After the assassination of Haiti’s president, a nation in turmoil and a doctor jailed

A Haitian doctor living in Miami was jailed in Haiti in connection to the killing of President Jovenal Moïse, whose death has further stoked an existing crisis in Haiti and created a power vacuum.
9:50 | 07/16/21

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Transcript for After the assassination of Haiti’s president, a nation in turmoil and a doctor jailed
Reporter: For omera prospa, Haiti is home. But the country she was born and raised in is scarier than it used to be. People are generally feeling very scared to even find food, something we must do. Reporter: The married mother of one moved to the united States years ago looking for opportunity she couldn't here. But she comes back often, since her mom and family stayed behind. I would like to be able to live here. If Haiti was some other way, if there was actual government that was led by people who really wanted the well-being of the entire nation, I would be here. Reporter: This country, which has struggled so much through the years, now plunged into a new state of crisis in the aftermath of the assassination of its president, jovenel moies, gunned down in his home a week ago. The gruesome murder and the violence behind it, we realize it's an extension of how violence is normalized in this society. Reporter: Moies and his wife were brutalized, the president killed, the first lady critically wounded. This is a president that has been concysted since day one. Reporter: Jack Lin miles worked for "The Miami herald" and has spent 15 years reporting here. People want answers, and they're not getting a lot. They want to know what happened and who was behind it. Reporter: The mystery deepening as Haitian authorities hunt down the threads of this assassination. Authorities pointing to Haitian Dr. Christian sanone, who lives in Miami, but he's currently behind bars in port-au-prince. We tried to see him in jail. Stop filming. Reporter: In the end, no visitors allowed. Sanome has long been a critic of the Haitian government, recording this video in 2011. Where is the leadership of Haiti? Nowhere to be found. You know why? Because they're corrupt. Reporter: Haiti's chief of police says a sanome wanted to take over the government, arriving in Haiti in a private jet in June, accusing him of contracting with a Venezuelan security company to enlist the services of some of the 18 Colombian men now under arrest. Also under arrest, three Americans, including a man who occasionally worked as an informant for the U.S. Drug enforcement agency. Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, the United States all implicate the. Yes, this is an international event. Reporter: Authorities raided sanome's home in port-au-prince and say they found guns, ammunition, and shooting yet questions remain. Haitian officials themselves have described this as a multimillion dollar plan. And sanome, when we did our research at "The Miami herald," is a guy who is basically broke. Who is involved in this with him, financing it, bankrolling it? Reporter: For decades Haiti has been plagued with poverty, violence, political turmoil. The assassination has left a political vacuum and the people are left to fend for themselves. The assassination triggered turmoil and martial law. By the weekend people could venture back on the streets. While life here was already hard, now it is worse. What's up? Reporter: We met this man, Francois Jean, shoe seller and father of four. He's not eaten for three days. What's life been like since Wednesday? Translator: Life has been very hard. Wednesday to today, I haven't made a dime. Even though activity has restarted, the people don't have any money. Reporter: Mackenson Pierre agrees, talking while he works his shoe shine station. Translator: The country is difficult, we don't have water to bathe, we have no food to eat, we're hungry. Reporter: What should happen here? Translator: See how I'm cleaning the shoes here? Yeah, I could find something else to, do I would do it, you know? I'm just cleaning shoes right now. I'd like to get out of this situation. Reporter: Shortages of food and fuel are commonplace here. This group of people crowding around a gas pump. One father told us, you have to fight to find gas. The opportunity to get gas is spontaneous. It is Sunday. Usually a day when most people are going to church. We see this today. Helen Jean showed up in her Sunday best, bible in her purse. Translator: I came from church, and when I saw they were giving fuel here, I went home and got the gallons and came back to get some fuel. Reporter: Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. The island had been an extremely rich French colony, using slave labor to produce sugar and coffee. Until those slaves revolted and won their Independence in 1804, becoming the world's oldest black republic. However, as a penalty for breaking away, France demanded the new nation pay reparations for overthrowing French slave holders. The debt so high, it took more than 100 years to pay off and left Haiti chronically struggling. It just seems shocking that this comes up, when you look at Haiti's suffering and problems, how much did the fact that it had to write that check to France play into it? Reporter: In the years since the 2010 earthquake that further devastated Haiti and kill 250,000 people, there have been calls for France to give that money back, those calls so far unheeded. While the president was not adored by the president, his murder has horrified the public, created confusion about who should succeed him. I spoke with the self-proclaimed interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, facing off against what remains of the senate, over who is in control of the scattered government here. Is there a power struggle going on right now? Who is in charge here in Haiti? I don't know if there is a power struggle, I'm not paying attention to whether or not there's a power struggle. After the tragic death of president jovenel Moises, I had to take charge, and I did. Reporter: Joseph has some support from the United States. President Joe Biden has refused to send any troops to the country, instead sending a team to help investigate the assassination. People of Haiti deserve peace and security, and Haiti's political leaders need to come together for the good of their Reporter: Security and peace are two things most families don't have here. In recent years, gangs have taken control of large portions of the country, kidnapping and killing hundreds. We don't have total control of our body, of our life. We have to adjust our lives depending on what the gang members are planning to do. This is not a life. Reporter: 38-year-old Ralph Francois left Haiti two months ago, fearing for his life. He said his political activities have put him in the spotlight and in danger. He organized a protest in early January. My neighbor was kidnapped. It was shocking. I learned that I was a target. Reporter: Since the news of the president's assassination, fear has only grown. Our president has been killed. July 7. In a humiliated way. In his room. So if a president is not safe in Haiti, who's safe? How can we trust the government, who failed to protect us, who failed to protect the president? Reporter: Right now, the largest source of external money flowing into Haiti is from Haitians working abroad. Like most of the staff here at the chef creole restaurant in Miami's little Haiti, island Charles is supporting her parents and children back in Haiti. She says, it's tough. Although you send money, it's never enough, although you send money. Reporter: That story so common here. Last time I bring $2,000 to help my family. You knew it was essential for their survival, for the money to be sent back. The money is very useful because of the poverty. Reporter: 51-year-old chef Wilkinson cezu understands. He's haitian-american. He sees his restaurants as an economic engine for his employees and their families. As soon as they get paid, they're dashing out of the restaurant so they can go to a local supermarket to do a money transfer. Reporter: He says the money they send is needed now more than ever. I say to everyone, please do not get discouraged. Please don't lose hope on us. Continue giving us everything that your conscience and your heart will allow you to give, and with the grace of Christ, we'll be all right. Reporter: Whether that hope can breakthrough this mountain of uncertainty remains to be I've talk talked to a lot of people and I ask every single one of them, do you have hope in the future? I have no other choice but to be optimistic. When the people who are experiencing the hardship and are really faced with very dangerous situations continue to have hope and are always fired up for the next fight. So I only have hope. Our thanks to Marcus and his team. Up next, even a superhero needs someone to watch their back. Your mission: Stand up to moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.

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