A heavily armed commando unit that assassinated Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, was composed of 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans, Haitian Police have said.
The hit squad comprised of 28 foreign mercenaries, including retired Colombian soldiers, some of whom were killed while others detained after a gun battle at a house in the capital Port-au-Prince where they had taken refuge.
“It was a team of 28 assailants, 26 of whom were Colombian, who carried out the operation to assassinate the president,” head of the Haiti’s National Police, Leon Charles said at the press conference in Port-au-Prince.
He said 15 Colombians were captured, as well as two Haitian Americans. Three of the assailants were killed and eight remained on the run, Charles said.
Eleven of the suspects were arrested after breaking into the embassy of Taiwan in Port-au-Prince, which sits near the residence where Moïse was killed, a statement from Taiwan’s ministry of foreign affairs said.
Colombia’s defence minister, Diego Molano, confirmed that at least six members of the hit squad appeared to be Colombian ex-soldiers, and that he had ordered the army and police to help with the investigation.
Haitian president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on Tuesday (6 July) night in an attack on his home. First lady Martine Moïse was hospitalized for gunshot wounds she received in the attack. The first lady was evacuated to Miami, where she is reportedly in a stable condition.
Assassin squad broke into the president’s residence on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince during the night and opened fire on the couple.
Ever since the fall of the Duvalier family dictatorship in 1986, Haiti has been plagued by political turmoil, corruption as well as economic instability
An unpopular figure, Moïse, has ruled by decree for the past two years after the parliament dissolved and Haiti failed to hold elections.