More details have emerged about the men accused in the assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moise.
Among those arrested are two Haitian Americans, one of whom worked alongside the American actor and humanitarian Sean Penn following the nation's devastating 2010 earthquake.
Haitian police have also detained or killed more than a dozen former members of Colombia's military.
Some of the suspects were seized in a raid on Taiwan's Embassy, where they were believed to have sought refuge. National Police Chief Leon Charles said another eight suspects were still at large.
Colombian officials have said the men were recruited by four companies and traveled to Haiti via the Dominican Republic. U.S.-trained Colombian soldiers are often recruited by security firms and mercenary armies in conflict zones because of their experience in a decades-long war against leftist rebels and drug cartels.
The sister of one of the dead suspects, Duberney Capador, told the AP that she last spoke to her brother late Wednesday — hours after Moise was killed — when the men, holed up in a home, were surrounded and trying to negotiate their way out of a shootout.
"He told me not to tell our mother, so she wouldn't worry," said Yenny Capador, as she fought back tears.
It's not known who masterminded the attack. And questions remain about how the perpetrators were able to penetrate the president's residence posing as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, meeting little resistance from those charged with protecting the president.
Capador said her brother, who retired from the Colombian army in 2019 with the rank of sergeant, was hired by a private security firm with the understanding he would be providing protection for powerful individuals in Haiti.
Capador said she knew almost nothing about the employer but shared a picture of her brother in a uniform emblazoned with the logo of CTU Security, a company based in Doral, a Miami suburb popular with Colombian migrants.
The wife of Francisco Uribe, who was among those arrested, told Colombia's W Radio that CTU offered to pay the men about $2,700 a month — a paltry sum for a dangerous international mission but far more than what most of the men, noncommissioned officers and professional soldiers, earned from their pensions.
Uribe is under investigation in the death of an unarmed civilian in 2008 who was presented as someone killed in combat, one of thousands of extrajudicial killings that rocked Colombia's U.S.-trained army more than a decade ago.
CTU Security was registered in 2008 and lists as its president Antonio Intriago, who is also affiliated with several other Florida-registered entities, some since dissolved, including the Counter Terrorist Unit Federal Academy, the Venezuelan American National Council and Doral Food Corp.
CTU's website lists two addresses, one of which is a gray warehouse that was shuttered Friday with no sign indicating who the owner is. The other is a small suite under a different company's name in a modern office building a few blocks away. A receptionist said Intriago stops by every few days to collect mail and hold meetings.
Intriago, who is Venezuelan, did not return phone calls and an email seeking comment.
"We are the ones who are most interested in clarifying what happened, so that my brother's reputation does not remain like it is," Capador said. "He was a humble, hardworking man. He had honors and decorations."
Besides the Colombians, those detained by police included two Haitian Americans: James Solages and Joseph Vincent.
Investigative Judge Clement Noel told Le Nouvelliste that the arrested Americans said the attackers planned only to arrest Moïse, not kill him, and that they were acting as translators for the attackers, the French-language newspaper reported Friday.
Solages, 35, described himself as a "certified diplomatic agent," an advocate for children and budding politician on a now-removed website for a charity he started in 2019 in South Florida to assist residents of his Haitian hometown of Jacmel.
He worked briefly as a driver and bodyguard for a relief organization set up by Penn following a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed 300,000 Haitians and left tens of thousands homeless. He also lists as past employers the Canadian Embassy in Haiti. His now-deactivated Facebook page features photos of armored military vehicles and an image of himself in front of an American flag.
Calls to the charity and Solages' associates went unanswered. However, a relative in South Florida said that Solages didn't have any military training and that he didn't believe Solages was involved in the killing.
Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph refused to specify who was behind the attack but said that Moise had earned numerous enemies while attacking oligarchs who for years profited from overly generous state contracts.
Some of those elite insiders are now the focus of investigators, with authorities asking that presidential candidate and businessman Reginald Boulos and former Senate President Youri Latortue meet prosecutors next week for questioning. No further details were provided and none of the men have been charged.
Prosecutors also want to interrogate members of Moise's security detail, including security coordinator Jean Laguel Civil and Dimitri Herard, the head of the General Security Unit of the National Palace.
"If you are responsible for the president's security, where have you been?" Port-au-Prince prosecutor Bed-Ford Claude was quoted as telling Le Nouvelliste. "What did you do to avoid this fate for the president?"