Through a video spread by social networks in which the leader of the 400 Mawozo gang appears allegedly, the group threatened to death the 17 missionaries kidnapped on Tuesday in Haiti if they did not receive the sum of money they demand for their release. The situation led to the resignation of the chief of the Haitian Police. At the same time, several protests in the capital, Port-au-Prince, ask the Government to end the gasoline shortage that runs through the country.
A death threat. Through a video published on social networks, who is allegedly alias Lamo Sanjou, leader of the Haitian gang 400 Mawozo, affirmed that if he did not receive the amount of money demanded for the release of the 17 members of a missionary group kidnapped since Tuesday it would end their lives.
“If I do not find what I need, these Americans, I prefer to kill them all, and I will unload a large gun on the head of each one of them,” the man announced through the video in which he comes out wearing a blue hat and a cross on it. his neck.
According to Reuters, the veracity of the video or the date of its production could not be confirmed. However, in the recording the man also threatened the Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, and the Chief of Police, León Charles, showing several coffins in which several members of his gang were apparently killed.
Following the kidnapping, Charles resigned from office. This was announced by the local media Le Nouvelliste, citing an announcement by the Prime Minister in which he stated that the Chief of Police presented him with “his resignation.” In addition, he announced that Charles would be replaced by the commissioner and inspector general, Frantz Elbé.
Following his resignation, Elbé will have to face the serious situation of insecurity that Charles had had to face since he took office at the time of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on 7 July.
On Tuesday, Haitian authorities reported that the Haitian gang 400 Mawozo was demanding $ 17 million for the release of the group of missionaries, 16 of whom are American and one Canadian.
The kidnapping occurred on a trip organized by the Ohio-based nonprofit international aid organization Christian Aid Ministries. And it has put on the international scene the critical situation in Haiti due to the increasing presence of gangs in that territory.
The 400 Mawozo are just one of these. The members of the gang began as thieves and have become one of the most dangerous gangs in Haiti, even controlling a rural area east of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.
The alarming situation of kidnappings in Haiti
The kidnapping of the missionary group is not an isolated case. Also on Tuesday the Office of Citizen Protection reported the kidnapping of a university professor. The same body announced in a statement that a Haitian shepherd kidnapped earlier this month has also not been released despite the fact that his ransom was paid.
On the other hand, UNICEF showed that, in the past eight months, kidnappings have already exceeded last year’s numbers. In addition, he announced that the danger to women and children is alarming.
UNICEF regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jean Gough, said through his Twitter account that: “There is no longer any safe place for children in Haiti. Whether on the way to school, at home or even in church, girls and boys run the risk of being kidnapped anywhere, at any time of the day or night. This is a parent’s worst nightmare. ”
“Nowhere is safe for children in #Haiti anymore. Whether on their way to school, at home or even at church, girls and boys are at risk of being kidnapped anywhere, at any time of the day or night. This is every parent’s worst nightmare. @unicef https://t.co/dqLTWkzcHT
– Jean Gough (@Jean_UNICEF) October 21, 2021
This year, 71 women and 30 children were abducted compared to 59 women and 37 children last year.
Lack of Fuel: Another Component of Citizens’ Claims in Haiti
Added to the situation of insecurity is the lack of fuel, another of the claims of Haitians on the streets. On Thursday, Haitian protesters blocked the streets of Port-au-Prince using rocks and trees as a call to the government to find a solution to the gasoline shortage.
The protests were led by motorcyclists who denounced that they have not been able to work due to the shortage of gasoline. In addition, the country’s truckers were also expected to demonstrate.
In Haiti, many service stations are closed due to lack of fuel. Situation that led the executive director of the telecommunications company Digicel Haiti, to ensure that 150 of its branches do not have diesel.
According to authorities, the gangs have also affected gasoline supplies by blocking gas distribution terminals and targeting supply trucks.
With Reuters and AP