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Haitian gang leader threatens to kill missionaries

Protesters in Port-au-Prince carry a sign in Creole that reads: “No to kidnappings, no to violence against women! Long live Christian Aid Ministries.” Associated Press/Photo by Joseph Odelyn

Haitian gang leader threatens to kill missionaries

Wilson Joseph, the leader of the violent 400 Mawozo group, posted a video on social media on Thursday saying he would shoot each captive unless he gets what he wants. Joseph, wearing a blue suit and a cross necklace, sat in front of several coffins at a funeral for gang members he claimed were killed by Haitian authorities. He swore to take revenge against the prime minister and the chief of police. Sixteen Americans, including five children, are still in captivity along with one Canadian and their Haitian driver. Haiti’s Office of Citizen Protection announced the 400 Mawozo abducted a Haitian professor on the same day as it kidnapped the missionaries. The group also kidnapped a Haitian pastor earlier this month and has not released him even though the ransom was paid.

What are authorities doing? Police negotiators are still communicating with the gang while FBI special units search for the captives. Christian Aid Ministries, the Ohio-based organization that sponsors the missionaries, held a news conference shortly before the video was released. Family members asked for prayer for both the victims and the gang members. They said the missionaries have the opportunity to live out God’s command to love their enemies.

Dig deeper: Listen to Mary Reichard’s report of increasing violence in Haiti on The World and Everything in It podcast.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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