On April 29, Carlos Guillen was kidnapped from the Croix-des-Bouquets commune, a territory of operation of the 400 Mawozo gang, which controls large areas of the Haitian capital.
On Wednesday, Dominican Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Alvarez announced the release of Carlos Guillen, the agricultural advisor of the Dominican embassy in Port-au-Prince
"Fortunately, Guillen has been released safe and sound, after 4 days of kidnapping. We thank everyone who actively participated in freeing him," he tweeted.
On April 29, the diplomat was kidnapped from the Croix-des-Bouquets commune, a territory of operation of the 400 Mawozo gang, which controls large areas of the Haitian capital. Two days later, the Dominican government confirmed the kidnapping of its diplomat and asked Haiti to start an "immediate investigation" to contribute to his release.
The armed gangs fighting for territories perpetrate indiscriminate kidnappings to finance their activities, in the midst of an upsurge in violence in the country.
The tweet reads, "A war scene in front of Barbancourt this morning. The inhabitants of the Damien community are women and children who flee under the bullets. Dr. Ariel Henry, what are you doing?!!!."
Since mid-April, the 400 Mawozo and Chen Mechan gangs have been vying for control of several neighborhoods in the north of Port-au-Prince. Their clashes have caused the death of at least 20 civilians and the displacement of hundreds of people to other areas of the city.
The endless economic and political crisis in this Caribbean country has made kidnapping a frequent activity, which mainly affects the local population. In 2021, Haiti's Center for Analysis and Research on Human Rights counted over 1,200 kidnappings. Of this amount, only 81 cases corresponded to foreigners.
"Ten per cent were so-called 'collective abductions,' where gang members abducted a group of people, sometimes by storming church services and kidnapping clergy in the middle of mass," the United Nations explained.