Haitian police patrol the streets Haitian police patrol the streets 

Bandits kidnap three nuns from orphanage in Haiti

Armed bandits storm a Catholic orphanage in Port-au-Prince and abduct three religious sisters of the Saint-Joseph de Cluny Congregation.

By Sr. Francine-Marie Cooper, FMC

The Catholic religious sector in Haiti continues to suffer from acts of kidnapping and ransom.

The former pastor of the Saint-Gérard Parish in Carrefour-Feuilles, Father Gilbert Peltrop, reported the news on Tuesday.

He said heavily armed men invaded the premises of the La Madeleine Orphanage, where several sisters of the Saint-Joseph de Cluny Congregation reside.

As of Wednesday, the kidnappers had not established any communication with the leaders of the religious community to demand a ransom.

The area of Port-au-Prince where the attack took place is under the control of the '400 Mawozo' gang.

Insecurity continues to rise

Insecurity in the Haitian capital has reached alarming levels with gang assaults on police installations and correctional facilities.

Over 5,000 inmates are on the loose following an armed attack on March 2, against the National Penitentiary and the Civil Prison of Croix-des-Bouquets.

Furthermore, several units of the Haitian National Police, including the Bon-Repos Sub-Commission, the Cazeau Sub-Commission, and the Carrefour de l'Aéroport Sub-Commission, were attacked and then set on fire by members of the criminal coalition "Viv ansanm" demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Gangs seeking to overthrow the government

The violence has affected various institutions, with several gangs expressing their intention to overthrow the government.

The legitimacy of Ariel Henry’s premiership has been contested since he assumed power at the time of Jovenel Moïse's assassination in 2021. Since then, no elections have been organized.

Beyond political power, many institutions, including the Catholic Church, have fallen victim to insecurity and gang violence.

The spokesperson for the "Viv ansanm" criminal outfit, former police officer Jimmy "Barbecue" Chérizier, announced during an online media intervention on Tuesday that gang hostages would be released without ransom.

He also emphasized that armed gangs intend to cease hostilities against the civilian population to intensify the fight against the Prime Minister.

However, six members of the Sacred Heart Congregation, including five religious brothers abducted on February 23, in Bicentenaire, have not yet been released.

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06 March 2024, 12:32