Mourners call for justice at the memorial service of the murdered Haitian President Jovenel Moïse
On Thursday, a priest told mourners at a memorial service for the murdered Haitian President Jovenel Moïse that Haiti was bleeding too much because the authorities warned that it would happen before his funeral. More violence.
Rev. Jean-Gilles Sem talked with dozens of people wearing white T-shirts with pictures of Moises.
“Killings and kidnappings should stop,” he said, noting that poor communities are the most affected. “tired.”
About half of the people attended the Mass at the Cathedral of Cap-Haiti in the northern coastal city, as officials warned that other events planned for later in the day might be cancelled due to fears of violence.
‘We want justice’
Moise’s supporters kept interrupting the crowd. They screamed and accused the Haitian elite of killing the president.
A man calling himself John Jovi stood outside the church with a group of men and threatened that if elites from the capital Port-au-Prince attended the ceremony, more violence would occur.
“We ask them not to come to the funeral,” he said. “If they come, we will cut off their heads. We will take our guns out of the hiding place. We will get justice for Moise.”
The mayor of Cap-Haitien arrived at the cathedral under high security, and people with powerful weapons were guarded throughout the mass.
After the mass, some people signed the blue mourning book set up by the mayor’s office near the cathedral. The blesser stood in front of the portrait of Moise, and there were rows of candles flaming in the hot wind.
“My President. Go calmly. God will see everything. Fight for change,” wrote Luis Judlin, a 36-year-old electrician and father of two children. He said he was unemployed and worked hard for His child is looking for food.
“For every Haitian, life is really difficult. Eating, going to school, health, transportation,” said Judlin. “There is suffering.”
Mass was held the day after the violence broke out in Quartier-Morin, between Cap-Haitien and Moïse’s hometown.
An Associated Press reporter saw the body of a man. Witnesses said the man was killed in a protest organized by armed men who blocked the road with big rocks and burning tires.
“This is the only way we can demand justice,” Moise’s supporter Aurelien Stanley said of the violence. “If we cannot bring justice to Jovenel, we will prevent the funeral from happening at all costs.”
Overnight, local media reported that a nearby bridge connecting the two communities was burnt down.
However, as of late Thursday morning, Cap Haiti remained calm and people gathered for the ceremony.
‘Connect with the masses’
Among them is the 40-year-old Luckner Joseph.
“He is my president,” Joseph said of Moise. “He has connections with the masses. He always asks everyone to sit together. The big guys don’t want to sit with the poor.”
Before the mass started, several people stood at the door chanting: “Justice for Moise! ??Justice for Moise!”
Inside, dozens of people wore T-shirts with the words: “The fight for the weaker is still going on. The journey is safe, President Jovenel Moïse.”
President’s private funeral
As the authorities continue to investigate the attack on the president’s home on July 7, Moise’s private funeral is scheduled to be held on Friday. He was shot several times. His wife was also seriously injured.
Haitian Police Chief Leon Charles said that so far, 26 suspects have been arrested, including 3 policemen and 18 former Colombian soldiers.
Seven other senior police officers have been detained but have not yet been formally arrested because the authorities are investigating why none of the president’s security personnel were injured that night.