Negotiations drag on over missionaries kidnapped in Haiti | Caribbean

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Negotiations stretched right into a fourth day searching for the return of 17 members of a United States-based missionary group kidnapped over the weekend by a violent gang that’s demanding $1 million ransom per individual.

The group contains 5 kids whose ages vary from eight months to fifteen years, though authorities weren’t clear whether or not the ransom quantity included them, a high Haitian official mentioned Tuesday.

Sixteen of the abductees are Americans and one Canadian.

The abduction is considered one of not less than 119 kidnappings recorded in Haiti for the primary half of October, in line with the Center of Analysis and Research of Human Rights, a neighborhood nonprofit group.

It mentioned a Haitian driver was kidnapped together with the missionaries, bringing the entire to 18 folks taken by the gang.

The Haitian official, who was not authorised to talk to the press, informed The Associated Press that somebody from the 400 Mawozo gang made the ransom demand Saturday in a name to a pacesetter of the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries shortly after the kidnapping.

“This group of workers has been committed to minister throughout poverty-stricken Haiti,” the Ohio group mentioned, including that the missionaries labored most lately on a challenge to assist rebuild properties misplaced in a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck southwestern Haiti on August 14.

The group was getting back from visiting an orphanage when it was kidnapped, the group mentioned.

Responding to the current wave of kidnappings, staff staged a protest strike that shuttered companies, faculties and public transportation beginning Monday.

The work stoppage was a brand new blow to Haiti’s anaemic financial system.

Unions and different teams vowed to proceed the shutdown indefinitely.

In a peaceable demonstration Tuesday north of Port-au-Prince, dozens of individuals walked by the streets of Titanyen demanding the discharge of the missionaries. Some carried indicators that learn “Free the Americans” and “No to Kidnapping!” and defined that the missionaries helped pay payments and construct roads and faculties.

“They do a lot for us,” mentioned Beatrice Jean.

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