February 28, 2024

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Fate of key suspect in Haiti assassination still undecided

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The Haitian authorities is operating to extradite a former Colombian army officer who is a key suspect in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse from Jamaica to Haiti, the place 18 former troopers are presently jailed in connection with the killing.

Mario Palacios Palacios was arrested in Kingston before this thirty day period soon after surrendering. The arrest had remained top secret right up until various Haitian and Jamaica sources, speaking to the Miami Herald on the problem of anonymity, verified that he had been taken into custody.

“We are functioning on getting him transferred to Haiti,” Haiti International Minister Claude Joseph claimed as he remaining Italy Wednesday, wherever he suggests he mentioned the extradition with Jamaica Minister of Overseas Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith and Colombia Vice President Marta Lucia Ramírez. Ramírez is also the South American nation’s international minister.

There was chatter in Haiti that Palacios could possibly be extradited to the U.S., which has been functioning with Haitian authorities to deliver the assassins to justice. But mainly because Palacios is not wanted on charges of committing a crime in the U.S. or Jamaica, the place he’s becoming held on an immigration violation, his destiny remained unsure.

The similar is correct for Colombia.

“He doesn’t have any prison see in Colombia,” Defense Minister Diego Molano Aponte told the McClatchy Washington Bureau and Miami Herald.

Molano said Colombian Foreign Minister Ramírez is examining to see what guidelines, if any, apply to Palacios. “Of course the placement of the govt of Colombia is to cooperate with the Haitian authorities,” he claimed.

In accordance to data collected with Interpol, Molano claimed, the ex-Colombian military customers “were concerned in the whole murder approach they knew the purpose they were hired, and all of them had been concerned until a specified level.”

It is unclear how extensive Palacios had been in Jamaica and why he selected the nation when he became a fugitive from Haitian law enforcement right after the July 7 slaying, in which former initial girl Martine Moïse was severely wounded. In an interview from hiding, Palacios explained to the Colombian publication Semana that he would rather throw himself into the sea than give himself up to Haitian justice “because there are no guarantees of something.”

“Here the law enforcement are all crooked. There is nothing at all here. This is no man’s land,” he said.

The investigation into Moïse’s middle-of-the-night time slaying has been stymied by allegations of political interference and Haitian law enforcement managing of the proof. The Colombians in custody have accused Haitian police of working with power and stress to get them to confess their roles, and the governing administration of Colombia has composed to Haiti officials expressing worries about the procedure of its nationals and regard for human legal rights.

In all, 44 suspects have been arrested, which include a few Haitian Us citizens who lived in South Florida and members of the president’s protection element. An investigative decide is presently assigned to the circumstance and is carrying out questioning identical to a grand jury’s function in the U.S.

On the exact working day that Palacios’ arrest was built general public, Haiti’s law enforcement director, Léon Charles, resigned. His replacement, Frantz Elbé, who was named the exact same day, is now dealing with inquiries about his possess human legal rights file whilst in the drive. Shortly just after staying named, Elbé sought to substitute the head of the investigative law enforcement unit, who experienced been primary the investigation and proof-gathering in the case.

Adding to the difficulties is the present-day condition of affairs in the battered nation, wherever the interim key minister and justice minister both confront calls to resign amid a cascade of crises. There’s an upsurge in gang violence, which led to the kidnapping of 16 American missionaries and a Canadian. A 7 days later they are still remaining held together with their 5 little ones.

In the meantime, a worsening fuel crisis is threatening to shut down hospitals for the reason that gangs have been blocking trucks from transporting gas to pumps.

On Wednesday, White Household Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the administration would be encouraging the Haiti Countrywide Police protected transportation corridors to enable for fuel deliveries.

“There are components of Haiti exactly where it is difficult to get to. That is why — simply because of threats of crime on the ground and challenging circumstances on the ground. So these transportation corridors are intended to enable help these gasoline deliveries, to get fuel out to communities that need to have it,” she stated.

This tale was at first posted October 27, 2021 6:11 PM.

Profile Image of Jacqueline Charles

Jacqueline Charles has described on Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean for the Miami Herald for about a ten years. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, she was awarded a 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize — the most prestigious award for coverage of the Americas.

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