Former Military Officer Mario Antonio Palacios, Detained in Miami, Asked to Cooperate With The United States.
Former Colombian military officer Mario Antonio Palacios, detained in a Miami jail for the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, asked to speak to US authorities when he was in Jamaica, where he fled after the assassination.
Last October Palacios, who faces two charges in the US related to the murder of Moise, which occurred on July 7, 2021, gave a “voluntary statement” to US authorities, according to the lawsuit.
According to court documents, which were published this Tuesday by the order of Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes, Palacios details that he was hired to provide security and participate in an operation in which they were initially going to “arrest” the president.
Palacios, 43, who will have a hearing on January 31, in which the charges will be formally read to him, specified that the entire operation was prepared in Haiti.
He stressed that the idea was to “capture” the president at the airport and take him on a plane, but admitted that by at least July 6 he had been informed that the plans had changed to an assassination.
The ex-military man, who was brought to Miami by the US authorities last Monday night from Panama, was charged this Tuesday in a Miami court with conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping outside the United States and provide material support that resulted in death.
If convicted of the charges, Palacios faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“The defendant and others, including a group of approximately 20 other Colombian citizens and a group of Haitian-US citizens with dual nationality based in Haiti, participated in a plot to kidnap or kill the Haitian president, “ the US Attorney’s Office detailed. USA
He stressed that with another accomplice (identified only as conspirator # 1), who according to Palacios is one of the leaders of the operation, they traveled to the United States on June 28 “to, among other things, provide other people with a written request. of assistance to promote the plot related to the Haitian president “.
“Although the plot initially focused on carrying out a kidnapping of the president as part of an alleged arrest operation, it ultimately resulted in a plot to assassinate the Haitian president, “ the Prosecutor’s Office detailed.
The prosecution alleges that, on July 7, Palacios and others entered the president’s residence in Haiti with the intention and purpose of assassinating him.
The “conspirator # 1” is a dual Haitian-American citizen, who was later arrested by the Haitian authorities and remains in custody in Haiti, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.
It notes that Palacios “evaded arrest and traveled to Jamaica.”
“Palacios was recently deported from Jamaica and, during a stopover in Panama, he agreed to travel to the United States,” said the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Colombian was arrested in Jamaica last October and convicted of illegally entering the country from the Dominican Republic, a charge for which a deportation order was issued.
Of the group that allegedly perpetrated the attack, 18 former Colombian soldiers and 2 Haitian-Americans were arrested, while another 3 Colombians died in shootings with the Police.
At Tuesday’s hearing, the South Florida Prosecutor’s Office said that Palacios is accused of “a serious crime” and asked the judge that the Colombian continue to be detained, considering him a “flight risk and danger to the community.”