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Haiti’s “400 Mawozo” gang has kidnapped 16 American missionaries, police say

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — The State Department confirmed on Sunday that 16 of the 17 people kidnapped in Haiti were 16 Americans. Police said the gang, who kidnapped five priests and two nuns earlier this year, was also blamed for the recent kidnapping.

“The welfare and security of US citizens abroad is one of the State Department’s top priorities,” the State Department said in a statement. “We are in regular contact with senior Haiti authorities and will continue to work with Haiti authorities and inter-ministerial partners. We will provide additional information wherever possible.”

Haitian police inspector Franz Champagne told The Associated Press that a “400 Mawozo” gang had kidnapped a group in Ganthier, a commune east of the Port-au-Prince capital.

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.

Haiti is headed by President Jovenel Moise Shot deadly Following magnitude 7.2 at his private residence on July 7th earthquake It struck southwestern Haiti in August, killing more than 2,200 people.

Missionaries were on their way home on Saturday from the construction of the orphanage, according to a message from the Ohio-based Christian Aid ministry sent to various religious missions.

“This is a special prayer warning,” said the one-minute message. “Pray for the members of the gang to come to repent.”

In the message, the mission’s field director is working with the US embassy, ​​and the field director’s family and one other unidentified man are at the provincial base while everyone else is visiting the orphanage. It is written that it stayed at.

Other details were not immediately available.

A U.S. government spokesperson said he knew of reports of the kidnapping.

“The welfare and security of US citizens abroad is one of the State Department’s top priorities,” a spokesman declined further.

Gangsters have demanded ransoms ranging from hundreds of dollars to over a million dollars, 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 that at least 328 kidnapping victims were reported to Haiti’s national police in the first eight months of 2021, compared to the entire 2020. Then there were a total of 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 gang kidnapped five priests and two nuns, prompting a three-day protest. Haitians are currently preparing for another protest scheduled for Monday to condemn the lack of security in poor countries.

“Political turmoil, the proliferation of gangsters, and worsening socio-economic conditions such as food insecurity and malnutrition all contribute to worsening humanitarian conditions,” BINUH said in a report. “Overkill and underfunded police alone cannot address Haiti’s security problems.”

On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to expand the UN’s political mission in Haiti.

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.

Among those who met with Haiti’s police chief was the US quail Zeya, who was under the Secretary of State for civilian security, democracy, and human rights.

“Dismantling the gangsters is essential to Haiti’s stability and civil safety,” she recently said. Tweet..



Haiti’s “400 Mawozo” gang has kidnapped 16 American missionaries, police say

Source link Haiti’s “400 Mawozo” gang has kidnapped 16 American missionaries, police say

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