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Haitian gang with past abductions blamed for kidnapping 17 missionaries – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio 2021-10-17 18:46:26 –

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AP) — Notorious Haiti The gang, known for its serious kidnapping and murder, was accused by police on Sunday of kidnapping 17 missionaries from a US-based organization. It was believed that among the kidnapped children were five.

400 Mawozo gangs have kidnapped a group in Ganthier, a community east of the Port-au-Prince capital, Haitian police inspector Franz Champagne told The Associated Press. The gang was accused of kidnapping five priests and two nuns in Haiti earlier this year.

According to officials, the gang, whose name translates to about 400 “inexperienced men,” dominated the Croix-des-Bouquet district, including Ganthier, where they kidnapped and hijacked and blackmailed business owners. increase.

The Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministry said the kidnapped group consisted of 16 U.S. citizens and a Canadian, for a total of five children, seven women, and five men. Stated. The organization said they were traveling to visit an orphanage.

“Pray with us for the hostages, kidnappers, families, friends and churches of the affected people,” the Christian Aid Ministry said in a statement. “As an organization, we entrust this situation to God and trust that God sees us.”

Haiti has declined in recent months after President Jovenel Moise was hit deadly in his private residence on July 7, killing more than 2,200 people in a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in August. I am suffering again from the surge in kidnapping.

According to the annual report, missionary groups, among other efforts in Haiti, offer Bible classes, run clinics, help orphans, and distribute seeds to farmers.

According to a report last year, American staff said they had returned to a base in Haiti after being absent for nine months “due to political instability,” citing the “uncertainty and difficulty” that resulted from such instability. ..

On Sunday, the AP team visited a group orphanage in Gantier. There, I saw several children walking in the garden. Security guards confirmed that the kidnapped missionary was the place he visited before he was kidnapped. The guard called the orphanage minister at AP’s request, but he declined to comment and just said, “Let’s leave things alone.”

Almost a year ago, Haitian police issued a wanted poster to gang leader Wilson Joseph on charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, car theft, and hijacking of trucks carrying goods. .. He goes by the nickname “Lanmò Sanjou”. This means “I don’t know when death will come.”

Not immediately asked to comment, Joseph posted a video detailing the alleged crimes committed by the gang in recent years.

The street vendor is preparing to sell her produce in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Sunday, October 17, 2021. Voice messages sent to various religious missions by organizations that are directly aware of the incident. (AP Photo / Joseph Oderin)

Once, when a gang fired on a small bus carrying several passengers and killed a toddler, Wilson refused to stop the bus driver, so he said it wasn’t their fault. In a recent video, he appears to have a bottle of alcohol surrounded by heavily armed men. Another video in June shows people in the church fleeing when a shooting occurs outside on Saturday morning. The gang was accused of attacking the area and igniting a car.

A senior U.S. official said on condition of anonymity that the U.S. had contacted Haitian authorities and was trying to resolve the case.

The Christian Aid Ministry was put under public surveillance in 2019 when one of the former workers in a Haitian-based group was convicted of felony sexual abuse of minors in Ohio. rice field. 40-year-old Jeria Mast has been sentenced to nine years in prison in Ohio. According to the Ohio Daily Record, the judge said during a hearing that Mast had molested at least 30 boys in Haiti in about 15 years.

Religious groups reached out-of-court reconciliation with victims of sexual abuse in the Haitian community of Petit Goab in a May 2020 statement, providing other victims with a total refund of $ 420,000 and other assistance. He said he did.

Gangsters are demanding ransoms of hundreds to more than a million dollars amid a surge in kidnappings, officials said.

Last month, a butler was murdered in front of a church in the capital of Port-au-Prince and his wife was kidnapped. This is one of the dozens of people who have been kidnapped in the last few months.

A report issued last month by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, known as BINUH, reported the kidnapping of at least 328 people to Haiti’s national police during the first eight months of 2021, compared to a total for 2020 as a whole. There were 234 people.

Gangsters have been accused of abducting school children, doctors, police officers, passenger bus roads, etc. as they became more powerful. In April, a man claiming to be a 400 Mawozo gang leader told radio stations that he was responsible for kidnapping five priests, two nuns, and three relatives that month. They were released later.

The surge in kidnapping and gang-related violence forced Haitians to bypass certain gang-controlled areas, while others simply chose to stay home. A prince with several children feeding.

“People aren’t out on the street,” he said. “We can’t find someone to transport.”

A protest is scheduled for Monday to condemn the country’s lack of security.

The abduction of missionaries occurs days after US officials visit Haiti and promise more resources for Haiti’s national police, including an additional $ 15 million to reduce gang violence. Increasingly unsanitary condition.

Haitian gang with past abductions blamed for kidnapping 17 missionaries Source link Haitian gang with past abductions blamed for kidnapping 17 missionaries

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