By James Blears
The seventeen million dollars ransom demand comes from the 400 Mawoza gang. Last Saturday, at gunpoint, they seized a group of missionaries of the Christian Aid Ministries, and family members. Six women, six men and five children including an eight month old baby are being held at an unknown location. They simultaneously kidnapped two Haitians, and it`s not known if they want yet more money to release them.
The missionaries were returning from an orphanage they`re helping to fund, when their bus was held up on a highway. Back in April, the gang abducted Nuns and Priests, demanding a million dollars for their release, which was successfully negotiated by diplomats, but no details were disclosed about how it was achieved. Washington has sent a specialist team of State Department and FBI experts.
A White House spokesperson says the FBI is part of a coordinated US Government effort to get them unharmed to safety, in coodination with the US Embassy and Haitian Authorities. Since the July assassination of President Jovenal Moise and the 7.2 earthquake in August, infrastructure and with it, the fragile fabric of law and order has crumpled and imploded. This is a major reason, many Haitians have fled the turmoil, trying to reach the United States, only to be returned on one-way flights back from whence they came.
Now, a ruthless street gang in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has the focused and undivided attention of the most powerful nation on earth, who`s number one mission is to protect its citizens, and it`s got a long memory.