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UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
Report to Congress on
the Assassination of Former President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse
Section 108(a) of the Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional
Transparency Initiative Act, 2022 (Div. V, P.L. 117-103)
The Department of State has prepared this report in accordance with the Haiti
Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act, 2022
(Div. V, P.L. 117-103) (“the Act”), which directed the Secretary of State – in
coordination with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and
the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency – to submit to Congress a report on
the July 7, 2021, assassination of former President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse. Haitian
law enforcement, with U.S. assistance, continues to investigate the assassination.
Given the ongoing nature of the investigation, the contents of this report remain
limited to open-source reporting and/or publicly releasable information.
(1) Description of Events
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
outlined certain alleged facts of the assassination in public statements and court
filings related to U.S. charges against three suspects in the ongoing federal
investigation. The three defendants – one Colombian citizen, one Haitian-Chilean
citizen, and one Haitian citizen (who is a former Haitian senator) – are charged
with violations of 18 U.S.C. sec. 956(a)(1) (conspiracy to kill or kidnap outside the
United States) and 18 U.S.C. sec. 2339A (providing material support to terrorists).
According to the FBI’s affidavits to support the criminal complaints filed against
these suspects, the FBI has alleged the three defendants and others, including a
group of approximately 20 other Colombian citizens and a group of dual
Haitian-American citizens, participated in a plot to kidnap or kill President Moïse.
Further details are available in the following publicly available documents:
• https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/colombian-national-charged-connection-
plot-kill-haitian-president;
• https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/second-man-charged-connection-plot-kill-
haitian-president;
UNCLASSIFIED
-2-
UNCLASSIFIED
• https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/third-man-charged-connection-plot-kill-
haitian-president.
(2) U.S. Support for Haitian Investigation
The United States continues to assist Haitian authorities as they proceed with their
investigation into the assassination of President Moïse and supports a thorough,
independent Haitian investigation, consistent with Haitian law and international
rule of law standards. Shortly after the assassination, then-acting Haitian Prime
Minister Claude Joseph requested investigators from the United States and
Colombia, through Interpol, assist with the investigation. At that time, FBI and
Department of Homeland Security officials provided the requested support to the
Haitian authorities.
(3) Capacity of Haitian Authorities to Investigate
The Department assesses Haitian authorities continue to investigate the
assassination. On May 31, Dean of the Court of First Instance Bernard Saint-Vil
nominated a fifth judge to head the investigation. Investigative judges assigned to
the case and related figures have reported threats to their safety for working on the
case. Embassy Port-au-Prince estimates Haitian authorities have detained around
74 suspects during the investigation; approximately 42 remain in pre-trial
detention.
(4) Threats and Acts of Intimidation against Haitian Authorities
Since the start of the investigation, several Haitian authorities have received threats
in connection with their participation in investigating the case, while others have
refused to take on the case out of fear for their own safety. The justice of the peace
who documented Moïse’s home after the assassination, Carl Henry Destin; court
clerks Marcelin Valentin and Waky Philostene; and former chief prosecutor
Bedford Claude all reportedly received threats. Several investigative judges turned
down the case (reportedly for reasons of “personal convenience,” as permitted
under Haitian law) before Saint-Vil was finally able to assign it to Mathieu
Chanlatte on August 9, 2021. However, Chanlatte withdrew only days later, on
August 13, 2021, citing personal reasons. His resignation came the day after one
of his judicial clerks, Ernst Lafortune, passed away.
Chanlatte’s successor, Garry Orélien, who had served the longest as investigating
judge in this case, later faced armed criminals shooting at his car on at least two
occasions. Concerned for his and his family’s safety, Orélien told Embassy
Port-au-Prince in October 2021 he would have “no choice” but to resign if the
threats continued. He ultimately stepped down on January 21 after a prominent
UNCLASSIFIED
-3-
UNCLASSIFIED
human rights organization accused him of corruption. Orélien's successor,
Chavannes Etienne, also reportedly feared for his and his family’s safety and
relinquished the case on February 11, one week after his designation.
(5) Efforts to Interfere in or Undermine the Investigation
Multiple break-ins at the offices of the investigating judges resulted in tampered
evidence, further hampering the investigation. In one instance, criminals broke
into Orélien's office at the Port-au-Prince Court of First Instance in October 2021
and reportedly stole a court safe containing files related to another high-profile
murder case. After Saint-Vil designated a fourth investigating judge, Merlan
Belabre on March 3, Belabre left the role the next month, writing that his mandate
had ended April 28. Embassy Port-au-Prince reports that, according to Belabre,
Saint- Vil failed to transfer the assassination dossier to him, and as a result, he was
not able to begin the investigation.
(6) Foreign Persons Previously Employed by or Who Served as a Contractor
or Informant for the United States Government Involved in the Assassination
The Department of State has been advised of an ongoing Department of Justice
investigation and is therefore not in a position to provide the requested
information.
(7) Description and Identification of Foreign Persons Allegedly Involved in the
Assassination
The Department of State has been advised of an ongoing Department of Justice
investigation and is therefore not in a position to provide the requested
information.

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Report-Haiti-Moïse-Assassination-004870 (1) (1).pdf

  • 1. UNCLASSIFIED UNCLASSIFIED Report to Congress on the Assassination of Former President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse Section 108(a) of the Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act, 2022 (Div. V, P.L. 117-103) The Department of State has prepared this report in accordance with the Haiti Development, Accountability, and Institutional Transparency Initiative Act, 2022 (Div. V, P.L. 117-103) (“the Act”), which directed the Secretary of State – in coordination with the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency – to submit to Congress a report on the July 7, 2021, assassination of former President of Haiti Jovenel Moïse. Haitian law enforcement, with U.S. assistance, continues to investigate the assassination. Given the ongoing nature of the investigation, the contents of this report remain limited to open-source reporting and/or publicly releasable information. (1) Description of Events The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) outlined certain alleged facts of the assassination in public statements and court filings related to U.S. charges against three suspects in the ongoing federal investigation. The three defendants – one Colombian citizen, one Haitian-Chilean citizen, and one Haitian citizen (who is a former Haitian senator) – are charged with violations of 18 U.S.C. sec. 956(a)(1) (conspiracy to kill or kidnap outside the United States) and 18 U.S.C. sec. 2339A (providing material support to terrorists). According to the FBI’s affidavits to support the criminal complaints filed against these suspects, the FBI has alleged the three defendants and others, including a group of approximately 20 other Colombian citizens and a group of dual Haitian-American citizens, participated in a plot to kidnap or kill President Moïse. Further details are available in the following publicly available documents: • https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/colombian-national-charged-connection- plot-kill-haitian-president; • https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/second-man-charged-connection-plot-kill- haitian-president;
  • 2. UNCLASSIFIED -2- UNCLASSIFIED • https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/third-man-charged-connection-plot-kill- haitian-president. (2) U.S. Support for Haitian Investigation The United States continues to assist Haitian authorities as they proceed with their investigation into the assassination of President Moïse and supports a thorough, independent Haitian investigation, consistent with Haitian law and international rule of law standards. Shortly after the assassination, then-acting Haitian Prime Minister Claude Joseph requested investigators from the United States and Colombia, through Interpol, assist with the investigation. At that time, FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials provided the requested support to the Haitian authorities. (3) Capacity of Haitian Authorities to Investigate The Department assesses Haitian authorities continue to investigate the assassination. On May 31, Dean of the Court of First Instance Bernard Saint-Vil nominated a fifth judge to head the investigation. Investigative judges assigned to the case and related figures have reported threats to their safety for working on the case. Embassy Port-au-Prince estimates Haitian authorities have detained around 74 suspects during the investigation; approximately 42 remain in pre-trial detention. (4) Threats and Acts of Intimidation against Haitian Authorities Since the start of the investigation, several Haitian authorities have received threats in connection with their participation in investigating the case, while others have refused to take on the case out of fear for their own safety. The justice of the peace who documented Moïse’s home after the assassination, Carl Henry Destin; court clerks Marcelin Valentin and Waky Philostene; and former chief prosecutor Bedford Claude all reportedly received threats. Several investigative judges turned down the case (reportedly for reasons of “personal convenience,” as permitted under Haitian law) before Saint-Vil was finally able to assign it to Mathieu Chanlatte on August 9, 2021. However, Chanlatte withdrew only days later, on August 13, 2021, citing personal reasons. His resignation came the day after one of his judicial clerks, Ernst Lafortune, passed away. Chanlatte’s successor, Garry Orélien, who had served the longest as investigating judge in this case, later faced armed criminals shooting at his car on at least two occasions. Concerned for his and his family’s safety, Orélien told Embassy Port-au-Prince in October 2021 he would have “no choice” but to resign if the threats continued. He ultimately stepped down on January 21 after a prominent
  • 3. UNCLASSIFIED -3- UNCLASSIFIED human rights organization accused him of corruption. Orélien's successor, Chavannes Etienne, also reportedly feared for his and his family’s safety and relinquished the case on February 11, one week after his designation. (5) Efforts to Interfere in or Undermine the Investigation Multiple break-ins at the offices of the investigating judges resulted in tampered evidence, further hampering the investigation. In one instance, criminals broke into Orélien's office at the Port-au-Prince Court of First Instance in October 2021 and reportedly stole a court safe containing files related to another high-profile murder case. After Saint-Vil designated a fourth investigating judge, Merlan Belabre on March 3, Belabre left the role the next month, writing that his mandate had ended April 28. Embassy Port-au-Prince reports that, according to Belabre, Saint- Vil failed to transfer the assassination dossier to him, and as a result, he was not able to begin the investigation. (6) Foreign Persons Previously Employed by or Who Served as a Contractor or Informant for the United States Government Involved in the Assassination The Department of State has been advised of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation and is therefore not in a position to provide the requested information. (7) Description and Identification of Foreign Persons Allegedly Involved in the Assassination The Department of State has been advised of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation and is therefore not in a position to provide the requested information.