September 27, 2021

Assassination of Jovenel Moïse: Colombia on the trail of the Haitian sponsor

Colombian police identified, Friday, July 16, a former Haitian official of the Ministry of Justice as being the one who informed Colombian mercenaries that their mission was to assassinate President Jovenel Moïse.

Joseph Felix Badio, ‘a former justice ministry official who worked in the anti-corruption unit with the general intelligence services,’ met two Colombian mercenaries in Port-au-Prince, said on Friday. General José Vargas, Colombian police chief.

During this meeting, the Colombian ex-soldiers Duberney Capador, since killed by the Haitian police, and German Rivera, who was arrested, were ‘informed that they were going to arrest the Haitian president’.

But ‘a few days before (July 7), apparently three, Joseph Felix Badio (…) informs (Duberney) Capador and (German) Rivera that what they must do is assassinate the President of Haiti’, a added José Vargas during a press conference.

Colombian police, however, did not say whether Joseph Felix Badio acted on the order of sponsors or the reasons that led him to give the order to kill Jovenel Moïse. The latter’s funeral will be held on July 23.

Jovenel Moïse, 53, was killed on July 7 in his residence in Port-au-Prince by an armed commando. Haitian police arrested around 20 people, including 18 Colombians and 3 Haitians who also have American nationality.

Was the plan to kill Jovenel Moïse or to capture him?

According to the Haitian police, with which the Colombian police collaborate, the assassination of the Haitian president was planned from the neighboring Dominican Republic.

But many gray areas remain, especially on the sponsors of the attack against Jovenel Moïse, a president widely criticized for his authoritarian drift in a country plagued by violence and poverty.

The apparent ease with which the attackers managed to kill the head of state in the middle of the night continues to arouse suspicion from the authorities.

The president’s security chief, Dimitri Hérard, and three other officials have been placed in solitary confinement.

On Thursday, Colombian police said Colombian mercenaries claimed to have been recruited to capture Jovenel Moïse and hand him over to the US Anti-Drug Agency (DEA). But the Colombian authorities have not ruled out that they may have been deceived.

‘A large group (of Colombians) was taken away on a supposed protection mission. But within that group there (was) a smaller group that apparently had detailed knowledge of what turned out to be a criminal operation, ‘Colombian President Ivan Duque said.