A range of people, including two former Colombian soldiers, met in recent months in the Dominican Republic and Haiti in a plot that led to the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Haitian and Colombian officials said Thursday.
The role of former soldiers Germán Alejandro Rivera and Duberney Capador emerged after Colombian intelligence officials sent to Haiti to help with the investigation met with 18 former soldiers who had been arrested following the killing, Gen. Jorge Vargas, commander of Colombia’s National Police, said in a press briefing. The two men—along with a third former Colombian soldier—were killed in a gunfight with Haitian police following the president’s assassination, according to Haitian authorities.
The larger group of former soldiers, security officials and businessmen cited by Colombian and Haitian officials Thursday formed an unusual collection of would-be rebels. The Haitian police say the group was led by Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a pastor and self-described doctor whom authorities in Port-au-Prince arrested in recent days as an alleged ringleader. Another person arrested by Haitian police is a Haitian-American translator, James Solages, the officials said Thursday.
The developments from Colombia come as Haitian authorities issued new allegations connecting a widening group of people in the plot against Mr. Moïse. In all, Haitian authorities now say that more than 30 suspects in Haiti, the U.S. and Colombia had some role in the conspiracy. Among them are business people, former officials and an ex-police commander.
In Washington, a senior administration official who was a member of a U.S. delegation that visited Haiti recently said that eight agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were in Port-au-Prince helping the police there with the investigation. Other agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department are also assisting in the probe, including efforts to trace the origin of the weapons believed used in the slaying, the official said.