Key suspect in assassination of Haitian president arrested after 2 years on the run

Assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moise
Haitian President Jovenel Moise was gunned down at his home in July 2021.
(Dieu Nalio Chery / Associated Press)

A former justice official considered one of the main suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in 2021 was arrested in Haiti’s capital after being on the run for more than two years, police said.

Joseph Badio once worked for Haiti’s Ministry of Justice and in the government’s anti-corruption unit until he was fired for alleged ethics violations weeks before the assassination.

Badio was arrested Thursday in Pétion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, National Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers said.


Moise was shot 12 times at his private home July 7, 2021, sending Haiti into a political crisis.

Several people were arrested after Moise’s slaying, including 11 men now in U.S. custody. Prosecutors in the U.S. have alleged that there was a broad plot among conspirators in both Haiti and Florida to hire mercenaries to remove Moise and benefit from contracts from a successor administration.

Former Haitian Sen. John Joel Joseph — one of the 11 men in custody in the U.S. — pleaded guilty this month to charges related to the assassination. A federal judge set his sentencing for Dec. 19.

A pastor in Haiti led hundreds of people through a gang-controlled community on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince when they came under gunfire.

Aug. 27, 2023

The former senator was extradited from Jamaica to the U.S. in June, accused of conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and providing material support resulting in death.

Two other people also have pleaded guilty. Haitian Chilean businessman Rodolphe Jaar was sentenced in June to life in prison. The sentencing for former Colombian soldier German Alejandro Rivera Garcia is set for Oct. 27.

Among the people arrested after the killing are 18 former Colombian soldiers who are in custody in Haiti.


Since the assassination, Haiti has experienced a surge of gang violence that led the prime minister to request the deployment of an armed force. The United Nations Security Council voted in early October to send a multinational force led by Kenya to help fight the gangs. Kenya has not set a date for the deployment.