Haiti kidnappers demand $17 million for US hostages including 8-month-old baby

Haiti kidnappers demand $17 million for US hostages including 8-month-old baby
The Haitian gang who kidnapped 16 missionaries from the US and one from Canada has demanded $1m each for them to be released, a Haitian official has said.

The Haitian gang who kidnapped 16 missionaries from the US and one from Canada has demanded $1m each for them to be released, a Haitian official has said.

le 17 gens, one of them being an 8-month-old baby, were taken by the “400 Mawozo” gang on Saturday after making a visit to an orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets, a suburb northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince, officials said during the weekend.

Le journal de Wall Street reported that Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Quitel said on Monday that the missionaries were being held in a safe house outside the suburb by the gang. Mr Quitel told The Journal that Haitian police and the FBI have made contact with the gang members and that negotiations could stretch out for weeks.

The missionaries are from Christian Aid Ministries in Ohio – the group confirmed the kidnapping on Sunday in a statement, adding that those kidnapped included five men, seven women, and five children.

The five children include the 8-month-old baby and four other minors aged 3, 6, 14, et 15.

Former field director for Christian Aid Ministries in Haiti, Dan Hooley, Raconté CNN on Sunday that all the kidnapped missionaries are thought to have been in the same vehicle and that a few managed to get in touch with the organisation’s local director before they were abducted.

“A couple of fellows right away messaged the director and told him what was going on. And one of them was able to drop a pin, and that’s the last thing (the organization) heard until the kidnappers contacted them later in the day,” Mr Hooley said.

Abductions have become more frequent and brazen as Haiti suffers from political instability following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise on 7 July as well as civil unrest, poverty, and a lack of access to healthcare made worse by an earthquake on 14 août.

A Haitian transportation union called for an indefinite strike to start on Monday in protest of the kidnappings and other issues just before the missionaries were abducted.

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