A group of American and Canadian missionaries were kidnapped last week in Haiti is sought for a ransom of $17 million by an armed gang. In Haiti, justice minister Liszt Quitel reported that the infamous 400 Mawozo gangs have been demanding $1 million for each captive.
It is the Mawozo gang that dominates Ganthier, a commune on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in the eastern part of the country, where 16 Americans and one Canadian were abducted on Saturday while visiting an orphanage. The missionaries’ activities in Haiti are sponsored by Christian Aid Ministries, a charity that sponsors the missionaries’ activities in Haiti. The hostages range from the age of 8 months to 15 years. Among the adults, those in the group are aged from 18 to 48.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier in the day that the FBI was part of a concerted effort by the federal government to ensure American safety. According to a source close to the Biden administration, the agents landed in Haiti the day before to assist the State Department in securing the release of the missionaries. As for US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, he has stated ‘We will do everything we can to resolve the situation, and the White House has been relentlessly focused on it’.
400 Mawozo abducted and detained 10 people, including two French clergymen, for 20 days in the same location in April. And in August, the United States issued a red warning for Haiti, advising Americans not to travel there due to rampant abductions, crime, and civil unrest. In Haiti, kidnappings have more than quadrupled in the past year as gangs become numerous and stronger, leaving an already understaffed police force unable to cope.