Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct 17 – 16 American and 1 Canadian Christian missionaries and their families, including children, were kidnapped on Saturday by gang members in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, U.S. media reported.
According to a recording sent to multiple organizations, a notorious gang that was behind the abduction of several Roman Catholic clergy earlier this year, has allegedly kidnapped a group of American missionaries on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.
The missionaries, 17 Americans and a Canadian citizen, including several children, were kidnapped Saturday in the community of Ganthier, according to a human rights center that monitors kidnapping.
The group was reportedly taken in the area of La Tremblay after returning from visiting an orphanage.
The gang believed to be behind the kidnapping is known as 400 Mawozo, which operates in the area and is known for attacking vehicles and kidnapping people from cars and buses.
At least 328 kidnapping victims were reported to Haiti’s national police in the first eight months of 2021, compared with a total of 234 for all of 2020, according to a report issued last month by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti known as BINUH.
Gangs have been accused of kidnapping schoolchildren, doctors, police officers, busloads of passengers and others as they grow more powerful. In April, one gang kidnapped five priests and two nuns, a move that prompted a protest similar to the one organized for this Monday to decry the lack of security in the impoverished country.