Colombian mercenaries arrested for allegedly taking part in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise have confessed that they were hired to capture him and hand him over to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Colombia’s police said on Thursday.
Colombian intelligence agents are collaborating with Haitian authorities in investigating the July 7 assasination of Moise.
Two Americans of Haitian descent and 26 Colombians took part in the operation at the president’s home in Port-au-Prince in which Moise’s wife Martine was critically wounded.
Colombian police chief Jorge Vargas said the captured Colombians claim that the initial idea was “to plan the arrest of the president and make him available… to the DEA.”
AFP reports that Vargas said the commando unit was split into two groups: one made up of seven men carried out the attack on Moise’s home where “the alleged arrest didn’t happen but rather the president was killed.” The second group provided support.
Responding to the attack, Haitian armed forces killed three Colombians and detained another 18 they believed to be involved.
Vargas suggested that many of the Colombians could have been duped into taking part in what they believed to be a capture operation while only a few knew the true aim of the mission.
He said former soldiers Duberney Capador, who was killed, and German Rivera, who is under arrest, were in charge and had told the other Colombians the mission was an “arrest operation.”
Investigators have yet to establish whether the rest of the commando unit was ever informed of the true aim of the mission.
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