US doctor arrested in Haiti president's murder aimed to replace him

EXCLUSIVE: Florida doctor arrested for role in assassination of Haiti president had campaigned to replace him in letter to U.S. State Department saying he was ‘backed by key UN official’ and business leaders to reform his poverty-stricken homeland

  • Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian doctor based in Florida, was arrested in connection with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination 
  • can reveal Sanon had launched a website as part of his campaign to replace Moise and released a letter calling for his ouster last month 
  • The letter was addressed to Julie Chung, acting Assistant Secretary for the US State’s Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
  • It included a ‘decree’ claiming Sanon was picked to be interim leader after ‘extensive consultations’ with political, religious, and business figures
  • The website, which was taken down  after June 7, outlined a coalition of his supporters including a UN official named Willy Louis  
  • Sanon’s brother, Joseph Sanon, didn’t dispute suggestions that his sibling was in Haiti to achieve political change but told he was a ‘Godly man’ 
  • Sanon is the third person with US ties to be arrested in the murder     

The Florida doctor arrested over the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise campaigned to replace the slain leader and claimed to have the backing of a key UN figure, can reveal.

Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Haitian who has lived in the US since the late 70s, is suspected of being ‘one of the leaders’ behind the brazen shooting of Moise and the attempted killing of his wife Martine last week. 

Haitian police say he entered the strife-plagued country last month on a private jet ‘with the intention of taking the Haitian Presidency’ although they are yet to back their accusations with hard evidence.

Another Florida-based brother, Jean Sanon, told outside his West Palm Beach home that the family had been advised by an attorney not to discuss the ongoing events in Haiti. However he said of his accused sibling Christian: ‘It’s obvious he’s being framed’ can reveal that Sanon’s ambitions to reform his poverty-stricken homeland date back to February 2011 when he launched a website entitled ‘Dr Christian Sanon Leadership pour Haiti’.

The site has since vanished but archived web pages from 2011 to 2016 include a portal for donations, a ‘plan for Haiti’, and news updates on Sanon’s efforts to build clinics in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. 

Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who was arrested in Haiti over the weekend, had campaigned to replace slain President Jovenel Moise weeks before the Haitian leader’s assassination, can reveal

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and First Lady Martine are pictured together in 2017. Moïse was riddled with 12 bullet holes and had his eye gouged out during the brutal July 7 attack rthat claimed his life and left his wife seriously injured

Sanon’s goals became more explicit last month with the launch of another website – Haitianlivesmatter – which specifically called for the ouster of Moise, who was shot at least 12 times on July 7 and had an eye gouged out.

A letter addressed to Julie Chung, Acting Assistant Secretary for the State’s Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, says: ‘Our own democracy has now been taken. We are no longer free but instead are controlled by the authoritarianism of Jovenel Moise.

‘Moise has stolen the democracy Haitians died to create. He has “unchecked’ executive power … Moise has shown he intends to use his power, intimidation and unending wide scale brutality to broaden and extend his control of Haiti by establishing a new “Constitution” in just a few weeks.

‘Even worse, this “Constitution” would provide impunity for his crimes. If this ‘Constitution’ is ‘enacted,’ it will be without legitimate legal authority, it would contravene elections and the current ‘crisis’ could ‘morph’ into violent and deadly pandemonium throughout Haiti.

Sanon called for Moise’s ouster in a letter addressed to Julie Chung (pictured) the acting Assistant Secretary for the US State’s Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

‘We pray this does not happen, but time is running out; as you know, a “fuse” has been burning since February 7! Something must be done soon.

‘Haitians are thoroughly convinced that even IF elections were ever organized by the current administration, these “elections” would be not be fair and therefore they would compound the current crisis.

‘Thus, as you say, Haiti is “paralyzed”: no elections cause chaos, but, fair elections organized by the current administration are widely believed to be unrealistic. Therefore … Haiti needs a transitional government to restore Haiti’s democracy and freedom.’

The letter – signed ‘The People of Haiti’ – includes a decree explaining how Sanon was picked to be interim leader after ‘extensive consultations’ with leading political, religious, and business figures.

Under the order, he would serve a maximum of three years while the country’s government was rebuilt with the help of a consultative council of 25 members, 30 percent of which would be female, ahead of ‘fair democratic elections.’

The website, which was taken down sometime after June 7, outlines a coalition of supporters for Sanon’s transitional government including a UN official named Willy Louis.

In a letter calling for Moise’s ouster last month, Sanon claimed to have been picked interim leader of the country and outlined a coalition of supporters including a UN official named Willy Louis (pictured)

Another backer, Frantz Gilot is described as ‘part of the UN training globally for Human Rights Ethics & Integrity’

‘At the Permanent Mission of Haiti to the United Nations, the Minister Counselor Louis leads the Fourth Committee, overseeing all issues related to the maintenance of peace operations and records on Humanitarian Affairs,’ the site says.

Louis was introduced as Minister Counselor from the Permanent Mission of Haiti when he spoke about the country’s plight during a 2019 event at UN headquarters in New York.

Another backer, Frantz Gilot is described as ‘part of the UN training globally for Human Rights Ethics & Integrity’.

‘The leader we have chosen has a record of integrity and genuine love for the people and their well-being,’ the coalition’s statement says of Sanon, describing him as a ‘pastor, physician, leader.’

Sanon’s brother did not dispute suggestions that his sibling was in Haiti to achieve political change but he defended him as a ‘Godly man’ rather than a violent instigator.  

‘It would be good for the truth to come out. It would be good for there to be more information to know exactly what’s going on,’ Joseph Sanon told

‘We are praying, asking the lord to show us. I want to know the truth. I’m desperate to know it.’

Joseph, 53, said he was aware his brother was in Haiti but said he had not spoken to him for months.

Asked whether his sibling’s plans for their homeland involved violence, he responded: ‘Prayer, prayer, and that’s what we are doing now.

‘We are praying for the country, we are praying for the people. Our focus has always been to prayer.’

On Saturday Haitian authorities said the suspects were a unit of assassins made up of 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans. Five Colombians are still on the loose. 

Suspects in the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse are shown to the media in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Thursday

Weaponry, mobile phones, passports and other items are being shown to the media along with suspects in the assassination

Sanon is the third person with US ties to be arrested in connection with last week’s assassination. James Solages, 35, and Joseph G. Vincent, 55, both from South Florida, have been in custody since they turned themselves in. 

Sanon allegedly recruited the Miami-based CTU Security, which is registered in Florida as the Counter Terrorist Unit Federal Academy LCC, and CTU Security recruited the Colombians who are accused of carrying out the hit, sources familiar with the investigation told the Miami Herald.    

The National Police said they also have evidence that Sanon was in contact with at least two other suspects who planned the assassination.  

Police Chief Léon Charles say authorities raided Sanon’s house in Haiti and found 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four automobile license plates from the Dominican Republic and two cars and correspondence.

They also found a hat emblazoned with the logo of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration – the same disguise the assassins are said to have used during the attack.

Charles said Sanon recruited the suspects, adding that he flew into Haiti with them in early June. The men’s initial mission was to protect Sanon, but they later received a new one: arrest the president, the chief said.

‘The operation started from there,’ he said, adding that an additional 22 suspects joined the group and that contact was made with Haitian citizens.

Footage circulating online purportedly taken by a neighbor of the president shows men with rifles arriving outside the property

Moise(pictured in 2018) was killed by a group of assassins disguised as US Drug Enforcement Administration officers who entered his private residence on July 7

Charles said that after Moïse was killed, one of the suspects phoned Sanon, who then got in touch with two people believed to be the intellectual authors of the plot. He did not identify the masterminds or say if police knew who they are. 

Sanon has lived in Florida, in Broward County and in Hillsborough County on the Gulf Coast. Records show he has also lived in Kansas City, Missouri. He filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and identifies himself as a doctor in a video on YouTube titled ‘Leadership for Haiti.’

Although he describes himself as a doctor he does not have a license in Florida, the Miami Herald reports. 

In the video, he denounces the leaders of Haiti as corrupt, accusing them of stripping the country of its resources, saying that ‘they don’t care about the country, they don’t care about the people.’

He claims Haiti has uranium, oil and other resources that have been taken by government officials. ‘With me in power, you are going to have to tell me: ‘What are you doing with my uranium? What are you doing with the oil that we have in the country? What are you going to do with the gold?”

Haitian-born American citizens James Solages, 35, (above) and Joseph Vincent, 55, are said to have confessed to being involved in Wednesday’s early morning raid at the president’s mansion near Port-au-Prince

He also added: ‘This is a country with resources. Nine million people can’t be in poverty when we have so much resources in the country. It’s impossible. … The world has to stop doing what they are doing right now. We can’t take it anymore. We need new leadership that will change the way of life.’

Sanon has more than a dozen registered companies in Florida, including medical services, an energy company and real estate, but most are now inactive, the Herald reports.

He has also listed himself as church pastor at the Tabarre Evangelical Tabernacle and as president of a non-government organization called Organization Rome Haiti.

The middle-of-the-night murder plunged the troubled Caribbean nation into chaos, with at least three men now claiming to be its leader. 

In an effort to quell tensions, President Joe Biden acknowledged the county’s interim government’s request for help and sent a delegation of US officials to Haiti on Sunday to help with security and aid in the investigation. 

They will report back to Biden on their findings as US debates its response.  

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