The Dominican Republic “does not pay” the ransom of its citizens who are kidnapped by gangs in Haiti, he assured this Thursday Jatzel Romandeputy minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mirax) for Consular and Immigration Affairs.
“The Dominican State does not pay for kidnappings just as other States do not pay”Román expressed in a press call in which he was asked about it.
The official referred, but did not offer many details, about the kidnapping of a bus of the Dominican company Metro in which Turkish citizens, Haitians and a Dominican were traveling.
“We ask for your understanding that we cannot say everything for the integrity of the people who are kidnapped”he stated.
Last Monday, the official reiterated the recommendation to Dominican citizens not to travel to Haiti due to the wave of violence and kidnappings in that country.
The information that is handled is that a bus of the Dominican company Metro was kidnapped by the gang 400 Mawozo with 12 people on board: 10 passengers and two staff members. Of the passengers, eight are Turkish and two Haitian; the driver is Dominican and the Haitian stewardess. The abduction occurred in the commune of Croix-des-Bouquetson the outskirts of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, an area that is under the control of the gang.
Kidnappings in Haiti are used by gangs as a way of obtaining income. The Turkish foreign minister said that there is a possibility that the motive for the kidnapping is to demand a ransom in exchange for the hostages, and stated that he has no negative information about the state of health of the hostages.
So far there are no reports that a ransom has been demanded for the 12 kidnapped people.
The 400 Mawozo gang was the one that kidnapped at the end of April and in the same area the commercial attache of the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Port au Prince, Carlos Gillen Tatis. The gang asked for $500,000 in exchange for the diplomat’s release. But the conditions of Guillén Tatis’s release, to date, are still unclear.
This gang was also the one that became known last year for the kidnapping of 16 missionaries from the United States and one from Canada. A million dollars was demanded for each of the victims.
In the first three months of this year, Haiti counts 225 kidnappings, an increase of 58% compared to the 142 cases in the same period of 2021, the Center for Analysis and Research on Human Rights (CARDH) established in its report. There are victims from all sectors such as teachers, lawyers, students, small businessmen, etc.
In total there were during the past year 1,009 kidnappingsas opposed to 796 in 2020. The number of kidnappings of the CARDH is not equivalent to the number of victims, due to the fact that sometimes kidnappings collective.