Police had wanted Colombian under surveillance in St MaryFriday, October 22, 2021
Up to press time yesterday the police remained tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding the capture of one of the region's most wanted men, Mario Antonio Palacios, in Jamaica.
Palacios, a Colombian, who served as a military officer, is wanted by international law enforcement agencies in connection with the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Mo´se in July.
In an early afternoon release yesterday the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said an individual alleging to be a Colombian had been arrested in the island on immigration breaches.
“He has subsequently become the subject of an INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organisation) Red Notice as of today, October 21, 2021. We are working with our international partners in line with our established treaties and protocols,” said the JCF as it promised to provide more information “at an appropriate time”.
A Red Notice is issued by INTERPOL to its 194 member countries, including Jamaica, for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence. It is a request to law enforcement agencies worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action.
But even without official word from the JCF Jamaica Observer sources identified the Colombian as Palacios who was flagged by INTERPOL based on an investigation by law enforcement officials in Haiti who are probing the assassination of Mo´se.
The sources say Palacios was arrested in St Mary where he had been on the police's radar for weeks.
“It is not clear how he entered the island but the police suspect it was by boat. He was under surveillance while the JCF checked with its international partners and they decided to pick him up based on indications that he was getting ready to leave Jamaica,” one source claimed.
Haiti issued a wanted bulletin for the former Colombian military officer, whom it claimed had travelled to that country at least one day before the assassination of Mo´se.
The Haitian National Police, in its notice described Palacios as “a very dangerous” person and appealed to Haitians to contact law enforcement authorities should he be seen. According to the police he had travelled with several former soldiers involved in the assassination of President Mo´se.
The police said that he left Colombia for the Dominican Republic on Friday, June 4, travelling via El Dorado airport. The authorities said that he was on the same Avianca flight with other members of the commando unit that allegedly shot Mo´se.
The international media yesterday reported that United States authorities have issued an extradition request to Jamaica for Palacios but local authorities might yet decide to deport him.