Race to rescue 17 missionaries from Haiti continues

U.S.

(NewsNation Now) — Negotiations continue for a fourth day to rescue a group of 17 missionaries who were kidnapped in Haiti by a gang. The group is demanding a $1 million ransom per person.

Police say members of the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries were abducted Saturday, Oct. 16, by the 400 Mawozo gang. Five children, whose ages range from 8 months to 15 years, seven women and five men were taken. The organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage.

The gang, whose name roughly translates to 400 “inexperienced men,” controls the Croix-des-Bouquets area that includes Ganthier, where they carry out kidnappings and carjackings and extort business owners, according to authorities.

The abduction is one of at least 119 kidnappings recorded in Haiti this month, according to the Center for Analysis and Research of Human Rights, a local nonprofit group. It said a Haitian driver was abducted along with the missionaries, bringing the total to 18 people taken by the gang.

The United States has said it will not pay ransoms, but U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says releasing the hostages is a top priority.

“We have relentlessly focused on this. We’re sending a team to Haiti from the state department,” Blinken said. “I’m working very closely with the FBI, which is the lead in these kinds of matters. We are in constant communication with Haitian National Police.”

Since the abduction, the United States has issued a travel advisory warning Americans not to travel to Haiti because of gang and criminal activity.

Latest News

© 1998 - 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNationNow.com