A retired Colombian army officer pleaded guilty on Thursday to helping a group of mercenaries assassinate former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse at his home in July 2021.
German Rivera, 44, pleaded guilty to three counts, which could send him to prison for the rest of his life, according to court documents from Florida federal court.
The former soldier nicknamed “Colonel Mike” is, like other defendants, tried according to American law because the plan to assassinate Jovenel Moïse was partially developed in Florida, even if he was executed in the capital Haitian, Port-au-Prince.
Jovenel Moïse was shot dead on July 7, 2021 at his home near the capital by a commando of more than 20 trained people, mainly Colombians, without his guards intervening.
Mr. Rivera is accused of helping these mercenaries.
The operation initially aimed to kidnap Mr. Moïse but evolved into an assassination, court documents indicate.
In February, American lawyer Markenzy Lapointe explained at a press conference that this plot had been motivated by money and power.
An American investigation revealed that two men at the head of a security company in Miami, CTU, had planned to kidnap the ex-president to replace him with an American-Haitian, Christian Sanon, who wanted to become president of the country.
Lucrative infrastructure projects as well as contracts providing for the supply of military equipment and security forces to the future government of Mr. Sanon had been promised to them in exchange for the kidnapping of Mr. Moïse, detailed the prosecutors.
Christian Sanon is also being prosecuted in the United States.
In June, another participant in this plot, Rodolphe Jaar, of Haitian and Chilean nationality, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment for having delivered weapons to the assassins.
The death of Jovenel Moïse plunged Haiti even further into chaos, when this small Caribbean state was already plagued by violence from the gangs that currently rule 80% of the capital.
On September 1, UN humanitarian affairs chief Martin Griffiths denounced the “extreme brutality” shown by the gangs, calling for an “end to the carnage”.