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Mario Antonio Palacios appears in court in Miami Mario Antonio Palacios appears in court in Miami 

US charges suspect over assassination of Haiti's president

The US Department of Justice formally charges an ex-member of Colombia's armed forces in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.

By James Blears

In an official statement, the US Department of Justice charges forty-three-year-old Mario Antonio Palacios with conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping.

The charge-sheet stresses, however, that Palacios and others forced their way into President Jovenel Moise's Port-Au-Prince home on 7 July with the intent of killing him, and that is what, in fact, happened. 

Palacios was brought handcuffed to the US District Court of Miami. He had been arrested in Panama on Monday, while being deported from Jamaica to Colombia. 

Haiti in turmoil

Haitian authorities have arrested dozens of people - including 18 Colombian ex-soldiers, and two US citizens of Haitian descent - as part of the assassination investigation.

The assassination threw Haiti into turmoil, which has continued ever since. 

On its Independence Day last Saturday, Prime Minister Ariel Henry had to cancel a speech and dodge bullets outside the cathedral in the northern city of Gonaives, following a Mass.

During that firefight, one person was shot dead and two more were wounded.

Listen to James Blears' report
05 January 2022, 15:36