The leader of a Haitian gang, the 400 Mawozo, on Thursday, threatened to execute American hostages that were kidnapped over the weekend.
“I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what I’m asking for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans,” Wilson Joseph, leader of the 400 Mawozo gang said in a video posted on social media.
Police reported that the gang abducted 17 missionaries from the United States after leaving an orphanage outside Port-au-Prince on October 16.
The hostages were 16 Americans and one Canadian, of them, five were children, including an eight-month-old infant.
Haitian officials said the gang demanded $1M in ransom per hostage.
Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries spokesperson Weston Showalter said they called for a day of fasting and prayers.
“Pray for the kidnappers, that they would experience the love of Jesus and turn to him, and we see that as their ultimate need,” Weston Showalter said.
Meantime, the US government said it would work with Haitian authorities to free the American hostages.
“And we will do everything that we can to help resolve the situation,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
The Haitian NGO Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights (CARDH) reported that at least 119 people were kidnapped by gangs in Haiti in October, followed by 117 in September.
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