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Gang In Haiti Kidnaps US Missionaries, Children; Demands Ransom For A Hundred Dollars To More Than $1 Million

A gang had kidnaped members of American Christian Aid Ministries in Haiti on Saturday. A group of 17 US missionaries, including three children, was taken on their way home returning home from constructing an orphanage, according to former field director for the group through a voice message, New York Times reported. 

A 2-Year-Old Child Was Included

Dan Hooley, the former field director, said Sunday morning that all of the adults were staff members for the organization, which has fewer than 30 people in the country. According to local authorities, the kidnapped group included 16 Americans and one Canadian. Mr. Dooley stated that among them were a 2-year-old and another young child.

Haiti Is Currently Dealing With The Resurgence Of Gang-Related Kidnappings (Photo: Humans Right Watch)

According to a prayer alert issued by Christian Aid Ministries, the missionaries were based in Titanyen, about 11 miles north of Port-au-Prince, and were abducted on their way home from visiting an orphanage in Fond Parisien. The Millersburg, Ohio-based organization strives to be a trustworthy and effective avenue for Amish, Mennonite, and other orthodox Anabaptist groups and people to minister to physical and spiritual needs around the world,” according to its website.

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Haiti is dealing with a resurgence of gang-related kidnappings, which had decreased after President Jovenel Mossé was fatally shot at his private residence on July 7, and after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck southwest Haiti in August, killing more than 2,200 people. The US government, according to a spokesperson, was aware of the kidnapping reports.

Kidnappings Were Done For Ransom

Kidnappings of schoolchildren, physicians, police officials, busloads of commuters, and others have been reported as gangs gain authority. Five priests and two nuns were abducted by a gang in April, prompting a protest similar to the one planned for Monday to denounce the country’s lack of security.

Gangs have sought ransoms ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a million dollars, according to officials. A report released last month by the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, at least 328 kidnapping victims in the first eight months of 2021, up from 234 in all of 2020, were reported to Haiti’s National Police.

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