On July 7, Martine Moïse was shot multiple times when gunmen invaded her family’s home and assassinated her husband in a barrage of bullets. Moïse was subsequently flown to Miami to receive medical treatment. Since then, rumors about her condition have been circulating, with the latest being a debunked voice message purportedly from her circulating.
But before the week’s events around the assassination, Haiti’s latest First Lady had gained a reputation as an well-educated business manager with influence over her husband and various programs that impacted the country.
In brief, here are ten key things to know about Moïse.
- Born Martine Marie Étienne Joseph, Moïse grew up in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
- Moïse studied interpretation at Université Quisqueya, a private university in the capital, where she graduated in 1997.
- At Université Quisqueya, she met her future husband, Jovenel Moïse. They married a year before she graduated.
- Moise later moved to Port-de-Paix, the commune located about 66 miles west of Cap-Haïtien where her husband is from, to work in rural development.
- The couple has three children with Jovenel Moïse: Jomarlie, 25; Joverlein, 29, and Jovenel, Jr.
- Moïse was involved in various programs during her tenure as first lady, including president of Fondasyon Klere Ayiti, where she distributed school supplies across the country.
- When her husband took office, Moïse was appointed as president of coordination for the Global Fund in Haiti, where she helped address diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria in the country.
- Like her husband, Moïse was known as a businesswoman who had extensive managerial experience through her family enterprise in the Northwest Department.
- Her primary focus as first lady was children, with the slogan of her office being “All for the children.”
- Working with the National Office of Identification, she started the program “Kontem Mwen Konte,” which translates to “Count Me, I Matter,” to register babies and provide birth certificates at maternity and birth centers throughout the country.