Powerful gang behind kidnapping of 17 US and Canadian missionaries in Haiti, security source says
One of Haiti’s most powerful gangs, the 400 Mawozo, is believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of 17 American and Canadian missionaries over the weekend. The missionaries visited an orphanage on Saturday in Croix des Bouquets, a suburb northeast of Port-au-Prince. As the individuals were traveling from the orphanage towards Titanyen, gang members stopped the vehicle at gunpoint and kidnapped the missionaries, 16 of which were American and one Canadian. The gang has become increasingly powerful over the last three years, expanding its manpower up to 150 members.
The 400 Mawozo groups have also allegedly taken control of Croix des Bouquets, according to a source in Haiti’s security forces. Kidnapping is one of the gang’s hallmark activities, and they have abducted dozens of people in 2021 alone targeting both Haitian and foreign victims. The group engages in near-daily confrontations with Haitian police and local businesses. Haitian security forces say that the gang kidnapped several truck drivers from the Dominican Republic in September of this year, holding them hostage amid negotiations for their release.