Haitian gang leader says he will kill captive missionaries if he doesn’t get what he wants

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The video was taken on Wednesday at the funeral of gang members they allege were killed at the hands of police, a Haitian security force source told Granthshala.

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The missionary group, which includes many children, has been held captive since Saturday. A spokesman for his organization, Christian Aid Ministries, declined to comment to Granthshala on the gang leader’s remarks.

The missionaries were kidnapped by the 400 Mawzo gang over the weekend while they were traveling by car to the northeast of the capital, Port-au-Prince. According to Haitian Justice and Interior Minister Liszt Quitl, his hostages have demanded $1 million per hostage.

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Those abducted include an 8-month-old, a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, as well as two young teenagers. All members of the group are from Amish, Mennonite and other conservative Anabaptist communities in six US states and Ontario, according to Weston Showalter, an official at the Ministry of Christian Aid.

The threat follows the first public statement from the victims’ families, who on Thursday thanked supporters and described the kidnapping as a “unique opportunity” to show compassion.

“God has given our loved ones the unique opportunity to live out our God’s command to love their enemies, bless those who curse you, bless those who hate you,” the families told Christian’s Ohio headquarters. Said in a message read out. Aid Ministry.
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Quitel said Haitian police negotiators and the FBI are involved in helping solve the kidnapping, which has drawn global attention to the epidemic of mass violence and insecurity in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

At least 782 people were abducted in Haiti between January 1 and October 16, according to the latest estimates from the Port-au-Prince organization Center for Analysis and Research for Human Rights (CARDH). At least 53 were foreign nationals.

According to Card, kidnappings for ransom have increased in recent months following the assassination of Haiti’s president in July. At least 119 kidnappings were recorded in the first half of October alone, including 10 mass kidnappings in just two days in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Martisant.

According to CARDH, the gang 400 Mawozo in particular has become notorious for group kidnappings, forcing entire buses off the road.

Father Michel Bryand, a French priest who escaped his own kidnapping by 400 mavojo this spring, points to poverty and inequality as drivers of crime in a country where many Haitians live for a few dollars a day. live equal.

“The problem in Haiti is that what is unusual has become normal, what is illegal has become a part of daily life, and has become a seed problem in the country. Is.”

He and several other priests and nuns were held for more than two weeks in April before being released. He says his captors began withholding food to the end, which he believes was a coercive tactic.

“If the kidnapped missionaries are together, their captivity will be easier and they can comfort each other. But they should not lose hope. The kidnappers play with the times and on the nerves of the people and the nerves of the interlocutors, ” They said.

Bryand, who has lived in Haiti for more than 30 years, also blamed the Haitian government for failing to stop the kidnappings. “Things seem out of his control,” he told Granthshala. “One day the whole country will be hostage.”

Quittel said the government was working tirelessly to find a peaceful solution to the current kidnapping.

But there is no doubt about the immense power exercised by well-armed Haitian gangs in the nation’s capital. On the same weekend that Christian aid ministries were being hijacked, security concerns raised Prime Minister Ariel Henri’s plan to lay a wreath for the leader of the Haitian Revolution, Jean-Jacques Deslin, at a monument located in a gang-controlled area of ​​Port-au. forced to retreat. Prince.

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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