OAS Urges Haitian Authorities To Action Amid Rise In Kidnapping

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Police officers patrolling in Port-au-Prince on April 12, 2021.(Photo by VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images)
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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. April 14, 2021: As more clergy members were kidnapped on Sunday, the Organization of American States, (OAS) General Secretariat has called on Haitian authorities to take action.

In a statement last night, the body, deplored the deterioration of the security situation and the resurgence of cases of kidnappings and assassinations, and called on authorities to take all “measures necessary to guarantee the right to life and dignity to all of its citizens.”

“The OAS General Secretariat urges the authorities concerned to deploy all the necessary efforts to protect the Haitian population and allow it to evolve in a peaceful environment where fear and violence do not prevail,” the statement added, noting “they should conduct investigations to shed light on the massacres perpetrated in several working-class neighborhoods and bring the perpetrators of these despicable crimes to justice.”

Five priests and two nuns were kidnapped in Haiti on Sunday, a Catholic priest said, with two French citizens among the hostages in the Caribbean nation increasingly riven by kidnappings and violent crime.

The clergy members were kidnapped in the commune of Croix-des-Bouquets, northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince, said Father Gilbert Peltrop, secretary general of the Haitian Conference of the Religious (CHR) association. The French citizens included one priest and a nun.

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.

The kidnapping of the seven clergy was carried out by the notorious “400 Mawozo” gang, Haitian news agency Juno7 said.

Haiti has been rocked by rising violence in recent years, especially by a spate of kidnappings for ransoms which have paralyzed the economy and Haitian society.

(Reuters News contributed to this story)