Haiti kidnapping: Two hostages released
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – Two of 17 members of a mission group kidnapped more than a month ago have been released in Haiti and are safe, “in good spirits and in care,” the organization said. Their Ohio-based church announced Sunday.
The Department of Christian Aid released a statement saying it could not provide the names of those released, the reason for their release or other information.
“While we are excited about this launch, our hearts go out to the 15 people still in custody,” the group said.
The missionaries were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang on October 16. There were 5 children in the group of 16 US citizens and one Canadian, including an 8-month-old child. Their Haitian driver was also kidnapped, according to a local human rights organization.
The leader of the 400 Mawozo gang has threatened to kill the hostages unless his demands are met. Authorities said the gang was demanding $1 million each, though it was not immediately clear whether children were included in the group.
The release comes as Haiti is grappling with an increase in gang-related violence and kidnapping, with the US government recently urging US citizens to leave Haiti amid the situation. aggravated insecurity and fuel shortages caused by gangs blocking gas distribution stations. On Friday, Canada announced it would withdraw all but essential staff from its embassy.
Fuel shortages have forced hospitals to alienate patients and paralyze public transport, some schools to close and businesses to shorten their hours.
Haiti is also trying to recover from the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moise and a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in mid-Augus, which killed more than 2,200 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. .