The sister of one of the suspected Colombian hitmen accused of assassinating the president of Haiti has insisted that he is innocent and vowed to clear the name of her dead brother as a potentially destabilizing power struggle gripped the Caribbean country.
Duberney Capador, a retired member of Colombia’s special forces, was one of two Colombians allegedly killed by Haitian security forces last week after the murder of Jovenel Moïse in Port-au-Prince. So far, more than a dozen citizens of the South American country have been arrested, as well as two Haitian Americans.
Haitian authorities claim Capador was part of a 28-member assault squad that stormed the Moïse presidential compound in the early hours of last Wednesday before shooting him to death, a sensational narrative that is now under increasing scrutiny. both in Haiti and abroad.
Capador’s sister told reporters that her 40-year-old brother was not a hit man, but had traveled to Port-au-Prince after being hired by a private security company to help protect “important people.” “He is not a mercenary, he is a good man,” said Jenny Capador in to interview with the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.
Capador said he had exchanged messages with his brother in the hours after Moïse’s murder, which allegedly took place around 1 a.m. Wednesday. She said that he had told his team that “he had come too late to protect the person they were supposed to protect.” “I assume it was the president,” he speculated, adding that his brother had told him that his group had subsequently been surrounded by police.
Talking to CNN Capador added: “He told me they were in a house, besieged and under fire, fighting … I am 100% sure of the innocence of my brother and his companions.”Duberney Capador. Photographer: Jenny Capador Giraldo / Reuters
Haitian police said a 16th Colombian suspect was captured on Saturday and they were continuing to hunt down five other “villains” they suspected of being involved in the bizarre and brazen attack. The last man to be arrested was named as Gersaín Mendivelso Jaimes, another former Colombian military man who had served at the naval hospital in Cartagena, on the country’s Caribbean coast. El Tiempo said authorities believed Mendivelso had helped recruit the Colombian group, which traveled to Haiti via the Dominican Republic, but the exact nature of its mission remains a mystery.
A report In the Colombian magazine Semana, citing an anonymous source, he suggested that the former Colombian soldiers had gone to Haiti after being hired to protect Moïse, who had allegedly been receiving death threats, not assassinate him. Week published excerpts from a WhatsApp message sent by one of the jailed Colombians, a former army sergeant named Ángel Mario Yarce, in which he told his wife that his job was to provide close protection to high-profile dignitaries.
In Haiti, questions have been raised about the role of Moïse’s personal bodyguards, none of whom were reportedly injured in the alleged raid on his hillside mansion.
On Friday, Steven Benoit, a prominent opposition politician and former senator, told local radio station Magik9: “The president was assassinated by his own guards, not by Colombians.”
Moïse’s assassination threatens to exacerbate an already desperate situation in Haiti, which was facing political stagnation, economic turmoil, a wave of kidnappings and violence, and an accelerating Covid crisis. In the wake of the president’s assassination, at least three politicians have attempted to reclaim the leadership of the crisis-hit nation, whose post-colonial history is a mosaic of failed foreign interventions, vicious and corrupt dictatorships, and natural disasters like the devastating 2010 earthquake. it claimed 200,000 lives.
A news vendor sells local newspapers with the news of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, in Port-au-Prince. Photographer: Ricardo Arduengo / Reuters
Haiti’s outgoing Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who had been ousted in the days leading up to Moïse’s assassination, has declared himself interim leader until the scheduled elections in September and has been recognized by countries such as the United States.
But two other politicians, the head of the Senate, Joseph Lambert, and the man Moïse intended to install as prime minister, a neurosurgeon named Ariel Henry, have said they should be in charge.
“His way of acting could endanger the country. We could have a lot of violence, “Henry warned of Joseph’s attempt to reclaim power in to interview with the Washington Post.
If the true identity of Moïse’s executioners remains murky, even less is known about the masterminds of the crime. In a statement posted on social media on Saturday, Martine Moïse, the late president’s wife, blamed his murder on dark, politically motivated enemies whom she did not identify.
“This act has no name because you have to be an unlimited criminal to assassinate a president like Jovenel Moïse, without even giving him the opportunity to say a single word,” he said.
“You know who the president was fighting against,” he said, without elaborating.