July 24, 2021

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Three of the seven Catholic clergymen kidnapped in Haiti released | Latin American news

Three of the seven Catholic clergymen kidnapped in Haiti released |  Latin American news


Ten people have been kidnapped in Croix-des-Bougets amid a wave of violence and extortion-based kidnapping in recent months.

Three of the seven Catholic clergymen kidnapped in Haiti more than a week ago have been released.

Ten people were kidnapped in Croix-des-Bouquets, a city northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince, on 11 April, including seven clergymen.

The kidnapped clergy was a group of four priests and a nun from Haiti, as well as a priest and a nun from France.

The three non-clergy were members of the family of a Haitian priest who was not among the abductees.

The kidnapped victims were “on their way to a new pastor’s settlement” when they were kidnapped, Mazile told AFP news agency, with the kidnappers demanding a $ 1 million ransom for the group.

The news was given on Thursday by Father Loudger Mazile, spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference for Haiti, who also told AFP that the two French priests had not been released.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is plagued by insecurity and natural disasters.

Ransom kidnappings have increased in recent months in Port-au-Prince and other provinces, reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation, which has been rocked by recent political unrest.

Increased gang violence and political instability have recently drawn protesters to the streets of Port-au-Prince.

Last week, the Haitian government resigned and a new prime minister was appointed in the wake of the kidnappings, a move President Jovenel Moise said “will address the obvious problem of insecurity and continue discussions in order to reach the necessary consensus for the political and institutional stability of our country “.

Haiti’s Catholic Church has criticized the government’s inability to act on the country’s unrest, denigrating the nation’s “descent into hell”.

“The public authorities that are not doing anything to resolve this crisis are not immune to suspicion,” the archdiocese of Port-au-Prince said in a statement.

The five kidnapped priests belong to the Society of Priests of Saint James, which is based in France, their superior general, Paul Dossous, confirmed to AFP.

France has opened an investigation into the kidnappings, entrusting the case to the French Central Office for the Fight against Organized Crime (OCLCO), which has jurisdiction over crimes committed against French citizens abroad.