Haitian Gang Leader Threatens to Kill Missionaries if Ransom Isn’t Met

In Summary

Wilson Joseph, the leader of Haiti's 400 Mawozo gang, says they will kill all 17 missionaries if their demand of $17 million isn’t met. 

The kidnapping situation involving 17 American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti has taken a turn for the worse, with 400 Mawozo gang leader Wilson Joseph threatening to kill the hostages if his demands aren’t met, per CNN

Joseph, who goes by the pseudonym Lanm Sanjou, or Death Without Days, reportedly made the comments while speaking at a funeral on Wednesday for gang members he claims were killed by police.  

RELATED: Five Children Among 17 Missionaries Kidnapped By Haitian Gang 400 Mawozo 

The group of missionaries, including an 8-month-old infant, a 3-year-old, a 6-year-old and two young teenagers, were kidnapped Sunday during a visit to an orphanage northeast of the capital city Port-au-Prince. A price tag of $1 million per hostage has been placed on their heads, bringing the ransom amount total to $17 million

“We will not comment on the video until those directly involved in obtaining the release of the hostages have determined that comments will not jeopardize the safety and well-being of our staff and family member,” Christian Aid Ministries said on Thursday, referring to the Facebook video that appeared to show members of the gang that kidnapped its staff members. 

RELATED: Biden Will Not Send Troops to Haiti After President Moïse’s Assassination 

The latest figures from the Port-au-Prince NGO Center for Analysis and Research for Human Rights show at least 782 people were kidnapped in Haiti between January 1 and October 16, including over 50 foreign nationals, per CNN. At least 30 children have also been taken this year. 

Kidnappings in the country have spiked by 300% since July, an alarming increase that’s been attributed, in part, to natural disasters, the devolution of its government in the months following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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