San Juan, Puerto Rico — A group of 17 US missionaries, including children, was kidnapped by a Haitian gang on Saturday, according to voice messages sent to various religious missions by organizations that were directly aware of the incident.
Missionaries were on their way home from the construction of an orphanage, according to a message from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministry.
“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 was working with the U.S. Embassy to stay at the provincial base while the field director’s family and everyone else visiting the orphanage were visiting the orphanage. It is written that another unidentified man was kidnapped.
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 said, refusing further comments.
Haiti has been gang-related in political and social turmoil, including a deadly shooting at President Jovenel Moise’s private residence on July 7 and a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti in August. I am suffering again from the surge in kidnapping cases. 2,200 people.
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. This prompted a similar protest that was organized this 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 tweeted.