Priest kidnapped in Haiti; captors demand ransom

An aerial view of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Sept. 16, 2008. An aerial view of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. | Public domain

The Claretian Missionaries’ Independent Delegation for the Antilles reported that on Feb. 7 one of its priests was kidnapped.

Father Antoine Macaire Christian Noah was abducted in the morning when he was going to his missionary community in Kazal, about 20 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital.

The kidnappers have contacted “the superior of his missionary community asking for money in exchange for his release,” according to a statement from the Claretians posted on Facebook.

Macaire is originally from Cameroon and has been the parochial vicar at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Kazal for one year.

Violence in Haiti

A Camiliian priest, Father Antonio Menegón, told the Vatican news agency Fides in December 2022 that currently armed gangs are running the country and also attacking Catholic schools and hospitals.

“Unprecedented” violence is spreading throughout Haiti, Menegón reported.

The priest warned that this situation creates “insecurity, fear, hunger, and despair and as if that were not enough, the cholera emergency has returned, which especially kills children.”

Menegón explained that “the armed gangs that rule the country are increasingly aggressive and now they run everything. The prices of primary goods, such as food, fuel, and medicine, have more than tripled.”

“Violent youths have destroyed, looted, and burned fuel depots, as well as supermarkets, churches, Caritas food banks, and other international humanitarian organizations. Hospitals, one after another, are closing due to lack of fuel, electricity, food, and medicine,” he lamented.

Haiti has been without a president since July 2021, when President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated. Since then no new elections have been held. The struggle for power has ramped up violence.

The August 2021 earthquake only further aggravated the plight of Haitians.

According to the World Bank, Haiti is “the poorest country in the Latin American and Caribbean region and one of the poorest countries in the world.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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