Haiti | About 38 people were taken hostage after a minibus was hijacked

(Port-au-Prince) Thirty-eight people who were about to travel to southern Haiti in a minibus were taken hostage by a gang in the capital Port-au-Prince on Friday, the president of a drivers’ association said AFP.

Posted on June 10th

“Two buses were just filled with passengers bound for Miragoâne (a town 100 km west of Port-au-Prince) when the Village de Dieu boys confiscated them,” said Méhu Changeux, chairman of the Association of Owners and Drivers of Haiti (APCH ), a nod to the name of a Port-au-Prince shanty town that serves as the headquarters of a powerful gang.

“Each bus had 18 people in addition to the drivers,” he added, without giving any details about the motives of the perpetrators.

This gang kidnapping comes as the grip of armed gangs on the Caribbean country increases, with no police power to contain this insecurity.

Since 1ah On June 20, 2021, authorities lost control of the only access road linking Port-au-Prince to the southern half of the country because two kilometers of the national road are completely controlled by armed gangs.

On this axis, at the western exit of the Haitian capital, 38 people were kidnapped.

Méhu Changeux assures that his organization “always asks motorists not to take this road until the state has restored safety”.

But this warning of caution cannot be heeded by the poorest of the population: traveling on the only non-passable alternative road costs much more, particularly because of the unofficial tolls.

“There are still buses that have to take the risk because some passengers do not have the economic means to pay for transport on the mountain road,” regrets Méhu Changeux.

Last weekend three young Turkish women were freed after a month in captivity.

They had been kidnapped by the criminal gang that controls the entire region east of Port-au-Prince to the Dominican Republic border.

This gang, which hijacked the bus they were traveling in from Santo Domingo, is still holding five Turkish nationals.

At least 200 kidnappings in Haiti were registered by the UN in May alone, most of them in Port-au-Prince.

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