“A good sign” – The release of two hostages from Haiti gives hope


The release of two of the Christian Aid Ministries hostages held by a gang in Haiti is good news for residents following the case and for an organization following the kidnappings there.

Christian Aid Ministries, based in Holmes County, announced on Sunday that two of the 17 people held captive since Oct. 16 have been released and “are safe, in good spirits and being treated,” according to a statement published online.

A spokesperson for the ministries said other details could not be provided, including the names of the hostages released and whether they were still in Haiti.

Two hostages freed:Christian Aid Ministries: Two of the 17 victims of kidnappings in Haiti are now free

The organization keeps its attention and prayers focused on the remaining 15 hostages.

“As we rejoice for the two hostages who were released this weekend, we continue to pray for the fifteen who are still in captivity,” read a message posted Monday afternoon on the website of the CAM.

The Associated Press reported that a spokesperson for the Haitian National Police, Gary Desrosiers, confirmed the release of two hostages on Sunday. The AP article also said that the FBI, which is helping Haitian authorities recover the captives, declined to comment.

The release of hostages “a good sign”

Dr Myriam Raber, a Kidron dentist who was born and raised in Haiti, believes that the release of the two hostages is a positive sign.

“I am sure it is a great relief for the family of the released hostages and that it gives some hope to the other families,” she said. “… It’s a good sign when they release people in distress, that there is humanity there.”

Raber

Raber, whose nephew and his family were kidnapped in Haiti last Easter, explained that kidnapping is like business in Haiti, and it’s not a good deal when bad things happen to the hostages.

“Especially when it’s international with foreigners,” she added.

With little to no local or international support, Raber’s family had no choice but to raise money for a ransom. Her nephew’s family were released after five days in captivity.

Raber said he is unhappy for local Haitians who are kidnapped when there is little media intervention and attention.

“When so many people pay attention to what is going on, it shows that they had a little bit of humanity that they let them go,” she said of the two hostages from Christian Aid Ministries who have been released.

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Hostages are usually not held for more than a month in Haiti

The CAM agency notes that Monday was the 38th day in captivity for the remaining hostages.

Rarely do gangs that proliferate under a weak Haitian government hold hostages for more than a month. And aid groups are concerned about the increase in kidnappings this year, especially those involving children and women.

Although the US government’s position does not include the payment of ransoms, some observers see the release of two hostages as a reminder of the difficult negotiations between US and Canadian government officials and Haitian gang members.

“I think this is a good sign, because the negotiations were complex due to the demands of the kidnappers,” said Gèdèon Jean, executive director of the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, a Haitian organization at nonprofit that tracks poverty, kidnappings and humanitarian work in Haiti.

Jean’s organization maintains a database of people kidnapped in Haiti. “This is the first time,” he said, that hostages have been held for over a month.

“We know the US government is used to dealing with complex kidnappings in other countries,” he said. “We believe they will secure the release of the other 15. We share the pain of the relatives of the American victims.”

Although the organization halted its work in 2019 and 2020 due to growing security concerns, Christian Aid Ministries has been active in Haiti since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake killed more than 200,000 people in 2010, leaving many orphaned children.

CAM and authorities linked to the case provided few details of the kidnappings and did not disclose the names of the victims or details of their origin.

Raber said it helps keep everyone involved safe.

“There are good people working on this case,” she said. “Keep praying.”


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