On April 12th, seven clergy members were kidnapped in the commune of Croix-des-Bouquets, northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince, now a few of those members are freed.
The 400 Mawozo gang members have set free three of the Catholics they kidnapped on Thursday. The gang is still holding captive six worshippers, including a French priest and a French nun.
Those who were set free are Father Hugues Baptiste, Lovely Joseph and Anne-Marie Dortellus, a nun. No ransom was given according to local reports.
Earlier this month, the gang released the mother of a priest for a USD $50,000 ransom.
Father Gilbert Peltrop, the secretary of the Haitian Conference of Worshippers, said on the radio that those still being held captive are sick. Father Michel Brilant, the Frenchman, has plaques on his stomach and some of the others kidnapped have diabetes, Peltrop said.
Additionally, France’s Foreign Ministry made an official statement stating that “The crisis and support centre of the ministry of Europe and foreign affairs is fully mobilised as well as our embassy in Haiti, in close contact with local authorities.”
The kidnappings come less than two weeks after gunmen kidnapped a Haitian pastor and three others during a ceremony that was streamed live on Facebook.
Haiti has been rocked by rising violence in recent years, especially by a spate of kidnappings for ransoms which have paralysed the economy and Haitian society.