Some Colombians in Haiti Knew of Plot to Kill Moise, Duque Says
(Bloomberg) -- Some of the former Colombian soldiers who flew to Haiti knew of the criminal conspiracy that led to the July 7 murder of President Jovenel Moise, while others believed they were on a mission to provide security, Colombian President Ivan Duque said Thursday.
Duque’s statements come as Colombian, U.S. and Haitian investigators are still trying to determine how more than 20 Colombian citizens, some of them former army members, ended up allegedly participating in the assassination of Moise.
Many of the Colombians who traveled to the Caribbean nation thought they were going to work as bodyguards and provide personal security, Duque told Colombia’s La FM radio. “But inside that group there was a smaller group that, apparently, knew the details of the criminal operation.”
Duque said Colombian investigators had received the information from family members, people who were recruited but never traveled, and one man who went to Haiti but returned before the crime.
The president’s comments echo those of Haitian officials who believe that not all members of the 28-man hit squad were aware of their true mission. It also comes as the country continues to search for the ultimate masterminds and financiers of the crime.
Also on Thursday, Haiti’s police denied a report by Colombia’s Caracol Radio that interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph was a suspect in the murder.
On Twitter, the police said that investigation had not turned up “any link” with Joseph and that the suspects who have been interviewed provided no such information.
Joseph took the reins of the nation of 11 million in the wake of Moise’s death and amid a power vacuum.
On Wednesday, Haiti National Police Director Leon Charles said at least four members of Moise’s security team are in custody. The Washington Post, citing Haiti government sources, said that the head of Moise’s security, Dimitri Herard, is also under arrest.
Haiti’s police have also released a photograph, purportedly taken in neighboring Dominican Republic, that allegedly shows people plotting Moise’s ouster.
Among the people in the picture are Christian Emmanuel Sanon, who was arrested on Sunday and described as a key player in the plot; James Solages, a Haitian-American translator who was detained along with alleged members the hit team; and former Haitian Senator John Joel Joseph who is facing an arrest warrant.
In addition, the police said that Antonio Intriago, the head of a Miami-based CTU security firm, and Walter Veintemilla, a South-Florida lender, were also present at the meeting.
Repeated attempts to communicate with the men by email and phone have been unsuccessful.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.