News Americas, BOGOTA, Colombia, Fri. July 9 2021: Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano has pledged to support the investigations in Haiti after initial findings Thursday indicated that several Colombians suspected of taking part in the assassination were retired members of his country’s armed forces.
Haiti’s police commisioner said a heavily armed commando unit that assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moise on July 7th comprised 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans, but the hunt is on for the masterminds of the brazen killing.
Jorge Luis Vargas, director of Colombia’s national police, said he had received information requests from Haiti on six suspects, two of whom had apparently been killed in an exchange with Haitian police. The other four were under arrest.
Haiti Police Chief Leon Charles paraded 17 men before journalists at a news conference late on Thursday, showing a number of Colombian passports, plus assault rifles, machetes, walkie-talkies and materials including bolt cutters and hammers.
“Foreigners came to our country to kill the president,” Charles said, noting there were 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans.
He revealed that 15 of the Colombians were captured, as were the Haitian Americans. Three of the assailants were killed and eight were still on the run, Charles said.
Latin American leaders are among those around the world who have expressed shock and disbelief at the brazen assassination of the President of Haiti in his private residence, including the President of Colombia.
Colombia President Ivan Duque on Wednesday called the act cowardly and full of barbarity against the entire Haitian people. And he urged the Organization of American States to send an urgent mission to Haiti to “protect the democratic order.”
An angry crowd gathered on Thursday morning in in the rue Pinchinat, in Pétion- City, Haiti to watch the police operation unfold, with some setting fire to the suspects’ cars and to the house where they had hunkered down. Bullet casings were strewn in the street.
“Burn them!” shouted some of the hundreds of people outside the police station where the suspects were being held.
Le Nouvelliste newspaper reported that several objects found by the police in a vehicle used by the alleged attackers included 5 firearms, including 2 9 millimeter pistols, 5.56 millimeter caliber cartridges, the server of the surveillance camera at President Moïse’s home, a BNC checkbook in the name of Mr. and Mrs. Jovenel Moïse, twenty bags, axes, wire cutters, clothes, food and money, 109 US $20 bills, 100 $100 US bills, one set of 99 US $100 bills and another set of 100 US $ 100 bills, 100 US $ 50 bills and 32 US $ 100 bills in bulletproof vest, many cell phones among others and two plaques rental vehicle and the vehicle rental agreement made with Avis on July 6th.