New evidence coming to light indicates that the Colombians accused of Jovenel Moïse’s assassination are innocent and victims of a false accusation by the authorities.
The president of Haiti was assassinated in his residence in the luxurious neighborhood of Petion Ville, in Port-au-Prince, allegedly by Colombian mercenaries, who entered his residence claiming to be members of the DEA.
The Colombians accused of the crime were captured in the afternoon hours by the Haitian police and a mob of citizens in the neighborhood where the assassination was committed. However, voices in both Haiti and Colombia have begun to question the official version of events surrounding Moïse’s assassination.
The hypothesis that the Colombians accused of the assassination of Jovenel Moïse are innocent
According to opposition senator Steven Benoit, the alleged Colombian mercenaries were hired by the Haitian state to provide security advice to the Haitian police and to help guard some residential neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince affected by the kidnapping, so they did not enter the country clandestinely.
In an interview with the Colombian radio station, WRadio, Senator Benoit affirmed that the Colombians would not be acting, nor conducting any suspicious act after assassinating Moïse. “The Colombians are accused of assassinating the president of the republic; if someone is going to assassinate a president of the republic that person must have a means to enter and leave the country, or a means of evacuation, such as plane, boat or helicopter.”
“If they are professional mercenaries, they should have a way to flee. But what the Haitian population has found is that these so-called ‘mercenaries’ have remained in the streets of Petion Ville where they were observed at six, seven, eight, eight, nine, and ten o’clock in the morning circulating freely. Therefore, they were not fleeing, nor were they hiding”, explains Senator Benoit.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
According to senator Benoit, “a month ago it had been announced the arrival of Colombian experts to help the police in the fight against criminal gangs and kidnappers, I conclude that these were those contractors and that they did not flee because they had not acted badly, because they had not committed the act for which they are being accused of.”
Senator Benoit’s version can be corroborated by an article in the Port-au-Prince daily Le Nouvelliste, which on March 5 spoke of the presence of Colombian experts in Haiti advising the local police on kidnapping prevention tactics: “It should be noted that four Colombian experts are on mission in Haiti to strengthen the anti-kidnapping cell of the DCPJ (Haitian Police), according to the government,” the article said.
The curious thing here is that the information provided by the Haitian state is not the only one that can corroborate that a team of Colombians would go to Haiti to advise the security forces and combat the endemic kidnapping that occurs in that country. A tweet from the U.S. Embassy in Haiti also confirms the arrival of Colombians in Haiti to provide advice to the police.
The Colombians are said to have arrived at President Moïse’s house after the assassination, and the new hypothesis suggests that they actually helped the first lady, Martine Moïse, and her daughter to get out of the place alive.
Despite the hypothesis that the Colombians arrived later than the events that took place, an audio has circulated on twitter attributed to Martin Moïse herself where they are heard saying: “You know who the president was fighting against. They sent mercenaries to assassinate the president at home, with all his family, because he wanted roads, water, elections and the referendum at the end of the year, (they assassinated him) so that there would be no change in the country,” says the audio.
What is known about the Colombians accused of the assassination of the Haitian president?
In Colombia, the version of other soldiers invited to participate in the advisory mission and contacted by Semana magazine corroborates that the team of Colombians would have gone to Haiti for reasons other than those they are accused of.
“Those guys were enthusiastic because supposedly a colonel called them to show up and there were some who did not answer and took normal people, but they needed 20 commandos,” said one of the soldiers interviewed by Semana.
The colonel referred to by the anonymous soldier is the retired army officer Carlos Giovanny Guerrero Torres, former commander of the Mariscal Sucre infantry battalion, who was arrested by the Haitian police on Friday. Guerrero Torres was allegedly offered $2,700 per month to work for 5 months in Haiti.
So far it is known that two of the Colombians implicated in the assassination, Duberney Capador and Germán Alejandro Rivera, traveled from Bogotá to Panama and from there to Santo Domingo on May 6, where they stayed for four days and then headed to Haiti.
The other Colombian military men reportedly arrived in the Dominican Republic, in the city of Punta Cana, on June 4, where they stayed for two days and from there they went to the border port of Carrizal, five hours from Punta Cana, and from there to Port-au-Prince.
One of the captured soldiers, Francisco Eladio Uribe, is implicated in a case of extrajudicial executions being investigated in Colombia. Another of those captured, Manuel Antonio Groso Guarín, is a cousin of Rafael Guarín, an advisor for National Security to the Colombian government.
Among the captured soldiers are several members of the former Search Bloc, created during the administration of President Cesar Gaviria to search for the capos of the Medellin and Cali cartels. All of the captured Colombians are former members of the Colombian Army and reportedly left the institution between 2018 and 2020.
The National Police stated that four Colombian companies are under investigation to determine what role they played for the group of Colombian mercenaries who allegedly killed Moïse.
If it wasn’t Colombian mercenaries who killed Moïse, then who is responsible?
Although the Colombians are the main suspects in the assassination, Senator Beinot asserted that Moïse’s own presidential guard may have been responsible for killing him.
According to Senator Benoit: “My conclusion is that the presidential guard are the other armed protagonists of the crime scene. After the assassination, there is not a single member of the guard injured. How is it possible that an exchange of violence was not witnessed if the president is being targeted?”
Senator Benoit has been summoned to testify by the Court of First Instance in Port-au-Prince, along with other political and business leaders. Commissioner Bed-Ford Claude has indicated that these people have been called to testify because some “have made public statements” and for others “there are clues that lead to having to summon them”.
Another of those under investigation by Commissioner Claude is Dimitri Hérard, Moïse’s security chief. According to the Centre For Economic Policy Research, Moïse did not trust Hérard, as he was under investigation by the US authorities for arms trafficking.
Semana magazine also revealed that Hérard was in Colombia on May 22, making a stopover to take a flight to Ecuador’s capital, Quito. On May 29, he returned to Colombia and took a flight to the Dominican Republic, five days before most Colombians traveled to Port-au-Prince from Punta Cana.
In the words of Commissioner Claude, referring to Hérard: “I did not see any police victims except the president and his wife. If you are responsible for the president’s security, where were you? What did you do to avoid this fate for the president?”.