WASHINGTON – The United States will not reconsider the type of training provided to foreign military members, although it has been found that seven of the 25 men arrested in the assassination of Haiti’s president were at one time trained by the US.
As the VOA first reported, US defense officials said last week that seven had received US military training in both the US and Colombia between 2001 and 2015, when they were part of the Colombian military.
Pentagon identifies 7 suspects in Moise murder who received US military training
The officer told the VOA that the men were approved for training activities conducted in Colombia and the US between 2001 and 2015.
But Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Thursday that there was nothing to link that training to alleged involvement in the conspiracy that assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Mois earlier this month.
Kirby told reporters during a press gaggle, “We know that these seven individuals certainly haven’t found anything related, or any extrapolation to encourage or encourage what happened in Haiti.” Can do.”
“I have no plans at this time to reconsider or replace this very valuable, ethical leadership training as a result of what happened in Haiti, which we continue to provide to partners in the Western Hemisphere and to partners around the world,” he said. added.
While some of the training took place in Colombia, Pentagon officials say some Colombian citizens were trained at seminars in Washington. Some also took courses at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) based at Fort Benning in the southern US state of Georgia.
Established in January 2001, WHINSEC replaced the School of the Americas, which came under heavy criticism after its involvement in human rights violations including murders and disappearances in El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, and Honduras in the mid-1990s. had gone. and Panama.
In an interview with VOA in April, WHINSEC commandant Colonel John de Suggs said the new school was designed with a focus on human rights and ethics.
“It’s a very rigorous review of the history of the people and their human rights,” Suggs told VOA. “We will only train those who have the same human rights values, who have the same democratic values that we have.”
“We are not shooting anyone. We are not teaching anyone that… go into the house and bring these people down.”
Pentagon officials told VOA this week that Colombians trained at WHINSEC took courses in cadet leadership, professional development, anti-drug action and small unit leader training.
“All WHINSEC courses include human rights and ethics training,” an official said.
Pentagon and State Department officials previously said they would continue to review their records to determine whether any other suspects received training from the US.
Haiti’s President Moises was shot dead at his private residence in a wealthy suburb of Port-au-Prince in the early hours of July 7.
Earlier this week, Haiti sworn in a new prime minister, Ariel Henri, as part of an effort to stabilize the country following Moise’s death.
Upset over President’s assassination, Haiti sworn in as new prime minister
Henry was installed as the head of a new government in an attempt to stabilize a country on the brink of anarchy since the assassination of President Jovenel Mois.
Haitian authorities say they are continuing their investigation into Moise’s murder.
Authorities have accused Christian Emmanuel Senon, a Haitian doctor from Florida, of being the mastermind of the conspiracy.
Some information from AFP was used in this report.