Haiti Gang boss threatens to kill missionaries abducted by him

A notorious Haitian gang is accused of kidnapping 17 missionary workers from the United States. He has threatened to kill them if he doesn't meet his demands.

Haiti Gang boss threatens to kill missionaries abducted by him

Wilson Joseph, a gang leader, said that "I swear by thunder" if I don’t get what I ask for, he will shoot at these Americans in a video posted to social media on Thursday.

Officials stated that the 400 Mawozo Gang was asking for $1 million per kidnapper, but it wasn't clear whether that included five children, one of whom was an 8-month old. Along with their Haitian driver, 16 Americans and one Canadian were taken hostage.

Joseph threatened Ariel Henry, Prime Minister of Haiti, and the Haitian National Police Chief as he spoke before open coffins. These coffins apparently contained several members of Joseph's gang that were recently murdered.

"You guys make my cry. I cry water. He said, "But I'm going make you guys drink blood."

Henry's office later announced that Leon Charles, Haiti's National Police chief, had resigned and was being replaced by FrantzElbe. Le Nouvelliste reported that Elbe was the director of the South East Nippes police departments and was previously the general security coordinator at National Palace, when Jocelerme Privert was interim president.

Henry stated, "We want public peace restored, that normal life is resumed and that democracy is reestablished."

Charles and Elbe did not immediately comment.

Missionaries were taken hostage Saturday while visiting an orphanage. They were with Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries. A news conference was held before Joseph's video was posted.

Weston Showalter, spokesperson for the religious group, stated that the kidnapped families are from Amish and Mennonite communities in Ohio and Michigan. He also said that the families were from Ontario, Canada. The families were not identified but he read them a letter in which they stated that God had given their loved ones the opportunity to live up to the Lord's command to Love Your Enemies.

The group invited others to pray for the kidnappers and those who were kidnapped, and expressed gratitude for any help they received from "people that have knowledge and experience in dealing with such situations".

Showalter stated, "Pray for these family members." They are in a difficult place."

Later, the organization issued a statement stating that it would not comment upon the video.

The death threat by the gang leader added to the already intense worry in Holmes County, Ohio where Christian Aid Ministries is located. This county has one of the largest concentrations of conservative Mennonite, Amish and related groups. Many of these groups have donated to the organization or volunteered at its warehouse.

Marcus Yoder, the executive director of Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center Millersburg, stated that while many people feel helpless in their community, they also recognize the power and power of prayer. He included the Anabaptist belief of nonresisting violence.

According to Haiti's Office of Citizen Protection, the missionaries were also kidnapped by a gang. The ransom was paid, but a ransom had not been paid for a Haitian pastor kidnapped earlier in the month.

According to the office, criminals operate with impunity and attack all members of society.

UNICEF announced Thursday that 71 children and 30 women have been abducted so far this year, surpassing last year's 59 kidnappings and 37 children. The agency stated that they represent one-third of the 455 kidnappings this year.

Jean Gough, UNICEF's regional director for Latin America, stated that "nowhere is safe anymore for Haitian children." Girls and boys can be kidnapped anywhere at any hour of the day, whether they are on their way home, to school, or to church.

In Haiti's capital, hundreds of protestors blocked roads and set fire to tires to protest fuel shortages and an increase in insecurity. They also demanded that the prime minister resign.

Officials claim that the kidnappings were not the only reason. They also blocked gas distribution terminals and stole supply trucks. This has caused a shortage of fuel. Digicel Haiti's CEO announced this week that 150 out of 1,500 of its 1,500 branches are running out of diesel.

Alexandre Simon, a French and English teacher, stated that he was protesting the terrible conditions faced by Haitians.

He said, "There are many people who can't eat." "There is no work... There are many things we don’t have.