Jan 4, 2022 - World

Colombian national charged in connection with slaying of Haitian president

Officials attend a ceremony in honor of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise on July 2021. Photo: Valerie Baeriswyl / AFP

Officials attend a ceremony in honor of late Haitian President Jovenel Moise on July 20, 2021. Photo: Valerie Baeriswyl/AFP via Getty Images

A Colombian national has been arrested and charged in the U.S. in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday.

Why it matters: Mario Antonio Palacios, 43, faces charges of "conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the U.S. and providing material support resulting in death," according to the release.

Details: In the criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida and unsealed Tuesday, the Justice Department alleged that Palacios entered the presidential residence on July 7 with the "purpose of killing President Moise."

  • Palacios made an initial court appearance Tuesday, according to AP.
  • He initially eluded arrest and traveled to Jamaica before being extradited to the U.S., per the release. If convicted of the charges against him, Palacios could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
  • The Justice Department alleges approximately 20 other Colombian citizens and a group of Haiti-based Haitian-American dual citizens also participated in the plot to kidnap or kill Moïse.

What to watch: Palacios is scheduled back in court on Jan. 31.

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