Haitian PM shot at by armed ‘bandits and terrorists’ — Analysis

Failed attempt on Ariel Henry’s life comes less than six months after the country’s president was assassinated

Gunmen have tried to kill Haiti’s prime minister, Ariel Henry, following threats from gangs. Although the premier was uninjured, one victim and two others were reportedly injured.

Henry visited Gonaives, a northern town on Saturday to mark the 218th anniversary the country’s independence. According to the prime minister’s office, he was leaving a church when “Bandits and terrorists” opened fire on him and his security detail. Video footage that circulated on social media seems to depict the moment the attacker opened fire: His bodyguards and the politician are seen fleeing from the gunfire as they run for cover and make a hasty dash for the nearest vehicle. 

One person was killed and two more injured in Saturday’s shooting, according to local media. Police, however, have not yet confirmed casualties in what they described as the work of “armed groups.” Media reports claim that a local gang could be behind the assassination attempt, citing threats made earlier by its boss against the prime minister.

Henry’s office said several arrest warrants had been issued following Saturday’s attack. 

Gang kidnappings, earthquakes, assassinations and mass border crossings – what the heck is going on in Haiti?

Henry was sworn in as prime minister weeks after the assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moise.

Authorities in Panama arrested on Monday a Colombian citizen who was suspected to have been involved with the murder of Moise. The arrest has not been confirmed by Panama officials. 

Haiti’s president was killed in July 2021. According to local police, a group of mercenaries – 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans – stormed Moise’s residence, fatally shot the president and wounded his wife. In the subsequent gunfight with Haitian authorities, four suspects died. Several others were later arrested.

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