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Haiti Gang Kidnaps Group Of Missionaries And Children

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This previous weekend, a group of missionaries and some local children was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti. The Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries had just wrapped things up at the orphanage that they were building, when a group of criminals abducted them in Ganthier.

According to Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne, the 400 Mawozo gang was behind the snatching of the faith-based organization which consisted of sixteen Americans and one Canadian national.

“We request urgent prayer for the group of Christian Aid Ministries workers who were abducted. We are seeking God’s direction for a resolution, and authorities are seeking ways to help,” the organization said in an official statement.

The cowardly gang, whose name roughly translates to 400 “inexperienced men,” has taken over the Croix-des-Bouquets area where Ganthier is situated. Authorities say that the group has resorted to kidnappings, carjackings and extortion as their main source of income.

Amid climate change catastrophes and economic turmoil, Haiti has been experiencing a huge spike in criminality and violence since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated back in July. With a severely weakened government that is mired in corruption, Haiti has lost control and the island nation is spiralling down to further degradation.

“This kind of climate gives opportunities for anyone to do whatever they want because it’s easy now. There’s not much control. Anyone who has something against you can do something. The risks are higher now than they used to be,” Emmanuela Douyon, founder and executive director of Think Tank Policite, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera.

Civil society groups condemned the 400 Mawozo gang’s malevolent intention to profit from these innocent individuals. The youngest of the five children who were seized by the heartless criminal group is only two years old. 

According to a recent report by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, a total of 328 kidnappings have been reported to Haiti’s National Police, in the first eight months of 2021 alone. This is a significant leap compared to last year’s 234 abductions.

Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stressed the U.S. government must not bow down to the lowly criminal gang and utilize its law enforcement capabilities to make the petty savages pay.

“We need to track down where they are and see if negotiations – without paying ransom – are possible. Or do whatever we need to do, on a military front or a police front,” Kinzinger said.

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