July 31, 2021

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Haiti confirms US request to send troops

The Haitian interim government has said it has asked the United States to send troops to protect vital infrastructure in an effort to stabilize the country and prepare for elections following the assassination of President Jovanel Moss.

“We definitely need help, we have asked our international partners to help us,” Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph told the Associated Press without elaborating. “We hope our allies can support the National Police to resolve the situation.”

Joseph said he was shocked that some opponents were trying to use Moses’ assassination to gain political power, an indirect reference to legislators who declared allegiance to Joseph Lambert, the head of the shattered Senate of Haiti, who acknowledged it. Interim president, and to Ariel Henry, who was appointed prime minister by Moss a day before the assassination.

“I was not interested in a power struggle,” Joseph said in a brief phone interview without naming Lambert by name. “People have only one way to become president of Haiti. It is through elections ”.

A few hours ago, the Director General of the Colombian National Police, George Louis Vargas Valencia, said that the Colombians involved in Moss’ murder had been recruited by four companies and traveled to the Caribbean in two groups via the Dominican Republic.

Haitian National Police Chief Leon Charles has said 17 suspects have been detained in connection with Moss’ murder, which rocked a country already plagued by poverty, violence and political instability.

The other eight suspects are in large numbers, Charles said.

As the investigation progresses, the assassination has taken the form of a complex international conspiracy. In addition to the Colombians, two Haitian-Americans detained by the police are said to have worked as translators for the attackers. Some of the suspects have been detained during an operation at the Taiwanese embassy, ​​where they are believed to have sought asylum.

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At a news conference in Bogot, Valencia said four companies were “recruiting, as a group of these people” involved in the murder, but the names of those companies have not yet been identified as they are being verified.

Vargas said two of the suspects traveled to Haiti via Panama and the Dominican Republic, while a second group of 11 people arrived in Haiti on July 4 from Dominican territory.

In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Saki said senior FBI and homeland security officials would “be sent to Haiti soon to assess the situation and see how we can help.”

“The United States has been involved in supporting the Haitian people since the assassination of the President and is in close consultation with our Haitian and international partners,” Zaki said.

Following Haiti’s request for Washington to send troops, a senior U.S. government official reiterated Zaki’s earlier comments that the government would send officials to assess how effective the support would be, but had no plans at this time. Provide military assistance.

In Haiti, trial judge Clement Noel told the French-language newspaper Le Noveliste that the arrested Haitian-Americans, James Solages and Joseph Vincent, had originally planned to arrest Moses, but did not kill him. Noel said Solages and Vincent were working as translators for the attackers.

The same newspaper quoted Port-O-Prince’s lawyer, Pete-Ford Clott, as saying that he had ordered the National Police Investigation Division to question all security agents close to Moss. They include Jean-Lucwell Civil, the president’s security coordinator, and Dmitry Heard, director of the National Palace’s public security division.

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“If you were responsible for the president’s security, where were you? What did you do to prevent the president from having this fate?” Claude pointed out.

His wife was also seriously injured in the attack on Moss’ home Wednesday morning and was flown to Miami for treatment.

With the support of the police and the military, Joseph accepted the government’s order and declared a two-week siege.

Vargas has vowed that Colombia will fully cooperate with the investigation, and South American authorities have identified 13 of the 15 Colombians involved in the attack as members of the Armed Forces, 11 of whom were captured and two killed. Their teams range from lieutenant colonel to private.

Gen. Luis Fernando Navarro, commander of the Colombian Armed Forces, said they would leave the company from 2018 to 2020.

“Within the crime, hired killings are routinely used, and that’s what happened: they hired some members of the Reserve (Army) for this purpose, and they must respond criminally to the facts they committed,” said Jaime Ruiz, a retired Colombian general.

Senior Colombian security officials will travel to Haiti to assist in the investigation.

Colombian soldiers trained by the United States are in high demand to serve in conflict zones between private security agencies because of their experience in combating Colombia’s revolutionary armed forces and powerful drug dealers.

The wife of a detained former Colombian soldier said she was hired by a security agency to travel to the Dominican Republic last month.

The woman, who only mentioned her name as “Julie”, told W. Radio de Colombia that her husband, Francisco Eurip, had been hired by CDU to move to the Dominican Republic for $ 2,700 a month. ., Where he was said to provide security for some powerful families.

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He last spoke to her at 10pm on Wednesday night – almost a day after Moss’ murder – and said he was on duty at a house where he and others were staying.

“The next day he wrote to me to say goodbye. He ran away. They attacked him. He did not understand, but I had no further contact with him,” the wife said.

The woman said she knew little about her husband’s activities and did not even know he had traveled to Haiti.

Europe is being investigated for its role in the illegal killings by the Colombian military a decade ago. Colombian court records show he and another soldier were convicted of killing a civilian in 2008, after which they tried to escape as a convict killed in the war.