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Haitian gang abducts 17 missionaries with U.S. group

The Maison La Providence de Dieu orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, where 17 missionaries from Christian Aid ministries visited. Associated Press/Photo by Joseph Odelyn

Haitian gang abducts 17 missionaries with U.S. group

Members of a notorious Haitian gang kidnapped the group of 16 Americans and one Canadian with the Ohio-based Christian Aid ministries on Saturday. They were returning from a visit to an orphanage in a region controlled by the 400 Mawozo gang. The ministry said the group includes seven women and five children, including a 2-year-old.

Who was responsible? Authorities blamed the 400 Mawozo gang, which controls the Croix-des-Bouquets area east of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The same group was behind the abduction of five priests and two nuns earlier this year. Kidnappings for ransom have risen this year as gangs control several roads, forcing people to take detours or stay home. Local unions planned a Monday strike to protest the country’s worsening security. The U.S. State Department in a Sunday statement said it remains in contact with senior Haitian authorities and will work with them and other interagency partners to secure the missionaries’ release.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on the political and economic conditions fueling Haiti’s unrest.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter and deputy global desk chief. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.


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