Sun | Jan 23, 2022

Colombia’s government says consul in Haiti received threats

Published:Wednesday | January 12, 2022 | 2:05 PM
A person holds a photo of late Haitian President Jovenel Moïse during his memorial ceremony at the National Pantheon Museum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Authorities in the Dominican Republic said Monday, January 10, 2022, that they have arrested a key suspect in the killing of President Moise with help from the US. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia's foreign minister said Tuesday the country's consul in Haiti has received threats after trying to provide humanitarian assistance to 18 former Colombia soldiers who were arrested last year for allegedly participating in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez did not provide details on the nature of the threats aimed at Julio Cesar Santa Martinez.

She also did not comment on who made them.

Colombia doesn't have an embassy in Haiti, and Santa Martinez has been the country's sole representative as honorary consul since 2016.

He provides limited links for Colombian citizens in Haiti with the Colombian Embassy in the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

The foreign ministry said that last year the consul visited the detained former soldiers several times to check on their health and has also provided them with toiletries and other items sent by their relatives in Colombia.

Colombia has offered to help Haitian authorities investigate the murder of Moïse, who was shot to death last year when gunmen invaded his home.

Haitian officials allege the attack was carried out by a group of former Colombian soldiers working for a private security firm.

Colombia's government has complained that the former soldiers have been mistreated in Haitian prisons.

In August, Ramirez sent a letter urging the International Red Cross to visit the prisoners and document their condition.

She said that two of the ex-soldiers had been tortured and that none had been provided with lawyers.

Haiti has arrested dozens of people for Moïse's killing, but none have been formally charged.

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