April 23, 2021 News

Kidnappings have become a common occurrence Haiti. Kidnappers, apparently belonging to a gang known as 400 Mazowo, struck on Divine Mercy Sunday.  They abducted 10, including 7 Catholic priests, a French nun, and relatives of a priest. They were en route to the installation of a new parish priest.  The ransom of $1 million is being demanded. Kidnappings in which the victims are held for ransom have become more common in Haiti, the poorest country of the Americas. Apparently, the kidnappers felt that the Catholic church had the money to pay the ransom.

As of April 19th, there has been no word on the release of the captives. The Catholic Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince has condemned the actions noting that the level of violence has increased to “unprecedented” levels. They were calling on the government of President Joveles Moïse to do more. “The public authorities who are doing nothing to resolve this crisis are not immune from suspicion. We denounce complacency and complicity, wherever they come from,” said a statement released from the Archdiocese.

This one is not the first recent attack against a religious community. On April 1st, a livestreamed Holy Thursday evangelical service on the outskirts of the capital was interrupted by armed marauders who kidnapped the pastor and three others. They were released three days later after an unspecified ransom was paid.