Colombia seeks to provide support to former soldiers detained in Haiti

BOGOTA.- Within the framework of the official visit of the Colombian Foreign Minister, Alvaro Leyvato Haiti to reinstate the diplomatic headquarters and strengthen bilateral ties, a delegation from the government of Colombia focused on providing support to the 17 former Colombian soldiers detained in the Port-au-Prince prison for their alleged participation in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in 2021.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry, in an official statement, highlighted the recent opening of a consulate in Port-au-Prince as part of efforts to provide assistance to Colombians residing in Haiti, especially those detained in conditions that have been denounced as precarious.

The visit to the prison, led by the deputy ombudsman, Luis Andrés Fajardo, and an official from the Directorate of Immigration, Consular Affairs and Citizen Services of the Foreign Ministry, aimed to evaluate the conditions of the detainees and coordinate humanitarian actions.

Relatives of detainees ask for support

Relatives of the former soldiers expressed concern about the lack of a formal judicial process and the difficult conditions in which the detainees are found in the Port-au-Prince prison.

“They have all had cholera, have gastrointestinal problems and suffer from foot pain and fungus, because the place is very dirty. While they sleep, the rats pass over them,” said Milena Carmona, the detainee’s wife.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry promised to intensify efforts to improve the situation and coordinate humanitarian measures with the government of Haiti, including the possible organization of a humanitarian flight so that relatives can directly verify the conditions of detention.

“We want to ensure that detained former military personnel receive the necessary support and their human rights are respected. The opening of the consulate in Port-au-Prince is a significant step in this direction,” Foreign Minister Leyva stated during the visit.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry also highlighted the importance of strengthening the bilateral relationship with Haiti and jointly addressing cooperation issues in areas such as education and the fight against drug trafficking. As contacts between both countries intensify, it is hoped that diplomatic engagement will translate into tangible improvements for Colombians detained in Haiti and their families.

FOUNTAIN: With information from AP