Home LATEST NEWS Release of the last 12 North American hostages kidnapped in Haiti

Release of the last 12 North American hostages kidnapped in Haiti

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give more details for the moment.

Five members of the group, made up of US citizens and one Canadian citizen, had previously been released by the criminal gang. Two were in November and three in early December.

Thank you for your fervent prayers over the past two months. We hope to provide more information as soon as we can., the Ohio-based organization also said on its website.

On October 16, the group was kidnapped after visiting an orphanage west of the capital Port-au-Prince, in the heart of an area under the control of one of Haiti’s main gangs.

Following their kidnapping, Christian Aid Ministries said the group consisted of 12 adults, aged between 18 and 48, and five children, aged 8 months, 3, 6, 13 and 15 years old.

A man addresses reporters.

Christian Aid Ministries spokesperson Weston Showalter at a press conference in Ohio.

Photo: (Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters)

Gang members 400 mawozo, behind the kidnapping, had claimed a million dollars per person held captive, according to information gathered by AFP.

In a video posted at the end of October on social networks, the leader of this armed gang threatened to execute the hostages.

A few days later, the Haitian police announced have received proof of life from all hostages.

The circumstances of the release on Thursday of the 12 North American nationals remain unknown.

Long confined to the poorest districts of the capital, armed gangs have taken control of Haiti for nearly a year and carry out their criminal activities with complete impunity.

Kidnappings have also become a very lucrative criminal activity for these gangs in recent months.

Three policemen in the middle of a street.  Two of them are hooded and carry heavy weapons.

Police in the streets of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, in the hours following the kidnapping of the missionaries, in the town of Ganthier.

Photo: Reuters / RALPH TEDY EROL

Clashing regularly to control roads and geographically strategic neighborhoods, they do not hesitate to kidnap people from all socio-economic strata. Against liberation, they demand colossal sums from families, even those living below the poverty line.

The Center for Human Rights Analysis and Research, an organization based in Port-au-Prince, has recorded at least 949 kidnappings since the start of the year. In his annual report, he deplores that Haiti is became the country with the highest kidnapping rate per capita in the world.

The organization indicates that around fifty foreigners were among the victims in 2021.

Haiti is classified as a country in the red zone by the United States which advises its nationals not to go there, in particular because of the numerous kidnappings of which victims routinely include US citizens.

In April, 10 people, including two French clerics, were kidnapped for 20 days by the gang 400 mawozo in the same region.

Faced with these sprawling criminal gangs, the Haitian police, understaffed and under-equipped, are struggling.

Plunged into a deep political crisis since the assassination, on July 7, of its president Jovenel Moïse by an armed commando, the country is locked in a vicious circle, the ransoms paid helping the gangs to prosper.

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