Sanon entró a Haití en un jet privado en junio acompañado de algunos de los mercenarios contratados. Foto: Getty Images.
Sanon entered Haiti on a private jet in June accompanied by some of the hired mercenaries. Photo: Getty Images.

Emmanuel Sanon, the pastor doctor accused of masterminding Jovenel Moïse's assassination in Haiti

Who is Emmanuel Sanon and what is his relationship to the plot surrounding the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse?


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As the days go by, more details are coming to light about the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on July 7. A week after the attack that took his life and left the first lady seriously wounded, it is now known it was perpetrated by a group of more than 20 mercenaries, most of them Colombians, and that those involved stretch across borders and reach, in addition to Colombia and Haiti, countries like Mexico, Venezuela and the United States — where the plan was apparently hatched.  

Amid the whole story, Haiti's police chief, Leon Charles, announced the capture of Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, who is the alleged mastermind of the murder and with whom the mercenaries communicated just after carrying out the assault.

But who is Sanon and what is his role in the whole scheme? The first thing many learned is that Sanon is a Haitian doctor and evangelical pastor who has been living in Florida and Haiti for several years. But upon further investigation, other details have come to light. 

According to the Haitian police, at the time of his capture, Sanon had in his possession a DEA cap, pistols and ammunition, Dominican Republic license plates and correspondences addressed to different sectors of the country.

Sanon entered Haiti on a private jet in June accompanied by some of the hired mercenaries. He was on the island to meet with people from various sectors of the country, discussing a possible presidential candidacy of his own. 

The mercenaries' first mission was to protect the doctor during his visit to Haiti, but at some point changed to arresting President Moïse. 

Michel Plancher, an engineering professor at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince, told the New York Times that he was contacted to meet with Sanon, who was planning a political campaign.

"He said he had been sent by God to replace Moïse. He said the president would resign soon, he didn't say why," recounted Plancher, who met twice with Sanon. 

In addition to his medical studies, which he completed in the United States and the Dominican Republic, Sanon has a degree in theology, which would be in line with his explanation of God's call to lead Haiti.

People close to Sanon also told the Associated Press that he was approached by the U.S. State and Justice Departments to become the new president of Haiti. 

These same people also stated that because of his strong religious beliefs, Sanon could have been part of the plot to capture Moise, but not assassinate him.

"This was supposed to be a mission to save Haiti from hell, with the support of the U.S. government."

In fact, some videos from 2011 have come to light, in which Pastor Sanon talks about integrity and "positive action" to lead Haiti against corruption.

But Sanon's links to the story do not end there. His connection began with the confessions of several of the mercenaries part of the attack, who indicated they were hired by the doctor through the company, CTU Security. 

In this regard, the Haitian police chief had indicated that the suspects worked for a U.S. company linked to Colombia and with a doctor.

However, Sanon is only one link in the chain of suspicions.

The head of the Haitian police, Leon Charles, indicated that Sanon made two calls just after having communicated with the mercenaries following the attack, and although it is not yet known who these two people are, it is suspected that they are the brains behind the whole plot.


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