Wife of Suspect in Assassination of Haiti’s President Says Husband Was Recruited

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
July 9, 2021 Updated: July 9, 2021

BOGOTA, Colombia—The wife of a former Colombian soldier arrested in Haiti in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse says her husband was recruited by a security firm to travel to the Dominican Republic last month.

The woman told Colombia’s W Radio on Friday that her husband, Francisco Uribe, was hired for $2,700 a month by a company named CTU to travel to the Dominican Republic, where he was told he would be providing protection to some powerful families.

She says she last spoke to her husband Wednesday at 10 p.m.—almost 24 hours after the raid on the president’s home—and said he was on guard duty at a house where he and others were staying.

“The next day he wrote me a message that sounded like a farewell,” the woman, who identified herself only as Yuli. “They were running, they had been attacked. … That was the last contact I had.”

The woman said she knew little about her husband’s activities and was unaware he had even traveled to Haiti, where Colombians need a visa to enter.

Another arrested Colombian suspect, Manuel Antonio Grosso, last month posted on Facebook snapshots of himself visiting tourist spots in the Dominican capital, including the presidential palace.

Uribe has been under investigation for his alleged role in a spate of extrajudicial killings carried out by Colombia’s U.S.-trained army more than a decade ago. Colombian court records show that he and another soldier were accused of killing a civilian in 2008 who they later tried to present as a criminal killed in combat.

The director of Colombia’s police, Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia, says that four companies had been involved in recruiting and gathering suspects implicated in the assassination of Moïse, though he did not release the companies’ names, saying they were being verified.

He said Friday that the Colombian suspects—several of whom were earlier identified as military veterans—traveled to the Caribbean nation in two groups by way of the Dominican Republic.

Vargas said Duberney Capador Giraldo and Alejandro Rivera García travelled from Colombia to Panama on May 6 and then to Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital. He said they then went to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on May. 10.

A second group of 11 Colombians followed later. Police released a document indicating they had travelled on June 4 from Bogota to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and two days later crossed into Haiti.

It was not yet clear who had sponsored the men’s recruitment.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press