Haiti gang kidnaps US missionary group, including children

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A gaggle of 17 U.S. missionaries together with kids was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, based on a voice message despatched to numerous non secular missions by a company with direct information of the incident.

The missionaries have been on their method residence from constructing an orphanage, based on a message from Ohio-based Christian Support Ministries.

“It is a particular prayer alert,” the one-minute message stated. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”

The message says the mission’s area director is working with the U.S. Embassy, and that the sphere director’s household and one different unidentified man stayed on the ministry’s base whereas everybody else visited the orphanage.

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No different particulars have been instantly accessible.

A U.S. authorities spokesperson stated they have been conscious of the reviews on the kidnapping.

“The welfare and security of U.S. residents overseas is likely one of the highest priorities of the Division of State,” the spokesperson stated, declining additional remark.

A person walks alongside a highway in a barely flooded space the morning after Tropical Storm Grace swept over the realm in Trou Mahot, Haiti, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, three days after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake. 
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Haiti is as soon as once more fighting a spike in gang-related kidnappings that had diminished after President Jovenel Moïse was fatally shot at his non-public residence on July 7, and following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southwest Haiti in August and killed greater than 2,200 folks.

Gangs have demanded ransoms starting from a pair hundred {dollars} to greater than $1 million, based on authorities.

Final month, a deacon was killed in entrance of a church within the capital of Port-au-Prince and his spouse kidnapped, considered one of dozens of people that have been kidnapped in current months.

At the very least 328 kidnapping victims have been reported to Haiti’s Nationwide Police within the first eight months of 2021, in contrast with a complete of 234 for all of 2020, based on a report issued final month by the United Nations Built-in Workplace in Haiti often called BINUH.

Gangs have been accused of kidnapping schoolchildren, docs, law enforcement officials, busloads of passengers and others as they develop extra highly effective. In April, one gang kidnapped 5 monks and two nuns, a transfer that prompted a protest much like the one organized for this Monday to decry the dearth of safety within the impoverished nation.

“Political turmoil, the surge in gang violence, deteriorating socioeconomic situations – together with meals insecurity and malnutrition – all contribute to the worsening of the humanitarian state of affairs,” BINUH stated in its report. “An overstretched and under-resourced police power alone can not handle the safety ills of Haiti.”

On Friday, the U.N. Safety Council voted unanimously to increase the U.N. political mission in Haiti.

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The kidnapping of the missionaries comes simply days after high-level U.S. officers visited Haiti and promised extra assets for Haiti’s Nationwide Police, together with one other $15 million to assist scale back gang violence, which this yr has displaced 1000’s of Haitians who now reside in non permanent shelters in more and more unhygienic situations.

Amongst those that met with Haiti’s police chief was Uzra Zeya, U.S. below secretary of state for civilian safety, democracy, and human rights.

“Dismantling violent gangs is important to Haitian stability and citizen safety,” she lately tweeted.

AP reporter Evens Sanon in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, contributed to this report.



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