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They were abducted in broad daylight while visiting an orphanage in eastern Port-au-Prince.
In a video posted on YouTube on Thursday, the 400 Mawozo gang leader Wilson Joseph threatened to execute 17 U.S. Christian Aid ministers whom he kidnapped on Saturday if Haitian authorities do not hand him a US$17 million ransom.
"I will put a bullet in the head of each of these gringos if you do not give me what I asked," Wilson stated. The missionaries were abducted in broad daylight while visiting an orphanage in eastern Port-au-Prince, which the 400 Mawozo gang controls.
While showing alleged coffins of recently-killed gangbangers, Wilson also threatened to death Prime Minister Ariel Henry and former National Police Director Leon Charles, who resigned to his post in the face of the kidnapping.
"You make me cry water. But I will make you cry blood," Wilson stated. So far this year, clashes between paramilitary gangs for control of territories prompted several roadblocks and the displacement of about 19,000 people in Port-au-Prince.
From @UNICEF “In violence-stricken Haiti, the number of children and women abducted for ransom in the first eight months of 2021 has already surpassed last year’s total…” pic.twitter.com/CCjJDYJ9et
In April, a failed police operation against paramilitary groups killed four police officers and destroyed an armored vehicle. Due to this event, then Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe resigned to his post.
On Tuesday, Haiti's Civil Protection Office reported the kidnapping of a university teacher. It also denounced that the gang involved in the April 2 kidnapping of pastor Estime Audalus did not comply with his freeing even though the requested ransom was already paid.
The Haitian Police has about 15,000 officers, whom a recent United Nations (UN) report says is insufficient to guarantee security in this Caribbean country. The Police must have at least 25,000 officers, the UN insisted.