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FBI Arrives in Haiti to Help Negotiate for Release of 17 Missionaries Who Were Kidnapped

By Steve Neavling

FBI agents are in Haiti to help negotiate for the release of 16 American missionaries and one Canadian who were abducted by a gang Saturday. 

The agents arrived on Sunday, just hours after confirmation that 17 Christian missionaries, including five children and several elderly people, were abducted at a checkpoint Saturday, The Miami Herald reports.

“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the State Department said in a statement. “We have been in regular contact with senior Haitian authorities and will continue to work with them and interagency partners. We will provide additional information as we are able.”

The “400 Mawozo” gang is known for extorting businesses and kidnapping people for ransom. It’s responsible for about 80% of the kidnappings that occur in Haiti, according to Gédéon Jean, who runs the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights in Port-au-Prince. 

In April, the gang abducted Roman Catholic clergy. 

“This is the type of kidnapping that 400 Mawozo do; we call it a collective kidnapping where they kidnap any entire bus or car,” Jean said.


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