The powerful Haitian gang known as the 400 Mawozo is responsible for the abduction of 17 missionaries of the Christian Aid Ministries. The victims consist of 16 Americans and one Canadian, including five children.
The abduction happened in the town of Ganthier, east of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, on Saturday, October 16th. Haitian police claimed the incident occurred after the missionaries left an orphanage.
Comparatively, the Haitian gang previously kidnapped five priests and two nuns in April. They demanded a million dollars for each of their hostages. The priests and nuns were released after negotiations. However, it is unclear whether or not they were paid the ransom.
400 Mawozo roughly translates to “400 inexperienced men.” The gang controls the Croix-des-Bouquets area that reaches Ganthier. According to authorities, they have carried out an increasing number of kidnappings and carjackings while extorting local business owners.
On Monday, Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, said that the FBI and State Department are working toward releasing the hostages. Furthermore, President Biden has been briefed and is receiving updates on the situation.
“The FBI is part of a coordinated U.S. government effort to get the U.S. citizens involved to safety,” Psaki said. “We are not going to go into too much detail on that but can confirm their engagement.”
In addition, Christian Aid Ministries released a statement saying, “Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers and the families, friends, and churches of those affected… As an organization, we commit this situation to God and trust him to see us through.”
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