US authorities arrest man in connection with assassination of former Haitian president

Jovenel Moïse was killed on July 7, 2021

Updated: January 4, 2022 - 4:20pm

United States authorities arrested a Colombian man and charged him in connection to the still-unsolved assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse last summer. 

Mario Antonio Palacios, or "Floro," was arrested Tuesday in Miami by Department of Homeland Security agents. He is scheduled for an initial court appearance later in the day.

Palacios is a former member of the Colombian military. He will become the first person tried in the states for alleged involvement in the assassination that threw the impoverished nation into chaos.

According to the Miami Herald, he is facing charges of conspiracy to provide material support resulting in the death of a foreign leader and conspiracy to kidnap and kill a foreign leader. 

He stands accused of being a member of a large hit squad, including 26 Colombians and two Haitian-Americans, who shot and killed Moïse inside the presidential palace in July. 

More than 40 individuals were arrested in Haiti, by the Haitian authorities, following the president's death, including 18 former Colombian soldiers, and the man at the head of Moïse's presidential security team. 

At present, it remains unclear who ordered the assassination of Moïse and what was motivating the hit.

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