Mr. Capador reached out to his wide network of military buddies, most of them in their early 40s, recently retired from the armed forces and struggling to find good paying jobs in Colombia.
The New York Times interviewed 15 family members of the Colombian soldiers implicated in the attack, as well as 14 men who had been recruited for the operation but who ended up not going in June — in some cases because they were part of a second wave of men slated to arrive at a later date, they said.
In interviews, several wives of the recruits said that Mr. Capador assured the men that the operation was backed by an American company — and in some cases even told them it was supported by the U.S. government — and promised to pay the men $2,700 a month, a life-changing sum.
Many of the former soldiers jumped at the opportunity, agreeing to take the job even though some did not know where they were headed or whom specifically they would be protecting, according to their family members.
A group of about two dozen Colombians arrived in Port-au-Prince between early May and June 6, according to interviews with their relatives. Mr. Capador told the recruits they would be fighting criminal gangs, securing crucial infrastructure and guarding dignitaries and investors, with the backing of a major American company.
Instead, they found themselves confined to a cottage and spending the next month exercising indoors, taking English classes and cooking, said the relatives, who remained in daily touch with the recruits.
In mid-June, the ex-soldiers were introduced to a Spanish-speaking man claiming to represent Worldwide Capital, the name of Mr. Veintemilla’s company, according to a recording made by one of the men. In that same session, the speaker introduced Mr. Solages, the now detained American, describing him as a seasoned international investor leading the reconstruction of Haiti.