US and Canadian citizens, members of the religious organisation Christian Aid Ministries abducted earlier this month, are alive despite remaining in the captivity of their abductors, a police source confirmed to the Nouvelliste newspaper.
“Negotiations are underway for the release of foreigners. The anti-kidnapping and counter-kidnapping cell at the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police handles discussions with the kidnappers. We have proof of the lives of all the kidnapped,” the source told the paper late on Thursday.
Several FBI agents are assisting efforts to free the kidnapped, but the Haitian police are leading the process, the source added. However, no specific date for their release has been mentioned.
A group of 16 US citizens and one Canadian national, including women and children, was en route to an orphanage when a gang abducted them not far from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
According to media reports, the kidnappers are presumably members of the local armed group 400 Mawozo, notorious for extorting businesses and demanding ransoms from kidnapped victims.