Jovenel Moise and his wife, Martine Moise, had three children together: Jomarlie, Joverlein and Jovenel Jr. All three children are adults. The Haitian president was killed in an assassination July 7, 2021, and the first lady was seriously injured, Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph said Wednesday.
Martine Moise survived the attack and is in “critical but stable condition,” according to Reuters.
Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph released few details about the killing and did not say who carried out the assassination. He called the assassination “a hateful, inhumane and barbaric act.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Martine & Jovenel Moise Were Married in 1996 & They Have 3 Children Together
Martine Marie Etienne and Jovenel Moise were classmates and childhood sweethearts, according to The Focus. They were married in 1996, the news outlet reported. They have three children together: daughter Jomarlie and sons Joverlein and Jovenel Jr.
First lady Moise survived the attack, and plans were underway to transport her to Miami, Florida, for further treatment, Ambassador Bocchit Edmond told Reuters reporters and others in a virtual press conference.
“She’s stable but in critical condition,” Bocchit said. “Efforts are being done now to take her to Miami to be treated,” he said.
Jovenel Jr. shared a photo on Instagram of the family together on Christmas 2017.
“I love you guys,” he wrote. The account has since been made private.
2. President Moise’s Namesake, Jovenel Jr., Shared Photos of His Travels & Family on Instagram
Jovenel Moise Jr., one of the sons of the Haitian president, was occasionally active on Instagram and shared photos of his world travels, college years and his family.
“Simplicity Patience Compassion,” he wrote on his bio.
His Instagram followers shared condolences on his most recent photo, posted May 18, 2021, sharing an older photo labeled “The college years” with his location set as “My Happy Place.” He shared photos from travels around the world, including locations around Haiti, Miami and New Orleans. He also shared photos of his family, including a birthday wish to his sister and to his dad.
“Happy birthday to the greatest sister in the world,” he wrote on his sister’s 21st birthday April 22, 2018.
He also shared a photo of his parents for his dad’s birthday on June 27, 2017.
“Happy birthday dad,” he wrote.
“Enjoy the little moments,” he captioned another photo.
3. Jomarlie Moise, Who Went By ‘JoJo,’ Was Jovenel & Martine Moise’s Only Daughter
Jomarlie Moise was the president and first lady’s only daughter. She was 25, according to her brother Jovenel Jr.’s Instagram page.
“Happy birthday to the greatest sister in the world,” he wrote April 22, 2018, sharing a photo of her birthday celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana. He used a hashtag “finally21.”
He shared another photo of his sister two years earlier, writing “I’m so proud of you jojo.”
Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph vowed to hold those who carried out the attack accountable in his statement confirming the death of Jovenel Moise and the injuries of First Lady Martine Moise.
“In line with article 149 of the Constitution, I have just chaired an extraordinary council of ministers and we have decided to declare a state of siege throughout the country,” Joseph said.
“They shot and killed the president and injured his wife,” Joseph continued, and said the assassins “would not go unpunished.”
He said at the time that Martine Moise was in the hospital and seriously injured.
“It is democracy and the Republic which must win. The dark forces will lose,” Joseph said.
4. Joverlein Moise Is an Entrepreneur & Describes Himself as a ‘Risk Taker’ on Social Media
Joverlein Moise proudly describes himself as the son of the 58th president of Haiti on his Facebook page, where he also describes himself as a young Haitian entrepreneur.
“R I S K T A K E R‼️” he wrote on his Instagram bio. “Follow Me To Greatness.”
He shared photos of his family and travels on social media, and shared several photos of himself wearing a mask to advocate for mask wearing.
Joseph released few details about the assassination in his announcement in the hours after the killing. He said the gunmen were heavily armed and spoke Spanish.
Joseph said police and the military were in charge of security in the country. The AP described Haiti as “the poorest country in the Americas where a history of dictatorship and political upheaval have long stymied the consolidation of democratic rule.”
Africa Insider reported the assassination came following two years of protests and cries for Moise to step down from his position of power. The news outlet reported Haiti was “already in a precarious political situation before the assassination, having grown increasingly unstable and disgruntled under President Moise.”
“Haiti’s economic, political and social woes have deepened recently with gun violence spiking heavily in the capital city,” Africa Insider reported, adding residents have faced food scarcity and more than half the population makes less than $2 per day.
5. ‘I Thought There Was an Earthquake, There Was So Much Shooting,’ Said a Woman Who Lives Near the President & First Lady
A woman who lived near the president and first lady’s home described the attack to the Associated Press, speaking on the condition of anonymity because she fears for her life.
“I thought there was an earthquake, there was so much shooting,” the woman told the AP. “The president had problems with many people, but this is not how we expected him to die. This is something I wouldn’t wish on any Haitian.”
Jonathan Katz, who previously covered Haiti for The Associated Press and wrote a book about the 2010 earthquake, analyzed the situation in an interview with the AP.
“At this hour, we don’t know who did this, what their end game is, what else they have planned,” he said to the AP. “There were a lot of people who wanted him gone. And there were a lot of people whom he wanted gone.”
Katz told the AP that the majority of Haitian presidents have been forced out of office, but it has been more than 100 years since a sitting Haitian president was killed.
“It seems to be a pretty well-financed operation,” he told the AP, and added officials could spend days piecing together the incident. “That’s the question: Who’s behind it and what do they want?”