The Haitian gang, responsible for the kidnapping of 17 American and Canadian missionaries, including five children, are demanding $ 1 million for the ransom of each of them, a grand total of $ 17 million (plus $ 14.5 million Euro)) according to information from the Haitian authorities.
Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Quitel told CNN the amount of the ransom while he said the group of missionaries are being held in a location outside the suburb of Croix des Bouquets in northeast Port-au-Prince, where they were kidnapped.
Christian Aid Ministries, the religious organization to which the missionaries are affiliated, states that they are five men, seven women and five children. According to the judicial officer, the abductee’s first contact with the organization took place on Saturday afternoon.
On that first call, they would have given the amount they asked for in exchange for the release of the missionaries. Since then there have been more telephone exchanges. “The kidnappers have been warned about harming the hostages and what the consequences may be for them (if that happens). But they cannot be influenced by these warnings, ”complained Quitel.
All missionaries are currently safe, according to a source from the Haitian security forces.
The US FBI has traveled to the country to advise the Haitian police on the negotiations and the release of members of Christian Aid Ministries. However, Washington has not provided additional information about the work US agents are doing on Haitian soil.
The US authorities have blamed one of the most powerful gangs on the Caribbean island for the kidnapping, namely the “400 Mawozo” gang, which specializes in kidnapping for ransom. According to the Center for Analysis and Research on Human Rights (CARDH), they routinely carry out “collective” kidnappings of large groups of victims traveling in buses or cars.
The kidnapping took place on Saturday after the missionaries, 16 Americans and one Canadian, visited an orphanage in Croix des Bouquets, a troubled neighborhood in the northeast of the Haitian capital.