17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti
Seventeen missionaries have been kidnapped by a gang of thugs in Haiti. Here’s what we know so far.
Sixteen of the group were American citizens, and one Canadian.
The group responsible for the kidnappings is the “400 Mawozo” gang which is known for extortion, carjackings, and kidnappings. It is dominant in the area just east of the nation’s capital.
HAITIAN: “Every day you live in Haiti you are lucky. Every single day you will live in Haiti, and you see another day, you are lucky.”
The missions team was on their way home from building an orphanage, sponsored by Christian Aid Ministries out of Ohio.
The ministry website indicated that the work is largely supported by Mennonites and Amish. NPR, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and CNN are covering the story.
NBC reports that the FBI is in country now, investigating, and working with the State Department to obtain the release of the missionaries. The Haitian nation is facing serious unrest since the assassination of the president on July 7th.
A United Nations report identifies 300 kidnappings in the first eight months of the year. That’s 100 more than all of last year. But research out of Haiti points to 600 kidnappings through September including a three-fold increase in just three months.
One Haitian immigrant to America described the country’s unrest this way.
IMMIGRANT: “It is like living in a war zone. You don’t know when you’re going to get shot at. You don’t know when you’re going to get kidnapped.”