The gang of kidnappers in Haiti that grabbed U.S. missionaries Josh and Melissa Tarver, demanding ransom for their release has not yet killed them but is now threatening to do so if they are not paid $20 million by Tuesday night, according to a statement released late Friday.
The “missionaries kidnapped in haiti who are they” is a story about the gang that has been kidnapping U.S. missionaries in Haiti for ransom. The gang claims that they will kill the hostages if their demands are not met.
“If I don’t get what I want, I vow I’d rather murder the Americans.” Wilson Joseph, suspected by Haitian authorities to be the leader of the 400 Mawozo gang that carried out the daring mass abduction of 16 Americans and one Canadian, claimed, “I’ll put a bullet in each of their skulls.”
On Thursday, the video was extensively circulated on social media in Haiti. The veracity of the document could not be verified by the Wall Street Journal.
In a video at a burial on Wednesday for five of his fellow gang members, Mr. Joseph looked to be speaking, blaming the killings on National Police Chief Leon Charles. The manner in which and why the gang members were slain remained unknown.
“Five men were killed, but they won’t be enough to annihilate an army. He said, “I’m going to rain blood.”
Officials from the Haitian police force were unable to comment on the allegations right away. Mr. Charles had resigned, according to Le Nouvelliste, a renowned Haitian daily, citing an interview with Prime Minister Ariel Henry. The Journal was unable to corroborate the story right away.
Last Saturday, armed members of the gang violently halted a minibus transporting the men, women, and children in an eastern part of the city, abducting the missionaries. The party was returning from a visit to a local orphanage, which included an 8-month-old infant.
Christian Aid Ministries’ shuttered office in Millersburg, Ohio, displayed information about the abduction on the front door.
When asked about the gang leader’s threat to murder the hostages, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration was “relentlessly focused” on the kidnappings, adding that State Department and FBI officers were on the ground in Haiti.
Ms. Jean-Pierre said that the US government was in frequent contact with the Haitian government and the church to which the missionaries belonged, as well as working closely with the Haitian National Police to assist them improve their gang-fighting capabilities.
Ms. Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday, “We will do all we can to assist fix the matter.” “It’s a difficult and long-term process.” We’re working on it, but changing the security dynamic is critical if Haiti is to make significant progress.”
Meanwhile, the publication Le Nouvelliste stated that Mr. Charles had been replaced as police head by Frantz Elbe, another senior cop. It was unclear if Mr. Charles’ alleged departure was related to the gang leader’s video.
Mr. Charles has come under fire for his conduct of the inquiry into Haitian President Jovenel Mose’s killing in July. More than 44 individuals have been arrested as part of the inquiry, but no clear motive has been established, and the case’s initial investigating judge resigned when one of his clerks was murdered. After getting death threats, some clerks have gone into hiding.
This week, security troops patrolled the streets of Croix-des-Bouquets, a little town near Port-au-Prince.
Associated Press/Matias Delacroix photo
The abduction of the missionaries has further heightened the country’s feeling of panic. According to several local human-rights organizations, Haiti is seeing a surge of kidnappings and routine crime led by gangs that now control as much as two-thirds of the capital and nation.
The captives are members of Christian Aid Ministries, a Mennonite, Amish, and other orthodox Christian sects-founded organization located in Ohio. The organization did not respond to the threats right away.
Christian Aid Ministries held a news conference earlier on Thursday, announcing a day of fasting and prayer. In a public statement, the families of those being held hostage said they were praying for their loved ones as well as the kidnappers.
The letter started, “Thank you for your prayers on behalf of our family members who are being held captive in Haiti.” “God has provided our loved ones with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to follow Our Lord’s admonition to love our enemies.”
According to spokesperson Weston Showalter, the missionaries and family members being held hostage are from Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Ontario, Canada, and vary in age from 8 months to 48 years old. He stated that five of the abductees are youngsters.
The group is demanding $1 million for each captive, totaling $17 million, according to Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Quitel earlier this week.
—This piece was co-written by Sabrina Siddiqui in Washington, D.C., and Ben Kesling in Chicago.
José de Córdoba may be reached at [email protected]
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The “who are the 17 missionaries kidnapped in haiti” is a story about how, on September 21st, 17 U.S. missionaries were kidnapped by members of a gang called “The Young Warriors” who threatened to kill them if their demands were not met.
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