Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Haiti's interim prime minister speaks during a press conference

Haiti's Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph speaks during a press conference in Port-au-Prince on July 11, 2021. (Photo: Valerie Baeriswyl/AFP via Getty Images)

Florida-Based Doctor Arrested on Suspicion of Plotting Assassination of Haiti's President

Christian Emmanuel Sanon is the third Haitian-born individual with ties to the United States to be arrested for playing a role in the killing.

Jake Johnson

A Haitian-born doctor based in Florida was arrested Sunday as part of an ongoing probe into the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, who was gunned down in his home in the dead of night last week.

Haitian authorities said that 63-year-old Christian Emmanuel Sanon worked with a Miami-based private security firm to recruit the mercenaries who carried out the assassination last Wednesday. According to video footage of the scene, a group of heavily armed assailants posed as officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency as they moved in on Moïse's private residence on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.

Haiti's police chief suggested that Sanon was aiming to become president of the Caribbean nation, and that he was the first person one of the suspects contacted after being arrested in connection to the killing.

Citing an unnamed source, the Miami Herald reported Sunday that the two other Haitian-Americans currently in police custody told Haitian officials during questioning that "their mission was not to kill the president but to serve a 2019 arrest warrant that had been issued by a judge and to take Moïse to the presidential palace."

"There, they would install Sanon... as president," the source told the Herald.

While Haitian authorities painted Sanon as a "central" suspect in the Moïse assassination, the Herald noted that significant questions remain, including "how Sanon, who once filed for bankruptcy, could be behind a costly conspiracy," given that "some of the people arrested said that they were paid $3,000 a month and had been living in Haiti since January."

In addition to the three Haitian-born U.S. citizens who have been arrested thus far, around a dozen former Colombian soldiers have been detained for their alleged role in the assassination.

"In the past, some former members of the Colombian military, which receives heavy financial support and training from the U.S. military, have acted as hired guns after their service," the New York Times observed.

The killing of Moïse—who faced widespread street protests over accusations of corruption and dictatorial conduct, including an effort to rewrite the nation's Constitution—set off a tense jockeying for power as several officials and factions attempt to assert their authority over Haiti, an impoverished nation that has long been a victim of foreign intervention, including by the U.S.

That's why many Haitians reacted with alarm when Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph—one of at least four men vying for control of the country's government—called on the U.S. to send in troops with the purported goal of shielding Haiti's key infrastructure. Haiti is set to hold a presidential election in September.

"We do not want any U.S. troops on Haiti's soil," Monique Clesca, a Haitian pro-democracy activist and former United Nations official, tweeted in response to the troop request. "The de facto Prime Minister Claude Joseph does not have any legitimacy to make such a request in our name. No, no, and no. We reject him and all actions taken by him. Civil society and political actors are working on a Haitian agreement."

The Biden administration has not yet granted the request for U.S. troops, but the Washington Post reported that "senior FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials arrived in the Haitian capital on Sunday to assess conditions after the assassination."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·


The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·


Progressives Vow to 'Push Very Hard' to Keep Agenda From Being Gutted Beyond Recognition

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said House Democrats "are fighting to tackle the climate crisis, expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, and guarantee family leave in America."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo