By DÁNICA COTO
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A radical of 17 missionaries including children was kidnapped by a pack successful Haiti, according to a dependable connection sent to assorted spiritual missions by an enactment with nonstop cognition of the incident.
The missionaries were connected their mode location Saturday from gathering an orphanage, according to a connection from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries.
“This is simply a peculiar supplication alert,” the one-minute connection said. “Pray that the pack members would travel to repentance.”
The connection says the mission’s tract manager is moving with the U.S. Embassy, and that the tract director’s household and 1 different unidentified antheral stayed astatine the ministry’s basal portion everyone other visited the orphanage.
No different details were instantly available.
A U.S. authorities spokesperson said officials were alert of the reports connected the kidnapping.
“The payment and information of U.S. citizens overseas is 1 of the highest priorities of the Department of State,” the spokesperson said, declining further comment.
Meanwhile, a elder U.S. official, speaking connected information of anonymity, said the United States is successful interaction with Haitian authorities to effort to resoluteness the case.
Haiti is erstwhile again struggling with a spike successful gang-related kidnappings that had diminished successful caller months, aft President Jovenel Moïse was fatally changeable astatine his backstage residence connected July 7 and a 7.2-magnitude earthquake killed much than 2,200 radical successful August.
Gangs person demanded ransoms ranging from a mates 100 dollars to much than $1 million, according to authorities.
Last month, a deacon was killed successful beforehand of a religion successful the superior of Port-au-Prince and his woman kidnapped, 1 of dozens of radical who person been abducted successful caller months.
At slightest 328 kidnapping victims were reported to Haiti’s National Police successful the archetypal 8 months of 2021, compared with a full of 234 for each of 2020, according to a study issued past period by the United Nations Integrated Office successful Haiti known arsenic BINUH.
Gangs person been accused of kidnapping schoolchildren, doctors, constabulary officers, busloads of passengers and others arsenic they turn much powerful. In April, 1 pack kidnapped 5 priests and 2 nuns, a determination that prompted a three-day protest. Another protestation is scheduled for Monday to decry the deficiency of security.
“Political turmoil, the surge successful pack violence, deteriorating socioeconomic conditions — including nutrient insecurity and malnutrition — each lend to the worsening of the humanitarian situation,” BINUH said successful its report. “An overstretched and under-resourced constabulary unit unsocial cannot code the information ills of Haiti.”
On Friday, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to widen the U.N. governmental ngo successful Haiti.
The kidnapping of the missionaries comes conscionable days aft high-level U.S. officials visited Haiti and promised much resources for Haiti’s National Police, including different $15 cardinal to assistance trim pack violence, which this twelvemonth has displaced thousands of Haitians who present unrecorded successful impermanent shelters successful progressively unhygienic conditions.
Among those who met with Haiti’s constabulary main was Uzra Zeya, U.S. nether caput of authorities for civilian security, democracy, and quality rights.
“Dismantling convulsive gangs is captious to Haitian stableness and national security,” she precocious tweeted.
Associated Press journalists Evens Sanon successful Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Matthew Lee successful Washington contributed to this report.