What to know about Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse

Soldiers patrol in Petion Ville, the neighborhood where the late Haitian president Jovenel Moïse lived, in Port-au-Prince on July 7. (Joseph Odelyn/AP)

The assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on July 7 — at the hands of armed gunmen who burst into his private residence — has raised the specter of further instability in the Caribbean country, already beset by a constitutional crisis and surging gang violence.

Haiti has for decades struggled to shed its history of destabilizing dictatorships, foreign interventions and economic exploitation. In recent weeks, it has edged toward the brink of becoming a failed state, amid a spike in violence in the capital, Port-au-Prince, coupled with political and economic crises.

Even now, exactly who ordered the killing of Moïse remains unclear, and questions about who will lead the country are only just beginning to be resolved.

Here’s what to know about Moïse, his time as president and what his assassination could mean for Haiti.

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse assassinated overnight in his home by gunmen, says acting prime minister