Gang leader in Haiti threatened to kill hostages: video – .

Gang leader in Haiti threatened to kill hostages: video – .

Port-au-Prince (AFP)

Images shot Wednesday but released on social media Thursday showed Wilson Joseph, dressed in a suit and surrounded by gunmen, in front of coffins containing the bodies of five members of his gang.

“Since I am not getting what I need, I am going to kill these Americans,” Joseph said, speaking in Haitian Creole.

The kidnappers are demanding $ 17 million in ransom for the freedom of the hostages, security sources told AFP.

On Saturday, a group of 17 American and Canadian missionaries and their children were kidnapped in broad daylight during a visit to an orphanage in the heart of an area in eastern Port-au-Prince, which is completely under control of the gang.

The Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries, to which the abducted missionaries belong, said the group included 12 adults between the ages of 18 and 48, as well as five children aged eight months, three, six, 13 and 15.

The United States has advised Americans against traveling to Haiti, especially because of kidnappings which it says regularly include US citizens.

Since December 2020, Haitian police have been searching for Joseph for crimes such as murder, kidnapping, vehicle theft and hijacking freight trucks.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, groups of motorized taxi drivers blocked main roads and blocked traffic in the Haitian capital to protest fuel shortages caused by gangs controlling access to oil.

Across the city, protesters expressed outrage at being forced to buy gasoline on the black market.

The tightening of gangs’ grip on Port-au-Prince since June has prevented secure access to two of Haiti’s three oil terminals. Armed groups hijacked more than a dozen tankers at the Third, located in the Cité Soleil slum, in early September.

People walk past blazing barricades erected by protesters angry over fuel prices, as Haiti suffers from worsening social, economic and health crises, as well as a wave of kidnappings by criminal gangs Richard PIERRIN AFP

On Thursday, near a barricade of flaming tires, demonstrators accused the authorities of favoring fuel importers to the detriment of the development of renewable energies.

“We don’t have an electricity grid in Haiti, so we have to look for diesel to run a generator,” said a student in his thirties who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons.

“We have all the sun in the world but solar panels are overpriced,” he said.


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