Rodolphe Jaar,
Arrest of Rodolphe “Whiskey” Jaar, in a 2013 photo (left). At right is the arrest warrant for him in connection to the July 7, 2021, assassination of Haiti President Jovenel Moïse — Photos by Haitian National Police

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — Authorities apprehended Rodolphe “Whiskey” Jaar, a convicted drug trafficker and former DEA informant, while he was crossing the border from Haiti on Friday. Haitian and Dominican officials confirmed the arrest to the Miami Herald.

Jaar, a Haitian national, had spent months hiding in Haiti after being part of the alleged hit squad that assassinated President Moïse, then tried on Friday to cross into the Dominican Republic, the Herald reported.  

U.S. authorities had requested the arrest of Jaar based on statements provided by Mario Antonio Palacios, a retired Colombian sergeant, according to Haitian officials. Palacios, arraigned January 4 in Miami, has been cooperating with a joint Haiti-U.S. investigation of the assassination. 

With this arrest, Jaar becomes the third international fugitive captured since October 2021 in connection with the gruesome July 7 killing. The other two suspects being held by authorities outside of Haiti are Palacios and Samir Handal, a Haitian-Palestinian businessman. Both are fighting extradition from Jamaica and Turkey, respectively, where each was arrested.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where Jaar was detained, do not have an extradition agreement. Such accords allow countries to automatically return captured fugitives to the territory where the crime is committed. 

Palacios and a team of Colombian commandos are suspected of being recruited to provide security in Haiti by a firm near Miami, CTU Federal Academy.

Members of the Colombian security team left Jaar’s home, armed with a plan to kill Moïse, according to the Haitian police report.

Jaar, 49, was convicted of drug trafficking in 2013, according to court documents obtained by Univision. He was also arrested in May 2000 for his alleged involvement in laundering drug money. He worked as an undercover informant for the DEA for the next 12 years, pleading guilty to stealing 50 kilos of the cocaine he allegedly helped agents seize, worth around $1 million.

Released from prison in 2016, Jaar was deported to Haiti.

J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She is a 2022 Fellow for the Columbia School of Journalism's Age Boom Academy. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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  1. are we commenting about Jaar? Not much to say except that he is NOT the brains of the July 7th murder. I met this man decades ago. There are many others in Haiti who match or fit this genre of ignorant behavior. Lets not overlook the provenance of this entire, sadly laughable undertaking. So now the authorities have three mechanics, but where are those who initiated this folly? In the abstract, the directors, and there are a few by necessity, are perhaps already abroad feigning Covid. The sad side to this entire misadventure is that Haiti, as a Nation, has spawned many such events over the history beginning in 1801. Haitians as we, they are, have not demonstrated the maturity and respect that is required as an integral part of any successful national profile. Haiti is not alone, but is alone. Haitians have, and may probably continue to fail themselves from themselves.

  2. You leave out the most interesting part of this story: That the US Government was behind the entire fiasco, to see Moise assassinated.

    And how despite the trail leading straight to Ariel Henry, self declared current President of Haiti, the US has chosen to recognize him as the de facto leader of that nation.

    Not to mention how everyone being arrested is for some reason winding up in US custody, which strongly indicates a desire to contain details of this criminal operation.

    The US ordered a HIT on a foreign leader & it’s being buried.

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