Widow of Haiti president says she only survived attack because killers thought ...

Widow of Haiti president says she only survived attack because killers thought ...
Widow of Haiti president says she only survived attack because killers thought ...

The widow of assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has recalled the terrifying moment her husband was shot dead next to her as she claims she only survived because the killers thought she was already dead. 

'When they left, they thought I was dead,' Martine Moïse, 47, told the New York Times

President Moïse and First Lady Martine were asleep in their bed in their home on the hills of Port-au-Prince on July 7 when deafening gunshots rung out and woke them up in a state of panic. 

Martine ran to wake up her two adult children instructing them to hide in the bathroom - the only room with no windows - with the family dog. 

President Moïse called his head of security and told his wife to lie down on the floor 'That's where I think you will be safe,' she remembers him saying. It turned out to be the last thing he would say to his wife of 25 years.

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Moments later the group of assassins broke into the presidential bedroom and opened fire. Gun shots hit Martine first, in the hand and the elbow, as she lay on the floor as instructed. 

Her elbow was shattered by a gunshot and her mouth filled with blood was she lay on the floor as the group of assassins charged into her bedroom. 

'The only thing that I saw before they killed him were their boots. Then I closed my eyes, and I didn't see anything else.'  

She heard as the men searched the room and her husband's files until they found what they were looking for. What that was she in still unsure of.

She heard as the men searched the room and her husband's files until they found what they were looking for. What that was she in still unsure of. 

Martine Moïse, 47, (right) was laying on the floor of her bedroom as her husband Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, 47, was shot dead next to her. Her daughter Jomarlie Moise (right) was also home at the time of the attack.

Martine Moïse, 47, (right) was laying on the floor of her bedroom as her husband Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, 47, was shot dead next to her. Her daughter Jomarlie Moise (right) was also home at the time of the attack. 

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, left, and Haitian First Lady Martine Moïse are seen at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on May 23, 2018

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, left, and Haitian First Lady Martine Moïse are seen at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on May 23, 2018

Suspects in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, who was shot dead at his home, are pictured

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Suspects in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, who was shot dead at his home, are pictured

Suspects in the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse are moved to be displayed to the media at police headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Haitian authorities have implicated at least 20 retired Colombian soldiers in the president's assassination on July 7

Suspects in the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moïse are moved to be displayed to the media at police headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Haitian authorities have implicated at least 20 retired Colombian soldiers in the president's assassination on July 7

She stayed motionless and listened as they tore the room apart clearly searching for something in particular. 'That's not it. That's not it,' she recalled them saying in Spanish, over and over and talking on the phone as they foraged through the president's files until, 'That's it.' 

'They were looking for something in the room, and they found it.' But Martine doesn't know what the hunt was for.   

The men filled out of the murder scene as one stepped on her foot and another waved a flashlight in her eyes, presumably checking to see if she was still alive. 

'At this moment, I felt that I was suffocating because there was blood in my mouth and I couldn't breathe,' she said. 'In my mind, everybody was dead, because if the president could die, everybody else could have died too.' 

Thankfully her children survived the attack.  

No guards were killed or wounded during the invasion - something that has sparked suspicion and led to the arrests of the security officials her husband had called that night.

One of the homes searched belongs to Walter Veintemilla - president of Worldwide Capital Lending Group

One of the homes searched belongs to Walter Veintemilla - president of Worldwide Capital Lending Group 

A spokesperson for the FBI said the affidavits in support of the search warrants have been sealed under a court order

A spokesperson for the FBI said the affidavits in support of the search warrants have been sealed under a court order

Although the former First Lady was terrified in the moment, she wants her husband's killers to know she's not afraid of them. 'I would like people who did this to be caught, otherwise they will kill every single president who takes power,' she said. 'They did it once. They will do it again.'

Martine has admitted that she is seriously considering entering a bid for the presidency, once she has recovered. 'President Jovenel had a vision,' she said, 'and we Haitians are not going to let that die.'  

Martine has already undergone two surgeries, and doctors now plan to implant nerves from her feet in her arm. She was warned she may never regain use of her right arm and can move only two fingers. The Moïse family was relocated to South Florida immediately following the assassination.  

Haitian police have detained a group of people in connection with the killing, including 18 Colombians and several Haitians and Haitian Americans, and continue to search for others. While Martine is grateful that some people have already been detained she believes there is a lot more work to be done. 

She wants wants international law enforcement agencies like the FBI to track the money that financed the killing. She expects the money will lead back to wealthy Haitian oligarchs whose livelihoods were disrupted by her husband's politics. 

The former First Lady was shot and seriously injured before her husband was fatally shot

The former First Lady was shot and seriously injured before her husband was fatally shot 

Two of the president's adult children including Jomarlie Moise (right) were home at the time of the assassination but survived the attack along with their dog

Two of the president's adult children including Jomarlie Moise (right) were home at the time of the assassination but survived the attack along with their dog 

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