FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – James Solages, a 35-year-old Haitian-American from South Florida, is among the suspects in custody in Haiti for his alleged role in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, Haitian officials said.
Matthias Pierre, Haiti’s minister of elections, told ABC News officers detained James Solages Wednesday in Port-au-Prince. He said Solages was a U.S. Citizen of Haitian descent.
Schubert Dorisme, of Tamarac, said Solages is his wife’s nephew and he has known him for about seven years. He said he and his family was in shock when they found out Wednesday night that he had been arrested. Haitian authorities haven’t specified what his alleged role was.
“My son killed my brother! That’s the way I feel like my son killed my brother because I love my president and I love James Solages,” Dorisme said, adding he doesn’t believe Solages was involved in the assassination.
Dorisme said he knows Solages to be a man with integrity who travels to Haiti regularly to do charity work and visit his parents. State records show he was the president of FWA SA A JACMEL AVAN, INC., a Florida nonprofit organization named after Jacmel, a port town on the south coast of Haiti. Dorisme said Solages had once dreamed of being the mayor of Jacmel.
“Yeah, he helped in Haiti … there is no way that thing would happen. That’s why I say probably somebody else used him,” Dorisme said. “I mean, we cannot believe it. I love my president … I don’t think so. I don’t think he’s capable to do these things. I think somebody used him.”
State records show Solages registered the nonprofit in 2019 to an office in the San Casa Plaza in North Lauderdale and listed his address as a two-bedroom house in Tamarac.
“His mail comes to his aunt’s home but he doesn’t live there,” Dorisme said.
Before the content of the nonprofit’s page had been deleted Thursday, there was a plea for potential donors: “Help us work toward ending childhood hunger in Haiti, providing education and a better tomorrow for future Haitian generations.” He also alleged to be a certified diplomatic agent and to have been a guard at the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Florida records show Solages had expired security officer and firearm licenses. The Linkedin account of a user matching the description alleged having close-quarters combat and close-quarters battle training under a 2-year stint at a Florida security school.
“He doesn’t have military training,” Dorisme said. “He was he wasn’t in the military.”
The Linkedin page and a Facebook user identified as Solages from Fort Lauderdale listed having been a student of Florida Career College. The Facebook account was also suspended Thursday.
“For me, I think they used him. They used him because This guy is a boy. He’s a boy. He always called me Big Uncle, you know, I love him,” Dorisme said.
Léon Charles, director of Haiti’s National Police, described the suspects as mercenaries during the official announcements on national radio and television.
“We have the physical authors, now we are looking for the intellectual authors,” Charles said in Haitian Creole.
Coverage on July 7