Haitian gang leader threatens to ‘put a bullet in the heads’ of kidnapped American missionaries if ransom isn’t paid

Tires burn in the street as part of an anti-government protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021.
Tires burn in the street as part of an anti-government protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. AP Photo/Matias Delacroix
  • A Haitian gang leader threatened to “put a bullet in the heads” of kidnapped American missionaries.
  • Authorities said the gang is seeking a $US1 ($AU1) million ransom per person for each of the 17 missionaries.
  • Members of the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries were kidnapped last weekend.

The leader of Haiti’s 400 Mawozo gang threatened in a video to “put a bullet in the heads” of kidnapped American missionaries if a ransom payment isn’t made, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

“I swear by thunder that if I don’t get what I’m asking for, I will put a bullet in the heads of these Americans,” Wilson Joseph reportedly said in the video posted to social media.

Authorities said the gang is seeking a $US1 ($AU1) million ransom per person for the release of 17 missionaries from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries who were kidnapped last weekend by the gang.

The group of 16 Americans and one Canadian was visiting an orphanage outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince when their bus was hijacked by members of the 400 Mawozo gang.

A representative for Christian Aid Ministries said at a press conference that the hostages are from Amish, Mennonite, and Anabaptist communities, the Mansfield News Journal reported on Thursday.

The 17 missionaries hail from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Oregon and Ontario, Canada, the Journal said.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.