NORTH LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police in Haiti said they have taken 17 suspects into custody for allegedly killing President Jovenel Moïse at his home outside Port-au-Prince, and at least one of the suspects has ties to South Florida.
James Solages has been taken into custody in connection to Moïse’s death. Solages, a Haitian American, has connections to a South Florida charity that was based in North Lauderdale.
A photo taken by the New York Post showed two detained men. Police have not confirmed if one of the men is Solages.
In an undated video, a man who is identified as Solages could be seen with schoolchildren in Haiti.
“I went down there to help in the education center because I want to return to the area to help facilitate education,” Solages said in Creole. “I decided on my own to return to the area that helped me, so I can give back.”
On his charity’s website, it asks for donations to “support the growth and development of underprivileged people in Haiti” and “fund scholarships of Haitian students.”
The website also described Solages as the “Former Chief Commander of Bodyguards for the Canadian embassy in Haiti.”
It also said Solages “currently works as a corporate executive as a consultant in different locations throughout South Florida.”
Solages often wrote about charitable works on social media, but on March 2, 2020, he posted on Twitter, “We live in a crazy time. It’s no loyalty or no real genuine love. It’s all about what a person can get out of you or how they can use you until you’re of no use anymore. Stay prayed up and protect your energy!”
Moïse’s assassination shocked South Florida’s Haitian American community.
“To have a president in your own country to have outsiders coming in to plan some kind of assassination like this, to me, it’s very disturbing,” Jean Appolon said.
“Where do you go when you have a story that says your own people hurt you? Your own people took out your leader,” said Sherrieka Othello. “It is boiling my blood, it’s just boiling in fear of what happens next.”
One woman said she learned about the arrest through social media, and her husband worked with Solages’ charity, which as of Thursday night, went offline. She also said she has “no explanation” as to Solages’ alleged involvement.
According to the Miami Herald, the second man arrested is named Joseph Vincent. Their report also noted he is from Miami and is of Haitian descent.
Haitian authorities have not yet released any evidence that points to the two men’s alleged involvement in Moïse’s assassination.
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