THE FACTS: The photo has been circulating online since August 2020 and shows a slain lawyer, not the assassinated president. As news broke of Moïse’s assassination, the Haitian diaspora began circulating the old photo on WhatsApp as proof of the 53-year-old president’s death.
The photo is really from the August 29, 2020, killing of Monferrier Dorval, a prominent lawyer who was shot outside his home. Dorval was head of the bar association in the capital of Haiti.
During a September 2020 protest demanding justice for Dorval, an AP photographer captured a protester reenacting the lawyer’s death. The protester placed graphic photos of Dorval dead on top of his body during the reenactment. The photo used by the protester matches the photo that circulated on social media falsely identified as showing the death of the Haitian president.
The misrepresented photo was also shared in Spanish online. Moïse had denounced Dorval’s killing, calling it a “great loss for the country.” Moïse was killed and first lady Martine Moïse was seriously injured during the attack on their residence. The president had been ruling by decree for more than a year after the country failed to hold elections. In recent months, the opposition demanded he step down.