A retired Colombian army officer was sentenced today to life in prison by a Miami court for his role in the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in Port-au-Prince.

Herman Rivera, who led the mercenaries who shot dead the Haitian president on July 7, 2021, pleaded guilty to three charges in federal court in Miami, Florida.

The former Colombian army captain was tried under US law because the plan to kill Moise was partly hatched in Florida, although his execution took place in the Haitian capital.

Handcuffed and dressed in prison uniform, the defendant refused to make a statement before his sentence was announced. Rivera is the second person to be sentenced in the US for Moiz’s death. In June, a businessman with dual Haitian-Chilean citizenship, Rodolphe Zaar, was sentenced to life in prison on charges of supplying the attackers with weapons.

The 53-year-old Moiz was murdered inside his home on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince by a group of 20 trained men, most of them Colombian. His guards did not intervene. According to court documents, the initial goal was to take the president hostage, but the operation ended in his assassination.

The investigation by the US authorities revealed that two men, heads of a security company, CTU, based in Miami, wanted to replace Moise with the American-Haitian Christian Shannon, who wanted to become the president of the country.

The death of Jovenel Moise plunged Haiti further into chaos. Today armed gangs control almost 80% of the capital and crime has reached record levels. No elections have been held since 2016 and the post of president has remained vacant since then.