The gang behind the kidnapping of 17 missionaries in Haiti is demanding a ransom of $1 million for each cleric. Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Koetel told CNN.
Sixteen Americans and Canadians were kidnapped on Saturday after visiting an orphanage in the Croix-de-Bouquet suburb of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The 400 Mawozo gang has so far demanded a ransom of $1 million (860,000 euros) each. This equates to $17 million (14.59 million euros). According to Keitel, negotiations with the kidnappers are still ongoing.
The armed gangs that had controlled the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince for years expanded their field of activity to include the rest of the capital and its suburbs. According to the Center for Analysis and Studies in Human Rights in Port-au-Prince, more than 600 kidnappings were recorded in the first three quarters of this year, compared to 231 in the same period in 2020.
A deep political crisis has crippled social and economic development in Haiti, one of the world’s poorest countries, for years. The assassination of President Jovenel Moisi on July 7 caused chaos and instability in the Caribbean country.
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