Assassination Suspect Caught, Facing Charges

( – In July 2021, a group of assassins entered the home of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse and murdered him. The shooters also injured First Lady Martine Moïse. Six months after the assassination, a suspect has been charged by US prosecutors.

On January 3, law enforcement detained Mario Palacios, 43, at an airport in Panama. The suspect is a retired Colombian commando who US authorities believe was involved in the assassination plot. Palacios was flown to Miami after his arrest and went before a federal judge on Tuesday, where he was charged with conspiring to kidnap or kill outside the US.

Palacios was part of a group of two dozen ex-Colombian military special forces that traveled to Haiti between May and June after being hired by CTU Security, a Miami-based firm. Originally, they were on the island to protect dignitaries but their mission shifted and some of them allegedly broke into the presidential mansion to murder Moïse.

According to Haitian investigators, the assassins were allegedly trying to replace the president with Windelle Coq-Thelot, a former supreme court judge. There was reportedly a meeting with the judge before the assassination.

The suspect is the only one charged in the US so far. However, more of the perpetrators are being held by the Haitian police, and could face charges in America.

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