In the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince, 17 people were abducted – Christian missionaries from the United States and their families, informs Associated Press. There are minors among the abducted.
The missionaries were attacked shortly after they visited an orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquet. People were kidnapped from a bus bound for the airport. According to preliminary data, one of the criminal groups is behind the abduction.
American missionaries were kidnapped just days after US officials visited Haiti. transfers BBC. They pledged to provide assistance to local police and, in particular, to allocate an additional $ 15 million to fight organized crime on the island.
Haiti suffers from high crime rates amid political crisis and social upheaval. On July 7, the country’s president, Jovenel Moise, was shot dead at his residence. The attackers also killed his wife. The authorities later announced that foreigners were involved in the crime: 26 immigrants from Colombia and two Americans. And the organizer of the attack on the presidential residence was named Christian Emmanuel Sanon, 63, was a physician who lived in Florida.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti in mid-August. Over 60 thousand residential buildings were destroyed in the country, 76 thousand buildings were damaged. 2.2 thousand people died.
In September, the priest was killed right outside the church in Port-au-Prince, and his wife was kidnapped. According to the authorities, as a rule, criminals demand a ransom in the amount of $ 200 to more than $ 1 million for the release of prisoners.
In eight months of this year, the Haitian police have received information about the abductions of at least 328 people. At the same time, human rights activists claim that in reality more than 600 people were abducted. Over the year, the number of such crimes increased by at least 2.5 times. For the entire 2020, 234 people were kidnapped, according to a report by UN representatives.
Gangsters kidnap schoolchildren, doctors, bus passengers and even police officers. In April, one group kidnapped five priests and two nuns. The crime caused a wide public outcry and led to protests.
For several years, armed gangs have been controlling the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince. But recently they have begun to expand, capturing other parts of the capital.