James Solages is an American citizen who is under arrest and accused in connection with the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse.
The assassins of Haiti’s president falsely claimed to be U.S. DEA agents in a scene captured on video, which you can watch later in this article. The DEA stands for the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Washington Post broke the news of Solages’ alleged involvement.
Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to the United States, told the AP that the attack “was carried out by foreign mercenaries and professional killers — well-orchestrated,” who pretended to be DEA agents. According to AP, the DEA does have a presence in Haiti’s capital to “assist the government in counternarcotics programs.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Biography Says Solages, One of Six Suspects, Was Once ‘Chief Commander of Bodyguards’ for Haiti’s Canadian Embassy
The Washington Post reported that Solages is a U.S. citizen of “Haitian descent” and broke the news that he was arrested in connection with the assassination plot.
He was among six people arrested in the murder of the president, who was assassinated at his home by a team of gunmen; the president’s wife was shot and wounded.
According to the New York Times, Solages was named as a suspect by Haiti’s minister of elections, Mathias Pierre, and by two other Haitian officials who described him “as a resident of South Florida who had been apprehended on Wednesday during the manhunt for the assailants.”
The other detainees were described only as “foreigners,” according to the Post, which reported that authorities have not released any evidence to connect Solages or the other detainees to the assassination.
Solages is listed as a member of the board of directors for a non-profit organization that says it is working to rebuild Haiti.
His bio on that website describes him as:
A Building Engineer specialized in the field of infrastructure development, certified diplomatic agent, driver’s Course, and Protection Course. He was the chief commander of body-guards for The Canadian embassy in Haiti. Currently, Mr. Solages works as a corporate executive serving as a consultant in different locations throughout South Florida. Mr. Solages also serves as a politician promoting his country by focusing on compassion programs and counseling economic development program. Preceding his tenure as a consultant, his career began as a volunteer in different nonprofit organization assisting communities in need and Haiti. Mr. Solages is a youth leader and an advocate for underprivileged kids.
He’s tied to a maintenance and repair LLC in Florida.
2. Solages Wrote That He Was Self-Employed, Had Skills in ‘Military Police’ & Was Living in Fort Lauderdale
On Facebook, Solages wrote that he was self-employed, studied at FCC Career College, lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was from Jacmel. Jacmel is a port town on Haiti’s southern coast. FCC Career College stands for Florida Career College.
On LinkedIn, he wrote that he received a bachelor’s degree in IT, and added that he attended “Florida Security school.Degree Name MB, PI license. Field Of Study Public safety. Dates attended or expected graduation 2010 – 2012. Public safety, CQC, CQB training.”
Under “skills,” he listed:
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)
On April 25, he updated his cover photo to show an armored vehicle. In 2018, he wrote that he was in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, and noted, “THERE’S NOTHING THAT A MAN CAN’T DO.”
In 2016, he wrote, “It just a technic, your body don’t mean absolutely nothing if your brain is empty. Guness+haitian=power lmao.” He claimed to be a “CEO” but didn’t say where. He claimed that he went to college to be a “building engineer.” He filled his page with pictures showing him wearing business suits. His profile picture showed him standing next to an American flag and the Department of Homeland Security was among his page likes.
3. Solages Has Previous Ties to Pennsylvania
Solages also has previous ties in Pennsylvania in 2007, writing, “Started New Job at HCR Manor Care. July 26, 2007 — Entertement / Inspiring Acting. Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.”
President Joe Biden told the media before his Marine One Departure on July 7, 2021, “We need a lot more information, but it’s just — it’s very worrisome about the state of Haiti.”
The police and military were controlling the country’s security in the wake of the assassination, according to The Associated Press.
On LinkedIn, Solages wrote that he held the following positions:
Brookdale Senior Living
Dates Employed Jun 2016 – Present
Employment Duration 5 yrs 2 mos
Heartland of Tamara
Operations Maintenance Specialist
Note: Brookdale’s spokesman contacted Heavy.com and said: “I saw in your article you site Brookdale as James’ current employer. I understand that this information is on his LinkedIn, however, that is not correct. I have checked with my HR team, and he is NOT an employee of Brookdale.”
Heartland of Tamara
Dates Employed Nov 2013 – Nov 2016
Employment Duration 3 yrs 1 mo
Location Tamarac Fl
4. The Gunmen Said, ‘This is a DEA Operation..You Guys Better Not Shoot’
Above you can watch a translated version of the video from the scene. “This is a DEA operation,” it reads. “You guys better not shoot. Do not shoot at the men. The men are not your enemy. This is an operation. This is an operation – DEA. Everybody go go go, everybody go. Everybody do not shoot. You guys better not shoot. Move it guys – keep going. Guys if you do not leave, the operators will shoot you in the leg. This is a DEA operation. Guys keep walking down. If you don’t keep walking down, they will shoot at you.”
Disclose.tv also shared the video that has been viewed more than 140,000 times on Twitter and wrote, “Assailants of Haiti’s president and his wife ‘identified’ themselves to be agents with the United States: ‘DEA operation. Everybody stand down. DEA operation.’ Government official thinks the assassins were mercenaries.”
The assassins were not really DEA agents but are believed to be mercenaries, according to The Miami Herald. The Herald reported that the attack occurred around 1 a.m. at the president’s private home. A State Department official in the U.S. also told the Herald that the assassins were not really working for the DEA.
According to AP, the president was shot and killed at his home on July 7. His wife was shot and wounded. The AP reported that the president was murdered by a “squad of gunmen.”
5. One of the Assassins Spoke English ‘With an American Accent,’ Reports Say
The Herald reported that one of the gunmen spoke English “with an American accent.” According to the Herald, the attack included high-powered rounds, drones, a grenade and men dressed in black seen running through the neighborhood.
Video from the scene showed heavily armed men outside the president’s compound.
The gunmen spoke both Spanish and English, according to the AP. According to the Herald, the president was supported by the U.S. but was criticized on multiple fronts before his death. Prime Minister Claude Joseph has assumed control of Haiti, according to CNN. Joseph said, according to CNN, that “a group of unidentified individuals, some of whom were speaking in Spanish” attacked and killed the president.
CNN reported that the country was in chaos even before his death with a basically defunct Parliament and escalating criminal violence and a dispute over the end date for the president’s term.