The Caribbean nation of Haiti – which is such as a “success story” that the Sleepy Joe Biden administration is so eager to “import” illegal immigrants from there as well – has just made world headlines with something other than earthquakes, abject poverty, and the assassination of its president.
Namely, the kidnapping of a number of well-meaning US Christian missionaries, who have gone there in order to help its most wretched, by a brutal local criminal gang.
Extremely well-funded missionaries
The 400 Mawozo gang, which is widely believed to be behind the brazen kidnapping of a total of 17 American and Canadian Christian missionaries in Haiti, is expected to demand $1 million ransom per head, according to a report by The Daily Mail.
The kidnapping itself occurred at gunpoint on Saturday afternoon as the 16 American and one Canadian missionary were on a bus combing to an orphanage at a town east of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.
The Haitian authorities have blamed the vicious crime on the 400 Mawozo gang, which has already abducted dozens of locals and foreigners this year for ransom.
The kidnapped missionaries are part of the Christian Aid Ministries, which is based in Ohio, and is described as “an extremely well funded” group that was established by Amish and Mennonites back in 1981, and is active around the globe.
The organization was the first to announce the news about the kidnapping of its missionaries in Haiti in a statement on its website, in which it called upon all to pray for those being held hostage – as well as for the kidnappers themselves, and all of those affected.
A former director of the Christian Aid Ministries, Dan Hooley, told The New York Times that some of those abducted had arrived in Haiti only recently – one family went there two months ago, and one man had arrived the day before to help with earthquake relief.
Hooley also said the organization is capable of sending entire containers of medicines to Haiti, unlike other similar groups.
In 2019, the Christian Aid Ministries had a revenue of over $130 million, mostly from donations, and it is active in 126 countries.
Money for weapons
According to Gèdèon Jean, who runs a Haitian NGO called “Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights”, the Mawozo gang might demand a ransom of up to $1 million per head.
That would be part of its standard tactic to start off with a large sum in order to be able to negotiate.
In his words, the American and Canadian hostages will be freed “for sure” but it is unknown how long they will have to suffer through that ordeal.
He added that the Mawozo gang doesn’t kill hostages, and is doing the kidnappings precisely for the money which it then uses to buy weapons and just to be “able to function.”
The State Department confirmed the abductions on Sunday.
Those abducted are five children, seven women, and five men.
One of those kidnapped even managed to post a message in a WhatsApp group while the kidnapping was being carried out, calling for help.
Haiti, which was actually the second nation in the Americas, after the United States, to achieve independence from its colonial master, France, back in 1804, now has the world’s highest per-capita rate of kidnappings in the world.
Its capital Port-au-Prince sees more abductions than much bigger Latin American cities notorious for kidnappings – Bogota, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo – combined, based on data from Control Risks, a consulting firm.