Remaining Missionaries Kidnapped in Haiti Have Been Released
All 17 of the missionaries kidnapped in Haiti two months ago have now been freed. The 16 Americans and one Canadian were abducted by a gang outside Port-au-Prince.
Three missionaries were released earlier this month and two in November. The remaining 12 appeared to be doing well after leaving Haiti on a U.S.-based plane Thursday afternoon.
David Troyer, the ministry group’s general director, said the missionaries included a 10-month-old baby and two other children, and that the group spent much of their time in captivity praying, singing and telling their kidnappers that they needed to repent.
Haiti has been battling endemic violence, a problem that has only worsened since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July. The U.S. government has been attempting to strengthen the Haitian National Police and the country’s broader justice sector, Brian Nichols, an assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, told reporters on Friday.
The State Department’s most recent travel advisory for Haiti, which was last updated in August, warns Americans not to travel there, designating it a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” country. The advisory also includes a “K” risk symbol, indicating Americans are very likely to be kidnapped.
“We are thankful for the FBI, the State Department and Haitian law enforcement officials, who have been working tirelessly to get these missionaries safely home,” said White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a press briefing. “The U.S. government has been working tirelessly over the past two months to get them released and get them the medical care and support they need after an ordeal like this.”
Image source: Detroit News