A French citizen was kidnapped Friday in Port-au-Prince, said Saturday the spokesperson for the national police of Haiti, a country where kidnappings by gang members have become daily.
“The police are informed of the kidnapping yesterday of a French national”, announced Gary Desrosiers, without providing details on the identity of the victim.
The kidnapping occurred during the day in a residential area in the heart of the city, the spokesman said. The gangs, which have controlled the poorest neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince for decades, have extended their grip in recent years. If the criminal gangs first clash with each other to expand their area of influence, they also attack the population.
Between late April and early May, at least 148 people were killed by gangs in the northern neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, plagued by clashes between rival groups. The gangs abduct residents of every socio-economic level every day, demanding ransoms of thousands or even tens of thousands of US dollars. Abductions of foreigners are also recurrent.
Two French clerics kidnapped in April 2021
In April 2021, two French clerics, traveling in a group of 10 people, were held hostage for three weeks by one of the most powerful gangs in the country, which controls the region between Port-au-Prince and the border. with the Dominican Republic. On May 8, this same criminal group kidnapped twelve people, including eight young Turkish citizens, who were traveling by bus between Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince.
Only the driver of the vehicle and the hostess employed by the transport company have so far been released. Since the beginning of the month, the Haitian police have arrested several suspected gang members and others have been killed during operations, but the police, whose armament leaves something to be desired in the face of the veritable arsenal of criminal gangs, fail to stem the spread of crime across the capital.