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Six Nuns Kidnapped in Haiti as Island-Nation Suffers from Uncontrolled Gang Violence

The State Department designates Haiti as a “do not travel” country.
People walk along a street with debris and rocks in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday. Reuters
People walk along a street with debris and rocks in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Thursday. Reuters

The Catholic bishop of Port-au-Prince told the Miami Herald that six nuns from his diocese were kidnapped on Friday while traveling on a bus. Local criminal organizations are suspected of being responsible for the abduction.

Although the kidnappers have not been identified, the area where the incident took place is reportedly under the control of Grande Ravine and Village de Dieu gangs. The island nation has been afflicted by unmanageable organized crime violence since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in 2021.

The kidnappings come as the city is recovering from a four-day territorial battle between gang members and the police for control of the Solino neighborhood. The assailants were reported to have killed at least 20 people in the skirmishing.

The Assessment Capacities Project has estimated that the Haitian authorities have lost control of as much as 80% of Port-au-Prince, causing President Ariel Henry to ask the United Nations for security assistance.

In July, the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti ordered the embassy’s non-essential staff and their family members to return to the United States, citing the dangers that the violent factions present.

Related Story: Gang in Haiti Besieges Hospital with Patients Inside

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