A Haitian kidnapping ring is demanding $17 million in ransom for American missionaries who have been kidnapped. Liszt Quitel, the Justice Minister, stated that the FBI and Haitian police are in communication with the kidnappers and are attempting to secure the return of the missionaries, who were taken last weekend just outside the capital Port-au-Prince by a group known as 400 Mawozo. Mr. Quitel said there are five children among the missionaries, one of which is an eight-month-old baby and the others are three, six, fourteen, and fifteen years old.
President Biden has been briefed, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and the FBI will assist Haitian officials in investigating the kidnapping and attempting to negotiate a release.
“The FBI is part of a concerted United States government operation to bring U.S. citizens involved to safety,” she explained. Negotiations, according to Mr. Quitel, might last many weeks. “We’re attempting to get them released without paying a ransom,” Mr. Quitel explained. “This is the initial plan of action. Let’s be honest: if we give them that money, it will be used to buy more guns and ammunition.” He stated that Haitian officials are hoping for a similar conclusion to what occurred after the abduction of a group of Catholic priests and nuns by the same gang in early April. At the end of the month, the five priests, two nuns, and three of their relatives were released. Mr. Quitel stated that just two of the priests were held for ransom.