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Family members of Colombians suspected in President Moïse assassination say ‘they were tricked’

Family members of the Colombian men accused of the assassination plot against Lionel Moïse, say they don't believe they had all the details of the job they were hired for.
Family members of the Colombian men accused of the assassination plot against Lionel Moïse, say they don't believe they had all the details of the job they were hired for.

BOGOTA – Family members of Colombian nationals suspected in the assassination of President Lionel Moïse in July, believe they were tricked into taking part. One month following the assassination, 40 people have been detained, but little information has been reported about the masterminds behind the attack.

Local 10′s Cody Weddle spoke exclusively to the family members of 26 of those accused Colombian nationals, many of them with a military background, in Bogota.

FILE - In this July 8, 2021 file photo, suspects in the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise are shown to the media at police headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Haitian authorities have implicated at least 20 retired Colombian soldiers in the president's assassination on July 7. (AP Photo/Joseph Odelyn, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Some said the plans for the July assassination may date back to April of this year. Jenny Capador said her brother Duberney was a happy man, who mentioned making 10 thousand pesos, for a job he knew little about.

Monica Gonzalez said her husband told her they could earn over $2,500 for a few months work.

Some of these men arrived in Haiti a few days before the assassination, others a few months before. All of them keeping close contact with their family back in Colombia, who believe their loved ones never knew the true intent of their mission.

“I never saw him nervous and he’s never lied to me before. He said the job involved being some type of patrol,” said Gonzalez.

Many of them were in communication with their loved ones during a police shootout.

“The last time I spoke to my husband, was during a call on WhatsApp, and he said he loved me with all of his heart,” explained Gonzalez.

They all insist their family members would have never accepted the job, had they actually known what it entailed.

“I know him. I know who my son is and he would never be capable of doing these things.” said Gonzalez mother-in-law.

At least one of the men detained told his family he would be protecting someone on the night of the assassination. None of these families believe their loved ones were involved in the actual killings or even in the room at the time. Now they are worried they are being mistreated or even tortured in Haitian prisons.

Some reports have said the conditions of those men were verified last week by a humanitarian commission. In its report, the commission warned that Colombians have not been allowed to speak with a lawyer despite being questioned by Haitian authorities and the FBI.

FILE - In this July 12, 2021 file photo, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano, center, Colombia's National Police Director Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas, right, and Colombian Armed Forces Commander Gen. Luis Fernando Navarro, left, leave after giving a press conference in Bogota, Colombia. The officials announced the government will continue to help with the investigation of alleged participation of former Colombian soldiers in the assassination of Haiti's President Jovenel Moise. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

About the Authors:

Veronica Crespo writes for Local10.com and also oversees the Español section of the website. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism and Spanish.