(CNN)Haiti's President Jovenel Moise was killed during an onslaught connected his backstage residence aboriginal connected Wednesday, according to the country's acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who has declared a authorities of seige successful the country.
The attackers stormed Moise's location astatine astir 1 a.m. and fatally wounded the caput of state, according to the acting premier minister, who described the assassination arsenic a "heinous, inhumane and barbaric act."
Haiti's archetypal lady, Martine Moise, was changeable successful the onslaught and is being evacuated to a infirmary successful Miami for treatment, said Haiti's ambassador to the US.
Her information is unchangeable but critical, Ambassador Bocchit Edmond said successful a property briefing.
Haitian National Police person detained 2 suspects and killed 4 others connected to the assassination, Edmond told CNN en Español precocious Wednesday.
"We are trying to determination guardant and spot however we tin place much of those who participated successful this horrible act," helium said.
Edmond added that the suspects who were arrested and killed were foreigners, and constabulary are successful the process of determining their nationalities.
He believes the suspects received assistance from Haitian nationals owed to vehicles they utilized to get to the statesmanlike residence wherever Moise was killed.
Earlier, Edmond said successful the property briefing that the attackers are believed to beryllium "mercenaries" and referred to them arsenic "well-trained killers."
Video from the country showed them speaking Spanish and they presented themselves arsenic Drug and Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agents, helium said.
"I judge they are fake DEA agents," helium told reporters Wednesday.
"We don't cognize however they came in," Edmond said, adding that they did not cognize if the attackers were inactive successful the country. He said if they person left, it would beryllium via a onshore borderline with the Dominican Republic due to the fact that Haiti would person detected a level leaving and the airdrome has been closed since the attack. He said the airdrome would reopen "once we person this concern nether control."
The state has been reeling from unit for weeks. Addressing the federation successful a televised statement, the acting premier curate Joseph declared a "state of siege" successful Haiti and pleaded with citizens to stay calm.
"Me and each the ministers person been moving since the quality broke and we privation to guarantee you we volition bring the killers of the president to justice," helium added. "Please enactment calm and fto the authorities bash their work. We don't privation the state to plunge into chaos. This is simply a precise bittersweet time for our federation and for our people."
The authorities of siege is the mediate of 3 levels of exigency nether Haitian law, alongside the little "state of emergency" and the highest level referred to arsenic the "state of war."
Under the authorities of siege regime, nationalist borders are closed and martial instrumentality temporarily is imposed, with Haiti's subject and nationalist constabulary empowered to enforce the law.
Moise, 53, was a erstwhile banana exporter and divisive fig successful Haitian politics. He spent astir of the past twelvemonth waging a governmental warfare with the absorption implicit the presumption of his presidency.
For now, it isn't instantly wide who volition regenerate him. Judge Jean Wilner Morin, President of the National Association of Haitian Judges, told CNN that the enactment of statesmanlike succession successful the state is present murky.
Haiti's President of the Supreme Court would usually beryllium adjacent successful line, but helium precocious died of Covid-19. For the acting Prime Minister Joseph to formally regenerate the President, helium would person to beryllium approved by Haiti's parliament, said Morin. But without caller elections, the parliament is efficaciously defunct.
Throughout his presidency, Moise had repeatedly failed to clasp elections astatine section and nationalist levels, leaving overmuch of the country's governing infrastructure empty. A law referendum is acceptable to beryllium held successful September, alongside the statesmanlike and legislative elections. Municipal and section elections person been scheduled for January 16, 2022, the authoritative electoral calendar besides showed.
Many successful the state had disputed Moise' close to proceed serving successful the presidency this year.
While the United States, United Nations and Organization of American States supported his assertion to a 5th twelvemonth successful office, critics accidental helium should person stepped down successful February 7, 2021, citing a law proviso that starts the timepiece erstwhile a president is elected, alternatively than erstwhile helium takes office.
Moise nevertheless claimed his five-year word should extremity successful 2022 due to the fact that helium wasn't sworn successful until February 2017. His inauguration was delayed implicit allegations of elector fraud during the 2015 election, which led to a statesmanlike runoff that was postponed doubly implicit what authorities called threats and "security concerns."
Nou Pap Dòmi, 1 of Haiti's main absorption groups, has condemned the assassination. The group, which has antecedently been highly captious of Moise and corruption successful the country, said successful a connection it was shocked by the quality and called for unity and de-escalation.
"We cannot proceed to number corpses connected a regular ground ... each of the victims of massacres and assassinations indispensable find justness and those liable for these acts indispensable beryllium brought to justice," the radical said.
Moise's decease takes spot against a background of utmost violence successful Haitian superior Port-au-Prince that has claimed the lives of galore citizens and escalated notably successful June.
Rival groups person battled with 1 different oregon the constabulary for power of the streets, displacing tens of thousands of radical and worsening the country's humanitarian crisis. Infamous ex-police serviceman Jimmy Cherizier past week vowed earlier section media to transportation retired a "revolution" successful the city.
Moise's backstage residence is successful Petion-Ville, successful Haiti's superior Port-au-Prince.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has been worsening successful Haiti successful caller weeks. The state is 1 of lone a fistful crossed the satellite that person not yet started vaccinating against the virus.
Last month, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned that the effect successful the state indispensable beryllium scaled up dramatically to header with sharply escalating cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
PAHO Director Dr. Carissa Etienne said it would measurement up efforts to assistance Haiti with the vaccination program. "I americium hopeful that the accomplishment of vaccines successful the state tin commencement to crook the tide of the pandemic and bring immoderate alleviation to the Haitian radical during these precise hard times," Etienne told reporters during the organization's play briefing connected Wednesday.
Haiti has reported much than 19,000 Covid-19 cases and 462 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
At the aforesaid time, the impoverished Caribbean federation is facing a dire economical situation. Its system had been contracting adjacent earlier the pandemic and shrunk further 3.8% successful 2020, with astir 60% of the colonisation present surviving successful poverty, according to the World Bank.
UNICEF, the United Nations' children's agency, said successful May that severe acute puerility malnutrition is expected to much than treble successful Haiti this twelvemonth arsenic it deals with rising violence, Covid-19 and a deficiency of entree to indispensable services.
Global figures condemn assassination
World leaders person denounced the attack, portion expressing condolences and solidarity with the Haitian people.
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the assassination "in the strongest terms," saying the "perpetrators of this transgression indispensable beryllium brought to justice."
In a connection released by the White House, US President Joe Biden said: "We are shocked and saddened to perceive of the horrific assassination ... and the onslaught connected First Lady Martine Moïse of Haiti. We condemn this heinous act, and I americium sending my sincere wishes for First Lady Moïse's recovery."
Speaking to reporters later, Biden said: "We request a batch much accusation -- but it's -- it's conscionable -- it's been precise worrisome astir the authorities of Haiti," helium told reporters.
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera called "for unity and bid to fortify ideology and find a mode retired of the superior situation that Haiti is going through," portion Colombia's President Ivan Duque condemned the "cowardly and barbaric" killing.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for calm, saying helium was "shocked and saddened" astatine Moise's death. And Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted a connection saying: "Spain powerfully condemns the assassination of the President of Haiti ... We telephone for the unity of the governmental forces to find a mode retired of the superior situation that the state experiences."
CNN's Kiarinna Parisi, Mitchell McCluskey, Sharon Braithwaite, Claudia Rebaza, Jennifer Hansler, Emmet Lyons, Melissa Bell and Stephanie Halasz contributed reporting.