February 11, 2024
Ex-DEA Informant Sentenced To Life In Prison For Role In Assassination Of Haitian President
Jovenel Moïse, the president of Haiti, was killed in his home in 2021.
Joseph Vincent, a former informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has been sentenced to life in prison by federal courts for his part in the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.
According to The Guardian, Vincent admitted to aiding in the plot to kill Moïse while he was in his Port-au-Prince home. Vincent is one of 11 defendants being prosecuted for crimes ranging from supplying weapons and money to carry out the act, attending the assassination, and providing information on Moïse’s schedule and associates.
On the night of the attack, the assailants who entered Moïse’s home claimed to be DEA agents, but the agency confirmed that Vincent and another Haitian American involved were not acting on its behalf. Immediately afterward, nearby residents called authorities and reported hearing gunshots and seeing men dressed in all black fleeing the home.
“This was a well-orchestrated commando attack,” Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to Washington. “They presented themselves as DEA agents, telling people they had come as part of a DEA operation.”
A video taken near the crime scene showed a man repeating into a megaphone, “DEA operation. Everybody stands down. DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down.”
Moïse’s widow, the first lady Martine Marie Étienne Moïse, was injured during the assassination of her husband but recovered in time for the trials. She said in 2021 that the people who killed her husband “came to kill his dream, his vision, his ideology.”
She also referenced how Haiti had been destabilized by the event, with “violence from street gangs and vigilantes prevalent, and communities fighting back with bloody reprisals of their own.”