Haitians in the capital forced to flee their neighborhoods due to gang violence Haitians in the capital forced to flee their neighborhoods due to gang violence  (ANSA)

Haitian gang kidnaps Dominican Republic diplomat

A notorious gang in Haiti abducts a high-level diplomat from the Dominican Republic, as lawlessness and gang wars make life difficult for ordinary Haitians.

By James Blears

A Haitian gang, which boosts its coffers by high level kidnappings, has seized a diplomat of the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Carlos Guillen, Trade Attache of the Dominican Republic Embassy in Port-Au-Prince, was abducted in the Croix Des Bouquets district on Friday.

He was on his way back to the Dominican Republic at the time. He’s been abducted by the 400 Mawozo Gang, who are emboldened by previous kidnappings.

Ransom kidnappings

Last October, the gang seized 16 US citizens and one Canadian citizen of the Christian Aid Ministries, who were helping to fund an orphanage.

The Mawozo gang demanded one million dollars each ransom. They released five on health grounds. The Christian group says the remaining twelve were able to escape.

Spate of gang violence

The 400 Mawozo gang is demanding half a million dollars for Mr Guillen’s release. The gangs especially target foreigners because they demand the highest payouts.

But Haitians themselves are at an even greater risk and suffer the brunt of this crime.

The kidnapping comes on the heels of a spate of gang violence that struck the capital last week.

Violent fighting among rival gangs in Port-Au-Prince forced thousands of people from their homes and left at least 20 people dead, including children. Over a dozen homes were burnt to down.

This latest incident again underlines that Haiti is a country that lacks command of its law and order system.

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03 May 2022, 09:54