Seven Catholic clergy, including two French nationals, were abducted in Haiti on Sunday. This is what a spokesperson for the local bishops conference said.
Five priests and two nuns were abducted on Sunday morning in Croix-des-Bouquets, a municipality northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince. At that time, the clergy were on their way to the appointment of a new priest for the parish.
According to an elder of the Catholic Church, the kidnappers would demand a million dollars of ransom in exchange for their release.
According to local authorities, an armed gang called “400 Mawozo” is behind the kidnappings. That gang is regularly engaged in abductions on the island.
Its been restless in Haiti for a long time. In recent months, the number of ransom kidnappings has increased in Port-au-Prince and other provinces, indicating the growing influence of armed gangs.
In March, the government of the Caribbean island declared a one-month state of emergency to restore state authority in the areas where gangs operate. The measure was introduced because of the actions of armed gangs “kidnapping people for ransom, openly releasing them, robbing and robbing public and private property and openly challenging the public security forces”, says a presidential decree on the state of emergency.