Illustration Credit: José Mercader / El Caribe
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was attacked in the northern city of Gonaïves on Saturday amid a ceremony to mark the 218th anniversary of Haiti’s independence from France. Henry’s office described the attack as an attempted assassination by “bandits and terrorists,” whose confrontation with security forces left one person dead and at least two people wounded.
Haiti’s security situation has deteriorated since the assassination of Jovenel Moïse in July 2021 at the hands of Colombian mercenaries. While the international investigation into Moïse’s death is still underway, the United States charged the first person in connection with the assassination at a court appearance on Tuesday. Haitian prosecutors allege that the mercenaries were part of a plot to replace Moïse with a former supreme court judge, Windelle Coq-Thelot.
Henry, who leads an interim government in Haiti, also faces political uncertainty in the Caribbean island nation, with Moïse’s term scheduled to end on February 7. As Georges Fauriol wrote in a December article for Global Americans, “If there is a consensus among most of Haiti’s political factions and, belatedly, among much of the international community, it is that rushing toward elections in 2022 is unrealistic and simply dangerous for both voters and candidates.”