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Murder in Haiti: controversy as Colombian government seeks lawyers to defend mercenaries

Opposition sectors and analysts have questioned the actions of the Colombian government after the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti, for which 18 Colombian mercenaries are being held.

Once the implication of former Colombian soldiers in the assassination was discovered, media close to President Iván Duque released a government-backed version of events which presented it as a deception of those who allegedly had them. hired for the opposite: supporting the safety of Moses.

For Colombian analyst Aurelio Suárez, consulted by AL DÍA, “the government must profit from the investigations and cannot say that there has been deception. It was overcome a long time ago. Those who are going to give a trial are the Haitian authorities, and Colombia must submit to and respect it. If they are defeated at trial, there is nothing else that can be done but to ensure due process. “

He even said that “it would be a unique precedent in Colombia, which has always complied with decisions abroad. If Colombia hesitates, it risks entering a kind of zone of questioning of its legitimacy at the international level.

Contact in Miami

At the meetings preceding the assassination of Moses, according to what is known, a Venezuelan and Colombian citizen attended, who loaned their company’s offices in Florida, and contacted and paid for the trip of the ex-servicemen to Port- au-Prince. This is Colombian businessman Arcángel Pretel, a security expert also known as Gabriel Pérez and partner of Venezuelan Antonio Intriago in the CTU company in Florida.

In this regard, Senator Iván Cepeda, member of the Democratic Pole and opponent of the government, said AL DÍA that “it is the responsibility of the Colombian authorities to investigate the relationship between these mercenaries and the companies that hired them in Miami. These companies appear to have had activities in Colombia and, of course, it is their duty to contribute to the investigation.

For his part, Suárez declares that “the events in Haiti are a disgrace for Colombia, and for any country, whether the military or ex-military, including middle-ranking officers, participate in an act of mercenarism to go and kill an president of a foreign country. Colombia must accept this as a national disgrace and a terrible act. “

The defense of imprisoned mercenaries

What has drawn attention in recent weeks is the decision of the Colombian Ombudsman’s office to send a delegation to Haiti to verify the conditions of the 18 Colombians and the subsequent decision of the government to seek lawyers to take charge of their situation. defense.

At the time, Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez said that “every detainee in the world must have the right to defense and due process” and said the government was “very concerned. “by the lack of lawyers for the mercenaries.

“We are studying the possibility of finding an international lawyer, including Colombian, who knows Haitian law and who can at least have the support of a Haitian lawyer, if we do not find a Haitian lawyer willing to defend them”, said the senior official, who was criticized by the opposition.

In this sense, Senator Iván Cepeda considered “that there is an impact on the symmetry between the efforts that exist to guarantee the rights of these people, but also the absence of explanations on the true origins of this operation” .

In addition, he was astonished by “this feverish activity around the defense of these people involved in mercenary operations, but at the same time the indolence of the government to produce explanations on what happened. Also to formally ask forgiveness from the Haitian people for whom our government is politically responsible for allowing people who were in the army to participate in an operation of this nature. “

Analyst Aurelio Suárez warned that “as Colombian citizens, they are entitled to the aid that the country gives them. What is strange here is that it is only for them and that there is no assistance for many other Colombians who, for different reasons, even minors, in the world are detained. without legal assistance and totally helpless.

According to the Colombian Foreign Ministry, as of September 1, there were 121,827 Colombians detained abroad for various reasons. Of these, 29,439 are for drug trafficking, 15,527 for theft and 9,421 for homicide. There are 52,553 detainees, 44,378 under investigation, 17,067 on trial. In Venezuela, 17,618 Colombians are detained; in the United States, 15,674; and in Spain, 13,696. All three are the countries with the most Colombians in their prisons.

A little less than a month ago, after a meeting with the Haitian ambassador in Bogotá, Lucía Ramírez declared “that there can be no impunity” and that “we will not allow the Colombia’s international image is linked to a land of mercenaries ”.

Suárez indicated that “Colombia is not a country of mercenaries, but it is a country that exports mercenaries. For example, it is known that those who visited the United Arab Emirates a few years ago found themselves involved as private armed forces in the war against the Yemenis.

In the case of the mercenaries in Haiti, all eyes are on the Colombian government to see what its next move will be.


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