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Six Catholic religious kidnapped in Haiti — El Nacional

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Six Catholic religious kidnapped in Haiti — El Nacional

In a troubling turn of events, six Catholic religious members of the Congregation of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart were kidnapped in the center of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, along with a professor who was accompanying them. This incident highlights the deteriorating security situation in the impoverished Caribbean nation, where heavily armed gangs have been imposing their law day and night.

The kidnapping took place near Harry Truman Avenue, also known as Bicentnaire, an area controlled by gangs since 2018. This event is just one of many in recent years, as Haiti has seen a surge in kidnapping cases amidst growing insecurity, including armed attacks, robberies, rapes, and armed conflicts between gangs.

According to a source from the Catholic Church, this incident comes on the heels of the kidnapping and subsequent release of six nuns and two others in January. The situation in Haiti has led to over 300,000 people being displaced and a rise in violent crime, with 4,789 murders, 1,698 injuries, and 2,490 kidnappings reported in 2023 alone.

In response to the escalating crisis, the UN Security Council authorized a support mission to the Haitian National Police to combat armed gangs that currently control 80% of the capital. However, the deployment of the international force led by the Kenyan government has faced delays due to legal challenges.

The situation in Haiti remains critical, with the security and well-being of its citizens at stake as the country struggles to address the root causes of violence and instability.

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