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IPFS News Link • Haiti

Haitian opposition leader hired Washington DC lobbyist two days before president's...

•, By Rory Tingle and Rachel Sharp

Pierre Reginald Boulos signed up Art Estopinan, a former chief of staff to former Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), to push his interests on Capitol Hill on Monday - some 48 hours before President Jovenel Moïse was killed by hitmen during a dawn raid on his house. 

Boulos - leader of the MTVAyiti party - is a controversial figure who, in the aftermath of a 2004 coup, oversaw the import of weapons into the country so they could be distributed to the Haitian National Police, according to a 2005 US diplomatic cable exposed by WikiLeaks. 

This was reportedly part of an attempt to clamp down on resistance fighters opposed to the de facto US-backed government, and was justified at the time as an attempt to clamp down on street violence. However, it provoked an outcry and accusations that the island's elite were trying to form a 'private army'.