Colombian wanted in Haiti president's murder extradited to US

Panama City (AFP) – Panama has extradited to the United States a retired Colombian soldier wanted over the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise last July, an official said Tuesday.


Mario Palacios was detained at a Panamanian airport late Monday after arriving on a flight from Jamaica, where he was arrested in October, migration service head Samira Gozaine said.

Palacios had been on his way to Colombia after being deported by Jamaica for a lack of evidence connecting him to the assassination, but he was arrested during a stopover at Tocumen International Airport in Panama.

After his arrest, Palacios "accepted voluntary extradition, so last night (Monday) he boarded a flight to Miami," said Gozaine, who added there was an Interpol warrant out for the ex-soldier on "charges of murder and conspiracy to kill."

Moise was shot on July 7 at his home in Port-au-Prince.

Three Colombians were killed by Haitian armed forces responding to the attack and 18 more were detained, alongside two US citizens of Haitian descent.

Dozens of people have since been arrested, but the authors of the attack remain unknown.

The assassination deepened an already dramatic crisis in Haiti, which is suffering from a lack of security, soaring gang violence and a spate of kidnappings.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has in effect been running the country since Moise's killing, told AFP on Monday that he too had been targeted in an assassination attempt, during last weekend's national day celebrations.