Haitian police say nothing about kidnapped
The kidnapped are missionaries from the United States.
Haiti’s fragile government faces a new crisis on Sunday after kidnapping a group of missionaries and their families, mostly Americans, by an armed gang near Port-au-Prince.
There was little official reaction in Haiti, and local police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP.
The group of 15 to 17 people, including children and, according to some testimonies, a Canadian, was kidnapped while returning from a visit to an orphanage, a Haitian security source told AFP. An unknown number of Haitians were also seized.
“We call for the release of kidnapped people, whether they are US citizens or other nationalities,” said Gedeon Jean, director of the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, based in the capital.
He added that the current situation is “detrimental to human dignity.”
The kidnapping occurred when the group returned from a visit to an orphanage some 30 kilometers east of Port-au-Prince, a Haitian security source told AFP.
Some members of the Ohio-based mission organization were on their first trip to Haiti, the source said. The missionaries were left in the hands of the “400 Mawozo” gang, which for months has been carrying out kidnappings and robberies in the area between Port-au-Prince and the border with the Dominican Republic, the source said.
The US State Department did not provide details about the kidnapping. A spokesperson told AFP only: “The well-being and safety of US citizens abroad is one of our top priorities.”
“We know this information and we have nothing to add at the moment,” he stressed.