Authorities in Haiti have arrested a top security official in the investigation of the assassination of president Jovenel Moïse.
The Associated Press reports that Jean Laguel Civil, who served as general security coordinator when Moïse was assassinated in his home on July 7, has been taken into custody. It isn’t not yet known whether Civil has been charged with anything, according to AP.
Civil joins at least 26 suspects arrested by Haiti National Police, including 18 former Colombian soldiers. Civil’s attorney, Reynold Georges called his client’s arrest politically motivated.
The arrest comes as more than 1,000 protestors gathered for a ceremony to honor Moïse in the seaside La Saline neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. The crowd, mostly dressed in white, sang as they made a circle around a bonfire and threw salt into it.
Later, the crowd gathered around Jimmy Cherizier, a former police officer who now leads “G9,” a federation of nine gangs. Officials have blamed G9 for a spike in violence and kidnappings in recent months.
“Everyone needs to wait on my order before we respond to the killing of Jovenel Moïse,” Cherizier, who also goes by the name of “Barbecue,” told the crowd. Police say Cherizier is behind several recent massacres that targeted civilians living in communities run by other gangs.
According to the AP, Haitian police are still looking for various suspects, including a former rebel leader, an ex-Haitian senator, and a Haitian Supreme Court judge. Earlier this month police arrested a Florida doctor suspected of leading the assassination.