Home News Haiti assassination suspects once trained by US military: Pentagon

Haiti assassination suspects once trained by US military: Pentagon

Suspects linked to the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse received U.S. military training, the Pentagon said Thursday. 

The Pentagon said Thursday that a review of its training databases indicated that a “small number of the Colombian individuals detained as part of this investigation had participated in past U.S. military training and education programs, while serving as active members of the Colombian Military Forces.” 

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“Our review is ongoing, so we do not have additional details at this time,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman told Fox News. 

Hoffman said the Pentagon “routinely conducts training for thousands of military men and women representing partner nations from South America, Central America and the Caribbean.” 

“This training emphasizes and promotes respect for human rights, compliance with the rule of law, and militaries subordinate to democratically elected civilian leadership,” Hoffman continued. 

It’s the second link to the U.S. government related to the assassination.

Leon Charles, left, Director General of Haiti’s Police leaves a room after a news conference at police headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Charles gave an updated on the investigation of the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
(AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

On Tuesday, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency official said one suspect linked to the assassination had been a confidential source for the agency. 

Following Moïse’s death, there had been reports that someone had yelled “DEA” at the time of the assassination. The official said the agency was aware of those reports, and that while the suspect in question contacted the DEA after the attack, they were not acting on the DEA’s behalf.

“Following the assassination of President Moïse, the suspect reached out to his contacts at the DEA. A DEA official assigned to Haiti urged the suspect to surrender to local authorities and, along with a U.S. State Department official, provided information to the Haitian government that assisted in the surrender and arrest of the suspect and one other individual.”

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The official did not name the suspect in question. So far, 26 former Colombian soldiers are suspected in the killing, and 23 have been arrested, along with three Haitians. Haitian National Police chief Léon Charles said five suspects are still at large and at least three have been killed.

Charles also said that officers found a hat with the logo of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 20 boxes of bullets, gun parts, four license plates from the Dominican Republic, two cars and correspondence, among other things, in Sanon’s house in Haiti.

The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that they will assist in the investigation at the request of the Haitian government.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Mark Meredith, Peter Aitken and The Associated Press contributed to this report.