Pentagon confirms training assassinators implicated in Haiti

TEHRAN, Jul. 16 (MNA) – Pentagon confirmed that some of the former Colombian servicemen arrested after last week’s assassination of Haiti’s president previously received US military training.

The announcement has raised fresh questions about the United States’ ties to Jovenel Moïse’s death, Washington Post reported.

“A review of our training databases indicates that a small number of the Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in past US military training and education programs while serving as active members of the Colombian Military Forces,” Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement to The Washington Post.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), whose legislation provides oversight of foreign defense aid used in human rights abuses, said the episode was a grim reminder that US assistance to other countries can take unexpected turns.

Colombian officials initially said that 13 of 15 Colombian suspects in the July 7 assassination plot once served in that country’s military, including the two killed by Haitian authorities after Moïse was fatally shot inside his home.

The disclosure that some of the assassination suspects received US training, which has not been previously reported, is certain to complicate the already murky understanding of how the plot to kill Moïse took shape, and who was involved.

Two US citizens of Haitian descent are among those who have been arrested, and Haitian authorities identified five companies associated with the case, including CTU Security, based in Florida. Colombian police also identified 19 plane tickets purchased by a company credit card registered in Miami. The tickets were used by some of the 21 Colombian suspects to travel from Bogotá, Colombia, to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, authorities said.

Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, an American doctor and pastor who frequently traveled between Haiti and Florida, was arrested in connection with the plot. Authorities have claimed he was positioning himself to run for president in the impoverished Caribbean nation and had a role in hiring the alleged assassins, but they have provided little evidence about his alleged involvement.

To date, Haitian authorities have arrested at least 20 people in connection with Moïse’s death, which has plunged the country into a leadership crisis. Late Wednesday, officials confirmed they had detained the presidential palace’s head of security.

Authorities in Haiti are investigating Moïse’s killing with assistance from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and personnel from Colombia’s government. 

HJ/PR

News Code 176188

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