Police are guarding a group of suspects of having participated in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince (Haiti). Jean Marc Hervé Abélard / EFE
Since the President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was tortured and shot to death at his home in Port-au-Prince on the early morning of July 7, transnational investigations have yielded at least 26 detainees and ten fugitives, in a plot involving also to citizens of the United States, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
These are some of the main people involved in the assassination that has shaken the continent.
The plot in Haiti
In the troubled Caribbean nation, where the presidential guard survived the attack by an armed commando on the presidential residence without injuries, justice has already targeted several of the brains of the operation, in an investigation that reveals some certainties and several inconsistencies.
These are the some of them:
Christian Emmanuel Sanon,
a 63-year-old Haitian evangelical doctor and pastor who had lived in South Florida for two decades. Without many connections in the high political spheres of the Caribbean country, he aspired to replace Moïse in power. This was pointed out less than a week after the assassination by the Caribbean authorities when they accused him of being the intellectual author and of having been the first person called by several members of the command that perpetrated the crime when they were cornered. Sanon was arrested in Haiti, where he had arrived in early June on a private plane, accompanied by a small group of Colombian mercenaries, according to police. Already on May 12 he had held a meeting in Fort Lauderdale with the aim of raising his vision to rebuild the Caribbean nation. Among the attendees were a couple of businessmen from Florida,two other pieces of the investigations as part of the connection in Miami: the Ecuadorian Walter Veintemilla and the Venezuelan Antonio Intriago.
Haitian Police Chief Leon Charles oversees the security of Jovenel Moïse's funeral on July 23.RICARDO ARDUENGO / Reuters
Shortly after, the name of
Joseph Félix Badio
emerged in the transnational investigations
a former official of the Haitian Ministry of Justice who is still at large and, according to the Colombian police, was the one who gave the order to the ex-military to assassinate the president.
According to the director of the Colombian police, General Jorge Luis Vargas, three days before the assassination he informed Duberney Capador and German Rivera, the Colombian recruiters, that the order was no longer to arrest but to kill Moïse.
Badio worked in the Anti-Corruption Unit (ULCC) and was dismissed on May 17, 2021 "for violations of ethical standards," according to the Haitian authorities.
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Former Haitian senator
John Joël Joseph
, a well-known opponent of the late President Moïse's party, which he came to compare with COVID-19, is also implicated.
The Haitian police accuse the politician, whose whereabouts unknown, of providing the weapons used in the attack.
The presidential guard that survived the attack by an armed commando unscathed has been in the eye of the hurricane from the beginning.
, the head of security at the National Palace, captured on July 14 after refusing to appear, had been in the crosshairs of investigators since before the assassination for alleged arms trafficking. Together with Moïse's head of security, Jean Laguel Civil, they are suspected of allowing the president to be tortured and killed in his home without even an exchange of gunfire. Hérard is also being investigated in Colombia, since the South American country was a place of transit on seven occasions when he traveled to Ecuador, Panama and the Dominican Republic, stopovers where he stayed up to a couple of days. The first of those trips was on January 19 and the last on May 29, according to the Colombian police. Hérard was formed in 2012 in Ecuador, at the Eloy Alfaro Military Academy,and "he was mobilizing around the world with a legitimately obtained Ecuadorian identity card," as confirmed this Thursday by President Guillermo Lasso in an interview with
In addition to Hérard, there are several captured Haitian policemen.
From the moment the attack became known, versions circulated about the participation of members of the public force.
This Tuesday, León Charles, commander of the Haitian police, confirmed that thanks to the statements of the former Colombian military, they identified and captured
, as participants in the murder.
“Cauvin attended all the planning meetings for the assassination of the President of the Republic.
These meetings were organized with
Reynaldo Corvington (another detained agent), who has already been captured, ”said Charles.
The Colombian mercenaries
At least 24 Colombian mercenaries - 18 captured, three dead and three fugitives - reached Haiti. Several of his relatives have insisted that they were hired as security personnel, not as hitmen. At least two of the ex-military men who helped recruit their comrades knew that they had to assassinate Moïse, while others had traveled deceived. Here are some of them:
a 40-year-old ex-
from Colombia, is the one who recruited the group of retired soldiers. According to the Colombian police, they were also aware of the plan to assassinate President Moïse. A native of Genoa, Quindío, in the coffee region, he had retired from the Army in 2019 after two decades of service. He had training in special forces and was one of the ex-military personnel who received the training that the United States Army gives to Colombian troops. Capador died in clashes with Haitian police a day after the assassination. He managed to communicate with his sister through WhatsApp and told her that he was cornered but would negotiate a way out.
Former Army captain
is, according to the Colombian police, another of the recruiters and knowledgeable about the plan against Moïse. "We know that Germán Rivera and Duberney Capador participated in the planning and organization of what was initially an alleged operation to arrest the president of Haiti and for this they contacted more people in our country," said General Jorge Luis Vargas. According to this information, Rivera was also informed of the progress of a meeting in Miami in which the mercenaries were hired. He received $ 50,000 for accommodation and maintenance expenses for the group of Colombians in Haiti.
Another key link among the Colombian mercenaries is
Mario Antonio Palacios
, one of at least three ex-military men who are still fugitives.
Palacios has become one of the most wanted men in Haiti.
According to some versions, he entered the presidential residence on the night of the crime together with Capador and Mauricio Javier Romero, other members of the armed command who died dejected after the crime, so that his testimony could clarify what happened.
The investigation to search for the alleged masterminds and funders of the assassination has led investigators to Miami.
According to the Haitian authorities, a meeting was held in that city that was key to the plan.
Several of those indicated assure that the meetings sought to plan a governmental transition in Haiti, but not an assassination.
According to the Haitian Police, at this meeting in Miami the assassination of Jovenel Moïse was planned.PNH / Haitian National Police
The first of several connections with Miami, the destination of much of the Haitian diaspora, emerged within hours of the assassination.
Along with the mercenaries arrested in Port-au-Prince after the crime,
(35 years old)
and Joseph Vincent
two US citizens of Haitian origin who accompanied the armed command.
Residents of South Florida, both have stated that their role was limited to being interpreters for Colombians - Creole is spoken in Haiti - and that they believed the group was going to arrest President Moïse, not assassinate him.
Part of the investigations have also targeted companies that mediated in the recruitment and transfer of former Colombian military personnel, in particular one of them, Security LLC (Counter Terrorist Unit Federal Academy), based precisely in Florida.
The CTU manager is a Venezuelan based in Miami,
Antonio 'Tony' Intriago
. The Colombian Police "confirmed" that Intriago participated in planning meetings to hire the mercenaries. In those meetings were also Sanon, Solages and the Colombian Arcángel Pretelt (wanted). With a CTU credit card, 19 air tickets from Bogotá to the Dominican Republic were paid for some of the former Colombian soldiers. From Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has linked Intriago to the political opposition, while in Bogotá the Presidency has denied the versions that Iván Duque had met with him in Florida. In a statement, he pointed out that on Saturday, February 10, 2018 in Miami, "in the approach typical of a public campaign event, the then candidate agreed to greet and take pictures with some of the attendees," including the Venezuelan.
In addition to the role of the firm CTU Security, among the connections with Miami is also the Ecuadorian
, 53, who runs the Worldwide Capital Lending Group, a loan company that Intriago and Sanon used, according to the authorities. Veintemilla's attorney, Robert Nicholson, told the
that his client made two loans to Intriago's company and to Sanon to finance what he believed was a plan to replace Moïse with an interim government in a peaceful transition, but never there was no discussion about a murder. According to the lawyer, the multiple meetings with Sanon in Florida were limited to strategies for financing infrastructure projects and his political aspirations in Haiti.
, considered the missing link in the investigation, has been mentioned by the Colombian police as one of the men who participated in the meetings with Intriago, Sanon and Solages.
Also known as Gabriel Pérez, he is a businessman from Cali (Colombia) who lives in the United States.
An expert in security matters, he was mentioned by the former Colombian military as one of the men who influenced Haitian politicians for the operation.
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