U.S. Detains Colombian Suspect in Murder of Haiti’s President
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. has arrested a former Colombian soldier wanted in connection with the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of Justice said it had detained Mario Antonio Palacios, 43, on charges of conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the U.S., among other allegations.
Palacios had been detained in Jamaica in October and was being deported to Colombia this week, after Haiti failed to win his extradition. The DOJ said it met Palacios during his layover in Panama and “he agreed to travel to the United States.”
Haiti has detained more than 45 people -- including more than a dozen former Colombian soldiers -- in connection with the brazen murder of Moise in his home.
According to the U.S. complaint unsealed Tuesday, while the crime initiated as a plan to kidnap Moise as part of a purported arrest warrant, it ultimately became a plot to murder the head of state. Palacios was among those who entered Moise’s residence “with the intent and purpose of killing President Moise,” the DOJ said.
On Tuesday, former Haiti Foreign Minister Claude Joseph urged Haitian authorities to work with U.S. law enforcement to guarantee that Palacios is extradited to answer for his crimes.
Joseph has said Haiti’s failure to have Palacios extradited from Jamaica was a sign that “there is no political will to advance the investigation.”
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