Secuestros

A Growing Gang Problem Has Taken Haiti Hostage

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, has become the world’s kidnapping capital.

A little over a week ago, 17 individuals from a U.S.-based missionary group were abducted in the latest brazen attempt of its kind. In April, kidnappers interrupted an evangelical service being streamed on Facebook Live to seize the pastor and three churchgoers. A few days later, in yet another event, five Catholic priests, two nuns and three others were taken while heading to a church service in a suburb north of Port-au-Prince — only to be released after three agonizing weeks.

The incidents underscore the growing confidence and power of Haiti’s armed gangs.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters demand the release of kidnapped Americans near the missionaries' headquarters in Titanyen, north of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Oct. 19. (Joseph Odelyn/AP)

Last weekend, 17 missionaries — 16 Americans and one Canadian — were kidnapped outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Kidnapping has become a regular occurrence in Haiti, the country with the world’s highest per capita kidnapping rate.

But even with rampant abductions, the targeting of foreigners is rare. As in other global kidnapping hot spots, the vast majority of kidnapping victims are local nationals. According to the Haitian Center for Analysis and Research for Human Rights, less than 5 percent of kidnapping victims since January have been foreigners.

A criminal gang called 400 Mawozo, known for violence, kidnapping and extortion, reportedly took the missionaries hostage.…  Seguir leyendo »

En St Bride's Church de Londres dos velas permanentemente encendidas mantienen vivo el recuerdo de John Cantlie y Austin Tice. Esta capilla situada en Fleet Street, la simbólica ubicación de los grandes periódicos británicos durante décadas, sigue acogiendo vigilias para rezar por la libertad de los dos periodistas secuestrados en Siria en 2012. «Un rehén es un hombre que se aferra al límite del horror y que siente cómo poco a poco ya no puede más», escribió en su estremecedor libro An evil cradling Brian Keenan, secuestrado en el Líbano entre 1986 y 1990. John McCarthy, periodista británico y rehén durante más de cinco años, varios de ellos literalmente encadenado a Keenan, fue liberado en agosto de 1991.…  Seguir leyendo »

A group of schoolboys is escorted by Nigerian military and officials following their release after they were kidnapped, in Katsina, Nigeria, on Dec. 18. (Sunday Alamba/AP)

There has never been a more trying time to be Nigerian.

That sounds cliched, but there are simply no words to convey Nigerians’ horror at the endless cycle of national grief. Our country has so far been spared the worst of the covid-19 pandemic, but extremist violence, communal clashes and rising criminality are producing an epidemic of insecurity.

The latest alarming trend is a wave of mass kidnappings of students, endangering millions of children’s futures. At the end of May, dozens of kidnappers on motorcycles stormed a school in north-central Nigeria and whisked away 136 children aged 5 to 14 and three teachers, after killing one person.…  Seguir leyendo »

El lunes fue un día extraño en Italia. Por primera vez en más de dos meses las portadas de los periódicos no estuvieron copadas por el coronavirus. La atención se centró en la liberación de Silvia Romano, la cooperante de veinticinco años secuestrada en Kenia hace dieciocho meses.

A su llegada al aeropuerto de Ciampino (Roma), envuelta en un hiyab verde, sus primeras palabras fueron para destacar su buen estado físico y mental, y su conversión espontánea al islam.

Al margen de su decisión de abrazar la religión profesada por sus captores -tomada libremente, como afirma, o favorecida por algún mecanismo de complicidad afectiva con quienes la mantuvieron secuestrada-, merece la pena analizar las dinámicas del secuestro y de la liberación.…  Seguir leyendo »