Haitian Archbishop: Kidnappings Show ‘No One Is Safe in this Country’

Police officers stop a car in a street of Port-au-Prince on April 12, 2021. (Photo by Valerie Baeriswyl / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE BAERISWYL/AFP via Getty Images)

The president of the Haitian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Launay Saturné, expressed his anger and frustration over Sunday’s kidnapping of ten people, including five priests, insisting that the crisis has become “chronic.”

“It is a situation that plunges the Haitian people and the Church of Haiti into the greatest consternation because it has been the daily life of the Haitian people for two and a half years,” Archbishop Saturné told Vatican News Monday.

As Breitbart News reported, members of an armed gang called 400 Mawozo abducted ten people on Sunday in Croix-des-Bouquets, a commune northeast of the capital city of Port-au-Prince, while the group was on its way to the installation of a new parish priest.

The kidnappers have demanded a ransom of $1 million for the return of their hostages.

Saturné, who is the archbishop of Cap-Haitien, pulled no punches in calling the nation’s leadership to account for the ongoing violence and mayhem.

“It is a situation without remedy, because it is up to the authorities to find a solution to this situation and they do nothing!” the archbishop said.

“Everyone is affected by these kidnappings on a daily basis,” he added. “Before, it was two or three people kidnapped. Now it’s 10 people at a time. The number is frightening.”

The archbishop also noted that among the priests abducted on Sunday, one was about to be installed in a very poor parish where the people have many problems and especially need the support of the Church.

This crisis “affects everyone indiscriminately, not just the Catholic Church,” he said, “because when ten people are kidnapped, people think that no one is safe in this country.”

“This state of affairs is not transitory, it is chronic,” he continued, “and it has incalculable consequences on the life of a people who are peaceful, non-violent, who seek their peace, while every day we experience violence.”

Saturné also warned that the ongoing drama can lead to “truly incalculable consequences,” because when people are treated badly, “one day they can get their claws out and we do not know what their reaction may be.”

In conclusion, the archbishop said that what everyone is waiting for is that “the authorities take their responsibilities in hand.”

“The authorities are there to guarantee life, the security of goods, and people,” he said. “And human rights demand that people can live in peace.”


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