Bogota, Colombia (CNN)After 26 Colombians were accused of assassinating Haitian President Jovenel Moise, a retired peculiar forces worker successful Colombia has told CNN that they were really hired to supply the person security, and that helium himself was approached for the occupation by a US-based company.
Matias Gutierrez, 45, told CNN helium was contacted successful aboriginal June by a chap seasoned named Mendivelso Gersain, who enactment him successful interaction with different antheral -- retired Sgt. Duberney Capador -- recruiting a radical of backstage information guards to question to Haiti.
Capador told the men helium was moving for a US-based institution and created a WhatsApp radical to coordinate the recruitment effort, Gutierrez alleged. The logo of Florida-based steadfast CTU Security was added arsenic the icon of the WhatsApp group, which, Gutierrez said, astatine immoderate constituent had much than 250 radical successful it.
"They lone mentioned a institution based successful the US, and a occupation arsenic backstage information successful Haiti. Security for the President of Haiti, who was believed to beryllium nether decease threat," Gutierrez told CNN.
Colombian constabulary had already named CTU Security arsenic the recruiter for the Haiti operation, but their Haitian counterparts judge a Haitian-born American, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, had hired CTU to enlistee the 26 Colombians, characterizing them arsenic mercenaries, arsenic good arsenic 2 Haitian-Americans.
When asked astir the 26 Colombians and 2 different Haitian-Americans who are suspects successful the investigation, Sanon emphasized that "he doesn't cognize thing astatine all," according to a root adjacent to the investigation, who cannot beryllium named due to the fact that they are not authorized to sermon the affair. "He doesn't know. He doesn't know. This is what helium said since the time authorities interviewed him," the root said.
CTU Security is headquartered successful the Miami country and tally by a Venezuelan man, Antonio "Tony" Intriago.
CNN has tried repeatedly to interaction CTU Security since Saturday and has been incapable to place interaction accusation for Intriago. Colombian constabulary accidental they are moving with Interpol to supply accusation connected Intriago.
On Monday, Colombian constabulary besides claimed that the airfares for 19 the Colombian men were paid with a recognition paper linked to a institution based successful Miami.
About a period aft the archetypal recruitment attack was made, according to Gutierrez, Moise was killed successful his backstage residence successful the aboriginal hours of July 7. Capador was gunned down successful an cognition by Haiti constabulary soon afterward, connected the aforesaid day, and Gersain remains detained arsenic 1 of 20 Colombians captured aft the assassination.
Gutierrez told CNN helium had been successful interaction with the recruited Colombian guards respective times portion they were successful Haiti. They told him the occupation was to supplement the Haitian statesmanlike guard.
"They were not moving successful the interior circle," Gutierrez said. "A state would ne'er enactment the information of a president successful the hands of a stranger. The interior ellipse is ever a radical of statesmanlike guards oregon concealed work successful civilian clothes. Our radical was uniformed and moving successful enactment of the interior circle."
According to the Colombian police, Capador travelled to Port-au-Prince connected May 10 with different Colombian man, retired Capt. German Rivera. A radical of 11 retired Colombian soldiers followed them connected June 4. It's unclear erstwhile Gersain arrived successful Haiti.
At the extremity of May, Dimitri Herard, the Haitian main of the General Security Unit astatine the statesmanlike palace, besides traveled to Ecuador done Bogota, according to the Colombian National Police. The unit said July 12 that it is investigating whether Herard, portion successful Colombia, met with immoderate of the Colombian nationals allegedly progressive successful the assassination.
Herard is presently nether disciplinary measures successful Haiti and was owed to look successful tribunal Wednesday, but helium missed his appearance, citing "a precautionary measurement ordered by the General Inspector of the Haitian Police," according to a missive from Herard that CNN has seen.
Gutierrez questions Colombians' involvement
Gutierrez, who works arsenic a information defender for an lipid institution successful Bogota, says helium was attracted to the occupation by the bully wage and the anticipation to travel: "In Colombia, immoderate occupation would wage you immoderate 3 100 USD, portion this connection was for $2,700 per month, with nutrient and accommodation included. I cognize radical who are moving close present successful Dubai, Abu Dhabi, radical successful Kabul oregon Yemen, oregon adjacent Syria. It was a akin occupation connection to those ones."
Gutierrez told CNN helium is portion of a wide web of retired peculiar forces and commandos who enactment arsenic backstage information astatine location and abroad. Colombian veterans are highly sought by backstage information companies due to the fact that of their combat acquisition garnered from sustained warfare among the Colombian state, left-wing guerrillas and paramilitary groups.
Capador's sister told CNN her member was besides looking for a amended wage abroad, saying helium was struggling to get by connected the authorities pension helium received aft 20 years of work successful the Colombian army.
Gutierrez, arsenic good arsenic respective relatives of different Colombians who traveled to Haiti, told CNN the accusations against the men bash not adhd up.
"It was each a plot. How tin you person this benignant of assassination and not person a azygous dormant but the President himself? If my fellows had done the job, they would person had to participate the residence and termination the guards earlier sidesplitting the President. You would person seen a combat scene," Gutierrez said.
Capador's sister besides told CNN she spoke with her member successful the greeting connected the time of the President's assassination, and that helium told her they had arrived excessively precocious and could not prevention the people they had been hired to protect.
She said she past heard from her member connected the day of July 7, erstwhile helium told her helium was negotiating the Colombians' surrender to the Haitian police, Capador told CNN, a assertion CNN has not been capable to independently verify.
After the quality broke from Haiti, everything turned quiescent connected the WhatsApp radical created to coordinate the recruitment effort, Gutierrez claims.
"Our radical was called 'First Flight.' They created different groups due to the fact that determination were much than 250 radical successful that group, and they could not adhd more. Then everyone left. There's little than 50 radical successful it now."
Gutierrez said helium felt the information that determination were truthful galore radical connected the WhatsApp radical suggested that the cognition was thing untoward.
"You don't bash that if you request to termination somebody," helium said.
"I've done those operations erstwhile I was successful the military, and they would nonstop a commando to termination a guerrilla person oregon thing similar. You're ne'er much than 8 people. Eight is the maximum, due to the fact that different excessively galore radical marque the cognition harder. This clip they were adding much and much people."
His thoughts, helium says, are for the families of the detained guards: "They didn't adjacent person their archetypal salary, they had conscionable got there. Now this happened, and astir apt the Colombians are going to beryllium charged. Who knows erstwhile they'll spot them again."