The U.S. Government has a team on the ground to negotiate the safe release of Americans kidnapped in Haiti. The FBI has officers in the Caribbean country and are doing all they can to free 17 missionaries, including five children.
Sixteen U.S. citizens and one Canadian were kidnapped by a deadly gang when they were leaving an orphanage this past weekend.
"Where our efforts right now are focused are with officials on the ground including from the FBI, working closely with our diplomatic team and the U.S. Embassy in Port-Au-Prince who is coordinating with local authorities, providing assistance to the families, and also working to get the U.S. Citizens involved to safety," said Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary.
Christian Aid Ministries, the organization the missionaries belong to, put out a statement on their website:
"We request urgent prayer for the group of Christian Aid Ministries workers who were abducted while on a trip to visit an orphanage on Saturday, October 16. We are seeking God’s direction for a resolution, and authorities are seeking ways to help."
The Haitian government says the gang responsible, 400 Mawozo, is demanding $1 million per missionary, for a total of $17 million.
According to local reports, gangs now control about 50% of Haiti’s capital Port-Au-Prince.
Kidnappings are becoming increasingly common in the country that has dealt with crisis after crisis, from the assassination of its former president, to earthquakes, to a staggering death toll from the pandemic.
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