Former first lady of Haiti describes murder of her husband 4:13
(CNN Spanish) --
(CNN Spanish) --
United States authorities reported this Tuesday that they arrested four people in Miami for their alleged relationship with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, which occurred on July 7, 2021 in Port-au-Prince.
The federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Florida, Markenzy Lapointe, explained at a press conference that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Homeland Security Investigations carried out the arrest of a Colombian citizen and two legal permanent residents who live in South Florida, as well as a US citizen residing in Tampa, for "their alleged participation in the plot to forcibly remove President Moïse."
They are Arcangel Pretel Ortiz, Colombian and legal permanent resident of the United States;
Antonio Intriago, a Venezuelan with US citizenship;
Walter Veintemilla, a United States citizen originally from Ecuador, and Frederick Bergmann, also a United States citizen.
What does justice accuse them of?
Lapointe assured that Intriago is the owner of CTU Security, a Miami security company that would have hired former Colombian soldiers to carry out the mission to kill President Moïse.
He is charged with conspiracy to kill or kidnap a person outside the United States, among other charges, along with Pretel Ortiz, a representative of the company.
On the other hand, Veintemilla is accused of financing the operation.
And Bergmann is charged with conspiracy to commit export violations and conspiring to smuggle 20 ballistic vests.
"If convicted, they each face life in prison," Lapointe said.
Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti, was assassinated on July 7, 2021.
Matt Olsen, the Justice Department's assistant attorney general for Homeland Security, said during the conference that alleged crimes committed in the United States related to a case that occurred abroad are being prosecuted.
“Among the charges and arrests being announced today are those arising from United States laws that prohibit conspiracies to kill or kidnap people abroad and provide material support to such efforts,” he said.
“This assassination took place in Port-au-Prince, but as the complaint alleges, co-conspirators and enablers located here advanced aspects of this deadly plot within the United States.
That includes the four people arrested this morning,” he added.
There are already 11 defendants in the US for the assassination of the president of Haiti
He explained that in total there are already 11 people charged and in custody of the United States, including James Solages and Joseph Vincent, two Haitians who were among the first arrested after Moïse was shot at his home on July 7, 2021. Also Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a pastor and businessman whose associates have suggested he was set up by the real masterminds, who have yet to be arrested.
Authorities have said the original plan was to detain Moïse, force him onto a plane and take him to an unidentified location, but that plot fell apart when the suspects could not find a plane or enough weapons.
“It is extremely important to bring them to justice.
We will do justice in the courtroom," said Attorney General Markensy.
CNN has requested a reaction from Joseph Tesmond, Intriago's attorney.
It is not clear if the other suspects have a lawyer.
CTU Security has not responded to CNN's previous requests for comment, and it is uncertain whether it still exists.
After learning of the arrests, Claude Joseph, who was prime minister during Moïse's presidency, reacted through social networks.
“Justice must triumph,” he wrote, posting the photo from the press call from the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.