Haiti, kidnappings and violence in Port au Prince

Turkey on alert for the kidnapping of 8 Turkish citizens in Haiti

An armed group kidnapped eight Turkish missionaries traveling from the Dominican Republic on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.

The Turkish government announced yesterday the creation of a crisis cabinet after the kidnapping of 8 Turkish citizens in the capital of Haiti, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu confirmed, explaining that the executive was already working to try to free the captives, in the latest such incident in Port-au-Prince, where the number of kidnappings by armed gangs that are becoming increasingly powerful in the poorest country in the Americas has risen alarmingly.

According to information disclosed by Hugues Josue, Turkish honorary consul in Haiti, the armed group boarded late on Sunday a bus that was circulating in the Croix-des-Bouquets district, on the eastern outskirts of Port-au-Prince, and that had party from the neighbouring Dominican Republic.

The eight Turkish citizens would apparently be “missionaries“, and would have been kidnapped for ransom, according to Turkish diplomatic sources. The group would consist of five men and three women, aged between 20 and 26 years.

“We are closely following the situation,” Çavuşoğlu assured journalists who asked him about the situation on his way out of a cabinet meeting. For its part, the Turkish embassy in Santo Domingo, also accredited in Haiti, would have already contacted the authorities of both countries, according to Turkish public television TRT. Çavuşoğlu would also have spoken with the Turkish ambassador to the Dominican Republic and with the interior and foreign ministers of Haiti.

Croix-des-Bouquets is a district on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, controlled by the gang known as the 400 Mawozo, which already kidnapped 17 other missionaries from an organisation based in the United States last October in the same area, for which he demanded a ransom of one million dollars until their release three months later.