fb-pixel Skip to main content

Haiti kidnapping of American missionaries includes five children

Haitian flag.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

(Bloomberg) -- An Ohio-based religious organization said five children are among a group of 16 US citizens and a Canadian kidnapped in Haiti during a trip to visit an orphanage.

In a statement Sunday, Christian Aid Ministries said the hostages include five men, seven women and the children.

“Join us in praying for those who are being held hostage, the kidnappers, and the families, friends and churches of those affected,” the group said.

The daylight kidnapping on Saturday is just the latest manifestation of the rampant violence that’s plaguing the politically unstable Caribbean nation.

Kidnappings in Haiti have increased threefold since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July, according to Haiti’s Centre for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, a non-profit think tank. The group has recorded 628 kidnappings during the first eight months of the year, making Haiti a global hot spot for abductions.


A State Department spokesman in Washington said the U.S. is aware of the kidnapping reports and didn’t comment further on the incident.

Read More: Gangs Now Run Haiti, Filling a Vacuum Left by Years of Collapse

Haiti’s National Police hasn’t acknowledged the kidnapping on its website or social media accounts. Calls to the police were not immediately answered.

Haitian media reported Sunday that armed gangs prevented Prime Minister Ariel Henry from laying a floral wreath at a monument to Haiti’s founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

Gang violence has emerged as one of the principle obstacles to Henry’s plans to call new presidential and legislative elections.

Just last week, Uzra Zeya, the U.S. under secretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, visited Haiti and said the U.S. would continue supporting the nation’s police and intelligence services.

“Dismantling violent gangs is vital to Haitian stability and citizen security,” she wrote on Twitter.