Haitian gang chief threatens to kill kidnapped missionaries if ransom is not paid

Video is now circulating on social media in Haiti of a gang chief threatening to kill 17 kidnapped American and Canadian missionaries if ransom is not paid, The Wall Street Journal reports.

On Saturday, the missionaries had been kidnapped close to Port-au-Prince after leaving an orphanage. The hostages are members of the Ohio-based Christian Assist Ministries, and vary in age from 8 months to 48.

The video, which seems to have been filmed on Wednesday evening at a funeral, started making the rounds on Thursday. It options Wilson Joseph, head of the 400 Mawozo gang, saying, “I swear that if I do not get what I would like, I choose to kill the Individuals. I will put a bullet in every of their heads.” The gang is asking for $17 million in ransom — $1 million per individual.

Haiti is the poorest nation within the Western Hemisphere. Gang violence has been a rising downside in Haiti, and exploded following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in July, which despatched the nation into chaos. Native human rights organizations say that gangs are routinely finishing up abductions and different felony acts, and now management as a lot as two-thirds of Haiti’s territory, the Journal stories.

White Home deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Thursday mentioned the Biden administration has been “relentlessly targeted” on the kidnappings, and can do “all the things that we are able to to assist resolve this case.” She added that it’s “completely important that this safety dynamic change if Haiti goes to make actual progress.” | Haitian gang chief threatens to kill kidnapped missionaries if ransom is not paid


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