A retired Colombian army officer has pleaded guilty to helping plot and carry out the assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise at his home in July 2021.
German Rivera, also known as Colonel Mike, pleaded guilty on Thursday to three counts that could leave him in US prison for the rest of his life, according to documents filed in federal court in Florida.
The 53-year-old Moise was gunned down on July 7, 2021, at his private residence near Port-au-Prince by a hired group of about 20 military-trained Colombians. His security detail did not intervene.
Rivera, along with several others, have been charged under US law as the assassination plot was partly organised in Florida.
In February, US Attorney Markenzy Lapointe told a new conference that underlying the attack on Moise was a lust for money and power.
Lapointe said two managers of a Miami security firm, CTU, devised a plan to kidnap Moise and replace him with Christian Sanon, a Haitian-American citizen who wanted to become president of the Caribbean country.
In exchange for toppling Moise, they were promised lucrative contracts to build infrastructure and provide security forces and military equipment in a future government led by Sanon, also indicted in the United States, prosecutors said.
The plot at first aimed at kidnapping Moise but then evolved to assassination, according to court filings.
In June, another member of the conspiracy, Haitian-Chilean Rodolphe Jaar, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison for his role in supplying weapons to carry out the assassination.
Haiti has spiraled into chaos since Moise's assassination.
Gangs control around 80 percent of the Haitian capital, and violent crimes such as kidnappings for ransom, armed robbery, and carjackings continue to escalate in the impoverished Caribbean nation.
Last week, the top United Nations official on humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, decried the "extreme brutality" of gang-related violence in the Caribbean nation. "This carnage needs to stop," Griffiths tweeted.