Haiti on Friday said farewell to its slain president under tight security, just over two weeks after his assassination rattled a country mired in poverty, corruption and political instability.
Jovenel Moïse, has been assassinated at his home leaving his wife injured during a raid on the presidential quarters in early hours of July,7.
Jovenel Moise, who was 53, was interred in Cap-Haitien, the main city in his native northern region.
In an open-air funeral lasting several hours, Moise’s coffin was draped in the red, white and blue Haitian flag and the presidential sash, and surrounded by flowers. Military guards kept watch, and soldiers performed the national and presidential anthems.
One by one, representatives of the government and foreign diplomats stopped to pay their respects to Moise’s widow Martine — who was seriously wounded in the attack that killed her husband, and required treatment in the United States.
Moise had her arm in a sling and wore a black hat and a mask bearing a photo of her late husband.
In an eulogy, the widow paid tribute to Moise, noting he had had a successful career in business before getting into politics and being “savagely murdered”.
Despite her praise, the late president was not a popular man in Haiti.
Many people accused him of failing to make progress on the country’s many woes and of taking on an authoritarian bent after he suspended parliament last year.
US President Joe Biden sent a high-level delegation to the funeral, including his ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and his new special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote.
So far, more than 20 people have been arrested in connection with the assassination, most of them Colombians, and police say the plot was organized by Haitians with political ambitions and links outside the country.
But the case remains murky, with many unanswered questions, such as how no members of the presidential security detail were wounded in the brazen assault.
Haitians have expressed shock that those tasked with protecting the president and his home failed him so abjectly.
Haiti currently has no working parliament and only a handful of elected senators. The interim government installed this week has no president.
Washington has said elections should be held later this year.
Moise had ruled Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, by decree after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed in following multiple disputes.