Jovenel Moïse: Who is James Solages? US 'mercenary' suspected of killing Haitian prez

Haitian president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated after midnight on July 7 at his private residence


                            Jovenel Moïse: Who is James Solages? US 'mercenary' suspected of killing Haitian prez
James Solanges suspected of killing Haiti president Jovenel Moïse (LinkedIn/James Solanges, Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A government official stated that an American 'mercenary' and ex-chief of security at the Canadian Embassy in Haiti is among the six 'assassins' detained in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, news outlets reported on Thursday, July 8.

Moise was assassinated after midnight on July 7 at his private residence. The slain president's wife, first lady Martine Moise, was admitted to the hospital with bullet injuries; she too succumbed to her injuries, reports said.

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Haiti's national police and other officials are cooperating to keep the situation in the Caribbean country under control, according to interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph. Moïse's death came just days after he appointed neurosurgeon Ariel Henry as the prime minister of a country that has been in tatters for some years. The conviction of James Solages, one of the six accused in the president's assassination comes within a day of the unfortunate event. 

Haitian presidential candidate Jovenel Moise arrives at the National Press Club April 20, 2016, in Washington, DC (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

 

Who is James Solages?

James J Solages is the president of a local charity and a US citizen of Haitian ancestry, the Daily Mail reported. The 35-year-old is the president of the board of directors of Jacmel First, a nonprofit focusing on eradicating childhood hunger in Haiti that was formed in southern Florida in 2019. According to his LinkedIn profile, Solages has an Associate's degree in IT from FCC, College. He served as Plant Operation Director at Senior Lifestyle in Lantana, Florida from Jul 2019, and was the CEO of EJS Maintenance & Repair, LLC  for over a decade since 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Among his skills listed on LinkedIn, are Military Police, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP), and Electrical Troubleshooting.

A now-deleted page on the company's official website describes him as a building engineer "specialized in the field of infrastructure development" and a "certified diplomatic agent" who is "the chief commander of body-guards [sic] for The Canadian embassy in Haiti". "Solages also serves as a politician promoting his country by focusing on compassion programs and counseling economic development program," it adds, saying that he is also "a youth leader and an advocate for underprivileged kids". 

At least one of the other individuals detained, according to Haiti's Minister of Elections and Inter-Party Relations Mathias Pierre, is a Haitian American. The minister refused to offer any more information regarding Solages' history or the identity of the second Haitian-American detained. He also didn't say anything about their claimed role in the assassination or what evidence led to their arrests. 

The other Haitian-American suspect booked in the assassination is Joseph Vincent, of Miami, the Miami Herald reported. Little is known about Vincent, apart from the fact that he is 56 years old.



 

 

In the video of the shooting, Solages could be heard claiming to be representing the DEA. “This is a DEA operation,” the translated version of the video reads. “You guys better not shoot. Do not shoot at the men. The men are not your enemy. This is an operation. This is an operation – DEA. Everybody go go go, everybody go. Everybody do not shoot. You guys better not shoot. Move it guys – keep going. Guys if you do not leave, the operators will shoot you in the leg. This is a DEA operation. Guys keep walking down. If you don’t keep walking down, they will shoot at you.”

According to The Miami Herald, the killers were not actually DEA agents, a claim which was backed by a US  State Department official. Rather, the news outlet reported, they were mercenaries. One of the shooters, according to the Herald, spoke English “with an American accent.” According to the Associated Press, the shooters spoke both Spanish and English. At least two of the men who were taken in alive were allegedly discovered hidden in bushes by locals who roughed them up before handing them over to police, while others were arrested or killed after a nighttime gunfight with security personnel.

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