Haiti’s leader kept a list of drug traffickers. His assassins came for it.

“When Moïse found out about the weapons Hérard had ordered, he was not surprised – he was afraid,” said Mr Fortuné.

Mr Moïse’s relationship with the President’s security forces, which was already tense, continued to deteriorate. But that changed in February when Mr Hérard claimed to have thwarted an attempted coup against Mr Moïse. Suddenly the distrust vanished. Some former aides, such as Ms Antoine and Mr Fortuné, wondered whether the alleged coup was a false flag to dispel Mr Moïse’s suspicions about Mr Hérard.

After fearing the coup, Mr Moïse went on the offensive, publicly beating Haiti’s oligarchs and the political elite for trying to kill him, including in one of his last interviews with the Times before his death.

Behind the scenes, say Haitian officials, Mr Moïse has begun to eliminate his supposed enemies. He spoke to his closest associates and selected officials to begin compiling the dossier that breaks down drug and arms smuggling networks in Haiti, including Mr Saint-Rémy, according to those involved in the document.

In February, Josua Alusma, the mayor of Port-du-Paix and a close ally of Moïse, ordered crackdown on the eel trade, the industry dominated by Saint-Rémy. Many of the eels go to China, but Haitian police are investigating the industry to launder illegal profits.

“I don’t like this business. It happens at night, do you know what I’m saying? ”Said Mr. Alusma. “There is no security.”

He said the industry needs to be regulated and taxed. “People like Kiko go in and out of town,” he said, nicknamed Mr. Saint-Rémy. “But it’s us who clean up our rubbish here,” he added, referring to illegal weapons that were seized in a raid this year.


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