America’s lone Haitian-American bishop, Bishop Guy Sansaricq, has released a statement on the crisis in Haiti, a little over a day after the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated at his home in Pétion-Ville following months of political turmoil and delayed elections.
His statement today was published with the Brooklyn ordinary, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio.
“Today we unite in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Haiti. The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse has sent shockwaves throughout the world and threatens to further escalate the turmoil that has plagued Haiti for some time now.”
“We join with the many Haitian American Catholics who call our Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens home in praying that calm and peace will win out during this distressing time. We know the uncertainty of what may happen in their ancestral homeland is weighing heavy on their hearts and minds. We ask the Lord to bring them comfort during this difficult time.”
“Pandan jou sa yo, nou ini nou nan lapriyè avek tout frè ak sè nou yo an Ayiti, e nap swete ki soley and a fanmi prezidansyel la, e a tout pep Ayisyen-an ki an dey. Asasina prezidan Jovenel Moise se yon gwo chok pou tout mond lan, epi li kapab ogmante pi plis soufrans pep Ayisyen an ki depi kek tan ap viv nan yon sitiyasyon malouk.”
“Ansanm ak tout katolik Ayisyen-Ameriken ki nan dyosez Brooklyn ak Queens, mwen mete mwen nan lapriyè pou lapè ak sekirite rive tabli nan Peyi a.”
“Nou konnen anpil Ayisyen ap viv nan kè sere epi yon genyen gwo kè sote sou sa ki kapab rive sou tè zanzet yo.”
“Nou mande Bondye pou li ba yo rekonfò nan moman difisil sa yap viv la.”
Details remain scarce about the attack, but it is known at this time that Moïse’s wife was also shot. She remained in critical condition after being airlifted to Florida. Their three children survived the attack.
At least four assailants were killed in response, and six more have been arrested. Two are reportedly still on the loose.
The acting president, Claude Joseph, declared a “state of siege” and released a statement blaming the attack on “a group of unidentified individuals speaking Spanish and English”.
Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to the US, additionally claimed that a video shows the assassins claiming to be US Drug Enforcement Agency operatives.
Earlier today, news broke that Haitian election minister James Solages, one of the individuals in custody, is an American citizen.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, in priesthood formation with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).