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The Haitian President’s Murder Investigation – A Mystery That Remains Unsolved In Haiti

He was arrested in Jamaica in January and extradited to the United States last week. The 51-year-old, a former political rival of President Mose, appeared in court for the first time on Monday in Miami.
August 31, 2022
Haiti President

Mr. Mose was assassinated in July by shooters who stormed his Port-au-Prince home. Ex-Senator John Joel Joseph has been charged with “conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping” and providing material support to Mr. Mose, which resulted in his death. 

He was arrested in Jamaica in January and extradited to the United States last week. The 51-year-old, a former political rival of President Mose, appeared in court for the first time on Monday in Miami. The US Department of Justice claims jurisdiction over the case because some of the alleged co-conspirators met in Miami to plot the murder.

News Release Regarding The Murder…

Bloody Knife

A news release provided more information about the allegations against the former senator. 

According to prosecutors, the plan was to kidnap President Mose by presenting him with what appeared to be an arrest warrant. However, when the alleged conspirators could not secure a plane to transport the president out of Haiti, the plan “ultimately resulted in a plot to kill the president,” according to prosecutors.

They accuse Mr. Joseph of obtaining cars and attempting to obtain firearms “to aid the operation against the president.” They also claim that he met with “certain co-conspirators the day before the assassination,” “after which many of the co-conspirators embarked on the mission to kill President Mose.”

Just days after Mr. Mose’s murder, Haitian police named Mr. Joseph, a prime suspect. According to their investigation, he “was instrumental in his fierce desire to kill the president.”

The Assassination Of Haiti's President Remains A Mystery

According to the Haitian police investigation, on July 7, a group of mostly foreign mercenaries – 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans – broke into the president’s home in Port-au-Prince and shot him dead. 

Assassin with a gun

Several suspects have been arrested in Haiti, but the Haitian police investigation appears stalled, so all eyes are on the US courts.

Apart from Mr. Joseph, two other suspects face murder or kidnapping conspiracy charges in US courts. They are 43-year-old Colombian ex-soldier Mario Palacios, who pleaded not guilty last month, and 49-year-old Haitian-Chilean businessman Rodolphe Jaar. They could face life in prison if found guilty.

The Moise Murder Investigation Continues…

The investigation into the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince on July 7, 2021, remains stalled in Haiti but is moving forward in the United States. 

The Haitian National Police (PNH) has made more than 40 arrests in connection with the killing. Eighteen ex-Colombian soldiers are among those detained. They are still imprisoned and have not appeared in court. Protests, robberies, gang violence, and death threats have hampered progress in the case, partly because they have plagued Haiti’s justice system.

However, the Department of Justice in the United States has indicted three key suspects, who are being held in a federal prison in Miami, Florida, awaiting trial.

Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios, a former Colombian army officer, Rodolphe Jaar, a Haitian businessman, and former Haitian lawmaker John Joel Joseph have been formally charged with “conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death, knowing or intending that such material support would be used to prepare for or carry out the conspiracy to kill or kidnap.”


Plead not guilty

Palacios pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance in Miami on April 5. He has not yet been scheduled for a trial. He was transferred to the United States from Panama, where he had been detained at the airport en route to his native Colombia.

Palacios had traveled from Haiti to Jamaica, where he was discovered without identification. Jamaican authorities placed him on a plane bound for Colombia, with a stop in Panama, where he was arrested and charged with illegal entry in October 2021.

Palacios told the US law enforcement officials that a security firm hired him to travel to Haiti and provide security as part of an alleged operation to arrest Moise. Palacio claimed that on July 6, 2021, he was informed that the plan was to assassinate the president.


On July 6, Jaar entered a not guilty plea in federal court. His trial is set to start on July 18.

He was arrested in the Dominican Republic in January and extradited to the United States on January 19. He is a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant accused of being a co-conspirator in the assassination plot.

Plead not guilty

Jaar told The New York Times before his arrest in January that he helped plan and finance the Moise plot. He stated that he and Joseph Felix Badio, a suspect still at large, maintained contact after the assassination and slept in the same house days later.


Joseph, a former senator, was arrested in Jamaica in January and charged with illegal entry. He arrived on the island with his wife and two children, all of whom later sought asylum. 

He agreed to extradition after US law enforcement officials requested it. On May 6, he was transferred to Miami and charged in connection with the assassination with the same felonies as Palacios and Jaar. He has not yet been scheduled for a trial.

According to the Associated Press, a police report linked Joseph to the plot. According to the report, one of the suspects identified Joseph as one of the leaders. The document included a WhatsApp conversation between Joseph and James Solages, a Haitian American arrested in Haiti, where they discussed the operation’s details. Solages is still imprisoned in Haiti.

Know More About Haiti With Kanana Caribbean

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