Chase and Firefight Followed Haiti President's Assassination

Gunmen who assassinated Haiti’s president were captured and some were killed in dramatic chase and firefight with security services.


NSFW    PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — The gunmen who assassinated Haiti's president around 1 a.m on Wednesday, July 7, were initially allowed to drive away from the president’s house, before being met by a massive security services roadblock, according to a report by CNN, citing a source with knowledge of the tracking operation.

As the group’s convoy of five cars, containing up to 28 assassins, arrived at the roadblock, they fled on foot. Some leaped into a deep roadside drainage canal, others scattered into surrounding buildings.

The majority of the assassins took refuge in an empty two-story storefront, which sheltered them from gunfire, and at this point Haitian security forces decided to wait them out, knowing the humidity, heat and a lack of drinking water would weaken them.

At 3 p.m. the following day, Haitian forces threw three tear gas canisters into the road in front of the shop and negotiations began via the phone of one of the guards held hostage shortly after.

The result of those negotiations was that two of the president’s guards held hostage were released and that two Haitian-Americans who say they were working as translators gave themselves up to the security services.

Haitian security services later made their way inside the building and a firefight ensued in which at least three Colombian gunmen were killed. However, the majority of the gunmen had already fled, including one group that had made it to the nearby Taiwanese embassy.

The next day, with police having surrounded the embassy, this group of 11 gave themselves up without more fighting.

In total, 26 former Colombian soldiers are suspected in the killing, according to The Associated Press. Of these, 23 have been arrested and three have been killed. Three Haitians, including the two Haitian-Americans who say they were translators, have also been arrested.

The third Haitian is Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who Haiti’s National Police Chief Leon Charles has said masterminded the assassination. Sanon is a doctor who had been living in Florida, according to The New York Times.

However, according to The New York Times, much skepticism exists within the country around this official account.

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