Missionaries Kidnapped in Haiti

Paula Le, Editor

It is said to believe that the “400 Mawozo” gang in Haiti may be the ones behind the abduction of 16 Americans and 1 Canadian over the weekend. But what led to this course of events?

The American and Canadian missionaries were visiting an orphanage on the 16th of October in Croix des Bouquets. It’s suggested that Haiti’s most dangerous gang held the travelers at gunpoint when the group traveled by vehicle from the orphanage towards Titanyen (north of the Haitian capital). The travelers consist of five men, seven women, and five children.

According to a source in Haiti’s security forces, the 400 Mawozo gang has a major influence in Croix des Bouquets as the numbers of members continue to expand. It is not the first time the kidnappings have been traced towards the gang. The 400 Mawozo gang has a history of abducting an abundant amount of people, foreign nationals as well. Typically, the group is known for kidnapping victims from buses and cars. Back in September, the 400 Mawozo abducted truck drivers from the Dominican Republic, and they intentionally held them hostage amid negotiations for their release. So, it may come as no surprise that the 400 Mawozo are the ones at fault.

Right before the missionaries were taken, some of the individuals were able to contact Christian Aid Ministries’ local director. An American citizen who is a part of the abduction, posted a call for help in a WhatsApp group as the events were occurring. It is unclear whether it was a video or a text sent, however.

Haitian officials are in touch with the US State Department and Canadian officials. A spokesperson for the US State Department released a statement “the welfare and safety of US citizens abroad are one of the highest priorities of the Department of State.” The FBI and State Department officials are working accordingly around the clock for the release of the Americans. The 400 Mawozo has stated that they want a ransom of 1 million dollars per person…and there are 17 missionaries abducted.

As many people pray for the individuals’ safe return, this event shines more light on Haiti’s tragic and dangerous environment, which will hopefully push for improvement.