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Haiti Gang Leader Threatens To Kill Kidnapped Missionaries

People protest carrying a banner with a message that reads in Creole: "No to kidnappings, no to violence against women ! Long live Christian Aid Ministries," demanding the release of kidnapped missionaries, in Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. A group of 17 U.S. missionaries including children was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Oct. 16.
Joseph Odelyn
/
AP
People protest carrying a banner with a message that reads in Creole: "No to kidnappings, no to violence against women ! Long live Christian Aid Ministries," demanding the release of kidnapped missionaries, in Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. A group of 17 U.S. missionaries including children was kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Oct. 16.

The leader of the 400 Mawozo gang that Haitian police say kidnapped 17 members of a missionary group is seen in a new video saying he will kill them if he doesn’t get what he is demanding.

The video posted Thursday on social media shows Wilson Joseph dressed in a blue suit, carrying a blue hat and wearing a large cross around his neck. He also threatens Prime Minister Ariel Henry and the chief of Haiti’s National Police while speaking in front of coffins holding several members of his gang who were recently killed.

Authorities have said the gang is demanding $1 million per person in the kidnapped group, though it wasn’t immediately clear that included the five children among the 16 Americans and one Canadian.

The 12 adults and five children affiliated with Christian Aid Ministries, headquartered in Millersburg, were reportedly headed back to their commune after visiting an orphanage near east of the capital Port-au-Prince on Saturday when they were taken hostage.

The kidnapped include an 8-month-old infant and children who are 3, 6, 14 and 15 years old, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The FBI is now investigating the kidnapping, The Wall Street Journal reports. Officials are working with Haitian police and are in contact with the kidnappers.