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Haitians strike to protest kidnappings; pressure grows to free missionaries By Reuters


© Reuters. The sign at the front of Christian Aid Ministries’ Millersburg office, Ohio. October 17, 2021. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

By Gessika Thomas

PORT-AUPRINCE (Reuters – Haitians joined a national general strike Monday to protest a rising wave of kidnappings. This was days after the international concern over gang violence in crisis-stricken Caribbean nations sparked by the abduction of a U.S. missionary group.

Christian Aid Ministries in Ohio, which is based in Ohio, stated Sunday that the 16 Americans, one Canadian, and one Canadian had been visiting Haiti for the purpose of visiting an orphanage. But they were taken from Haiti by 400 Mawozo, security officials believe.

Haitian authorities remain silent on the matter, while the location of the missionaries (which includes children and women) remains unknown.

Port-au-Prince’s streets were deserted Monday morning. Shops and schools had been closed in the wake of the strike called first by leaders of transportation, whose employees are often the targets of gang abductions.

Later, private-sector companies announced they joined the strike to protest government ineptness and constant kidnappings.

Street demonstrations are being called by activists against kidnappings and crime on Monday. An event is planned for Monday to protest the increase in fees associated with cellphone-based money transfer, which has become an increasingly popular method of making payments.

After the assassination July by President Jovenel Moise, security in the country has become more fragile.

With large numbers of Haitian migrants crossing the border to the United States from Mexico last month, the crisis is now a significant issue. This was followed by a series of deportations.

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