PORT-AU-PRINCE — When Jason “Zeke” Petrie lived in Port-au-Prince between 1991 and 2012, there seemed to be an unspoken rule even as crime increased. That white people were untouchable.
The rule is proving outdated after last week, when members of the gang kidnapped the missionaries — 16 Americans and one Canadian, including several children — in Croix-des-Bouquets, a commune of Port-au-Prince, Oct. 16. The FBI and Haitian authorities have since been in touch with the kidnappers, who are demanding $17 million for the missionaries’ release, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“This is a new Haiti,” said Petrie, who is white and now lives in Ohio. “This whole thing about ‘Oh, you don’t touch the blan, that’s changed. Haitians are done with that inferior mentality. And the blan are finding out.”
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