In what locals are calling a resurgence of kidnappings around Port-au-Prince, the director of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Communication, Gilbert Bazile and his driver, Ernst Mentor, were kidnapped Wednesday in Martissant.
Gang kidnappings ceased for about two weeks, after the Aug. 14 earthquake struck Haiti’s southwest. However, they have resumed in the areas of Village de Dieu, Grand-Ravine and Tibwa, area observers told local media. These areas are controlled by the 400 Mawozo gang, where cases of kidnapping are frequent, according to Le Nouvelliste.
Earlier in the week, police officer Daniel Blanc was kidnapped from Rue Macajoux in downtown Port-au-Prince on Monday and later found dead, his family said. The officer’s kidnapping death is the work of a gang called “Krache Dife”, Creole for Spit Fire, according to Le Nouvelliste news publication. The gang’s leader, known as “Manino,” was also killed Aug. 28 in a shootout with police in Delmas 75.
On Aug. 27, a former U.S. soldier, Olivier Kernizan, was also kidnapped in front of his home in Croix-des-Bouquets, a commune eight miles from Port-au-Prince, according to Juno7. Although the kidnapping happened on Aug. 27, reports of it only surfaced Wednesday.
The unidentified armed kidnappers who snatched Kernizan have been in contact with Kernizan’s family, demanding a ransom amount the family is not disclosing.