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The 12 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti in October released

The United States welcomes the news and appreciates the efforts of the Haitian Police and international organizations

The 12 missionaries of the group of 17 who had been kidnapped since October in Haiti have been released, as confirmed on Thursday by the group to which they belong, Christian Aid Ministries.

In a statement posted on the web, the group thanked God for “answering his prayer” from him, while thanking the prayers received since the missionaries were kidnapped two months ago. They have also guaranteed to provide more information in the future.

The Haitian Police have also confirmed the release of the 12 missionaries to the newspaper ‘Gazette Haiti’, although their spokesman, Gary Desrosier, has emphasized that he cannot reveal more details.

For its part, the United States Government has welcomed the news while thanking the Haitian National Police, international organizations and the US interagency for their work and collaboration, who have worked “tirelessly” for the release.

“We appreciate the news that the remaining twelve people, including eleven US citizens, kidnapped on October 16 are free today. We are highly relieved for them and their families,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. .

Likewise, Price has highlighted the commitment of the Administration of US President Joe Biden to the future of Haiti and has shown his support for the “security and prosperity” of the Haitian people.

“We will continue to support the Haitian National Police to improve the security of all Haitians, as well as American citizens,” the spokesman concluded.

Two of the missionaries, kidnapped by the ‘400 Mawozo’ gang in the capital, Port-au-Prince, were already released at the end of November, while three others were released at the beginning of December.

The kidnapping occurred in mid-October, when the group of missionaries returned from a visit to an orphanage to the east of the city. The gang had asked for a ransom of one million dollars per hostage (850,000 euros).

The seizure of vehicles and all their occupants to obtain a ransom is one of the main activities used by the gang to finance its activities. In April, the gang kidnapped a group of Catholic clergymen, who were later released, it is unknown if they had previously rescued.

Haiti has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the world, as powerful criminal gangs exploit the state of lawlessness to earn money by paying ransoms. This year has been particularly serious, with almost 800 confirmed kidnappings from the beginning of the year to the end of October.

The surge came partly in the wake of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July, and amid violent fighting between rival factions fighting for control of the country in the face of a completely overwhelmed police force.

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