HAITIAN President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on Wednesday, July 7, after a group of gunmen reportedly stormed his home.
According to reports, the gunmen posed as DEA agents and lit up President Moïse's Port-au-Prince neighborhood on July 7.
Read our Jovenel Moise assassination live blog for the latest updates…
Who was Jovenel Moïse?
Moïse was born in Trou du Nord, Nord-Est, Haiti.
Before his assassination, Moïse was a Haitian businessman and political protégé of former President Michel Martelly.
He became the 58th president of Haiti after winning the 2017 presidential election.
He campaigned under the moniker Neg Bannan Nan or the Banana Man, referencing his farming roots.
Before his presidential victory, Moïse had never held elected office.
However, the election was riddled with controversy from fraud allegations, cancellations, and even one of the lowest-turnout Haitian presidential elections.
This year, many Haitians were disputing his right to continue serving during his presidency – arguing Moïse’s presidential term ended on February 7 because of the Haitian constitution and because an interim president took up his first year after the election had to be rerun because of fraud.
Moïse argued his term would end on February 7, 2022, because the presidency is five years, according to the Haitian constitution.
On February 7, 2021, the day they said his term was supposed to end, Moïse claimed that a coup had been foiled to overthrow his government and kill him.
He announced the arrest of 23 people, including a senior police officer.
The nation of more than 11million people had grown increasingly unstable and disgruntled under Moïse's rule.
Haiti's economic, political and social woes have deepened, with gang violence spiking heavily in the capital of Port-au-Prince.
Inflation spiraling and food and fuel became scarcer at times in a country where 60 percent of the population makes less than $2 a day.
Before his assassination, Moïse had been in office for four years and five months.
How did he die?
During the early morning hours of July 7, a group of individuals stormed the private residence of President Moïse and shot him dead.
The Prime Minister of Haiti, Claude Joseph, confirmed the attack and said Moïse was killed in an "inhumane and barbaric act" after months of anti-government protests and a "foiled coup".
Moïse was reportedly assassinated by "foreigners who spoke English and Spanish."
Prime Minister Joseph's statement said: “A group of individuals who have not been identified, some of whom were speaking Spanish, attacked the private residence of the President of the Republic and fatally injured the Head of State."
In one video, a man with an American accent is heard shouting in English through a megaphone, "DEA operation. Everybody stand down. DEA operation. Everybody back up, stand down.”
But sources told the Miami Herald that the group, one of whom spoke with an American accent, were not with the agency.
One high-ranking Haitian government official told the outlet, "these were mercenaries."
The first lady, Martine Moïse, was hospitalized after she was reportedly injured in the attack.
Who will be the next president of Haiti?
In an interview with The New York Times, Joseph said that he is running the country at the moment.
Still, it was unclear how much control he has, or how long it might last.
A new prime minister had been scheduled to replace Joseph this week, and the head of the nation’s highest court, who might also have helped establish order, died of Covid-19 in June.
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