Two days after 17 missionaries and their family members were abducted by an armed criminal gang called the 400 Mazowo, a $1 million dollar per person ransom demand has been made by the gang, as conveyed by the justice minister of Haiti on Tuesday, 19 October, to The Washington Post.
Justice Minister Liszt Quitel said that he was unsure whether the five children, who were included in the kidnappings, were included in the ransom demand.
Quitel expects some sort of negotiations to occur.
"Usually, they request more, then people close to the kidnapped persons will negotiate. Usually, even when they ask for a ransom, they know they don’t get all that they ask," The Washington Post reported.
Haitian workers organised a nationwide strike to protest the wave of kidnappings that have occurred this year.
Haiti’s national police recorded at least 328 kidnappings this year.
The protests and the strikes paralysed basic services like schools and public. Unions and other groups vowed to continue the shutdown indefinitely.
On Tuesday, 19 October, people protests peacefully for the release of the missionaries.
Some protests carried banners and placards that had messages like "Free the Americans" and "No to Kidnapping!", Associated Press reported.
The nationwide strike is starting to affect Haiti's extremely weak economy.
The country still hasn't fully recovered from the tragedies it witnesses earlier this year, like the murder of its President Jovenel Moïse in July and the magnitude 7.2 earthquake took more than 2000 lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a very detrimental effect to Haiti's economy and society.
(With inputs from the Washington Post and the Associated Press.)
. Read more on World by The Quint.Haitians Protest as Gang Demands $1 Mn Each for 17 Kidnapped Missionaries India, Pakistan and 8 Others To Attend Talks With Taliban Hosted in Moscow . Read more on World by The Quint.