermind of the attack.

US law enforcement and intelligence agencies are probing why the Haitian American men may have taken part in the assassination.

A source close to the investigation said Solages and Vincent told investigators they were translators for the Colombian commando unit that had an arrest warrant, but that when they arrived, they found Moise dead.

Solages described himself online as a “certified diplomatic agent” and the former “chief commander of bodyguards” for the Canadian embassy in Haiti. Those statements were made on the website of a charity he ran, which was modified on Thursday to remove them. Reuters reviewed an archived version that remains accessible.

The Miami Herald quoted an unnamed government official as saying that a decade ago, Solages briefly worked for a company that provided security for the Canadian embassy in Haiti.

“We are aware of allegations implicating an individual who was briefly employed as a reserve bodyguard by a security company hired by Global Affairs Canada in 2010,” the newspaper quoted the official as saying.

Florida records show Solages has held security officer and firearm licenses.

Few details have emerged about Vincent. 

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