PORT-AU-Prince | Secretary of State Anthony Blingen said the United States would “do everything possible” to free 17 North American citizens abducted by a mob in Haiti.
“We are constantly focusing on this issue,” said Anthony Blinken, who visited Quito, Ecuador. “We will do everything we can to resolve the situation,” he added, adding that an FBI team was working on the file.
“Unfortunately, this is a sign of a major problem with the security situation in Haiti, which is simply unacceptable,” he said.
The kidnappers, who kidnapped 17 North American citizens, including five children, demanded $ 17 million on Saturday east of the Haitian capital, security sources confirmed to AFP on Tuesday seeking anonymity.
According to information gathered by the AFP, members of the “400 Maoist” gang demanded $ 1 million on Saturday from members of the missionaries and their families who controlled the area.
The involvement of the armed gang was confirmed by Haitian Justice Minister List Quittle, who told the Washington Post that the kidnappers usually demanded large sums of money, editing downwards during the negotiations, and that his group did not take part.
On Sunday, Christian Aid Ministries, of which the abducted missionaries were members, said the abducted group was “five men, seven women and five children” without specifying their age.
Based in the state of Ohio, the religious organization said in its report that these people were abducted along with their family members when they returned to the orphanage.
In April, ten people, including two French clerics, were abducted for 20 days by a “400 Maoist” gang located between the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the border of the Dominican Republic.
The U.S. government has classified Haiti as a country in the Red Zone, advising its citizens not to go there, especially because of the many abductions, saying “victims continue to include American citizens.”
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