Friday, March 31

Haiti: what is known about 400 Mawozo, the gang suspected of kidnapping 17 people from a group of American missionaries

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  • BBC News World

Students march to protest a kidnapping in Haiti.

Image source, Getty Images


In January, students marched and protested against a high school kidnapping in Haiti.

The security crisis that Haiti is experiencing has been revealed once again with the kidnapping of 17 people on Saturday in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The five men, seven women and five children were returning from a visit to an orphanage when their vehicles were stopped.

Among those kidnapped are 16 US citizens and a Canadian who are part of a group of missionaries from Ohio, USA, called Christian Aid Ministries.

“Please pray for us! They are taking us hostage, they kidnapped our driver. Pray, pray, pray. We do not know where they are taking us,” said one of the hostages in a message sent by WhatsApp accessed by the The Washington Post newspaper. Haitian authorities and several security experts believe the missionaries were held by a powerful gang called 400 Mawozo, which was also behind the kidnapping of members of the Catholic clergy in April. The kidnapped Christian group this time was leaving an orphanage in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, an area controlled by the gang.

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